• Use Mailcatcher During Development!

    Oddly enough, I just started using Mailcatcher during my daily development work. I say oddly enough because I spent most of my time at my previous job working with email services and sending massive amounts of email. I actually used smtp4dev back then, but I’m no longer on Windows and never sought out an alternative.

    What Mailcatcher does is intercept all emails sent from your application and allow you to inspect them in a nice web interface without ever having actually sent anything to an external mail server. It’s pure genius and if your application is sending emails you should be using it!


    • No more flooding your personal/work inbox with emails.
    • Never accidentally send an email to someone you wished you hadn’t from your development environment(this happens far more often than I’d like to admit).
    • Dead simple setup(especially for Rails).
    • No setup of an external mail server or email provider for development and local testing.

    If you’re curious on how to get started with Mailcatcher, the project website provides dead simple steps to get going(blatantly copied below!).

    1. gem install mailcatcher
    2. mailcatcher
    3. Go to http://localhost:1080/
    4. Send mail through smtp://localhost:1025

    If your using Rails add this to your environments/development.rb

    config.action_mailer.delivery_method = :smtp
    config.action_mailer.smtp_settings = { :address => "localhost", :port => 1025 }
  • Springtime Slowdown

    So, an interesting thing has been happening to me lately and it seems to happen every year. The weather gets nice and my desire to be inside diminishes. As much as I enjoy coding, I just as much would love to hit the road for a bike ride or run. This isn’t even counting the hours of yard work staring at me out the window.

    How do I keep myself focused when I need to and enjoy the outdoors when I want to?

    To be honest, I don’t know yet! I’m actually sitting here thinking of how I can improve here. As I always seem to do, I’ll start a list…

    ##Spring (Productivity) Cleaning

    1. Get my workouts scheduled and schedule them in the morning or around lunch to give myself a break in my day. This will keep workouts off my mind and stop me from skipping a workout because I have work to do (or putting off work because I have a workout to do).
    2. Wake up earlier! More work done in the morning means more time in the afternoon/evening to myself. This is an ongoing battle for me.
    3. Reevaluate my productivity tools/usage. Right now, I have a rather relaxed approach to my Trello board. I’d like to focus my cards more and have a better prioritizing of tasks. I want to make sure a card represents a few hours work and that I can easily see my progress and what needs to be done next.

    These three things should set me up to crush work and enjoy the outdoors on a daily basis. Now that I look at them, they’re all obvious things I should have been doing anyways. Time to get out of this slowdown and get back on track.

  • First Haverhill Hackers Meetup

    Earlier this month I founded my first meetup group, the Haverhill Hackers! Coming up tomorrow we’ll have our first official meetup at the Essex Innovation Lab.

    ##Why start a “hacking” meetup in Haverhill?

    Well, for starters, I’m lazy! I don’t really feel like making my way into Boston to attend meetups. I know I’m not alone either(and the now 41 members who have joined show this). Additionally, I live and work in this area and it’s going to be a wonderful opportunity to get to know other developers.

    ##Why start your own meetup? As a mostly solo developer, I find myself hitting road blocks in my work that I know I could easily hash out talking to a fellow developer. Starting this meetup just increased the amount of developers I can bounce ideas and problems off of.

    I am far from a public speaker or a great leader, I’m taking this as an opportunity to get better in that realm. Communication is key as remote worker!

    ###Sound interesting?

    If you’re in the area, feel free to join the Haverhill Hackers. If you’re not, you can still get in touch with me to chat. You can find me on twitter or email me!