What We Think

Our thoughts on technology, programming, design, project management, business, and our company.

Go Project Structure For Rubyists

Posted Nov 5, 2014 • Tristan O'Neil

Ruby has been my language of choice for the past five years or so. When I write Ruby I’m usually building web applications using the Rails framework, you may have heard of it. One of the things that I value from Rails is its fairly rigid structure. One thing that I don’t value from the Rails framework is its tendency to be dog slow. It’s getting faster but as it does other languages and frameworks catch my eye.

Supermarket Data Migration

Posted Oct 29, 2014 • Brian Cobb

The trials and triumphs of migrating data from the old Chef community site to the Chef Supermarket.

Getting Started with Ember.js

Posted Oct 27, 2014 • Brett Chalupa

A walkthrough of some solid Ember.js resources to get you started with the framework.

Curry: How Chef Software (Mostly) Automated Their CLA

Posted Oct 24, 2014 • Brian Cobb

To replace the tedious and manual process of verifying that contributors to Chef's Open Source projects were covered by a CLA, FullStack built Curry, a GitHub bot that interfaces with Supermarket to automate CLA-coverage verification.

Project Focus: Chef Supermarket - An Overview

Posted Oct 8, 2014 • Mike Biang

Supermarket is the community site for the Chef's open source community. The main goals of the Chef project were to redevelop the community site on an open source platform, while enhancing the usability and functionality of the site.

Better Know Enumerable: Partition

Posted Oct 3, 2014 • Brian Cobb

Understanding the Enumerable module is essential for any Ruby developer. This post shows a case where its partition method turns tangled, imperative code into direct, functional code.

How To Easily Record GIFs on Mac OS X and Windows

Posted Sep 28, 2014 • Brett Chalupa

Animated GIFs are great for laughs, but they can be used for so much more. Whether it is to show a work-in-progress functionality or to highlight what you did in a pull request, animated GIFs make it easy to show others how something works. If a picture is worth a 100 words, an animated GIF is worth a 1000.

We Switched Our Site to Jekyll

Posted Sep 25, 2014 • Brett Chalupa

We just switched our website to Jekyll from Wordpress, and I wanted to share why we did it.

Using Vagrant and Chef For Reproducible, Isolated Rails Development Environments

Posted Sep 18, 2014 • Tristan O'Neil

Ever come late to the party in an ongoing Rails project? You start rolling through the Getting Started section in the README (if you’re lucky enough to have such a section) and then you’re faced with some obtuse error or even worse find yourself knee deep in Solr XML configuration. You reach out to one of your colleagues and they’re like “I dunno?! Works on my machine.” Let this article relieve you of the vocabulary “Works on my machine.” Let’s start our journey down the path of creating reproducible development environments with help from our friends Vagrant and Chef.

Better Know Enumerable: Introduction

Posted Sep 17, 2014 • Brian Cobb

Understanding the Enumerable module is essential for any Ruby developer. This post kicks off a series which will explore Enumerable's capabilities and practical uses.

Remote Routines - 2014-09-12 - Brian Cobb

Posted Sep 12, 2014 • Brett Chalupa

The first episode of Remote Routines, a new irregular interview show highlighting the routines of remote workers hosted by Brett Chalupa.

The Best Remote Pair Programming Setup

Posted Sep 5, 2014 • Brett Chalupa

At FullStack, we often pair program on Ruby code. We have tried out various pair programming toolchains, but have struggled to find a responsive solution. After trial and error, we have found a setup that works for us.

We've Changed Our Name to FullStack

Posted Mar 3, 2014 • Josh Cramer

I’m excited to announce that today, Cramer Dev is changing its name to FullStack. Same great company, same great people, all new name.

Alternative Web Design Education Options

Posted Apr 5, 2013 • Josh Cramer

I was just responding to an email from someone interested in guidance on pursuing an education in web design and app development. This individual was considering attending a local community college and going through the web design program offered there. I ended up recommending some alternative educational resources and thought I’d share them with you all here.

Introducing Reaper.io and Remote Nation

Posted Mar 15, 2013 • Gabe Weaver

Here at Cramer Dev, we are always trying new things. If we run into problems that haven’t been solved by existing software, or the stuff that’s out there just doesn’t work as well as we think it should, we figure out how to build something better. This week, we are proud to announce two new additions to our Labs - Reaper.io and Remote Nation.

Landing Pages are Hard

Posted Mar 6, 2013 • Ryan Keairns

It seems as though everything has a landing page these days. From my designer perspective they are equally exciting and challenging to work on.

Discover Your Passion

Posted Feb 26, 2013 • Chad Talbert

When you were a kid, you probably had some pretty great ideas about what you wanted to be when you grew up. Maybe you wanted to be a doctor, police officer, fire fighter, veterinarian, or maybe you had no idea at all.

Prototyping Your iOS Design With Storyboards

Posted Feb 26, 2013 • Ryan Keairns

The vast majority of web designers are expected to code their own designs, so when I jumped into my first iOS design project it felt like a blast from the past.

80,000 Hours of Happiness

Posted Feb 22, 2013 • Gabe Weaver

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been listening to Tony Hsieh’s book Delivering Happiness on my drive to and from the office I work out of in Chattanooga. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend checking it out. In a one sentence summary, the book talks about the history and growth of the culture at Zappos, and how the company has grown to become the largest online shoe seller by focusing on one key activity - delivering happiness to people. It really got me thinking about things through a bigger lens. How and why did a shoe company choose to focus on delivering happiness to its employees and customers over actually selling shoes and focusing on sales, profits, and financial dominance? To answer that question beyond what Tony presents in his book, I started doing a bit of math.

Want to build a product that doesn't suck? Welcome to Ideation

Posted Jul 26, 2012 • Gabe Weaver

During the 12 years that we’ve been building web and mobile applications, we’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work with dozens of clients from around the country. No matter what we are working on, we share ownership in both success and failure; but no amount of effort or hustle can guarantee success.

Cramer Dev Takes Chicago

Posted Oct 7, 2011 • Gabe Weaver

A few weeks ago the Cramer Dev team got together in Chicago for our bi-annual company meet-up. I was hired on to our distributed team back in June and this was my first chance to actually see the people I work with face-to-face, so I was seriously excited about the time we would have together to catch up on both work and life. Yes, we spend countless hours together toiling away via Skype and working collaboratively on projects each and every day, but there is something special about being able to put a face to the each voice we so frequently hear. I was really surprised when I met Brian Cobb; I had never expected such a deep, robust, radio voice to come from an extremely sophisticated, yet short in stature, guy. I also never knew Brian, Jason, and John were so good at Magic, or that Colin regularly sports those crazy five-finger shoes. As small as these things are, they are invaluable traits we learn about each other that makes our already awesome culture so much more fun.

I Sold My Other Company

Posted Jul 19, 2011 • Josh Cramer

Over the last several years, Cramer Dev has grown in numbers and success. We now have a team consisting of 16 full-time designers, engineers, and product managers who are 100% devoted to building web & mobile applications, websites, and helping startup-minded organizations start up. Because of this success, we’ve built a bit of a reputation in some circles as a development team that can build about anything in the web and mobile space. This evolution has been an energizing and rewarding experience for everyone on the team. I must confess that when I started this business 10+ years ago, I wasn’t dreaming this big. As we’ve grown, I’ve learned to dream bigger, and now in some ways, I feel like we’re just getting started.

Josh Cramer on PrairieCast

Posted Jun 15, 2011 • Josh Cramer

Josh Cramer recently appeared as a guest on PrairieCast along with Jordan Lampe of Dwolla and Geoff Wood of Silicon Prairie News. The podcast covers startup news from the midwest as well as updates on what’s happening at Cramer Dev and Dwolla.

Why Distributed Teams are Making Your Traditional Office Obsolete

Posted Feb 2, 2011 • Josh Cramer

Your company has probably been operating under a handicap for its whole existence. It’s a handicap that has been so common that the vast majority don’t even see it as such. The handicap is this: most companies are limited in their ability to find and hire the right people by a fixed geographic radius set up around their central office. We will call these type of companies “Geographically Challenged”. Your geographically challenged company may have attempted to overcome this handicap by opening branch offices in multiple cities or paying for a new employee’s relocation or maybe even introducing flextime into the mix. Though these steps help the situation, you are only slightly mitigating the root problem.

Who Doesn’t Want to Work From Home?!

Posted Dec 27, 2010 • Breahna Galbreath

Or Why Telecommuting Makes Us Smarter, Faster, and Better Looking Than You

How to Set Up a New Mac for Travel

Posted Dec 2, 2010 • Nathan Smith

Cramer Development is getting together in San Francisco this week for one of our periodic meet-ups. As I’m normally on an iMac at the office, our employer graciously is letting me use a brand new MacBook Pro for the trip. Since it’s new, I have to get a working environment up quickly so I can get back to helping you build websites.

Cramer Development's Hiring Practices

Posted Oct 29, 2010 • Daniel Marino

Think Vitamin recently posted an interesting article documenting the process they went through to hire a new designer at Carsonified. The approach worked very well for them and I think it’s a really cool way to get some high-quality candidates to apply. As well as this worked for them, I’m not convinced that this approach would work for every company. Most development shops don’t have an international “rockstar” status that they can leverage like Carsonified did. For most, I think there are two main reasons why a different approach would be better:

Building Great Client Relationships

Posted Mar 21, 2010 • Josh Cramer

We are currently in the process of launching a fairly large web application that we’ve been working on for one year. We built this application under a client / contractor relationship, but through the lifecycle of the project, we’ve been able to build the relationship together with the client to the point where everyone involved really feels like they are part of one organization. This relationship has taken time and effort to develop, but several things have greatly helped us along the way.