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In the sixth grade, I received an envelope from professional snowboarder Danny Kass that would change my life.

I wrote to him for a school assignment with the goal of getting an autograph. In return, he sent me a hand-drawn cartoon that he signed, plus a new pair of snowboarding gloves from his company.

I couldn’t believe that one of my heroes would take the time to write back to me, but despite the small connection itself being awesome, dollar signs were quick to appear in my young entrepreneur mind.

What if I wrote to dozens or even hundreds of…

A global map of all KindCard submissions.

All my life, I’ve been fascinated by strangers.

Whether it be experiencing the generosity of others while traveling, hitchhiking, and sleeping on the floor of strangers’ homes; or simply sitting in a park, people watching and wondering about everyone’s lives as they walk by.

I’ve especially always enjoyed the feeling of doing kind things for strangers.

I love to hear stories about other people connecting through acts of kindness, and I’m constantly inspired by projects that bring people together such as Humans of New York, Couchsurfing, or charitable celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres.

I truly believe that one act of kindness…

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In examining meditation practices derived from Eastern religions, Western philosophers often choose to focus on the Buddhist concept of the “no-self”.

They write about the importance of understanding that at a biological level, there is no “I” that exists. That there is no “I” that lives inside of our heads nor our bodies. We exist on a basic level only as consciousness, and by accepting this truth, we can free ourselves from so much suffering that is the ultimate result of feeling like life is happening to some “I”.

This “I” can maybe be best recognized as the voice inside…

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I didn’t always have trouble sleeping.

Five or six years ago, I fell asleep on an airport runway in New York, woke up in Florida, and was confused as to why the plane hadn’t taken off yet. In college, I could pass out at 10 pm while my roommates threw a party downstairs.

I couldn’t comprehend the concept of insomnia. If someone was tired, why wouldn’t they just… sleep?

I’m not sure what changed, but starting a couple of years ago, my sleep began to worsen. I was the proverbial boiling frog, not noticing how bad my sleep was suffering…

A snail on a road
A snail on a road
(Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash)

A crisp fall afternoon, a small group of friends, a Saturday free of any real plans or responsibilities, and a Ziploc bag packed full of psilocybin cubensis. This marks the beginning of my relationship with snails.

We choose PB&J sandwiches as the sacred vessel to deliver 3 grams of the magic into each of our systems. With our last bites we exchange nods of solidarity over the kitchen island. The nods imply “I’m with you”, “We are in this together”, and perhaps “Good luck”.

An hour later I find myself in the backyard having narrowly escaped a stuffy living room…

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I was recently given this interview question to solve during a mock technical interview:

Imagine you’re building a back-of-the-headrest entertainment system for an airline. You’re tasked with implementing a feature that will allow users to see pairs of movie whose total runtimes will equal the exact length of their flight.

Write a function that takes an integer flightLength (in minutes) and an array of integers movieLengths (in minutes) and returns a boolean indicating whether there are two numbers in movieLengths whose sum equals flightLength.

A user cannot watch the same movie twice, and the function should only return true if…

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Hash tables are an instrumental data structure for storing relationships between large amounts of data. When designed correctly, they can offer the access efficiency of an array, and the search, insertion, and deletion efficiency of a hash (all constant time). Hash tables achieve this by storing values in an array with indices that correlate to the stored value’s hash code which is generated by a hash function. We’ll walk through how this works a bit later.

Before we get started, it is important to understand that we need to be mindful of the tradeoff between space and time when implementing…

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While tech-centric meetups and events certainly have their place, I don’t think they are the best way to expand your professional network, especially as an aspiring developer. Why not? Well, if you’ve ever attended a tech event determined to network like a rockstar, but instead found yourself sipping a beer in the corner and wondering how the hell you were going to attract attention in a sea of wannabe employed developers just like you, then you already know the answer. As an inexperienced dev, it’s hard to stand out.

Like many industries, becoming a software developer isn’t just about what

With examples

Put simply, call, apply, and bind are JavaScript methods that allow a single function to be used on multiple objects.

While call, apply, and bind behave similarly, there are slight differences between them that are important to understand before you can start using these powerful tools to write less repetitive, easier to maintain, and simpler to debug code.

Every time a function is called in JavaScript, it looks for its execution context. Javascript’s this keyword points to and returns that execution context.

We can take advantage of this by using it in functions that we can then call, apply, or…

Let’s face it, if you’re new to programming, there are few things that feel as cool as learning to use the command line.

Actual footage of me after learning how to ‘cd’ into a directory.

Perhaps even cooler though, is the feeling you get when you actually start to make things. So why not put two cool things together and make your very first Ruby app using the good ol’ terminal as a lightweight, easy to manage, user interface!

Apart from impressing your friends and confusing your mom, learning to build a complete CRUD app on the command line is…

Joe Gelay

Thoughts and code. Contact me at

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