Photo by John Seb Barber on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnseb/6302542008
Licensed under Creative Commons CC BY 2.0: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Five O'Clock Somewhere
Some fun with Postgres to find users for whom it is a certain time.
Fix for Heroku Breaking Ancient Apps
Have a really old Heroku app that recently broke? We help with a handful. Here’s what we do to fix them.
Keep Your Certificates Current Using Cron & Dead Man's Snitch
A rethinking of a 2015 post to keep certificates current. Now using cron and Dead Man’s Snitch.
Unpacking opportunities behind tech buzzwords: IoT
You’ve heard of IoT, but do you know what it is really? We’ll share a few ways it is being used in the home, business, and the classrooms.
Showing Off Some Projects at Collective Idea
Our team does a lot of very cool work, but we’re often barred from talking about it. So recently we decided to focus on some projects we can talk about and wrote up some case studies. Here are three.
Welcome Patrick O'Dell
We’re happy to add another designer to the Collective Idea team!
Welcome Kyle Magnuson
It’s true… we hired another Hope College graduate.
Welcome Sasha Wolff
We’ve added a marketing person to our team!
Welcome Troy Spruit
We’re very excited to belatedly welcome Troy Spruit to the Collective Idea family.
Avoid parsing Rails controller params by using Metal
While looking at a controller today, I came to the conclusion it’s better to use
ActionController:API instead of
ActionController::Metal. Here’s why.
How to Create a Trending Hashtag
During the third and final Presidential Debate, the hashtag #TrumpBookReport was trending on Twitter. Turns out, I created this hashtag sensation, and I can teach you my tricks.
Free SSL on Heroku
Starting today, Heroku has a new free SSL offering. Use it with Let’s Encrypt for a fully free SSL system.
My Ruby Epiphany
I’ve been using and teaching Ruby for many years now, but I recently had an epiphany about private methods.
Celebrating Our Newly Expanded Office Space
This past year we expanded our office space and our team. We held a Grand Opening party to celebrate.
A Sense of Place
Out of all the places in the world we can set up shop to do software development, we’re in Holland, Michigan and thriving.
How We Work: Space
Our space is a bit different than many offices, but is a reflection of how we work.
GitHub's Price Hike and Why We're OK With It
GitHub is changing their prices for organizations. Here’s why you should stop worrying.
Walk Through the Collective Idea Office
We’re in the middle of expanding our office in located in Downtown Holland. Before we unveil the office it its entirety, check out our previous [i] space in 3D!
Let's Encrypt with a Rails app on Heroku
I needed to renew an SSL certificate today, so I used it as an excuse to try Let’s Encrypt for a free certificate for a Rails app hosted on Heroku.
PostgreSQL 9.5 Upgrade with Homebrew
PostgreSQL 9.5 was released yesterday and has a lot of cool new features. If you’re on Mac OS X and using Homebrew, you can upgrade with the steps below.
We’re launching a fleet of bicycles from our office!
Keep Your Certificates Current Using Your Test Suite
How can our test suite tell us when a certificate expires? We’ll show you.
Welcome Dana Jones
We’re excited to welcome Dana Jones to the Collective Idea team!
Quick Setup for Your Rails Apps
We need to make getting up and running with our Rails apps easier. Here’s my attempt.
Fixing Intermittent Failing Tests
Some tricks to help you fix tests that sometimes fail.
Welcome Ray Brown
We’re very excited to welcome Ray Brown to the Collective Idea family.
Welcome Laura Mosher
We’re very excited to welcome Laura Mosher to our team!
Our 10th Birthday
Collective Idea turns 10 today!
HIPAA Means Turning Off External Services
Healthcare.gov leaks patient data to 3rd parties. Does your Healthcare startup do the same?
Quickly Test Slow Uploads
How do you test a slow file upload? Force it to be slow.
Let's Simplify Ruby
I want to make Ruby better by making it smaller. Who wants to help?
How we write a Gemfile
Tips on how we like to organize Gemfiles and keep it clean.
has_and_belongs_to_many Isn't Dead!
People are under the impression that HABTM relationships are deprecated because of the newer Has Many Through relationship. Both are good, and both have their place, but HABTM is still valid, vibrant, and useful!
DNS, ELBs, ANAMEs, and TTLs, Oh My!
We had an issue this morning with Dead Man’s Snitch which led to some surprising issues with ANAME DNS records.
Welcome Chris Rittersdorf
We’re very excited to welcome Chris Rittersdorf to Collective Idea!
Today in Silly Apps
A couple years ago we built a really simple web app to track data loss now it tracks when you’re sick too. Here’s our silly app of the day.
Welcome Tres Trantham
We’re happy to announce that Tres Trantham has joined the Collective Idea family.
Welcome Spencer Toth
Today we’re thrilled to announce the addition of Spencer Toth to the Collective Idea team. Spencer is joining us to take our marketing and strategy to new levels.
Welcome Victor Sirotek
We’re excited to welcome Victor Sirotek to our team!
Collective Idea Acquires Dead Man's Snitch
Today we’re very excited to announce that we’ve made a new product acquisition: Dead Man’s Snitch.
Building Awesome Rails APIs: Part 1
After teaching an Advanced Rails class last week, I realized that we use a lot of patterns internally to build great APIs in Rails that many people don’t know about. We didn’t invent most of them, but we use them with great success, so we need to start sharing.
Now is the time to disconnect. Not forever, not always, but we need to disconnect so we can reconnect with the world.
Meet Downside, our First iPhone Game!
I’m extremely excited to introduce Downside, our first foray into building a game for iOS.
Conference Season: 2013
We’re gearing up for Conference Season. Want to see us in the flesh? Avoid us? Here’s the start of our schedule so you can plan accordingly.
So We Bought a Printer
After doing a bit of boring research, we bought a printer. Here’s hoping this helps someone in the same boat!
Building Office 2.0
A little peek behind the scenes about how we built out our new office.
We’ve officially move to our new office, and have lots to share on the process.
Fully automated, almost free backups
One of our clients was recently burned by their hosting company not providing the backups they expected. As we helped transition them to a new system, I focused on setting up solid backups and am very pleased with the results: Fully automated, offsite backups for under $2/month.
You Still Have to Test on the Server
It doesn’t matter how good your test suite is, you have to run through on your server to know it works.
Fun with Unicode Math in Ruby √
We had way too much fun with Ruby and Unicode, and the result is that you can now join in the fun with our unicode_math gem.
Pick a Side
Welcome Jonathan Pichot
Today we welcome Jonathan Pichot to the team, and we’re very excited to do so!
Fighting off a DDoS
Harmony has been fighting a DDoS attack for over a month, and we’re sharing a bit of how we fixed it.
Welcome Eric Milford
Welcome Eric Milford to the team.
The Password Rant
LinkedIn screwed up, but you can be smarter. When you store a password, you’re holding a key to untold secrets. The goal is to keep that key safe from everyone, even you.
Delete Your Email Rules
Today I removed all of my rules in Mail.app. It is easier than you think, you just have to get less email.
Welcome Brian Hempel
Welcome Brian Hempel (officially) to the team.
Welcome Jason Roelofs
Jason Roelofs joins the Collective Idea team today and we couldn’t be happier.
Collective Idea acquires Harmony from GitHub
We’re very excited to announce that Collective Idea has acquired Harmony from GitHub. Harmony is an amazing app for building websites, and we’re very excited to help guide it to continued greatness.
Welcome David Genord II
Welcome David to the Collective Idea team!
Walken on Rails
Our new screencast series features narration by Christopher Walken.
Finish Weekend in Ann Arbor
We’re bringing Finish Weekend to Ann Arbor!
Slow it Down
Most of the time, you test your apps on a fast connection, especially when working on a local machine. Most of your clients/visitors/customers aren’t so lucky, but how do you simulate their connection speed?
If you have installed Xcode on Lion, you have access to a very cool tool called Network Link Conditioner.
Give pry a Try
One of the things holding us back from developing on Ruby 1.9.3 has been ruby-debug. So after many people suggested we try it, we gave pry a shot. I don’t know why we didn’t before; it is quick, easy, and allows a wide range of Ruby versions.
Welcome Ryan Glover
We’re thrilled to welcome Ryan Glover to the team.
Type it Faster!
Dear Everyone, update your keyboard settings so I don’t see you taking forever to delete a few characters.
Likes vs. Favorites
I like lots of things, but only have a few favorites.
Thinking about Ruby's Symbols
Symbols in Ruby are confusing to new users.
Use Chrome with Cucumber & Capybara
Swapping out Firefox for Chrome is easier than you think!
ASCII Logo Guidelines
On the proper use of [i].
Welcome Tim Bugai
Welcome Tim to the Collective Idea team.
Welcome Jason Carpenter
Meet Jason, a smart mechanical engineer turned programmer.
On Stand-Up Desks
We have been using stand-up desks almost exclusively for over a year. Some thoughts and tips.
Do you know the difference between defer and async in your script tags? You will very soon.
Off to SXSW 2011
A bunch of our team will be at SXSW as usual. Find us and say hi!
When Refactoring Goes Bad
Refactoring is an important part of any project, but what happens when it doesn’t work?
Welcome Zach Moazeni
Zach Moazeni joins the Collective Idea team.
HOW TO: Setup a new local & remote Git Branch
HOW TO: Setup a new local & remote Git Branch
Clever Custom Datatypes with MongoMapper
A whole world of rich objects is within your reach with MongoDB.
Welcome Steve Richert
Welcome Steve to the Collective Idea team.
2010: The Open Source Tools that Made it Great
My list of open source tools that made a big impact on our work this year.
SSL with Rails
Lots of people have been wondering about SSL after seeing Firesheep in action. Here’s how to get started with Rails.
Quick Win: Zendesk
Now, I don’t know anything about ZenDesk, but I know a JS snippet when I see it. And I also know I can make it better. Here’s my quick win of the day:
Not Getting Things Done
We all have different issues that keep us from trusting todo apps. What about you?
Welcome Chris Gaffney
Meet Chris, the newest member of our team.
They Stole My Idea!
EarthAid.net stole my idea! So why am I happy instead of mad? Because ideas are worthless.
Our Notes on Remote Pairing
Relevance posted some notes on remote pair programming so here are ours too.
Living in the Moment
Are sports black & white, or is there room for human fallibility?
sitemap.xml in Harmony
We added a Google Sitemap to our Harmony-powered site. Here’s how to do it.
Clever Background Changes
Our backgrounds change, but they’re not random. We’re more clever than that. Let me explain…
On an Agile Space
Our workspace helps us work, and for the first time we have one of our own.