Joel Gaff Jr.

Junior software developer, race director, endurance athlete, creative. Oregon, Michigan, other places.
April 4, 2024

Ruby vs. Rails

Ruby is the language, Rails is a framework. Think of Ruby as the raw materials needed to build a house. Rails is a template or blueprint that *automatically builds* many of the common parts of the house that all houses need, without you having to do all the planning or building. You’re gonna need windows, so Rails makes spaces in your ...
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March 26, 2024

Creating a new Ruby on Rails Project in Rails 7

Creating a new Ruby on Rails Project is as easy as running a single command from the command line. After running a single command, you’ll have a functioning Ruby on Rails app. There are just a few things you need to confirm before getting started. First, make sure you have Ruby and Ruby on Rails installed on your computer. Second, make...
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December 22, 2023

Weir Everywhere

Over the past year, I’ve experienced a resurgence of my love for the Grateful Dead and their music. I’ve listened to almost nothing but Grateful Dead music for the entire year, and I haven’t come even close to getting tired of it. I’ve picked up my guitar again and have made pretty big strides (for me) in my playing ability. The Dead a...
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July 20, 2022


“"All creative work builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original." - Austin Kleon” I'm constantly trying to write more, and find things to write about. The times that I have the most trouble doing so are the times when I'm not reading a lot. The more I read and listen (podcasts and audiobooks are amazing), the more fodder...
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April 18, 2022

What’s the easiest way to become a computer software developer?

I have no idea, but here's a look at the start of my journey: Joel — More at
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December 22, 2021

Getting Back in Shape Like I Never Imagined

I spent much of 2021 trying to recover from a few nagging injuries that had been plaguing me since late 2020. I finally started to get back into the swing of things in the mid-2021, and had some ups and downs since then. I’ve always been a lone wolf kind of individual in my training. I’ve rarely participated in group classes, especiall...
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April 26, 2021

High Five

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March 16, 2021

Symmetry and Opposites

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March 13, 2021


In 2020 I finally got into a solid habit of reading. I got a Kindle, which was a game changer for me, and I started listening to audio books while working out. Both of these new-to-me media helped me go from maybe reading a book or two a year, to 17 books in 2020. Over the past few months I've been spending a lot of my time building a ...
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March 5, 2021

Learning to Let Go

For the last 12 years or so Endurance Evolution has been a big part of my life. I’ve helped lead the team in planning and producing a handful of running races and triathlons each year, as well as a timing services division that timed 40 or so races each season. The company was built slowly. We started small and grew organically. We onl...
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March 4, 2021

Hey, World.

I've written quite a bit at, but my writing has lapsed. I still want that to be where I post my writing, but the sheer simplicity of writing here at HEY World is freeing. No need to worry about formatting, no need to worry about layout. Just write and send, and it's posted. Just like writing an email to the world. Simple. ...
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