Getting started with Google Firestore and Firebase is much like getting started with the Redux library. There is a lot of boilerplate code and specific syntax required to make it work. It takes some effort to get the scaffolding in place, but once set, it is powerful and can make your project more efficient.

I compare these two because I recently implemented a library to help me connect it all together in a project to which I have been referring frequently, my React Tarot Card App.

To give a bit of background, users can create an account then sign in…

Photo by Ferenc Almasi on Unsplash

As a relatively new programmer, it is not always my first instinct to keep my code DRY (don’t repeat yourself). I want things to work right now. But I have learned that this impatience comes back to bite me in the long run.

The problem with the come-back-later mentality, for me, is that if I keep putting off refactoring repeated or messy code, I will eventually have an impossibly long list of rewriting to do and potentially more headaches to the rewiring since my application has continued to grow alongside my procrastination.

I try now to be more deliberate in…

For the past few weeks, I have detailed my planning and early development of a React Tarot Card app.

Using React Router, I created and linked several pages. The All Cards page, shockingly, displays all of the cards in the deck. It is assembled through a collection of SingleCard components. The All Cards page is meant to focus on broader learning, so it contains a dynamic search bar for finding specific cards. When a user clicks on each card, a modal component displays the card’s details, such as its number, suit, and a variety of possible interpretations.

For the Readings…

Following up last week’s blog planning a personal project, a React Tarot card app, I will detail now some of the work I accomplished this week in the early stages of the project’s development.

As of last week’s writing, I had only completed the fetching and displaying of images and information in a sort of overview component I called AllCards. This page component displays the Tarot Deck in order. It consists of the SingleCard component, which I use throughout the rest of the app.

I decided on a black and gold theme for the app, so you will see this…

I’ve been working on my portfolio website recently, admittedly a task I should have completed long ago, but I feel like I need one more robust project to include. I’ve been thinking about creating a Tarot card app for some time now, so following through on this idea will round out my site nicely.

I’m using this blog as an exercise to keep myself in check and document my early thought process for the project. I am very early in the actual creation, so most of my discussion will be strictly brainstorming.

For those unfamiliar with Tarot cards, they are…

Postman is a service that helps developers test APIs before going live. There are a multitude of use cases for which it is helpful. I’ll highlight a few examples — I do not work for them, by the way — where it is a valuable resource for developers.

So you want your app to connect to an external API and receive data? Perhaps, you would like your users to be able to play back their favorite YouTube content. …

Last week I began to note some of the major differences I found as someone with React experience who is a newcomer to React Native. I will continue this week with some more variations.

For those new to React Native, the transition from React is not terribly difficult once your environment is up and running.

This setup process takes a bit of time, but it is required to see your work in action. …

The prospect of learning a new programming language is far more daunting than the idea of expanding upon a language you already know (in my opinion). That’s why once you know JavaScript, it’s easier to learn React, and once you know React, it’s easier to learn Redux. Now, I know this isn’t the best analogy because React and Redux are JavaScript libraries and not their own languages, but I like to look at them as important stepping stones to a broader understanding of the JavaScript ecosystem as a whole.

My next stepping stone to JavaScript mastery — this was hard…

I wasn’t sure what to make for my next personal project, but I knew I wanted to integrate a robust, feature-filled API. I went with Google Maps.

Because it is so widely used, there is a wealth of documentation and tutorials, both from Google and from the many junior and senior programmers who have implemented its services.

I had worked with the YouTube Data API on a previous project, so I already had a developer’s console set up and was familiar with the registration and process for obtaining an API key. These steps are quite simple, by the way.


In my last blog, I revisited an old project and did some refactoring as a means to discuss the Context API and useContext hook. This week I am revisiting the same project to enhance the functionality of my video playback component using callback function props.

I’m using this revisit as a chance to enhance features I hadn’t gotten to in the past and to brainstorm potential future iterations of the app.

My app, Horrific, is a mock social media platform for horror film fans to catalog, review, and discuss genre films alongside video references. …

Alex Foreman

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