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This is a collection of articles I wrote over the last couple of years. These days, I usually write about building and launching software products.

I’ve always been a fan of Mathias Meyer’s reading lists. They’re one of my go-to resources to discover interesting books to read. While I didn’t read nearly as many books as he did, I wanted to share the books read in 2014 in the same vein. So here it is: my reading list of 2014!

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More than once writing view code for a Rails application ends up with a messy template file. The separation of structure and style doesn’t always work out as intended. Frameworks like Bootstrap force you to use nested structures and lots of class attributes. The view code ends up with a lot of duplication and is hard to read as a result. You’ll get away with that for a while, constantly fearing the next redesign…

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More than two years ago, I joined flinc as a Rails developer. During this time, I helped building, launching and maintaining the realtime ride sharing network. From april on, I’m going to work as a freelance software engineer. It’s not totally new for me, but it’s the first time it’ll be my main source of income.

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Like any other build process, deploying Rails applications should be a quick and easy task. You should be able to deploy everything to your server with just one command. There are several tools available for this task. One of them is Capistrano, which is probably the oldest and by far the most popular deployment tool in the Rails community. Unfortunately the documentation is still not great and a lot of very handy features are unknown to many. Only digging through the API documentation and the source code reveals them.

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Sometimes, when testing your code with RSpec, you’ll notice similarities and duplication between your spec files. Most of these will involve setup that doesn’t say much about the object under test. There’s something that helps you to reduce this duplication: Custom example groups! RSpec itself (rspec-rails) uses example groups for the different types of tests for models, controllers, helpers and views. In the following I’ll show you how to use them to reduce duplication and improve your tests.

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