Explore and master Chrome DevTools with this free course

Code School

School never ends for software developers. Ever! If you’re perfectly happy being mediocre, you can just sort of learn organically while you work. But if you want to be a bad-ass, then you’ve gotta be proactive in your studies. Luckily, there’s no shortage of really great tutorials and courseware out there. For Web Developers, I recommend this one, sponsored by Google, called Explore and Master Chrome DevTools. The course features 17 videos, which you can download for offline viewing. It also features over 75 interactive challenges, which are are assisted by the Discover DevTools Companion extension for Chrome.


Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Chapter 1: Getting Started & Basic DOM and Styles
  • Chapter 2: Advanced DOM and Styles
  • Chapter 3: Working With the Console
  • Chapter 4: Debugging JavaScript
  • Chapter 5: Improving Network Performance
  • Chapter 6: Improving Performance
  • Chapter 7: Memory Profiling

For those of you who’ve been using Chrome DevTools for a long time and think you know all this stuff, I challenge you to go deeper. There are plenty of surprising little moments within the course that’ll make you go, “Oh, now that’s cool!”

Step by step guide to create a custom theme in WebSphere Portal 8.5

IBM Digital Experience wiki
August 22, 2014

From time to time, I get a ping on Skype at some crazy hour. It’s Michele Buccarello and he’s twelve hours deep into another study on some aspect of IBM Digital Experience software. As far as I know, he’s been going at it for days. He’s what I call a cave dweller – he’s pure nerd (and I mean that as a compliment). But it’s not just Michele’s ability to plow through the night with incessant focus that’s impressive. When he emerges from his cave, he bears gifts of knowledge for our community. In his latest adventure, Michele’s gone deep into theme development on WebSphere Portal 8.5 and delivered this very detailed and highly illustrated guide. Just scanning through the screen-shots, I see a lot of intriguing stuff I haven’t seen before and I can’t wait to dive in myself.

Along the same topic, you might also be interested in Michele’s recent study on the WebSphere Portal Theme Menu Framework.

Note: Look for the PDFs under the expandable Attachments section on the wiki pages I’ve referenced; they’re buried rather inconspicuously.

In this very short video, I demonstrate how to abbreviate Java package names in Eclipse or any Eclipse-based IDE such as Rational or the Spring Tool Suite. This removes unnecessary visual noise and helps you focus on what’s important in your package hierarchy. Shout out to Miguel Aragón of Base22 for this little gem!

Recently I wrote an article for SemanticWeb.com, Introduction to: Linked Data Platform. If you haven’t read the article, I hope you will, but I hope you’ll also begin or follow with this excellent webinar, Getting Started with the Linked Data Platform. It’s about an hour long and features Arnaud Le Hors, the Linked Data Standards Lead at IBM and chair of the W3C’s Linked Data Platform Working Group. Having worked on open standards for over 15 years, Arnaud has made an honorable contribution to the evolution of the Web. If you’re interested in Linked Data and the emerging Semantic Web, you’ll get a lot of value from his presentation.

Portal 8.Next contains significant improvements for the administration of syndication. In this video, Lee Berry, Systems Architect from the ADL Sydney Lab demonstrates that:

  • Syndication is “smarter”; it completes without intervention in a wider range of scenarios.
  • There’s a brand new diagnostic UI which not only explains the state that syndication is in, but also what steps are required to resume syndication.
  • Authors have insight and control; syndication no longer requires an administrator to keep things running smoothly.

IBM Digital Experience Developer

IBM developerWorks

Here’s a relatively new resource for IBM Digital Experience developers. The site features code samples, downloadable resources, and a blog with valuable posts from an impressive lineup of subject matter experts. Topics include IBM WebSphere Portal, IBM Web Content Manager, IBM Connections, IBM Worklight, IBM Web Experience Factory, IBM Forms Experience Builder, IBM Rational Application Developer, Portal Tools, and more.

How to shake hands

Now, I’m not sure if this is a particularly Southern thing, but where I was raised, shaking hands was kind of a big deal. So, I have to admit that I’m often surprised (and sometimes a little disconcerted) when people seem to lack the knowledge of “a proper” handshake. I am guessing that it must be irrelevant in some cultures. Heck, maybe it’s even an insult in others. But here in the U.S., and especially down South, there’s a lot meaning conveyed in this simple act. So, for those who care to know, I’m going to tell as it was taught to me…


The JavaScript loop that makes you look dumb

loserGoogle “javascript for loop” and you’re likely to find a top result from W3Schools that may seem to work fine, but might make you look dumb amongst seasoned developers. First of all, you should know that even though W3Schools ranks high in search results and sounds official, it is not affiliated with the W3C (the World Wide Web Consortium). While I can’t deny the usefulness of many of their examples in a pinch, I always take those with a little salt. W3Schools has been known for the indeliberate promotion of a few poor practices. For example, here’s a JavaScript for loop from their examples, which several other sources will tell you is suboptimal…

for (var i = 0; i < cars.length; i++) { 
    text += cars[i];

The problem with this loop, in many cases, is that the length of the cars array is accessed on each iteration.

If you plan to attend this year’s IBM Digital Experience conference, please join this preview of the next generation of restaurant communications.Taco Bell is a quick-service restaurant chain that serves more than 2 billion customers each year in more than 6000 restaurants. Andy McCraw, Information Architect at Taco Bell, and Ben Shoemate, User Experience and Information Architect at Base22, will demonstrate how Taco Bell is using IBM WebSphere Portal, Web Content Templates (CTC) and Social Communications to fulfill the needs of its restaurant management and staff.

Date: July 21, 2014—July 24, 2014
Event: BUS-S01 at IBM Digital Experience 2014
Topic: BUS-S01 Taco Bell: Taco Bell Portal Supreme - Complete Redesign and Lessons Learned
Sponsor: IBM
Venue: Hilton Anaheim
Location: 777 W Convention Way
Anaheim, CA 92802
Public: Public
Registration: Click to register.