The live version of Word Game DB
The live version of Word Game DB

Word Game DB is a read-only REST API built with the MERN stack (MongoDB, Express, React, and Node.js). It is intended to be used for educational purposes by anyone who would like to practice their coding skills by building a word game that incorporates an API.

Live Link

Here’s my live app, deployed through Heroku with a custom domain:

In this article, I will show you how to clone this application, run it locally on your computer, and deploy it to Heroku, all in as little as 30 minutes!

Run Locally

In order to run this application locally, you must have node installed on…

To make a long story short: Juno College helped me make a career change and get hired as a front-end developer during the COVID-19 pandemic!

One of the classrooms at Juno College, early morning before class starts
One of the classrooms at Juno College, early morning before class starts

In university I studied anthropology and French. I planned to work in academia, but after completing a Master’s degree in anthropology I realized that this was not a viable option due to the overly competitive job market and the increasing trend of hiring contract faculty instead of full-time positions. …

In this article I will outline how I built a hangman game with Vanilla JavaScript, and more importantly, how I made it accessible for players who navigate with their keyboard or with a screen reader.

My hangman game
My hangman game


Hangman is a simple word guessing game that can be played by one or two people. The goal of this project was to practice building a fun app using Vanilla JavaScript only, no frameworks or libraries. Players can choose to play with two people or solo. For the one-player game, categories and words are preloaded in an array and randomly generated for the player…

As part of the web development immersive bootcamp at Juno College, I was tasked with building a React app of my own design. Being interested in UX design and user research, I set out to build a user persona generator.

Project Summary

User personas are semi-fictional characters that represent your customers or product users, ideally based on real research and data. My goal was to make an easy-to-use tool with React that would allow anyone to quickly create and visualize user personas by filling out a simple form, and save each persona to the page with the help of Firebase.

“The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.” — Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web

According to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main international standards organization for the internet, web accessibility means designing web experiences and technologies that can be used and contributed to by anybody. This includes people with auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech, and visual disabilities.

The benefits of web accessibility extend far beyond these groups, however. Consider the elderly, whose abilities have changed due to aging. Consider people with…

As a beginner web developer, I made a serious mistake: I got into the habit of adding height to the page elements that I was building. To the uninitiated, this may appear to be perfectly innocent: everything we see on a web page has both a height and a width, after all. However, assigning a specific height to a page element can have unintentional and potentially disastrous consequences, especially when using viewport height (vh) units.

Viewport units certainly have their uses. In one of my first projects, a PSD conversion with multiple sections, the header covers the entire viewport:

Web developers argue endlessly about best practices, tools, trends, approaches, and many other aspects of the tech industry, but if there’s one thing we all agree on, it’s that “developers are lazy”. Not to be confused with run-of-the-mill idleness, laziness in web development is in fact the impetus of innovation, the “push” behind the progress. The affirmation “there has to be an easier way to do this” is responsible for the creation of countless new tools and techniques over the years, including code snippets, linters, and formatters, among many others.

Code snippets are without a doubt one of my favourite…

My decision to change careers was inspired partly by the realization that if I were a character in a video game (or book, or movie, or TV show), I would be a very boring character. I seldom made decisions of the “bold” or “risky” variety, and I had little to show for it. In other words, I needed to level up. Once I concluded that web development was the best path forward for me, I began researching where and how to acquire the necessary skill set.

There are more options for learning web development today than ever before, but since…

Like many people, my road to becoming a front-end developer was a long and winding one. While it seems as though certain rare souls easily stumble upon a skillset and career path that defines and motivates them, I’m definitely more of a jack of all trades, master of none. From high school onward, my interests and strengths included languages, writing, martial arts, music, history, film, and more. …

Lucas Silbernagel (he/him)

Web Developer | | @LucasCodePro | #a11y | Former Anthropologist

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