About Nicholas C. Zakas

Recent Posts

How to safely use GitHub Actions in organizations

GitHub Actions1 are programs designed to run inside of workflows2, triggered by specific events inside a GitHub repository. To date, people use GitHub Actions to do things like run continuous integration (CI) tests, publish releases, respond to issues, and more. Because the workflows are executed inside a fresh virtual machine that is deleted after the... […]

How I think about solving problems

Early on in my career as a software developer I thought my primary contribution was writing code. After all, software engineers are paid to ship software and writing code is a key component of that. It took several years for me to realize that there are numerous other contributions that go into shipping software (if... […]

Scheduling Jekyll posts with Netlify and GitHub Actions

Last year, I wrote about how to schedule Jekyll posts using Netlify and AWS Lambda[^1]. I used that approach from the moment I wrote that blog post up until today. What changed? In the past year, GitHub has introduced GitHub Actions[^2], a way to run container jobs triggered by different GitHub events. One of those... […]

Securing persistent environment variables using Vercel (formerly Vercel)

I’m a big fan of Vercel1 as an application hosting provider. The way the service abstracts all of the cloud computing details and allows teams to focus on building and deploying web applications is fantastic. That said, I had a lot of trouble setting up secure environment variables for my first application to use. I... […]

Outputting Markdown from Jekyll using hooks

One of the things I most enjoy about Jekyll1 is writing my blog posts in Markdown. I love not worrying about HTML and just letting Jekyll generate it for me when a post is published. Using Liquid tags directly in Markdown is also helpful, as I can define sitewide or page-specific variables and then replace... […]

Computer science in JavaScript: Circular Doubly-linked lists

In my previous post, I discussed what changes are necessary to turn a singly linked list into a doubly linked list. I recommend reading that post before this one (if you haven’t already). This post is about modifying a doubly linked list (also called a linear doubly linked list) in such a way that the... […]

Computer science in JavaScript: Doubly linked lists

In my previous post, I discussed creating a singly linked list in JavaScript (if you haven’t yet read that post, I suggest doing so now). A single linked list consists of nodes that each have a single pointer to the next node in the list. Singly linked lists often require traversal of the entire list... […]

Why I've stopped exporting defaults from my JavaScript modules

Last week, I tweeted something that got quite a few surprising responses: In 2019, one of the things I’m going to do is stop exporting things as default from my CommonJS/ES6 modules. Importing a default export has grown to feel like a guessing game where I have a 50/50 chance of being wrong each time.... […]

Computer science in JavaScript: Linked list

Back in 2009, I challenged myself to write one blog post per week for the entire year. I had read that the best way to gain more traffic to a blog was to post consistently. One post per week seemed like a realistic goal due to all the article ideas I had but it turned... […]

My (somewhat) complete salary history as a software engineer

It’s 2018 and somehow women are still getting paid less than men, even in supposedly progressive industries like software.[1] Whether that be from companies offering women less than men for the same position, women being less likely to negotiate or less successful in negotiations, or any of the other myriad reasons, the results are still... […]