First Hacktoberfest Complete! 🎉

Hacktoberfest 2019 Liz Rodriguez

This year I had a goal to finally complete Hacktoberfest, which is an online hackathon where you contribute to open source projects.

In the beginning of October, I reached out to my various discord coding communities for some project contribution ideas and was able to complete 4 small pull requests! The simple projects I did were:

  • Added an accessibility category (first PR) and extra app links (second PR) to a couple of sections on
  • Added a haiku
  • Added a pixel to Twilio’s open pixel art project

What I’ve learned from this experience is that it’s not about how big a contribution I made to a project, but what I learned in doing so.

I made an error with my very first pull request on the Twilio project, where I swapped the branch to do the PR – then fixed it. I also learned that I needed to make a dev branch and then do the PR on the dev branch so that the maintainer of the project can merge to master as they choose.

I found instructions on how to do the pull requests via Github of course.

Then later found out how to *update* the fork I have to complete the PR later on – Thank you Christina Solana:

  1. Clone your fork:
    git clone
  2. Add remote from original repository in your forked repository:
    cd into/cloned/fork-repo
    git remote add upstream git://
    git fetch upstream
  3. Updating your fork from original repo to keep up with their changes:
    git pull upstream master

Ever since the web 2.0 days, I was a supporter of open source software and now that I’m coding more, I want to write my own project to share with the world and contribute more to open source projects. Stay tuned to see what I think up! I also want to do more hackathons; both online and in person. I completed a couple of them last year which were a lot of fun!

Happy coding! 👩‍💻

Kicking It Old School – IRC with Irssi

Lately I’ve been on this kick of going back to the days before social media. Partly because of my break from live streaming, discord and Instagram, and partly because I still like the old school way of doing things sometimes – the early 2000’s were my peak IRC chat/linux days, so it left me feeling nostalgic.

I remember using one of my fave terminal clients called Irssi. It’s basically an IRC chat client that you can run in any terminal on any OS. It’s wonderful. And simple. And once installed, always available and lightweight.

Here are instructions to save your Irssi preferences. Download the client for your current OS then do the following:

To add your IRC server of choice (this example uses Freenode) to the Irssi config and run automatically:

/server add -auto -network Freenode 6667

To add your nick to Freenode and automatically use that nick whenever connecting to the network:

/network add -nick <your-nick> Freenode

This will make you join your channel of choice on Freenode every time Irssi is opened:

/channel add -auto #channel Freenode

Assuming you have your nick registered, you can do this to identify automatically:

/network add -autosendcmd "/msg nickserv identify <your-password> ;wait 2000" Freenode

Now enjoy chatting to your fave communities that are still kicking it old school. You can also find a bunch of nifty themes online. If you happen to be on Freenode, find me at BinaryDigits 👋

Taking a Break

A lot has been going on in my mind lately that I can only describe as “chatter” in my brain. I’ve been feeling this pull to stay away from distractions online for the past couple of days, so I’m finally listening to that part of my brain and working on not looking at my phone constantly, or always having (non-work) chat programs open at work and home. I removed the immediate shortcuts to Instagram and Discord, which were the two programs I went to instantly to fill the void.

I already feel better. I let myself *feel* my feelings, and then I think, without distracting myself to avoid the thoughts. I pay attention to what’s going on around my in real life. I look at people’s faces; pay attention to everyones actions. I journal (almost) daily now and write my thoughts down to get them out of my head. I did a small vlog this morning on my phone. I don’t know if I’ll ever upload it, or start vlogging consistently, but I’m trying it out and feel slightly more comfortable in front of a camera even since I started streaming. I also took a break from streaming. I haven’t felt like gaming or being “on”, so I’m listening to my body. I’m reading again.

I’m going to focus on finding my creativity again and finding my way back to myself. Rebuilding.

One day at a time. Slow progress.

A Rebuilding Year

This video was sent to me by my mentor, which is perfect for what I need at the moment.

I’ve started a new notebook so that I can write a goal, focus on it, then journal as much as possible to get my feeling onto paper and not the internet.

I will share certain things online, but I want to focus on my personal goals now that I have some other (mental) stuff out of the way. Cheer me on will ya? I’ll do the same for you, reader – especially if you follow my on Twitter – I’m a great cheerleader.

My First JavaScript Game

Caffeine Zombies by Liz Rodriguez
Caffeine Zombies by Liz Rodriguez

At my coding bootcamp, the first assignment we had to create a game with what we learned with HTML/CSS/Javascript and JQuery. My approach was to put a fun spin on a traditional click and shoot game.

Here’s my code on Github 🎉

“It’s 6am and the local workers need their caffeine fix. You are the local cafe barista and see a horde of caffeine-needing zombies are coming your way. “Shoot” espresso at the zombies before they reach you at the counter to make them happy and earn points. They will gain points if you don’t send them espresso and then leave angry. They need their caffeine!”

Slack Integrations

At my current job we always need to get a particular piece of information daily and post it to a slack channel. It only takes about ten minutes…but why even take ten minutes when it can take less than one? After all, the essence of being a developer is about working efficiently (and with my background in IT systems I’m all about the automation).

I decided to learn how to make a slack integration using incoming webhooks. It was much easier than I thought! I followed the instructions via the Slack docs and created a Github repo in case anyone is interested in doing a simple integration. I decided to use an unofficial QDB api wrapper and make a random quote appear in a channel when hitting a particular route.

Feel free to fork it, play around and see if you can do something fun yourself!