The Principles of Improv

One of the things I miss most in quarantine is going to see live improv comedy. As often as I could, I used to go see shows at New York City’s Upright Citizen’s Brigade theater and lose my mind laughing at the incredibly talented improvisers there. I even took a few improv classes to try it out myself. On top of being painfully funny, improv has taught me lessons about communication, teamwork, and creativity that I’ve found extremely helpful to apply to my work in software engineering.

Improv isn’t easy, but its principles are simple. The only rules are:

Comparison of JS, Ramda, and Lodash

With ECMAScript 2020 available, external libraries are not necessary for functional programming (FP) — specifically currying and composition. The two main libraries for this kind of work have been Ramda and Lodash FP. UnderscoreJS is another, but Lodash is generally thought of as an improvement on this library. Lodash is a fork of Underscore, and the history of why it forked is rather interesting.

However, it can still be a good idea to use one of these tried-and-tested libraries for more complex situations with FP. If these complex scenarios are not being taken advantage of, vanilla JavaScript can keep up…

Leaves changing color
Leaves changing color


Halfway through university, I was forced to drop out due to lack of funds. I then spent ten years cycling through different careers (or, perhaps more accurately, attempts at careers). Throughout that time, I worked multiple jobs that did not truly interest me, none of which were in tech. Moreover, I also came out as transgender and transitioned during that time. When I finally decided to try to enter the tech industry, it felt like there were countless barriers against me. However, I was able to complete a coding bootcamp program and get hired as a software engineer. …

Clean and scalable syntax in pursuit of purity

Photo by Gerrit Vermeulen on Unsplash

As a beautifully complex and adaptive language, JavaScript has many advantages that only continue to grow every year. It is no wonder that the language and community are so popular given that it had a large hand in bringing user-interface interactivity and responsive web design to the internet. While sometimes complicated, the language proves to be easy to pick up and allows for faster user experiences by being executed client-side.

A large period of time saw JavaScript as problematic and flawed. This was never an issue with the language but rather the platform it ran on: the browser. …

Repository organization for clean codebases

Version control with Git provides for powerful collaboration, whether it be a tight-knit tech team or a distributed network in an open-source format. Still, proper care must be taken.

Git is used widely within the software development field and can manage a constantly evolving codebase. Most of its usefulness comes from the ability to branch off new work from an existing project to work on it in isolation until ready to integrate back into the project.

Good quality software consists of, among other things, code which is robust, resilient, secure, and performant.

These attributes are achievable by maintaining a foundation…

Sophisticated Side Effect Flow Management and Testing

Building an app with React can get a bit confusing when data is being shared among components and different states lead to too much complexity and difficulty. Redux is a lightweight state management tool which can be used with any JavaScript framework or library to maintain a consistent and predictable state container. …

In the United States, voters are registered online or by mail through the Department of Motor Vehicles, using government-issued documents such as a driver’s license. On election day, voters go to the poling station geographically nearest to their residence, where their identities are verified by poll workers (through means such as a driver’s license, birth certificate, social security card, or utility bill). The voter fills out a paper ballot, which is then delivered to a satellite location or regulatory office, where ballots are counted by hand or with an automatic scanner. …

Jolene Langlinais

Full Stack Engineer. Chef. Consumer of improv.

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