Relaxing in my room one day when I was young after a tough school day, I was in the process of reading a great comic. It was night time, so most of my few duties were done, schoolwork...check, dinner...done, Legos...built, latest issue of progress. All of a sudden I heard my older sister screaming from the room next door. "RAAAAAAYY, HEEEEELP".

My instincts took over, I leaped out of my bed with the speed of a wildebeest being chased by a wild cheetah. Her room was next door to mine, so it was a quick couple of seconds before I made it to her door. I opened it, heart beating at an accelerated rate, so I asked. "What..what!!!". Then she said six words I'll never forget..."Can you turn the light off?".

With hindsight, I realized years later when I made my my shame, I turned off the light and calmly went back to my room to finish my comic book and wait for the next episode of sisters abusing their little brother (more stories in later editions).

I grew up with two of them, both older than me, they formed an inseparable team, seemingly always working to thwart my every move. To this they they are in sync, working and supporting each other. Still working together to boss me around.

They were able to master one tactic that most people find hard getting right...collaboration. If any company could harness their ability to work together, EVS scores would be off the charts. Collaboration is something we all learn about, but that's hard to execute.

We all dread the collaboration projects in college. There's always someone who's out of sync with the group, sometimes, it's the leader, who doesn't want to do a thing to contribute and some always end up doing most of the work without mastering the art of collaboration. My sisters could give seminars on the matter.

You Are What You Are

Companies tend to be great at what they're designed for. If you ask someone who works for LinkedIn if they think their company does a good job with hiring, recruiting and work life balance, they'd probably agree. They are solid with such things, not surprisingly for a company that focuses on work connections.

Likewise GitHub is good at one thing...collaboration. The company is built around a single concept...getting developers to collaborate with each other. What's been really amazing is the rapid pace of development after their acquisition from Microsoft.

Just look at the crop of earth shaking tools they've developed recently:

CodeSpaces, which is Visual Studio Code in your browser, but deeply integrated into GitHub. Everything you can do with Visual Studio Code, you can do with CodeSpaces. Copilot, an artificial intelligence tool that writes entire functions for you in many programming languages based on the context of your code.

Here's a sample from my latest episode of The Toolbox, which shows you how CodeSpaces works to replace the need for code playgrounds.

There's a smaller crop of useful tools that aren't as earth shaking, but would be great by themselves if they came from any other company. The GitHub CLI, a command line interface that lets you issue commands directly from GitHub, GitHub for Mobile and upgrades to other products like GitHub Issues, which lets you manage your projects better.

New GitHub Challenges Course

I'm really proud to have just completed a new course called GiHub Challenges. It challenges you to come up with solutions to practical problems and then gives you the answers of how I solved some common problems like deleting committed passwords from GitHub, creating monorepos, using Bash scripts to run your Git processes and working with Actions to query APIs. Here's a sample video.

Update certain branches from GitHub Code Challenges by Ray Villalobos

This Week on the Toolbox

Git and GitHub Tips you should know

Here's the latest episode of The Toolbox which includes my favorite GitHub tips.

Next Week on the Toolbox

Design CSS Components with the Tailwind CSS JIT Compiler


In the next episode of The Toolbox, I'm going to show you how TailwindCSS' Just In Time compiler has changed the landscape for CSS frameworks. It's capable of building customized versions of CSS files which only output the code for the CSS you're using. It makes builds shockingly fast and the resulting CSS extremely small. We're talking just a few kilobytes instead of the usual hundredths.

I'll show you the advantages of the framework over any other Sass, Bootstrap and just about any other CSS library out there and...gasp, I'll code up a design from scratch. Come cheer me on and be ready for some Q&A.

The Shorts

Here's some of the latest tools I've found useful on the web. Everything from a great way to figure out if a DIV closes a certain element, to KidPix in JS, Wikimedia choosing Vue.js. Lots of cool stuff happening on the web. Don't forget that you can go to the shorts page on to search for these.

CSS Imports in JavaScript

CSS Imports in JavaScript

Microsoft and Google have struck an agreement that will bring easy CSS Imports through script tags. This has some performance improvements over the link attribute, which is the current way to load up a CSS file. They can be directly applied as import statements into existing JS files and is similar to the way JavaScript modules work.

Tailwind Buttons

Tailwind Buttons
One of the hardest things to do in Tailwind CSS is figure out how to style a complex element like buttons. Here's a page with a ton of button styles that easily lets you copy the code for each one. !


GistPad gives you all the goodness of GitHub Gists with directly from within Visual Studio Code. Create, fork, star, follow everything as if it was a local item."

Tailwind Starter Kit

Tailwind Starter Kit

If you're into Tailwind CSS, you know that it comes without any components. This starter kit fills the gap with a lot of pre-built components.

Hypercolor-Beautiful Tailwind CSS Gradients

Who's ready for some curated gradients. I love the nice interface that lets you easily copy the code. Every one of these looks pretty cool and you get the code so you can incorporate them with your Tailwind CSS classes.