Software migrations are like a divorce

Moving to another enterprise software stack is like a divorce:

  • it costs a lot of money
  • It never goes as planned
  • There will be a lot of yelling and name calling
  • It’s an emotional rollercoaster
  • Having to move out into a new “stack” is scary
  • Once it’s completed you feel great

And if you decide not to “divorce” you:

  • You will be miserable
  • There will be a lot of yelling and name calling
  • You won’t get to try out new things
  • Your users will continue to be miserable
  • You only live once

And that’s a wrap…

I would like to thank the following people for volunteering to speak to my Business Web Practices class at Clark College during the Fall 2015 quarter:

Week 1 – Craig Ebersol of Clark College / Heidi Johnson Bixby of Johnson Bixby and Associates
Week 2 – Tocarra Stark, Communications and Marketing of Clark College
Week 3 – Troy Uyan of Clark County
Week 4 – Derek Jesser and Aine McCarthy of Gravitate Design
Week 5 – Micah Godbolt of Phase2
Week 6 – Morgan McColum and Don Mills of Twilight Pizza and Scott Carden, Marblelife
Week 7 – Jane Croft of Anthem Medical
Week 8 – Dave Barcos of The Startup Brand
Week 9 – Aaron Hockley, Aaron Hockley Photography

All of you delivered invaluable information and experiences that each and every student couldn’t have gotten anywhere else.

On behalf of my students, myself and Clark College – Thank You!

Here is a description of the course from the course catalog:

Business Web Practices surveys business standards and professional best practices for professions associated with web content creation, web design, and web development. Topics include distinctions between freelance, contracted and salaried work environments, web production practices in content strategy, project management, workflow and version control, current practices in marketing, web analytics and search engine optimization, and legal and ethical issues.

During Week 11 of the quarter students will be delivering “Ignite” style final presentations. I’m super stoked to see my students presenting in this new and upcoming presentation style.

Something all Application Developers Should Consider Reading

Front-End Architecture: A Modern Blueprint for Scalable and Sustainable Design Systems by Micah Godbolt

With CSS preprocessing, icon fonts, grunt workflows, pattern libraries and JavaScript MVCs, the front-end workspace is anything but simple. This complex stack of tools can no longer be pieced together on a whim. Front-End Architecture needs and deserves the same attention given to content strategy, data migration, or server configuration. This practical book helps you explore all of these important decisions—right at the stage of the project where they need to be decided.

You’ll learn about the rewards gained from early, informed decisions, and the risks incurred if choices are made too hastily, or too late. Whether you are a front-end developer or a project owner, this book will inspire you.

Micah is a friend of mine who is the author of this fabulous book on front-end architecture. You can pre-order the book on Amazon or you can purchase the early release draft from O’Rielly. I highly recommend this book. I personally have learned a tremendous amount from it.

You can also find Micah on the Sass Bites podcast.

Winter 2016 Registration Now Open at Clark College

Registration for the Winter 2016 quarter at Clark College is now open. If you are a current student I highly encourage you to register for your classes sooner rather than later.

If you are new ew to Clark and are thinking about taking some classes this Winter, I suggest that you visit the college and meet with an adviser.

Not sure what courses are available? Start here.

More fun with the Slack API

Earlier today I blogged about integrating the IdeaJam API with Slack and now I built another integration using the New York Times Top Stories API (JSON):

Screenshot 2015-11-07 08.51.27

By default the /nyt slash command returns the top stories from the home page however, users can get a list of the sections available by typing /nyt list:

Screenshot 2015-11-06 13.26.57

With only 17 lines of code

Screenshot 2015-11-07 08.51.42

With only 17 lines of PHP code I was able to add a Slack “slash” command (/whatshot) to bring up the list of “What’s Hot” ideas from To do this I used the IdeaJam JSON API and some PHP code to produce the list you see in the picture above. Slack makes it very easy to add integrations. In fact, I also coded another Slack integration for an IBM Notes customer that allows them to pull up data from their CRM database with a simple “/customer” command. That code was also less than 20 lines.

Want to learn more about the Slack API and how you can integrate it with it your apps? You can contact me or you can learn yourself Slack API.

PS – no server reboot was required to add the integration :-)

Here’s what I am teaching this winter at Clark College

For the winter quarter I will be teaching the following courses at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington:

  1. CTEC 121: Intro to Programming and Problem Solving (Python) – 5 credits
  2. CTEC 122: HTML Fundamentals (HTML/HTML5/CSS) – 4 credits
  3. CTEC 127: PHP/MySQL 1 – 5 credits

If you are interested in taking any of these classes please let me know.

This is why I teach at Clark College

I just received this message from a graduate of the Clark College Web Development program:

Hey Bruce! Just wanted to say hi and give you an update. I’ve been at my front end developer job for almost three months and I received an awesome 90 day review from my employer (they had nothing bad to say about me and everything is going well). So this career has been pretty awesome for me so far. You really made a difference in my life when you mentored me because I wouldn’t have gotten this far without your guidance.

I am very blessed.

Yes this has happened…

A few months ago I quietly relaunched my consulting services and have have had several productive engagements. Having stepped away from the day-to-day world of all things IBM Collaboration Solutions, I can now say that I have a very clear and objective viewpoint on what companies should be doing with their Notes/Domino/XPages/Connections apps and deployments.

I am also offering the following services:

  • Provide an honest assessment of your information technology operation
  • Offer executives a “plain English” explanation of technology
  • Personalized executive technology coaching and training
  • Help you answer the question “IT tells me everything is perfect, but is it really?”
  • Offer you the cold hard facts about social media
  • Provide opinions and constructive feedback for new software and hardware initiatives
  • Help you learn more about the “cloud”, its benefits and how it can be implemented
  • Assist you in determining if your company’s data is secure
  • Provide you a motivated and expert speaker for company events and conferences

Please consider using my services. You will not be disappointed.

More >

A quick and simple image placeholder service

Have you ever needed to insert an image placeholder into a web page? Well look no further. is an easy to use service that can provide you with placeholder images. You can specify the image dimensions, background color, image format, text and text color:

An image placeholder service

More >

UPDATE: Here’s a list from tuts+ of the top 8 image placeholder services for web designers


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