Our Thoughts

We love to talk about the world of design, tech, and business.

  • When I first started freelancing, I had no clue what I was doing. I didn’t know about taxes, invoicing, or best practices. Now, after a year of working, I’ve managed to get a better handle on freelancing. I know what my time is worth, how to pay taxes each quarter properly, and what are the best tools for managing my busy life.

  • In a world of single-page apps (SPAs) that are rendered by the browser, it is hard to consider building any other way; you get a lot of benefits such as performance of almost instant-loading pages. However, there are still good use cases for building traditional server-rendered websites such as those powered by a CMS (content management system) like WordPress. We recently redesigned ninjality.com, and we chose to use October CMS to help with managing content such as this article. Choosing a CMS doesn't mean that you have to give up on the benefits of SPAs, so I want to show how we used the Turbolinks library to make our site feel like it was built in a modern JavaScript framework.

  • I use Facebook on a daily basis. I use it for getting my daily dose of news, whether it’s a fake news outlet or not. I also use Facebook for connecting with friends, sharing personal updates, and messaging others. The last thing I use Facebook for is work, from managing posts to now moderating comments. Yes, Facebook Comments are a huge driver of conversations off the core websites. They’re the easiest place for someone to leave feedback, leave a question, or leave an opinion. Facebook Comments can and are more widely being added to news websites from tech blogs to more mainstream sites.

  • Ninjality has gone through multiple redesigns. With each iteration, we further realize what we should be focusing on. Our previous one in 2015 was quite significant, because we rebranded with a completely new logo, design, and marketing strategy. Today, we're releasing another redesign to kick off the year of 2017, and for many good reasons.

  • I’ve been blogging for years now, and I’ve learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t work. I’ve experimented with different methods to create a conversation around a new article, and I do it to not only create more value but also show other new readers there’s a thriving community on the blog. I also try and create a conversation around a new article for my purpose - I want to find new friends to talk to about what I’m interested in and at the very basic level network. When I’m doing this, I’m creating value for a blog post, but also a safe place where anyone feels they could ask questions or voice their concerns.

  • For a long time, I’ve been a proponent of using a .com domain before you had other domain extensions. Now with the rise of different extensions from .beer .ninja to .webhost allows you to buy a vanity URL that better describes your company online, by just telling someone a domain. There is even a .blog domain coming so you can quickly setup a blog and have a custom domain saying your website is a blog. The problem is will someone know to go to a .blog over a .com.

  • In the fourth part of this series, we learned about the last fundamental concept that is known as lifecycle methods. I want to close things off by discussing various other concepts and tools that are useful in advancing our knowledge in the React ecosystem.

  • In the third part of this series, we learned about props and PropTypes in React. I now want to get into the last fundamental concept of React and that is lifecycle methods. We technically already have used one of these methods, getInitialState, but there are many others that you can use to build useful components.

  • The Serial Podcast created the conversation how podcasting would become the new online radio. While podcasting isn’t a new technology, in fact, it’s been around for decades, it’s only become popular in the past year or two. Now every business, blog, and person are hosting a podcast. Why, though? There are hundreds of podcasts already out there, and new ones are popping up daily. I have a hard time keeping up with my subscriptions now, and an even hard time justifying subscribing to new podcasts.

  • In the second part of this series, we got into writing actual React code. At this point, you are (hopefully) familiar with JSX, setting up an environment with Enclave, creating new components, and rendering your app. In this part, let's expand our knowledge of components with props.

  • A marketing and advertising budget is a core part of each businesses budget. They have traditional advertising like buying ad space in a newspaper, on a billboard, or even on TV. There are also ways to advertise or market your product online with buying ads through Adsense, on Facebook or Twitter. There is also another more fresh way to market which is content marketing. Content marketing is the process in where you create content in the form of videos, articles, or another kind of video. The content relates to your business and helps your customers understand you're an expert in your field.

  • Slack has made our team by far a more cohesive unit for many reasons but in this article I want to cover the top 3. For preface, Slack is a communication platform that has recently sprung into a staple for most teams in any niche of the business world. Development teams, marketing teams, to even small businesses use Slack as their main communication platforms. Slack is also really popular in managing communication between remote teams, which is what we do at Ninjality.

  • For professionals, Twitter is used as a way of growing your network of like-minded people, or potentially going outside your comfort zone in hopes of learning a new skill. As a developer, I am always on the lookout for people who are way smarter than me that I'd love to learn from via their tweets, or sometimes just want to stay up to date on news. Here are some that I recommend.

  • Facebook has become a driver for sales, views, and conversation. Engagement rates on Facebook are higher than any other social platform. Customer acquisition costs are also lower on Facebook than having to do research, marketing, and accessibility of the social network. These factors have made Facebook essential in any company's plans for marketing and being on social media. While Twitter is a great place to help users, and talk to them in an open forum. Facebook’s platform is the biggest driver for sales and views.

  • Starting a custom self-hosted blog isn’t hard, and for many is a way to jump into coding. We’ve been blogging for years on this site and a dozen of other sites, and we’ve used almost all of the popular blogging content management system (CMS). I also personally make a living off of blogging for Ninjality and other outlets so that I would call myself a blogging expert. I often get asked how someone could get started blogging, and how easy is it. The answer is in two parts. The first part is setting up a blog and having it designed easily. The hard part is the blogging - you’ll often write to yourself and growing your audience isn’t easy. This isn’t to say you cannot make it blogging, but in fact, there are hundreds of pro-bloggers.

  • If you're a developer, you may be wanting to improve your skills but lack the time to devote in reading books, watching videos, or reading articles (glad you're reading this one though!). So, how do we go about our normal days while still leveling up? Podcasts. More specifically, audio podcasts which are much like radio shows but on specific topics. The great part about them is being able to listen while doing other tasks. As you can guess, we will list ones that discuss developer-related topics as curated by our team.

  • Working remotely has its pros and its cons, but if done right, you can become more productive and happier with work. At Ninjality, we work remotely and don’t have an office beyond each of our home offices. While I prefer an office with everyone in one location, Sunny and Kyle has proven time and time again how productive and efficient working remotely is.

  • DevOps, or developer operations, can be really hard to get right. This is especially true if you're trying to build everything up from scratch. At Ninjality, we use third-party services to help us out so that we can get to releasing projects faster. We apologize ahead of time if some of these services don't really fit into DevOps, we just use this term as a broad category.

  • Product Hunt is a service where you can share and discover new products. The site was founded by Ryan Hoover in November of 2013, with funding from Y Combinator. The basis of the site is for users to submit a fresh podcast, an innovative app, other tech products, or wild gadgets. From there other users upvote the products onto the front page. The whole process feels a lot like Reddit but with a focus towards discovering products within the technology community.

  • Tools are everywhere. We use a bunch of them here at Ninjality to get work done more efficiently for client and internal projects. However, tools can feel like a burden especially in the JavaScript community; it seems like there's a new tool, framework, or library being released every day. I've noticed that 2015 was the year of experimentation: figuring out whether to use Angular or React, Gulp or Webpack, Sass or PostCSS, Bower or npm, and the list goes on. Now, 2016 looks like the year of making a decision not only on which tool to use, but whether to use one at all. This is why I'm calling this article "Slimming Down Your Toolset."