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My path to becoming a full-stack web developer was different than most. My training came from The Last Mile (TLM), a program that teaches incarcerated people how to build full-stack web applications, thus preparing them for successful workforce reentry. The challenges of learning how to code while in prison has produced some great programmers, and in this article we’re going to explore why.

Learning how to code is, for some, a Sisyphean task. It requires constant learning and adaptation. It takes logic, intuition, and the willpower to keep going when things seem impossible. Ironically, these are some of the same…


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In this tutorial, we are going to explore one of JavaScript’s most notorious array methods: reduce. Hopefully, we’ll be able to boil this down to the basics and learn a new way to use this powerful method.

Most of the time, when thinking about reduce, we think of a handy method to sum up the values in an array:

While this is useful, there is another way to use reduce that demonstrates its power and versatility. We’re going to learn how to use this method to count the unique elements in an array. We are going to turn an…


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In this tutorial, we are going to learn about a data structure known as a stack. Some of you might be asking, “What’s a data structure?” I’m glad you asked…

A data structure is a specific way of organizing data. Understanding them allows us to solve programming problems by formatting effective solutions. Knowing which data structures (there are several) to use and how to apply them is critical. Choosing the wrong data structure for the task at hand could affect the performance of the program we are writing. …

Brett Buskirk

Proud graduate of The Last Mile coding program who works as a remote instruction coordinator and web developer, and enjoys teaching others how to code.

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