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How to Test Ruby Code That Depends on External APIs

Few things are more frustrating than slow, flaky test suites. You're ready to deploy, wait 20 minutes for CI to run, only to find that a test failure in code you've never touched is blocking you. You dig into the source and find the problem: an external API call. It works (slowly) most of the time. But sometimes the network glitches and it fails. What do you do? In this article, José Manuel shows us several techniques for removing external API dependencies from our tests.

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Protecting Your Apps From Link-based Vulnerabilities: Reverse Tabnabbing, Broken-Link Hijacking, and Open Redirects

Links are so fundamental to web development that they're almost invisible. When we link to a third-party page, we hardly ever consider how it could become an opportunity to exploit our users. In this article, Julien Cretel introduces us to three techniques that bad actors can use to target our users and discusses how to avoid them.

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Troubleshooting Encoding Errors in Ruby

Text encoding is fundamental to programming. Web sites, user data, and even the code we write are all text. When encoding breaks, it can feel like the floor is falling out from under you. You're cast into a dimension of bitmasks and codepoints. Logs and backtraces are useless. You consider trading your text editor for a hex editor. But there's hope! In this article, Jose Manuél will show us how encoding errors happen, how they're expressed in Ruby, and how to troubleshoot them.

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Evaluating Go's Package Management and Module Systems

When you're evaluating a language for your next project, few things are more important than available third-party libraries and the package manager that ties them together. While early versions of Go lacked a package manager, they've made up for lost time. In this article, Ayooluwa Isaiah introduces us to go's module ecosystem to help us decide if go is "a go" for our next project.

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Taming Legacy Code With Characterization Tests

Developers make fun of legacy systems because we're scared of them. We're afraid that the tiniest change will cause the app to break in unexpected ways. We're afraid we won't realize it until a customer complains. One way to combat this fear is through testing. In this article, José Manuel shows us how to retrofit legacy systems with acceptance test suites so we can maintain them with less fear and more confidence.

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WTF is a Convolutional Neural Network?

If you are a software engineer, there's a good chance that deep learning will inevitably become part of your job in the future. Even if you're not building the models that directly use CNNs, you might have to collaborate with data scientists or help business partners better understand what is going on under the hood. In this article, Julie Kent dives into the world of convolutional neural networks and explains it all in a not-so-scary way.

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Rails Performance: When is Caching the Right Choice?

We've all been there. You're clicking around your Rails application, and it just isn't as snappy as it used to be. You start searching for a quick-fix and find a lot of talk about caching. Take your existing app, add some caching, and voila, a performance boost with minimal code changes. However, it's not this simple. Like most quick fixes, caching can have long-term costs.