They say if you’re snoozin’, you’re losin’, but if you’re Susan, you’re choosin’ … Bocoup! We’re thrilled to welcome Susan Robertson to our engineering team.

As a front-end developer, Susan has built her career implementing designs, creating better user experiences, and building canonical online style-guides for a broad range of clientele. Previously of Fictive Kin and Editorially, Susan is a lover of accessible and responsive websites, usable templates, well-organized CSS, and good, clean markup. Susan has also contributed her knowledge and experience to the Open Web by writing on a variety of topics for A List Apart and The Pastry Box.

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Sometimes I swear source code can say as much about its author as any poetry. This might sound like an exaggeration (or like I don't read too much poetry), but I'm often surprised by how style and values find their way into the seemingly-lifeless language of software.

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Bocoup has been offering a handful of user research workshops lately focusing on developing a process for working on design projects. Following the workshops, I have been pinged by tons of designers and engineers who are doing user research on a project with requests for support in a real-world application of the tools.

Primarily, the main question I’m hearing is, “How do I get my [client, user, project manager, boss, etc.] to let me conduct user testing?" This is understandable, as much of design is a conversation around getting buy-in on a vision. It can be challenging to convince various stakeholders that you need the time and the resources provided through user research to develop out your ideas.

The Tools

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Friends of the Coop have grown accustomed to double-checking our address before stopping by—which makes sense, given that we’ve moved a few times in the past two years:

Well, friends, I’m pleased to report we’ve finally put down roots—very long, sturdy roots—at 201 South Street.

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Recently I saw a tweet about the relationship between values in JavaScript saying that greater or equals means nothing. The tweet reported the following results:

null >= 0 // true null > 0 // false null == 0 // false

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To me, the JavaScript language is as beautiful and unexpectedly wondrous as a mini donkey. If I could propose a new cover for the book Beautiful JavaScript, I would choose this one:

Beautiful JavaScript cover with a mini donkey montage

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Sometimes I'm not satisfied with the way things are. I wish they could be a little bit different, just for a moment. I deal with this desire in my personal life by sighing and gazing through a rain-dotted window. When writing code, I take a more productive approach: I use seams.

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Pam Drouin really drew us in with her impressive design skills and warm personality… so we’re thrilled to announce that she’s joined the team at Bocoup!

Pam started her career as a librarian, having earned degrees in English Literature as well as Library and Information Science, but ultimately, her love of computers and meaningfully organized information inspired her to explore a career in design. Pam joins us most recently from Proquest and the University of Washington, where she spent time in product and design roles, further deepening her skills in user interaction and experience, content strategy, and information architecture.

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Back in April I wrote about Bocoup's excitement for the recently announced Tessel 2 in "Pushing NodeBots Into The Future with Tessel 2". Since then, we've worked side-by-side with the Tessel Project to help them realize their platform vision for the next stage in the evolution of the Tessel. With shipping underway, we're excited to start publishing a series of "getting started" guides that will provide the basic building blocks to create Johnny-Five applications for the Tessel 2.

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Over the last ten years, the servers that power jQuery and its associated projects have evolved from a single shared webhost to a complex fleet of more than thirty virtual machines. Recently, I have been working with the jQuery Foundation to reel in this decade of organic growth by standardizing the configuration management of our infrastructure using Ansible. I'm writing this post to share some of the things I learned along the way.

Before I dive into the details, I’d like to take a minute or two to explain what configuration management is. To set the tone, see this quote from my colleague on the open web Greg Smith:

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