Ashlee standing in front of a brick wall looking up to her left and smiling. Her right hand is held up near her right shoulder with the palm facing upwards.

Ashlee M Boyer

You can find me talking about issues surrounding Disability, Accessibility, & Mental Health on Twitter, or you can find me regularly live-knitting or live-coding on Twitch. I'm @AshleeMBoyer on all the platforms I use.

Journey of a Disabled Web Developer

She's written 68 posts.

How I Added an RSS Feed to My Next.js Site

I recently came across a tweet from Sara Soueidan applauding folks who provide an RSS feed on their site. Sara is someone I highly admire in frontend web development and accessibility, but I had so little knowledge of RSS feeds and so many questions: What ...

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How to Create Your Own Next.js RSS Reader App

I recently came across a tweet from Sara Soueidan applauding folks who provide an RSS feed on their site. Sara is someone I highly admire in frontend web development and accessibility, but I had so little knowledge of RSS feeds and so many questions: What ...

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My Writing and Planning Process

When I first started seriously writing in early 2019, it was because I committed to a 30-day blogging challenge. My main goal of this challenge was to see if I even liked blogging and sharing my ideas so publicly. I'm still here and telling ...

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Build a Blog Site with Next.js and Firebase Part 5 - Editing & Deleting Posts

Welcome to the fifth and final post in my new "Build a Blog Site with Next.js and Firebase" series! This series is pretty similar to a series I wrote in 2019: "Build a React & Firebase Blog Site". Because it's been ...

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Build a Blog Site with Next.js and Firebase Part 4 - Adding Authentication

Welcome to the fourth post in my new "Build a Blog Site with Next.js and Firebase" series! This series is pretty similar to a series I wrote in 2019: "Build a React & Firebase Blog Site". Because it's been well over ...

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Build a Blog Site with Next.js and Firebase Part 3 - Reading Each Post

Welcome to the third post in my new "Build a Blog Site with Next.js and Firebase" series! This series is pretty similar to a series I wrote in 2019: "Build a React & Firebase Blog Site". Because it's been well over ...

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Build a Blog Site with Next.js and Firebase Part 2 - Creating New Posts

Welcome to the second post in my new "Build a Blog Site with Next.js and Firebase" series! This series is pretty similar to a series I wrote in 2019: "Build a React & Firebase Blog Site". Because it's been well over ...

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Build a Blog Site with Next.js and Firebase Part 1 - Getting Set Up

Welcome to the first post in my new "Build a Blog Site with Next.js and Firebase" series! This series is pretty similar to a series I wrote in 2019: "Build a React & Firebase Blog Site". Because it's been well over ...

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Set up a React App for Testing with Jest and Enzyme

It's been awhile since I've set up a React app for testing with Jest and Enzyme. Since I had to look up more than one of these steps to remind myself how to accomplish this, I decided to write a super quick guide in case it helps anyone else. Dec. ...

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Accessible, Smooth Scroll-to-top Buttons with Little Code

Scroll-to-top buttons are great for pages that are long enough to require a few scrolls to read everything. They're even better for extremely long pages. Scrolling is a lot of work for some users, especially on a mobile device. We (website ...

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Challenge Accepted! Just F*ing Ship It.

Great news! I'm joining the 30-day Just F*ing Ship It challenge to launch No-Code Overlays on October 31st, 2020. If you want to read all the background information on the project, how I came up with my idea, and what the next few days will be ...

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10 Questions I'm Asking All Companies Before Scheduling Any Interviews

Interviewing requires a lot of time and energy. Maybe you need to study some technical topics ahead of time. You probably already have commitments that require a lot of your focus—like another job or children. That's why it's ...

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Three Starting Points for Making Accessible Digital Content

Accessibility can be pretty overwhelming at first. There are a lot of things to consider and it's really hard to figure out what you don't know when you're just starting out. I hope you find this short list useful to help your first ...

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Build an Accessible Breadcrumb Component—Part 1 in the Accessible React Component Series

During the first stream in the accessible React component live coding series, we spun the wheel and it chose the breadcrumb component for us! While the component was extremely straightforward, I think it was a great one to kick off the series. ...

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Build an Accessible React Component—The Live Series

First of all, Thank you so much! 🎉 The "Build a React & Firebase Blog Site" live stream was fantastic! I now have two posts to add to my "Build a React & Firebase Blog Site" Series and am considering packaging the ...

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My Favorite Resource for Making Accessible Custom Components

I'll admit: making web apps accessible can be challenging, especially when you're new to it. It requires thinking from the perspective of disabled users and having some knowledge about the assistive tools they use, such as screen ...

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2019 Blog in Review

Table of Contents Personal Blog Stats DEV Stats 2020 Plans In April of 2019, I knew I needed to change my life. I was extremely unhappy in a toxic workplace, had no involvement in my community, and the only tech people I knew in my area worked ...

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How to Dynamically Create Many Similar CSS Classes with Sass

Let's say you allow 5 sizes of icons in your web application and they're in 6-pixel increments: 12, 18, 24, 30, and 36. Your Sass file might have something like the following to handle this: ||||1||.Icon {||||||2|| &--size-12 {||||||3|| ...

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Dear Women & Girls

Dear Women & Girls, Take up space. You are smart and deserving. If a man or boy tries to make you feel otherwise, refer to this list of statements below. Thanks to @necessaryaf on Twitter for this list. You interrupted me, I’m not finished ...

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How to Come out of Burnout

To be completely honest: I have no idea what the answer is here. I don't think there's just one correct answer. Burnout is so unique to every individual, which become more obvious to me after I asked my followers about how they cope with ...

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Udemy Needs to Review Courses and Vet Instructors

Trigger Warning: violence against women ...

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How I Keep Coding When I'm Low on Spoons

A few days ago, I came across a tweet thread by my e-friend, @TheCodePixi. She's working on making #SpooniesWhoCode a thing, so make sure you join in if you're a spoonie who codes! Looking to connect with more #SpooniesWhoCode! Or maybe ...

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Build a React & Firebase Blog Site Part 3

We've reached the third part of our React & Firebase series. In part one, we learned how to set everything up. Last time, we made a page for creating new blog posts. Today, we're going to read single posts from our Firebase Realtime ...

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Build a React & Firebase Blog Site Part 2

Welcome back! This is the second in a series of posts that will teach you how to build a blog site using React and Firebase. If you haven't read the first post in the series, I encourage you to do so. I'm including starter code for this post, ...

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Build a React & Firebase Blog Site Part 1—Setup and Read Data

Welcome! This is the first in a series of posts that will teach you how to build a blog site using React and Firebase. This one will probably be the longest because there are few things to do to set everything up. At the end of this post, you'll ...

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Re-Create an Image with Colorful Text

Hey, friends! It's been a while, but I'm back with something fun. Yesterday, I tweeted out about an image I analyzed and then re-created with my name. It's garnered quite a bit of attention so I figured I'd tell everyone how I ...

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My Journey Into Software Engineering

I started college in the fall of 2013 as a Chemical Engineering major at a small private engineering school in Indiana. That first quarter ended very poorly for me and had me questioning whether or not I could make it at the school. From what I could ...

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Why isn't our world more accessible?

Next time you walk around some city streets, take a look around. What's the sidewalk like? If it's made out of bricks, does it look very smooth or are probably half of them loose and uneven? When you come to an intersection, does the ramp ...

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Working in Circle City, Day 4

The AM The CEO took some time to talk about the company's vision this morning, but not before we had a tornado drill! 😉 It was an interesting event. Thankfully, we’re only on the fourth floor and didn’t have too far to walk to make it to the basement ...

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Working in Circle City, Day 3

The morning I can't help but find myself fascinated by everything here. While I'm doing my 10-minute walk from my car to the office, I wonder about the stories other people on the street might have to tell. Where do they work? Do they have ...

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Working in Circle City, Day 2—Be Nice to People in Traffic

Day 2 was pretty quiet and smooth, but still exciting. I had two on-boarding meetings and will have one or two per day through next week. These are chances to learn more about the start of the company, how things work, and the company's values. ...

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Working in Circle City, Day 1—Many Firsts

My new job is downtown Indianapolis. Today was my first day for a whole list of things! 🚗Parked in a parking garage all day 🚶🏼‍♀️Walked 5 minutes to work 🍳Had breakfast by myself downtown 🛍Shopped in two stores by myself downtown 🍕Had ...

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Get Started with HTML Video Captions

Did you know you can add captions to <video> elements with a little HTML and a VTT file? I didn't know until today! It's really easy to do (so long as you format your VTT file correctly... shout out to Conlin Durbin for helping me find ...

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How I Get Things Done When I'm Feeling Overwhelmed

Fiona Thomas, author of Depression in a Digital Age, has a free ebook called How to Get Stuff Done with Depression. In it, I found advice that helped me in my worst times. A little over a year ago, I was still on campus at Rose and was so depressed and ...

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It's OK to Change Your Mind

Last week, I was feeling fired up and ready to go. I wrote a whole post about some exciting things and plans. But here's the thing: I've thought some more about my plans for writing, and I'm changing my mind. Let me get into the "why". ...

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Why and How You Should Use Twitter for Networking

Disclaimer: This post isn't for bragging. I've had people ask me whether or not Twitter is worth it. I joined Twitter less than 60 days ago. As of this writing, I have 358 followers, am following 460 other awesome people, and have written ...

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Get to Know the People You Pay

I made some shouty tweets on Sunday. Here's the first one, and the one I want to focus on for this conversation. You can go read the other tweets and think whatever you want about them as a whole, but I'm here to elaborate a bit on what I was ...

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I Tried the Top 5 Coding Challenge Websites

Thank you to everyone who replied to my tweet about coding challenges! It's an excellent list of sites people like to use. I did a quick look over all of these sites and am providing my immediate impressions from them. It's very possible ...

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How to Handle touchstart Events with Stacked Elements

I came across some issues on touch screens where I have a navigation menu expanded and the common "shadow" showing on the non-menu portion of the screen. When I tried tapping on the "shadow" to close the menu, way too many ...

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I Know You're Tired

Life is really hard sometimes. We're all going through something. You're not alone. What you're doing is hard work. It's taking up a lot of your energy. You don't feel valued for all of your efforts. It's not fair, ...

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After 30 Days of Writing on DEV.to

This past month of publishing one post per day far exceeded my expectations. I was inspired to do this challenge by the co-hosts of the Office Hours Podcast, T.K. Coleman and Isaac Morehouse. They talk about the challenge a lot, so I decided to ...

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Introducing textua11y

Yesterday, I made a post about ideas and going after them. Every idea is a learning experience. There are no dumb ideas. {% link ashleemboyer/just-make-that-app-59gl %} Well, writing that post pushed me to elaborate on a super simple color ...

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Just Make That App

As someone who's new to the web dev game, I find it hard to accept all my ideas as good ones. Yes, you read that right, all ideas are good ideas. Ideas are similar to questions, it's all about the timing. Every single idea you have leads to ...

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Minimalism and Habits

Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit is an awesome book that gets into the science of decision-making and forming habits. My favorite takeaway from the book is that habits are things we end up doing automatically, meaning we don't even ...

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Yes, You Should Have Hobbies Outside of Code

I came across an excellent tweet last night by Twitter user Amycruz: To be a good developer you don’t have to spend 99% of your time writing, reading about coding. Do other activities. it helps to be more creative and to enrich your knowledge.What ...

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A Haiku About Pausing

Still feeling under the weather, but I mustered up the brain energy to write this little haiku: “I’m not really sure If it is against the rules Blog challenge is paused” Hopefully I’ll be back at it again tomorrow with some more exciting content, ...

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Sometimes You Have no Choice but to Pause

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it forever: your health is more important than anything else. Take care of your body. Feed it good things. Rest it when it hurts. You’re not a bad person if you need a break or to step back from something. Sacrifice ...

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What You Can Learn from Your Dog about Mindfulness

Since I've lived in apartments for the entire 3 years I've had my dog, Trooper, Zach and I have always had to walk him with a leash. Our current apartment has a nice bark park, which helps him get some energy out, but for the most part, he's ...

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How to Study for a Test by Making a Website

With my crazy schedule of driving 1.5 hours one-way for a class four days a week, I haven't had as much time to write code outside of work. I also see tons of people on Twitter talking about React or Gatbsy, which makes me want to dig into them even ...

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Aim to Never Stop Learning

You will never know everything. There's too much information out there and not enough time to learn it all. What this means is, sometimes we're wrong because we just don't know all of the answers. And that's fine—it's ...

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Don't be Afraid to Ask Questions

There's no such thing as a stupid question. There may be stupid timing for it, such as a student asking when an exam is 5 minutes after the teacher already announced that information. But that was still a good question, they just asked it at ...

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Throw All of your Email Subscriptions in the Garbage

I do. not. care. about inbox zero. :) Too often, it becomes less about efficiently managing your inbox and more about rushing to have no emails for any reason. I prefer to make sure I'm adequately handling messages instead of emptying my box. ...

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Don't be Afraid to Admit Your Weaknesses

Do you know what it means when you can admit your weaknesses? It means you've probably recognized the following: You are less afraid to be wrong You aren't perfect You have things to work on You are working on the things Other people ...

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Just do The Thing

I don't know where Joshua Fields Millburn was inspired by his advice, but Steven Pressfield, Nike, and he all have roughly the same thing to say: "Just do it." JFM said in "How to Improve Your Writing: 3 Tips" I didn’t ...

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GPA Isn't Everything

I'm finishing up my degree at one of the top undergraduate engineering schools in the country. Applicants are typically at the very top of their high school class and have great SAT and ACT scores. I did pretty well during the last few years ...

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Build a Multi-Page Gatsby Site from JSON

I decided to take this approach when I made https://blackbirthdays.com. Originally, for the month of February, it showed a different person each day for their birthday. So, since there was very static data for the site, I decided to just feed ...

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How to Accept Rejection in Your Professional Life

Rejection sucks, and for some reason, rejection from acquaintances and strangers especially sucks. Maybe you submitted a proposal to give a talk at an event and weren't selected for it. Maybe you applied for a job and they didn't give ...

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Let People Have Emotions

Work (hopefully) doesn't consume our entire lives. Every single one of us comes from a different background and we're also all in very different stages. Despite this obvious fact, there's still a ridiculous stigma against people ...

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What it Means to Learn Out Loud

I first heard the phrase "learn out loud" from the Office Hours podcast. In this article, podcast co-host T.K. Coleman gives us three reasons to do so. I'd like to focus on the first reason he gives and show you how to apply it to the ...

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The Top Five Books on my TBR

I hate reading more than one book at a time, but here I am, reading three. I think? I can't even be sure. This is why I should practice self-control and only do one at a time. Since discovering how much I love studying user experience and accessibility, ...

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The Perfect First Project for Exploring Any JS Framework

The worst part of finishing a tutorial is not knowing what to do next. You could go look up some app ideas online, but aren't you tired of making to-do lists and calculators you probably won't use? It probably feels like there's nothing ...

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Things You Shouldn't Say to a Disabled Person About Why Your App Isn't Accessible

Not that I feel the need to explain myself, but I want to share that I'm hard-of-hearing. It's genetic and just about everyone on my family's maternal side suffers significant hearing loss. I've had hearing aids since I was ...

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I Wrote Zero Lines of Code Today

Sometimes, you need a day. When you have a job in tech, the amount of available knowledge to us can both incredible and staggering. We fear to look unintelligent to our peers and colleagues, so feel obligated to learn everything we can. The desire ...

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Don't Forget to Take Breaks

Do you want to know what I most often forget to do when I'm working really hard? I forget to eat. That's a funny thought at first. Like, how do you forget something so vital to your existence? (I have zero ideas, so please tell me if you know ...

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Why I'm Converting my Blog and Portfolio to Gatsby

Why, yes, I would love to be done with the set up of my sites so I could focus more on the side projects I want to post on my portfolio. Didn't you just post about perfectionism yesterday? Sure did! But this is different. Software will forever ...

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Neither You nor Your Work Has to be Perfect

Let's face it: nothing you make will ever be absolutely perfect. Some people may not like the final product. Maybe you could remove a paragraph or two from your blog post or reword a few sentences. Your code could probably be refactored in ...

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It's OK to Be Scared

Originally written in late February 2019 The unknown is absolutely terrifying, probably because we can't control what we don't know. But have you ever taken the time to think about how it feels to have all the information you need about ...

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How to Identify Your Knowledge Gaps in Under an Hour

The vast knowledge of the tech world can be so overwhelming. People throw out buzzwords all the time on Twitter: Kubernetes, Rails, React, Angular, Elixir, etc. What are all of these things and how does everyone else know about them? If you're ...

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