Aaron Sumner


3 picks for January 20, 2017

Weber Smokey Mountain cookers

It's going to be mid-50s and sunny on Saturday, so on Thursday, I got out my little smoker to get it ready to cook. I got a fire going in it and kept it burning hot for the better part of the day, to burn out some crud that built up since my last cook in the fall. I know a lot of barbecue purists will tell you that the WSM isn't a real smoker, but I've been happy with mine for more than five years. The 18-inch model has been perfect for two people, though I'd be lying if I didn't admit to having eyes for the 22-inch version.

Exercism

I've mentioned Exercism in the past, but it's such a wonderful learning tool that I wanted to highlight it here. I still believe that deliberate practice and receiving/giving peer feedback are the best ways to learn to code, and in Exercism, you get all of the above. I've been using it to boost my Python chops most recently, but if that's not your language of choice, just pick from one of the thirty-plus other options they provide.

SSLMate

Last week I mentioned Let's Encrypt for free security certificates, but if their options don't work for you (for example, you need a wildcard certificate, or extended validation), give SSLMate a look. So much more pleasant to work with than the bigger-name certificate providers I've worked with, and reasonable prices. Whichever provider you choose, please make 2017 the year you add encryption to your services, for the privacy and security of you and your customers.

. Questions or comments? Let me know what you think. Page may contain affiliate links.