You Learn Something New Everyday 💭

Ryan Levick

Learning to Computer: How to Gain a New Skill 👩‍💻

Most people assume that I studied computer science in university and that I’ve been coding since I was young. They’re usually surprised when I tell them that in fact I studied Marketing and Spanish and that although my brother taught me how to build a very basic web page in the early 2000s, I didn’t really start to learn to program until I was an adult with a job....

I'm an Azure Cloud Developer Advocate! 🎉

Today I start a new role on the Azure Developer Advocate team! If you’re not already familiar with developer advocacy check out this awesome post by Ashley McNamara. She does a really great job of describing what a developer advocate and advocacy in general are and aren’t. In short advocacy isn’t about selling or marketing but rather giving a voice to developers everywhere whether or not they use a company’s particular products....

Rust WebAssembly 2019

I’ve already written my views on Rust 2019, but as I’ve been an occasional contributor to and a full-time follower of Rust’s WebAssembly story, I thought I’d offer my views there too. My hope is that 2019 will see a significant increase in the amount of time I spend with Rust, and I hope a good chunk of that time is in relation to wasm. A Full Stack Story Nick Fitzgerald has already highlighted in his Rust wasm post the need for the working group to contribute to libraries and tooling that are higher up in the stack....

Rust 2019: Stabilization

The Rust core team has asked for the community to give their ideas on what they’d like to see from Rust in 2019 and give hints to what the next edition of Rust (tentatively Rust 2021) could be like. Here’s my take. Stabilizing Rust If you’re familiar with the history of Rust you might be confused with a call to stabilization. After all, Rust 2015 (a.k.a 1.0) was all about stabilization and the team has actually done a pretty good job with achieving this goal....

Things I Knew Little About: Fonts and Font Rasterization

When it comes to computers and computer science, there are still lots of things I know very little about, and I suspect this will always be the case. Instead of learning something new and keeping it to myself, I thought I’d share the learnings in case they’re useful or interesting to others. For this post, I’ll be focusing on the wild world of font rasterization with tangents into Unicode and the OpenType file format....

A Sudoku Solver & Generator 🔢

For a small side project I’m working on, I’m using a Sudoku puzzle solver and puzzle generator that I’ve written in Rust. The experience was fun, so I thought I’d write up a little bit about the algorithm I’ve used and some interesting stats about how it performs. The Solver Algorithm The first thing I built was an algorithm for solving Sudoku puzzles. After reading a bunch of Stack Overflow articles and a research paper or two, I came to the conclusion that the best way (and maybe only way) to write a solver is using a recursive solver that picks a value for a cell from the possible values left, and if it gets stuck it backtracks and starts over again with a different random value....

Rust: Pass-By-Value or Pass-By-Reference? 👐

The other day, a friend of mine who is learning Rust asked if Rust is a pass-by-value or a pass-by-reference language. For the unfamiliar, pass-by-value means that when passing an argument to a function it gets copied into the new function so that the value in the calling function and the value in the called function are two separate values. Changes to one will not in turn result in the same change to the other....

Rust and JavaScript Interop ↔️

In recent projects of mine, I’ve been using WebAssembly quite a bit. WebAssembly (Wasm) is “a new binary instruction format for a stack based virtual machine” that lets you use languages besides JavaScript to run code on a web page - usually either for performance reasons or to run code you’d like to share across different platforms. In my opinion, the most promising of these languages, due to its lack of a need for a runtime and great tooling is Rust....

Babel 📜

And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language Linguistic diversity is one of the true treasures of the human species. Learning a language imparts to us new insights, new ways of viewing the world. Programming languages often times mirror their natural language counterparts when it comes to what can be gained from learning new ones. Learning new languages can be extremely informative, giving the programmer not only new paradigms to think in but also a new vocabulary which she can use to describe concepts present in languages already learned....

What's All This Fuss About Monads? λ

Despite Functional Programming’s (FP) growing popularity, for many “normal programmers” the language family seems to be merely an academic exercise that they are neither capable of or willing to engage in. Despite there being many FP languages that are arguably much more accessible than some “normal” programming languages like C++ (e.g. Elixir), FP does at times have some concepts that remain fuzzy even to those who have programmed before in the functional style....