Photo of Angel

Angel Paunchev


I collect articles and other resources that inspired me or taught me something new. Just like old photos, it is nice to revisit these in the future.

Choosing a service to store data can be confusing and overwhelming for a front-end developer. What are all these acronyms? Are the Amazon services named strange on purpose? These and many other questions await your journey into the back-end.

Back in the mid-90s, just as Netscape Navigator was giving us our first look at what the visual internet could be, web design came in two flavors. There was the ultra basic stuff. Text on a page, maybe a masthead graphic of some sort. Nothing sophisticated.

The moment I fell in love with frontend development was the moment I discovered the style.css file in WordPress themes.

“You’re not really a developer. Sooner or later people are going to realize you don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re just not good enough.” You’ve probably had thoughts like these at one point or another.

I’ve always taken pride in finishing side projects. I shipped a tiny one recently, and have a few more in the works. The challenge of side projects shifts as I change and the world changes around me. These are the principles and pitfalls I’ve encountered recently.

The emerging norm for web development is to build a React single-page application, with server rendering. The two key elements of this architecture are something like: This idea has really swept the internet.

I often think of C++ as my own personal Pit of Despair Programming Language. Unmanaged C++ makes it so easy to fall into traps.

For the most part, web fonts nowadays are faster than ever. With more standardised FOUT/FOIT behaviour from browser vendors, to the newer font-display specification, performance—and therefore the user—seems to have been finally been put front-and-centre.

What’s pushing you to work late on a Friday night? When you’re basking in the glow of a computer screen, fingers tap away, what’s your driving force? Is it the pursuit of success? The desire to make something of yourself? The dream of a a bank account full of cash to prove your worth?

As static sites enjoy an incredible resurgence in popularity, I've seen a lot of misconceptions around exactly what tools like Gatsby are capable of. Specifically, I've heard from some friends that liked the idea of using Gatsby, but worried that their project was "too dynamic".

Simplicity is a funny adjective in web design and development. I’m sure it’s a quoted goal for just about every project ever done. Nobody walks into a kickoff meeting like, “Hey team, design something complicated for me. Oh, and make sure the implementation is convoluted as well.

I have been working on redoing the roadmaps – splitting the skillset based on the seniority levels to make them easier to follow and not scare the new developers away.

The phrase "digital garden" is a metaphor for thinking about writing and creating that focuses less on the resulting "showpiece" and more on the process, care, and craft it takes to get there.

Two front-end developers are sitting at a bar. They have nothing to talk about. Let’s say there is a divide happening in front-end development. I feel it, but it’s not just in my bones.

I was asked this recently by a fellow developer who was at the same web tech conference I was at.

That’s a great way to hide. Because nothing is good enough to earn your passion before you do it. Perhaps, in concept, it’s worthy, but as soon as you closely examine the details and the pitfalls, it’s easy to decide it’s better to wait for a better offer.

At some point, grown ups get tired of the feeling that accompanies growth and learning. Not because we don’t want the outcomes, but because the journey promises to be difficult. Difficult in the sense that we’ll feel incompetent.

I moonlight on winter weekends as a ski instructor at a mountain where I grew up ski racing and where I’ve taught skiing on and off for about 30 years. My relationships there are deep and my commitment and loyalty to the mountain is high.

The best request is the one that never happens: in the fight for fast websites, avoiding the network is far better than hitting the network at all. To this end, having a solid caching strategy can make all the difference for your visitors.

The "Test Pyramid" is a metaphor that tells us to group software tests into buckets of different granularity. It also gives an idea of how many tests we should have in each of these groups.

Last year, I got rejected 43 times by literary magazines, residencies, and fellowships—my best record since I started shooting for getting 100 rejections per year. It’s harder than it sounds, but also more gratifying.

Can I be honest with you? I hope so. In my writing, here and otherwise, it’s all I try to do. Truth in fiction is about verisimilitude, and clarity, and refinement of ideas. Truth in real life, though, is a bit different.

This past summer, I gave a lecture at a web conference and afterward got into a fascinating conversation with a young digital design student. It was fun to compare where we were in our careers.

In software engineering, Cyclomatic Complexity is a metric which concerns itself with the number of ‘moving parts’ in a piece of code. These moving parts are usually points within some control flow (if, else, while, etc.), and the more of them we find, the greater our Cyclomatic Complexity.

Congratulations, you’re getting promoted! You have excelled at the Thing You Do to such a degree that you’ll now be leading a whole team of people who Do That Thing. Very responsibility, much excite. Okay wait, you may say. That’s cool, but I like Doing the Thing.

I’ve been trying to let go. It’s a work in progress, and it probably always will be, but I’m trying. I’m looking for focus, and freedom from noise. More than that, I’m looking for stability; a metaphorical place where I have a chance of doing my best work.

I recently wrote an article about my seven and a half years of experience in working from home full-time, which seemed to strike a chord - it’s been read by more than 80,000 people so far, and extensively linked to.

I’ve been working from home full-time for more than seven years, and running my own business for the same amount of time. Many of us at least have the opportunity to occasionally work from home, and I daresay that many people would like the chance to do so permanently.

If I haven't blogged much in the last year, it's because we've been busy building that civilized discourse construction kit thing I talked about. (Yes, that's actually the name of the company. This is what happens when you put me in charge of naming things.

Anyone would be inspired by the story of Nick Woodman, the CEO of GoPro, a $2.5B company that makes wearable HD video cameras. The highlights: In the late 1990’s/early 2000’s, Woodman blows $4M of VC money on a failed venture called funBugs.

The other day someone sent me an IM and thanked me for my open source contributions. They then said something about wishing they had my gem/code creation talents. I didn’t miss a beat and informed them that I have no talent. It is true. I have no talent. What I do have is a lot of practice.

A few months ago we bought a new digital camera, all the better to take pictures of our new spawned process. My wife, who was in charge of this purchase, dutifully unboxed the camera, installed the batteries, and began testing it out for the first time.

This quote is attributed to Henry Ford II who had more wives than Henry VIII and ran Ford Motor Company. Successfully. The point is don't look back and don't bitch.