Skip to content

This Dot Blog

This Dot provides teams with technical leaders who bring deep knowledge of the web platform. We help teams set new standards, and deliver results predictably.

Newest First
How to be an Effective Technology Leader in an Agile Startup Environment with Daniel Chopson cover image

How to be an Effective Technology Leader in an Agile Startup Environment with Daniel Chopson

Daniel Chopson, CTO and co-founder of Cove Tool, discusses key aspects of engineering leadership, team management, and software development in the fast paced startup environment. Cove.Tool, initially a sustainability-focused software company, has evolved to offer AI-driven solutions for architects and engineers. Daniel shared valuable insights on the importance of productive retrospectives, agile planning, and strategic team structuring. Daniel emphasized the significance of conducting productive retrospectives to foster team improvement and effective communication. By celebrating wins and establishing clear action items, teams can identify areas for growth and implement necessary changes. These retrospectives provide a platform for open and honest discussions, enabling teams to learn from their successes and failures. Encouraging a culture of continuous improvement allows engineering leaders to drive innovation and enhance team collaboration. In a startup environment, balancing planning and agility is crucial for success. Cove.Tool prioritizes shorter-term sprint planning to allow for real-time feedback and adaptability. By aligning work towards business objectives while maintaining flexibility in planning, the team can respond quickly to changing market demands. This approach enables Cove.Tool to stay ahead of the curve and deliver high-quality solutions to their clients. The key lies in finding the right balance between long-term strategic planning and the ability to pivot when necessary. Team structuring plays a vital role in engineering leadership. Daniel highlighted the importance of specialized roles like engineering managers and tech leads for effective people development and technical guidance. Engineering managers focus on nurturing the growth and well-being of team members, while tech leads provide technical expertise and mentorship. This division of responsibilities ensures that both the personal and technical aspects of team development are adequately addressed, leading to a more productive and motivated workforce. The conversation underscored the significance of adaptability, feedback-driven decision-making, and strategic team structuring in successful software development endeavors. By embracing change and continuously seeking feedback, engineering leaders can make informed decisions and drive innovation. Strategic team structuring, with specialized roles and clear responsibilities, ensures that the right people are in the right positions to maximize productivity and foster growth. Effective engineering leadership is essential for adapting to changing market demands and building teams equipped to tackle future challenges. Download this episode here....

Export Your Data from Universal Analytics before you lose it cover image

Export Your Data from Universal Analytics before you lose it

Introduction In 2023, Google announced the retirement of Universal Analytics and told everyone to migrate to Google Analytics 4, commonly known as GA4. Google Analytics has long been a staple for businesses and website owners seeking insights into their audience and performance metrics. However, with the introduction of Google Analytics 4, there comes a pivotal moment for users of the older Universal Analytics (UA) platform. Difference between UA and GA4 What data will you lose? You will lose ALL of the historical data! By July 1, 2024, Google will delete all UA data, and you will no longer have access to it after that. Also, Universal Analytics will no longer track new conversions, affecting ad campaign performance that relies on these conversions for Smart Bidding. Audience lists from Universal Analytics will also disappear, potentially impacting media activation and performance. API requests tied to Universal Analytics properties will fail, preventing data deletion requests and causing Looker Studio to stop displaying Universal Analytics data. Additionally, Attribution Projects (beta) in Google Analytics will be deleted. How to Export Your Data There are multiple ways to export your data from Google Analytics, such as using the Google Analytics add-on for Google Sheets or using BigQuery integration to export historical data from your Universal Analytics 360 property. This article will discuss the easiest way to export your data using the Google Analytics add-on from Google Workspace Marketplace. From “Extensions” > “Google Analytics” > “Create new report” The Google Analytics extension will display a Wizard that requires the following steps: * Set a name for your report * Then, you select the Google Analytics account * Then, the property you want to export * Also, there are some optional configuration that helps you filter the data you want to export Then click on “Create Report,” and it will export the report for you Here is an example of the template Running the Report After setting up the report template with the necessary configurations, users can run the report to extract their UA data into Google Sheets. Depending on the size of the dataset, the report may take some time to generate, especially for larger datasets spanning multiple years. In such cases, splitting the data into smaller chunks may be necessary to ensure efficient processing. Conclusion As Google transitions from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4, businesses and website owners must proactively preserve their valuable historical data. With the impending deletion of all Universal Analytics data by July 1, 2024, failing to export your data in time could result in significant data loss, affecting ad campaign performance and analytics capabilities. By following the outlined methods to export data using tools like the Google Analytics add-on for Google Sheets, you can ensure that your historical data is safely archived and accessible for future analysis....

Auth for Frontend Devs with Chance Strickland cover image

Auth for Frontend Devs with Chance Strickland

Authentication serves as the foundation of data security, acting as the gatekeeper that verifies the identity of users accessing a system or application. In this JS Drops training by Chance Strickland, viewers will be introduced to high level auth concepts, tailored for frontend developers. Chance begins by discussing the traditional email/password authentication method, which is widely used but can be vulnerable to attacks like phishing. They emphasize the need for additional layers of security, such as two-factor authentication (2FA) and biometrics, to enhance the protection of sensitive data. By combining something the user knows (password), something they have (2FA device), and something they are (biometric data), the risk of unauthorized access is significantly reduced. The conversation then shifts towards OAuth and JSON Web Tokens (JWT), two popular authentication methods used in modern applications. OAuth allows users to grant limited access to their data to third-party applications without sharing their credentials. This method is commonly used by social media platforms and APIs. JWT, on the other hand, is a token-based authentication approach that securely stores user information in a JSON format. Chance highlights the challenges of token management, including the use of refresh tokens to extend the validity of access tokens and the importance of securely storing and transmitting these tokens. To ensure secure access control, Chance emphasizes the significance of building an authorizer, a component that verifies the permissions of users attempting to access certain resources. This helps prevent unauthorized access and ensures that only authenticated users with the appropriate privileges can perform specific actions. Chance also mentions the use of meta frameworks like Remix, which provide built-in authentication features, making it easier for developers to implement secure authentication systems. Understanding and implementing robust authentication methods is paramount in today's data-driven world. By combining traditional methods like email/password with additional layers of security like 2FA and biometrics, and leveraging modern approaches like OAuth and JWT, developers can create secure systems that protect sensitive data. Building a secure access control system and utilizing meta frameworks can further enhance the authentication process. With the right knowledge and tools, developers can ensure data security and provide users with a seamless and protected experience....

Strength in Numbers: How Community Support Drives Open Source with Daniel Roe cover image

Strength in Numbers: How Community Support Drives Open Source with Daniel Roe

In this episode of the Modern Web Podcast, Daniel Roe reminds us of the importance of nurturing our passion and well-being in open-source development. Along with Tracy Lee, Daniel sheds light on the challenges and rewards of maintaining web frameworks, while emphasizing the significance of relationships, self-improvement, and community support. Daniel Roe's dedication to open-source development is fueled by his passion for helping others and his enjoyment in maintaining web frameworks. Despite the frustrations that come with transitioning between software versions and the ever-evolving nature of the field, Daniel remains positive and grateful for the privilege of pursuing his passion. His story serves as a reminder that finding purpose in our work can bring immense fulfillment, even in the face of challenges. One of the key takeaways from the conversation is the importance of feeling valued in our work. Daniel shares his experience of starting his own companies after feeling undervalued in a corporate setting. This highlights the significance of recognizing our worth and seeking environments that appreciate our contributions. Additionally, Daniel advocates for a balanced approach to work hours, emphasizing the need for self-care activities like going to the climbing gym and attending conferences. Taking care of our well-being is crucial for maintaining productivity and enthusiasm in the tech industry. Tracy and Daniel's shared enthusiasm for technology is evident throughout the conversation. They discuss programming languages like TypeScript and React, sharing their experiences and insights from the tech industry. They also emphasize the importance of community support in open-source development. Building relationships and connecting with like-minded individuals not only provides valuable resources and knowledge but also fosters a sense of belonging and motivation....

What’s New with Astro in 2024 with Matthew Phillips, CTO of Astro cover image

What’s New with Astro in 2024 with Matthew Phillips, CTO of Astro

In the latest episode of the Modern Web Podcast, Tracy Lee, Adam Rackis, Ben Lesh, and guest Matthew Phillips explore the concept of "Islands" in web development using Astro. They discuss how Astro allows developers to create self-contained interactive elements that enhance the user experience. One of the standout features of Astro is its framework-agnostic approach, which enables seamless integration of components from different frameworks like React or Vue. This flexibility allows developers to leverage the best features of each framework without being tied down to a single technology stack. The conversation covers the technical aspects of Astro, including client directives that enable selective rendering of components based on conditions like viewport visibility. This capability ensures that only the necessary components are loaded, improving performance and reducing unnecessary resource consumption. Matthew also touches on the challenges of collecting metrics and the importance of type safety in software development. These considerations highlight the attention to detail and focus on optimization that Astro brings to the table. The discussion shifts to the development of server actions in Astro, emphasizing the simplified implementation of remote procedure calls (RPC). This feature allows developers to easily create server-side functionality and interact with databases. The introduction of AstroDB, a database integration tool, further enhances the capabilities of Astro. With AstroDB, developers can seamlessly connect their applications to databases, making data management and retrieval a breeze. Throughout the podcast, Matthew shares his insights on different frameworks and the need for innovation in web development. They discuss potential paradigm shifts in the industry and highlight the importance of staying up to date with cutting-edge tools. Recommendations are made to explore tools like Astro, AstroDB, Solid, and SvelteKit for those interested in the evolving web development landscape. Download this episode here....

How to Leverage Apollo Client Fetch Policies Like the Pros cover image

How to Leverage Apollo Client Fetch Policies Like the Pros

Apollo Client provides a rich ecosystem and cache for interfacing with your GraphQL APIs. You write your query and leverage the useQuery hook to fetch your data....

Building Bulletproof Teams: Why Blame Is Your Worst Enemy with Leon Revill cover image

Building Bulletproof Teams: Why Blame Is Your Worst Enemy with Leon Revill

Leon Revill, uncovers the profound impact of nurturing trust, collaboration, and shared responsibility within teams. His interview with Tracy Lee explores the importance of fostering an environment where mistakes are embraced as valuable learning experiences, steering clear of blame and focusing on growth. Firstly, Leon emphasizes the need for organizations to cultivate a blame-free atmosphere, encouraging team members to take risks and glean insights through failure. By reframing mistakes as learning opportunities, teams foster a culture that fuels growth and innovation. This approach not only instills a sense of ownership among individuals but also nurtures psychological safety, paving the way for enhanced idea-sharing and collaboration. Secondly, Tracy and Leon underscore the pivotal role of transparent communication within teams. Through fostering honest dialogue, organizations can strengthen trust and deepen connections among team members. Such open communication fosters collective accountability, where each member bears responsibility for the team's triumphs. Empowering individuals to voice their thoughts and concerns fosters an environment where diverse perspectives are valued, ultimately enhancing decision-making and problem-solving. Moreover, Leon offers examples of how organizations can drive continuous improvement by empowering their teams. Providing individuals with the autonomy to make decisions and take ownership not only spurs personal growth but also bolsters team success. By nurturing a growth mindset and facilitating skill development, organizations foster a culture that embraces learning and adapts to change. The interview touches on the evolving technology landscape and its implications for team collaboration. With the emergence of artificial intelligence and automation, Revill stresses the importance of aligning development processes with these advancements. Collaboration becomes imperative in this scenario, as teams must collaborate to grasp and implement these technologies effectively. Through cultivating a culture of trust and collaboration, organizations can navigate technological shifts and remain at the forefront of innovation. Download this episode here....

Maximizing Server Rendering for Interactive Next.js Applications cover image

Maximizing Server Rendering for Interactive Next.js Applications

Maximize server rendering while maintaining interactivity by strategically combining React Server Components (RSCs) and client components in a Next.js application....

The Key Elements of Effective Software Engineering Leadership with Revathi Pillai  cover image

The Key Elements of Effective Software Engineering Leadership with Revathi Pillai

Revathi Pillai, the Chief Engineering Officer of Mutualink, emphasized the significance of clear communication, collaboration, and transparency in software engineering leadership, and shared her journey from engineer to manager and shed light on the importance of self-advocacy for women in the workplace. Along with Tracy Lee, Revathi discussed the delicate balance between developing new features and maintaining existing products. By managing cost reduction projects and considering technical debt, engineering leaders can ensure that their products remain robust and efficient in the long run. Revathi also emphasized the role of efficient processes and hiring individuals with the right mindset in driving cultural change within an organization. By implementing streamlined workflows and fostering a collaborative environment, engineering teams can minimize chaos and create a smoother work experience. Lastly, they talked about the benefits of leveraging artificial intelligence in operations. By harnessing the power of AI, engineering teams can automate repetitive tasks, optimize workflows, and improve overall efficiency. Revathi’s perspective underscores the potential of AI in transforming the way engineering teams operate, enabling them to focus on more strategic and impactful work. Download this episode here....

How to Promote a Great Open Source Ecosystem with Dominic Gannaway and A Fuzzy Bear cover image

How to Promote a Great Open Source Ecosystem with Dominic Gannaway and A Fuzzy Bear

A Fuzzy Bear (Astral Team, Linux Foundation) and Dominic Gannaway (Vercel) talk tech advancements and community building backstage at CityJS Conf London 2024. The conversation began with updates about Vercel, discussing how the team is harnessing AI and edge capabilities to furnish a generative interface attuned to users' preferences. As the conversation with Tracy Lee continued, Fuzzy Bear and Dominic underscored the importance of fostering a robust culture within online communities to nurture engagement and collaboration and how new technologies are reshaping online interactions, fostering inclusivity, and enduring connections. The conversation concludes with a discussion about how the advent of AI and edge capabilities enables a realm of possibilities for creating intuitive interfaces, the pace of technological evolution poses a formidable challenge. Balancing innovation with compatibility across diverse devices and platforms is critical in this dynamic ecosystem, and the two predict a future marked by customizable interfaces and enriched user experiences, enabled by AI. Download this episode here....

The CSS / Utility hybrid approach with Tailwind v4 cover image

The CSS / Utility hybrid approach with Tailwind v4

The post concludes with a look at modern CSS and interesting hybrid utility patterns with the Tailwind v4 release...

Local-First Application Development is Back with Dev Agrawal cover image

Local-First Application Development is Back with Dev Agrawal

In a world where connectivity is often taken for granted, the concept of "local first" applications is gaining traction. In this episode of the Modern Web Podcast, Dev Agrawal sheds light on this innovative approach, which prioritizes user devices as the primary data source. By enabling offline access and user control, local-first apps are revolutionizing the way we interact with technology. Traditionally, applications have relied on server-centric models, where data is stored and managed on remote servers. However, local-first architecture flips this paradigm by placing user devices at the forefront. By doing so, these apps empower users with offline access and control over their data. One of the key advantages of local-first architecture is its ability to create personalized experiences. By leveraging the data stored on user devices, apps can tailor their functionality to individual preferences and needs. Moreover, local-first apps excel at synchronization, ensuring that data remains consistent across multiple devices. This seamless synchronization allows users to switch between devices effortlessly, without worrying about data loss or inconsistencies. Data ownership is a critical aspect of local-first applications. With the user's device holding the definitive data version, individuals have greater control over their information. This is particularly important in collaborative environments, where multiple users need to access and modify shared data. To address this, local-first apps employ Conflict-free Replicated Data Types (CRDTs), which ensure that conflicts are resolved automatically and data integrity is maintained. By prioritizing data ownership and collaboration, local-first architecture fosters a more inclusive and efficient work environment. While local-first architecture offers numerous benefits, it is important to strike a balance between local and server data management. Certain data, such as large media files or complex computations, may still be better suited for server storage. Additionally, server-centric models can provide valuable backup and recovery options. As web development paradigms evolve, finding the right balance between local and server data management will be crucial in creating integrated user experiences and adaptable frameworks....