Howdy. I'm Amberley.

Front-end dev, yarn nerd. Sometimes-tweeter.


Starting off with YNAB when paying credit cards in full

August 10, 2018

I have a couple friends who are YNAB-obsessed. I tried it like five years ago, and couldn’t get over the initial adoption hump — the UI was too clunky, I wasn’t willing to invest the amount of time it would have required to educate myself on the software to the point where it was useful, […]

Seriously, though. What is a progressive web app?

August 06, 2018

In attempting to define progressive web apps, I always end up stumped. Across the web I find vagueness and confusion, or authoritativeness lacking citation. So I went down the rabbit hole attempting to clarify the history of the term and cite the dang thing. ➡️ Read the post: Published on Medium, cross-posted on Note: […]

My evolving relationship with my sister with Angelman syndrome

March 30, 2018

[This post was originally written for and published on The Arc’s blog on March 19, 2018 for Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.] It’s now been almost five years since I first wrote about future planning. I was 22, and living in Washington, DC — 1,300 miles away from my family in Dallas. At the time, my sister […]

A Browser-Based, Open Source Tool for Alternative Communication

March 17, 2018

We recently had the opportunity to share on CSS-Tricks about Cboard! Check it out to learn more about how the open-source ecosystem and modern browser developments are making Cboard possible. We discuss the Web Speech API, React, the Internationalization API, and the “progressive web app” concept. Read the post.  

Getting started with GatsbyJS and WordPress

January 18, 2018

[This post was also published on the Gatsby blog on January 22, 2018.] Earlier this week I began rebuilding my blog using GatsbyJS + WordPress. As I familiarized with Gatsby, I found myself flipping through a million tabs, and I thought it might be useful to summarize concepts and to aggregate links I found helpful. I […]

The Road So Far Pt III

January 17, 2018

Exactly a year ago I posted The Road So Far Pt II. I now have two full years under my belt since undertaking this career pivot. I’m still not sure what I want these recaps to be, but I feel compelled to keep going now that it’s a pattern. 2017. 2017 was a “growth year”. […]

The Road So Far Pt II

January 17, 2017

Almost exactly a year ago, I first started writing about my pivot to working full-time as a web developer (aka The Road So Far Pt I). tldr; after dancing around the edges of embracing this career (in every possible way, for my whole professional life leading up to that point), it had become clear I wanted and […]

The Year of the Blanket

September 29, 2016

I love blankets (in general, and to knit!) Big, squishy, comfy, cuddly blankets– likely, at least in part, due to my conflicting relationship with actually paying attention to gauge. It doesn’t matter as much if it’s off by a bit — it’s a bit like cooking vs. baking. Anyway, onto the assortment of blankets from this year:

Event Roundup: Emberitas and Front Porch

July 20, 2016

Finally, finally, I have time to hit up local events and meetups again, and Austin has not disappointed. (See what I was up to the first half of the 2016.) #Emberitas First up, Emberitas. I found out about this event through the Women Who Code – Austin network. Three awesome women in the Austin Ember […]

34 days of Dvorak

July 08, 2016

I stuck to the (random, totally unnecessary) goal I laid out for myself last month, and have officially reached 50% of my QWERTY speed (60 WPM) in 34 days.

Async patterns: Promises

June 15, 2016

Given our understanding of what async is, how the callback pattern manages async, and some of the deficiencies of the callback pattern, let’s dive into another, newer pattern — promises. Promises are clearly exciting the JS community. As someone who never really knew JavaScript before promises, I have only an academic understanding of the magnitude […]

Async patterns: Callbacks

June 14, 2016

So what is a callback function? A callback function, also known as a higher-order function, is a function that is passed to another function (let’s call this other function “otherFunction”) as a parameter, and the callback function is called (or executed) inside the otherFunction. A callback function is essentially a pattern (an established solution to […]

What is asynchronous JavaScript?

June 14, 2016

When people talk about asynchrony in JavaScript, what do they mean? First, a real-world example of an asynchronous process (summarized here, and originally here). Imagine you walk into a coffee shop to get a latte. If they’re busy, perhaps you wait in line. When it’s your turn, you place your order with the cashier, and pay for the drink. The cashier […]

The module pattern in JavaScript

June 06, 2016

Let’s talk about organizing our code. There’s never just one way to accomplish something with code. This is both great, and sort of paralyzing. How do you choose?

Let’s learn the Dvorak keyboard

June 04, 2016

In the last week, the subject of the Dvorak keyboard has come up more than usual. (‘Usual’ being not at all.) The Dvorak keyboard is an alternative to the widely-adopted QWERTY keyboard, and was patented in 1936 by Dr. August Dvorak and his brother-in-law, Dr. William Dealey. There are a couple of devotees among my […]

Measure twice, knit once

June 01, 2016

I first picked up knitting as a hobby in the winter of 2013 — a cold, depressing DC winter. It was a moving meditation — a rhythm, a flow. It’s no surprise between the weather and the mindset that I started — and stayed in — the scarf/blanket phase of my knitting for a long […]

Intro to web accessibility

May 21, 2016

Through presenting at bootcamps, I’ve so far had the chance to expose over 100 devs- and engineers-in-training to web accessibility —- what are we really talking about when we say ‘web accessibility’, who does it affect, and what are some very initial considerations to take into account? This is a short blog recap, including the deck. Update […]

Data Structure: Trees and Depth-First Tree Traversals in JavaScript

May 16, 2016

What is a tree? Trees are a commonly-used data structure in web development. You interact with a very common example of a tree every time you use your browser, likely without knowing it — the Document Object Model (DOM).

Resources: Getting started & beyond

May 09, 2016

When self-teaching, almost all of us start at the same point. Where do I start? How do I “pick a language”? What do I focus on? I know I did. I recently started listening to the JavaScript Air podcast, and even more recently went back to listen to some of the earliest episodes. In episode 001, “Learning […]


May 02, 2016

Quicksort is a sorting algorithm, used to place the elements of an array into an order. That order is based on comparison —  the things being sorted must have a “less than” / “greater than” relationship. (Source).


April 27, 2016

I recently test-drove the ‘Devume‘ project from the wonderful and talented Justin Seiter, and wanted to briefly highlight the project. Devume is the hackable JSON resume. Fork it, tweak it, deploy it! Devume is a starter repo for a fully JSON-based resume, using Webpack for code bundling and Handlebars for templating. In just a few […]

‘Just break things’

April 17, 2016

‘Just break things.’ ‘Get your hands dirty.’ ‘Just dive in.’ A simple, and infuriating piece of advice that I’ve been given, and given to others. So surprisingly difficult to carry out sometimes. I was reminded by this bit of advice while working on a project last week.


April 11, 2016

Oh, recursion. There are two types of people, those who understand recursion and those who understand that there are two types of people in the world… (r/ProgrammerHumor) But really. There seem to be people who can very naturally digest the concept of recursion, and those whose brains absolutely reject it. I happened to be one […]

The Road So Far

January 10, 2016

I’m currently enrolled in the 30th cohort of MakerSquare, in Austin, Texas. MakerSquare is a three-month full-time career accelerator for software engineering, with locations in LA, San Francisco, and Austin. I’ll be using this space to catalogue my progress through the weeks of the program. I figure it’s best to start with some context — […]

The insecurity of a professional generalist

July 08, 2015

The best way I have ever heard to capture my insecurity at being a generalist: When someone says they want “designers who can code”, what I hear them saying is that they want a Swiss Army knife. The screwdriver, scissors, knife, toothpick and saw. The problem is that a Swiss Army knife doesn’t do anything particularly […]

Zen and the Art of Work

July 07, 2015

So, here’s a novel concept. All critiques of capitalism, salary jobs, overwork and productivity aside— if you have to do something, do the living hell out of it. I’ve done part-time landscaping for years for some extra cash, and it’s taught me the value of being fully in-the-moment while working. Zazen is not just a sitting […]

Stop acting so small

May 30, 2015

Stop acting so small, you are the universe in ecstatic motion. – Rumi

For what shall it profit a man..

May 17, 2015

For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul? – Mark 8:36

The Perks (+ Downsides) of Being a Generalist

February 01, 2015

On the one hand, I take pride in my being a generalist. My interests are too many and too varied to possibly limit myself to only a few. When I was younger I was a state-qualified tennis player, got straight-As, dabbled in debate and theater tech, edited my high school paper, played volleyball and was […]