My holidays reading list 2017

I had some time on my hands over the holidays and read these articles and publications

How I Built And Launched A Chatbot Over The Weekend
Take your idea to functional bot in hours, get real user feedback, and launch before the weekend is over! ūüöÄ

The unlikely history of the #100DaysOfCode Challenge, and why you should try it for 2018

No Zero Days: My Path from Javascript Newbie to Full Stack Developer at Age 30

Why I Left My $100,000+ Developer Job at Google
Do NOT follow your passion

Which JavaScript frameworks should you learn in 2018?

Buy, sell, send and receive Bitcoin Cash on Coinbase

Deep Learning Achievements Over the Past Year
Great developments in text, voice, and computer vision technologies———0&gi=9a81bf4d86e0

Mastering Shitcoins: The Poor Man’s Guide to Getting Crypto Rich

A Javascript quirk that will catch you out

Why side projects are so damn important

More than a Million Pro-Repeal Net Neutrality Comments were Likely Faked
I used natural language processing techniques to analyze net neutrality comments submitted to the FCC from April-October 2017, and the results were disturbing.

How to download YoutTube videos via command line and convert to mp3 on OSX

If you ever had to download a video from YouTube and convert it to a mp3 file you know that there are a lot of shady looking sites offering that exact service.

But there is a more convenient way, especially, if you are a Mac and OSX user.

A guy called rg3 on GitHub created a repository which provides a neat little command line tool to download videos from several portals with several different options. Description from the repo:

youtube-dl is a command-line program to download videos from and a few more sites. It requires the Python interpreter, version 2.6, 2.7, or 3.2+, and it is not platform specific. It should work on your Unix box, on Windows or on Mac OS X. It is released to the public domain, which means you can modify it, redistribute it or use it however you like.

There are several ways to install the tool. You can choose from curl, wget, pip, mac ports or brew. I chose brew:

brew install youtube-dl

In addition it is necessary to install ffmpeg, an audio converter,which will automatically convert the downloaded videos to mp3. This is also possible via brew:

brew install ffmpeg

Now you are good to go.
There are countless options available for the downloader. Check the GitHub README for a full list.

Now simply access to your desired destination folder via terminal and enter the following command:

youtube-dl -x –audio-format mp3\?v\=abc1DEF2ghi3JKL4

This will first download the video and then convert the file to mp3.

npm package.json basic file structure/example

In case you ever need a basic npm package.json file, here is a basic skeleton you can use:

  "name": "Demo App",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "Demo app by @jahller",
  "main": "index.html",
  "dependencies": {
    "bootstrap": "3.3.6"
  "devDependencies": {},
  "scripts": {
    "test": "echo \"Error: no test specified\" && exit 1"
  "repository": {
    "type": "git",
    "url": "git+"
  "author": "Jan Heller - @jahller",
  "license": "UNLICENSED",
  "bugs": {
    "url": ""
  "homepage": ""

The same can also be achieved by running the command npm init in your project folder.
This will start an interactive prompt with questions that will result in the output of a package.json in your project folder.

Tech-Scout Newsletter #1 2016




How to install iTerm with oh-my-zsh on Mac OSX

The standard OSX terminal is not really the optimal solution when working a lot with the terminal.
Because of that I would recommend to install iTerm2 in combination with oh-my-zsh to have a better user experience.

  1. Download iTerm here and install it
  2. Download oh-my-zsh via curl
    sh -c “$(curl -fsSL”
  3. Open iTerm and access the options via i + CMD
  4. Go to the Color tab and select a Color presets that you like. I prefer Solarized Dark.

    Where to change the colors in iTerm2
    Where to change the colors in iTerm2
  5. Download a Powerline compatible font to work with the oh-my-zsh theme Agnostic. I prefer Meslo LG M DZ Regular for Powerline.
    You can download it here
  6. Go back to the iTerm preferences and to the Text tab.
    Change the Font and the Non-ASCII Font options to your new font.

    Where to change the font in iTerm2
    Where to change the font in iTerm2
  7. Now change the oh-my-zsh theme to Agnostic by editing the file
    ~/.zshrc via nano or vim.
    Or to any oh-my-zsh theme you like.
    You can find a huge collection here.
  8. Restart iTerm and your .zshrc changes should be applied.
    Done. If everything went as expected your iTerm should look like this:

    Agnoster theme for oh-my-zsh
    Agnoster theme for oh-my-zsh

Web Development/Programming Music

Every developer has their own recipe¬†to concentrate. Some say music is distracting, others can’t live without it.

For me the later is definitely the case.
From time to time I just love to go into a tunnel and shut everything out with some good tunes.

Not any kind of music though. Lyrics are definitely distracting and pop music would go on my nerves within a minute.

For me Deep House or Electronic Ambient works the best.
Music that is neither annoying, nor irritating.
YouTube is my goto-source to find new tracks from that genre.
It is simply amazing how much variety is available.
From single tracks to full albums to custom mixes.

Here are some mixes that really help me:

Poptartpete – Palmas
PoptartPete - Morning Blunt
PoptartPete – Morning Blunt
Neat Beats - Sleep Cycles
Neat Beats – Sleep Cycles
Shlohmo - Bad Vibes
Shlohmo – Bad Vibes

Tech-Scout Newsletter #9 2013












Refactoring a controller in Symfony

When you first start using Symfony you will probably start with the code examples from the official documentation. This is fine and much recommended and I would encourage anyone to do so. These examples are amazing to get a good start in Symfony and provide quick feedback.

After a while though, you should consider to write cleaner and more separated code. Having well structured code will help you immensely to reuse code and write tests.

Continue reading “Refactoring a controller in Symfony”

Tech-Scout Newsletter #8 2013










Tech-Scout Newsletter #7 2013