Raquel Moss

Using Busuu to Learn Languages

Obligatory note: Busuu haven't paid me to write about them, and there are no affiliate links in this post. At the time of writing, Busuu offers Spanish, German, Japanese, English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Polish, Turkish, Russian, and...

Self-Control is easier if you don't have to think about it

TL;DR, here's the script you're looking for to automate SelfControl on macOS.

For the past few years I've been using the excellent open-source app SelfControl to help with keeping me on task and maybe salvaging a skerrick of my attention span (it...

How I got better at journalling

Over the last 18 months or so, I’ve been journalling regularly and it’s made a huge difference to my mental health. My therapist is thrilled but unsurprised (lol).

I’ve always found a lot of value in processing thoughts and feelings by writing them...

Using `Hash#fetch` in Ruby for better nil handling

Pulling values out of a Hash in Ruby is simple with the [] method, but problems can occur when the value you’re looking up isn’t there. This can result in cumbersome nil checks, or our absolute favourite error Undefined method for nil:NilClass.

Visiting the Feuerle Collection in Berlin

What is State? Why do I need to manage it?

Read my thoughts on state over at egghead

Handing Code Review Feedback

When it comes to code review, the advice generally given is ‘critique the code, not the coder’ and ‘remember, critiques of your code are not personal attacks’.

Those are things that most of us know intellectually.

But when it comes to really knowing...

Beginning Again

I arrived in Berlin in the evening, over an hour late as we were stuck in Munich for a while, waiting for the plane to be de-iced. I was a bit discombobulated by the whole concept. Snow and ice? 30 hours previously I had been sweating in the New Zealand...

Better Code Review

I recently read an article by Max Bittker called "How to Review Code You Don't Understand", and it got me to thinking about times when I've been tasked with doing just that.

One of the troubles I have with code review is understanding the context...

Creating a Welcoming Space for Beginners

Before I became a programmer, I was a teacher. For the most part, I taught academic English to speakers of other languages at a University. Although I’ve switched careers, I find that my teaching experience becomes applicable very frequently in my...

Becoming Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Last time I blogged I wrote about how programming was something that comes unnaturally to me. The post seemed to resonate with lots of people — several reached out to share their own experiences, which was extremely encouraging. If you ever want to...

Continuing your learning as a post-beginner programmer (part 1)

If you’re anything like me, your process for learning something new — say, a javascript framework, a design pattern, or a language — looks something like this:

  1. Read the documentation, check out a basic tutorial, and get Hello World up and running...

Becoming a better developer, day by day

I’ve been experiencing a lot of anxiety lately about my life as a developer. The narrative will be familiar to anyone who’s ever pursued programming in a meaningful way; even if you write code every day, and learn something new every day, the nagging...

Continuing your learning as a post-beginner programmer (part 3)

Missed Part 1? Or Part 2? Read them for more strategies on how to continue your learning as a programmer.

Hands up if this has ever happened to you:

You’ve been learning something new, and maybe working with it for a few weeks. You run into a problem...

Continuing your learning as a post-beginner programmer (part 2)

Read part one here

Read part three here

In part one of this series, I talked about a few different things you can do to continue your learning as a post-beginner programmer. In this part, I’ll be talking about a few more strategies to help your learning...

Review: Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS by Jonathan Snook

Over the last year I’ve become increasingly frustrated with CSS. I used to be its champion; when people moaned about how touchy and picky CSS is, I told them “It’s really not that hard! You probably have a specificity problem, let’s take a look”


For most of my life I’ve avoided doing things that don’t come naturally to me.

I quit maths at school after gaining University Entrance, because I was only getting Merits rather than Excellences. Same for all the sciences. I wasn’t any good at playing...

On Imposter Syndrome and Learning

Maturation has been on my mind a lot lately. No surprise, I suppose, as I’m a 23-year-old introvert. I spend a lot of time inside my own mind, which can be wonderful, terrifying, and confusing.

Occasionally, but with increasing frequency (relative...