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Headshot 128 Ben, January 25, 2016

Within the Rails community, there's a growing number of applications that are being built as a collection of Rails engines, rather than a single, monolithic application. At Cultivate Labs, we've been using this pattern to build Cultivate Forecasts, a fantasy money prediction market. Along the way, we learned a great deal about building applications using this pattern, so I wanted to share some of our takeaways.

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Headshot 128 Ben, January 26, 2015

Over the course of his career, Bob Knight won over 900 games and had over a .700 winning percentage. His 1975-76 team at Indiana went 32-0 and won the national championship. Without question, he was a successful basketball coach. He was also one of the biggest jerks in the sport. He may have been hugely successful, but he was just as well known for smacking players and https://www.youtube.com/watc

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Headshot 128 Ben, September 22, 2014

One of the great and initially counter-intuitive features of the tech/startup community is the welcome embrace of failure. Spend 6 months on a product that failed? Pivot. Move on to the next thing. Work on a company for while that fails? Move on to the next one. This is an amazing characteristic of the community because it prevents us from making mistakes brought on by fear of failure. If you're trying to pitch a no-hitter, you can't play tight and aim the ball. You just have to let her rip...

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Headshot 128 Ben, June 11, 2013

At least once a week, I'll find myself finishing up dinner when I notice a leftover cupcake or cookie and get a familiar twinge. Part of me will focus on how delicious the cookie sounds and how much I want to eat it. Another part will tug in the opposite direction, wanting to be healthy and fit, avoiding mid-week junk food. Standing there in the kitchen, I feel like it's a lose-lose situation.

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Headshot 128 Ben, June 7, 2013

If you asked my wife how I feel about small talk, you'd probably get a raised eyebrow and a chuckle. To say the least, I'm not a fan of forced conversation. That's not to say I hate talking to people, meeting with people, or just people in general. It's quite the contrary. I enjoy people, but like to have purposeful, meaningful interactions that aren't talking for the sake of talking.

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Headshot 128 Ben, June 3, 2013

At Inkling Markets we recently moved off of dedicated servers and onto Rackspace Cloud Servers. In order to accomplish this, we created something that we called the "migration playbook," which outlined the steps we needed to take to ensure a smooth transition.

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Headshot 128 Ben, May 30, 2013

At Inkling Markets, we recently moved off of dedicated hardware and onto the Rackspace Cloud. Our old servers had good spam reputation, and we didn't want to jeopardize that with the move. There are several things that you can do to help improve your reputation and deliverability, but here are a few that we did.

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Headshot 128 Ben, May 28, 2013

At Inkling Markets, we recently moved off of dedicated servers and onto Rackspace Cloud Servers. As part of this transition, we needed to move our mysql database onto our new database server. If you Google for how to move a mysql database, most of the answers that you find will involve stopping mysql, taking a full backup, copying that...

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Headshot 128 Ben, May 23, 2013

When building 55Prophets (available in the app store), we built in a number of deep linking options.

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Headshot 128 Ben, May 21, 2013

We used RestKit to build 55Prophets (available in the app store). Restkit's readme page has some instructions for mapping error responses, but I ran int

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Headshot 128 Ben, May 15, 2013

While building 55Prophets for iOS (you can download it here), I wanted to allow deep linking into the app. For example, I wanted users to be able to share links to specific questions

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Headshot 128 Ben, May 23, 2012

When you start a new rails app, you get a new javascript file for each controller that you scaffold. Assuming that you're using the asset pipeline, these will all get concatenated into a single file called application.js. This results in all of your javascript being executed by the browser each time

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Headshot 128 Ben, August 13, 2010

I recently read this post by Nathan Marz, which I found through HackerNews. He outlines a couple benefits of blogging (and, more generally, writing), that I found insightful. I

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