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bits&pieces by pekala


Long-form articles on topics ranging from web technologies to engineering management.

Aviator John B. Moisant, probably with his feline frequent flying companion, Mademoiselle Fifi. From Flickr Commons Project.
August 11th, 2022
~3 min read
Getting to Play with New Toys, 2022 Edition
It's been two years since I built this website, the urge to re-do it from scratch was irresitable.
It wouldn't be a new blog of a frontend developer without trying a few new libraries every few years
A vintage photo of a sinking vessel
August 19th, 2021
~8 min read
Finding Time for Tech Debt Installments
Addressing technical debt in growing teams is a challenge, and the first step is finding the time.
Exploring some approaches to explicitly allocate engineering time for work addressing technical debt.
A picture of army recruits in weird masks, standing in line,  being inspected
December 4th, 2020
~17 min read
A Coding Challenge That Sucks Less
Improving every candidate's and reviewer's least favorite interview part.
An emapthy-driven approach to designing the take-home coding challenge can make it work better for the candidate, reviewers and the company.
Vintage photo of the The Jelling Stone, a rune covered rock in Jelling, close to Billund where I live
July 10th, 2020
~3 min read
Getting to Play with New Toys
Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Theme UI
It wouldn't be a new blog of a frontend developer without trying a few new libraries
Picture of a fish from an old botanical atlas
May 13th, 2019
~14 min read
Discovering Patterns with React Hooks
Introduction of React hooks unlocked new avenues for elegant abstractions. In this piece I describe a pattern for building globally accessible widgets, like toast notifications, using hooks and the Context API.
Drawing of a boy working in a woodshop, with a bunch of tools around him
May 3rd, 2017
~10 min read
Frontend Development Environment as a Package
Or When to Build Your Own CRA
Frontend tooling can be tricky to maintain. In this piece I discuss pros and cons on building a wrapper around your frontend toolchain.
Drawing of a physics experiment with three test tubes, from an old science book
February 18th, 2017
~10 min read
Integration Tests in Redux Apps
Low Effort, High Value
Testing of Redux based apps can be hard to do efficiently. In this piece I present an approach that can give you a lot of confidence in your app without having to make big investments in test infrastructure.