Salesforce, Python, SQL, & other ways to put your data where you need it

Need event music? 🎸

Live and recorded jazz, pop, and meditative music for your virtual conference / Zoom wedding / yoga class / private party with quality sound and a smooth technical experience

Bienvenue! Welcome!

My goal is to help you work faster.

I must speak and teach until I hear 10 people say, "That thing you taught me? I used it! And it saved me time!"

(Ahem ... although maybe blogging slower than I'd hoped. Ugh, coders' repetitive stress injury.)

So check out the tutorials. Play with code. Tell me about your triumphs.

Heroku live previews for Gatsby + Sanity sites

17 Aug 2020 🔖 jamstack tutorials web development 💬 EN

I said previously that I wouldn’t use Gatsby Cloud’s free tier for hosting the “live preview” instance of a Gatsby site coupled with Sanity CMS because I didn’t find its usage quotas generous enough for handing over to a content author.

Today I’ll show you how to deploy a Gatsby site in “develop” mode to Heroku so that you can host a lovely site at

Update: at GatsbyConf 2021, Gatsby Cloud seems to have lifted the quotas sufficiently on their free tier to hand a small site over to a content author.

According to my friends, anyway. I haven’t been back to try it myself.

But in case that saves you time…

Continue Reading

Set plugin names and default visibility in Canvas course navigation menus

16 Aug 2020 🔖 api integration intermediate canvas instructure 💬 EN

David Tod taught the world to hide confusing plugins from faculty using Instructure Canvas’s API. Read on to find out how to rename plugins at the same time.

Continue Reading Notes

09 Aug 2020 🔖 graphql web development 💬 EN

I stumbled into the Party Corgi Discord, a community of front-end web developers who produce a lot of written, audio, and video content teaching and learning the tech they use.

I happened to be online when the opportunity arose to study as a group, which is great because at work my team just got access to a new product that uses GraphQL (an HTTP-based communications specification), and I had no idea in the slightest how to use it until I started playing with Gatsby a month ago. I thought it’d be fun to follow others’ lead and take notes in public.

Continue Reading

Rate-limiting API requests in Python with a decorator

28 Jul 2020 🔖 python tips api integration 💬 EN

The other day, I needed to make sure that a Python script I’m writing doesn’t call a REST API any faster than it’s allowed to.

I wanted “DRY,” readable code, so writing “if-else” code around every call to a function from the requests module was out of the question.

Continue Reading

Gatsby Cloud live previews for Sanity-based sites

21 Jul 2020 🔖 architecture tips web development git jamstack 💬 EN

For most projects in this series, I haven’t talked about deployment of your Gatsby codebase to a web host because great official documentation already exists from hosts like Netlify.

However, this project isn’t entirely self-contained the way my other projects were. There are very specific pieces of data to put into “environment variables” for my project, so I’ll show you the step-by-step I do to deploy this site onto the internet.

Besides – we need to see the cool Instant Preview!

Continue Reading

Educators and students - get Figma graphic design software free

17 Jul 2020 🔖 tips 💬 EN

Figma is a really neat graphic design tool. I’ll let people who actually know what they’re doing tell you why.

I’m just here to say that if you have a “.edu” address or otherwise qualify, get it free while you can.

I’m also here to screenshot a few hard-to-find parts of the process.

Continue Reading

PL/SQL Nested Queries

14 Jul 2020 🔖 databases sql integration api json instructure 💬 EN

I’m working on a middleware tool to extract “people of interest” from an Oracle database and convert the resulting data into JSON-formatted text ready to load into Instructure’s Bridge learning management system as users via Bridge’s API. Writing PL/SQL to extract the data with reusable “nested cursors” for maintainability was quite an adventure.

Continue Reading

Gatsby Minimum Viable Sanity Template

08 Jul 2020 🔖 architecture tips web development graphql jamstack minimum viable build 💬 EN

Recap of my latest project as I head into step 2 of 3:

I’m changing my simple Gatsby / React site to use the standalone Sanity Studio CMS instead of in-project Markdown-formatted text files as the source of the “Hello World” text behind generating an index.html with a body of <div>Hello World</div>.

Properly configured, Sanity looks beautiful for non-technical content editors, and paired with Gatsby Cloud’s “preview” sites, content authors can literally watch a preview of their site change as they type – all while getting the performance and security benefits of a static production web site.

Continue Reading

Sanity CMS Minimum Viable Build

07 Jul 2020 🔖 architecture jamstack tips web development minimum viable build 💬 EN

As step 1 (of 3) of my next project, I’ll set up Sanity CMS instead of markdown as a data source for the “Hello World” in my Gatsby-generated index.html.

Believe it or not, this will allow me to build a static web site with a “preview” version that content authors can watch change as they type into the Sanity Studio content management system.

Continue Reading

Why WYSIWYG static site CMS's love Gatsby

24 Jun 2020 🔖 architecture jamstack web development 💬 EN

Please correct me if I’m wrong.

This is my current understanding of why most Jamstack CMSes with drag-and-drop WYSIWYG previewing seem to heavily favor using Gatsby as a static site generator.

Continue Reading