Category Archives: Startups

Why You Should Not Work at a Startup

I have nothing against startups per se. I think they are great places for exceptionally bright individuals to work on ground breaking products. However, I think there are some misconceptions and myths about working at a startup, especially working in an early stage startup as a technical person, i.e., software engineer (or web developer, or coder, or programmer). Here is my list of reasons why someone should not work at a startup.

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The Release of Express.js Guide: The Comprehensive Book on Express.js

Express.js is a de facto standard of Node.js development and the most popular NPM library as of today! However, as with any framework, sometimes the learning curve is steep. At HackReactor, I often asked the same questions about code organization, authentication, database connections and deployment.

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Todo App with Express.js/Node.js and MongoDB

Note: This tutorial is a part of Express.js Guide: The Comprehensive Book on Express.js.

Todo apps are considered to be quintessential in showcasing frameworks akin to famous for front-end JavaScript frameworks. In this example, we’ll use Jade, forms, LESS, AJAX/XHR and CSRF.

In our Todo app, we’ll intentionally not use Backbone.js or Angular to demonstrate how to build traditional websites with the use of forms and redirects. In addition to that, we’ll explain how to plug-in CSRF and LESS.

Example: All the source code is in the for your convenience.

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Notes from Startup School 2013 by YCombinator

The Startup School 2013 event organized by YCombinator and Paul Graham had an impressive list of speakers including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Jack Dorsey of Twitter/Square, Ron Conway of SV Angles, Phil Libin of Evernote and others.

Here are the notes if yesterday you weren’t at Flint center or missed the live online translation:

Here are the notes from the talk by Jack Dorsey — Founder, Square, Twitter

Reading to us from books that have helped him along the way, adding his own thoughts.

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Markdown Web Publishing

TL;DR: Know and use Markdown because it’s fast and convenient.

Meet Markdown

“What is a Markdown?” my editor asked me the other day. She is an experienced content and copy editor and has worked for magazines and book publishers. However, she is not familiar with the powerful and convenient Markdown because it’s still a rather unknown approach to publishing except for an elite circle of early adopters and technology professionals. Even the so called re-invented web publishing experience Medium doesn’t support Markdown, but many other services and apps including my favorites (ByWord and LeanPub) build their whole flow around Markdown! In fact, I’m such a huge fan of Markdown that I’m writing my daily journals in it as well as this blog post.

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Good Bye Storify

For almost a year I’ve been helping social media curation tool Storify as a software engineer with their Node.js apps, Backbone.js front-end development as well as supporting Storify API, implementing Twitter API v1.1 intergration, writing blog posts and answering Storify API questions. We had some great moments and a few weeks ago I summed them up in a post.

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Startup Life Balance and My Mexican Vacation

Medano Beach - Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Over the past eight months, I’ve been juggling extremely demanding startup work at Storify, exceptionally fulfilling teaching assignments at Hack Reactor, General Assembly and Marakana, and writing my books and webapplog posts. By applying Yerkes–Dodson law, stress helped me to boost my productivity and I was happier than ever. However, in the last few weeks I slightly overestimated my capacity to endure the fast-paced startup life. Happily, I was able to take two weeks off and to spend them in Los Cabos, Baja California, Mexico.

The famous Los Cabos Arch at the Lands End

The famous Los Cabos Arch at the Lands End

A passive quiet leisure time seemed like a great way to reflect, and to fill up my mental tanks for the future. I opted for Los Cabos due to its proximity to the Bay Area, convenience and friendliness of the local people. Indeed, there are plenty of English-speaking staff and my favorite chain stores, like Starbucks, Ruth’s Steakhouse, OXXO, Mega, Walmart and of course (not so favorite but still familiar) McDonald’s, and Burger King.

By the end of the vacation, I’d read a few good books and stumbled upon some amazingly fantastic podcasts about entrepreneurship:

I also started reading Smashing Node.js. It’s a very approachable beginner’s Node.js book. Nevertheless, I found there some gems such as answers to why we do things the way we do them at Storify, because the tech stack described in the book and JavaScript patterns are astonishingly similar to the ones that we have.

Pirate style party cruise ship

Pirate style party cruise ship

At the end of the break, I learned an important lesson that we need to be more realistic about our present (but unrealistic about our future), and step aside for a bit to take a look at a bigger picture. In addition, I pledged to myself to prioritize my life and the side-projects I undertake.

Biggest Challenges Before Joining a Coding Bootcamp

Hack Reactor students share their experiences


Perception about what being a software engineer means is probably one of the biggest challenges to overcome before joining a coding bootcamp. For decades, software engineers were perceived as scientists that require extensive education and dedication to the field. They would work on huge mainframes, programmed using punch cards and had to read whole programming language manuals before writing their first lines of code.

The world has changed since then. We have faster and cheaper computers and better developer tools, including high-level and very expressive languages like JavaScript/Node.js. For people thinking about coding bootcamp, these are all things to consider.

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Tutorial: Node.js and MongoDB JSON REST API server with Mongoskin and Express.js

Update3: Expess 4 version of this tutorial is available at Express.js 4, Node.js and MongoDB REST API Tutorial, and (master branch). This tutorial will work with Express 3.x.

Update2: “Mongoskin removed ‘’ and added some actionById methods” from this pull request with this code changes. To use the code in this post, just install an older version of Mongoskin (0.5.0?). The code in the GitHub will work with Mongoskin 1.3.20.

Update2: “Mongoskin removed ‘’ and added some actionById methods” from this pull request with this code changes. To use the code in this post, just install an older version of Mongoskin (0.5.0?)

Update: use the enhanced code from this repository (express3 branch).

Note: This text is a part of Express.js Guide: The Comprehensive Book on Express.js.

This tutorial will walk you through writing test using the Mocha and Super Agent libraries and then use them in a test-driven development manner to build a Node.js free JSON REST API server utilizing Express.js framework and Mongoskin library for MongoDB. In this REST API server, we’ll perform create, read, update and delete (CRUD) operations and harness Express.js middleware concept with app.param() and app.use() methods.

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