I love the Solarized Dark theme, and have both my terminal and my Sublime Text editor in tha, but for Chrome, I chose to go with the Solarized Light theme.
When people call me a geek, I take the moniker with pride and own it. I can think of nothing nobler than having a passion towards science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). These are the fields upon which all of modern society is built, and all other fields obtain their advances.
I feel it is one of my core duties as a father to install that passion in my girls. I am exposing them to science, and technology at every opportunity. I also am proudly watching my oldest daughter obtain a healthy, natural talent for mathematics. My bubbly, glittery, overly-talkative 7 year old girl who was talking full sentences at 1 year old has been doing basic multiplication and division while she struggles with writing and reading. The complete opposite of what I envisioned her skillset to be.
She is well ahead of what they are teaching in class. I have been teaching her at home, and it’s a lot of fun watching her skills blossom.
So today, we a starting the experiment that will teach them about chlorophyll and why leaves change colors in the fall.
Ok, it ended in total failure, and I have no idea why. I remember doing this experiment as a child and it working perfectly. I set the jars out to let the alcohol dry, but when it was all said and done, all that was on the coffee filter strips was a thin green line. No yellow, no red… nothing else.
So we’ll try again next weekend and perhaps do a better job of mashing up the leaves. I just let the girls rip the leaves apart into tiny shards, but this time I’ll get them to mash it all up into a paste.
Regardless, they both had fun with the experiment and I at least got to explain to them why the coffee filter absorbed the green chlorophyll via the alcohol.
Paul Jones did the keynote this year, and while the content wasn’t particularly new, I will say that it was curated and presented in a way that was exciting, inspiring and thought provoking.
He did a fantastic job.
The general theme of the talk was for technologists to understand the power they have, and to teach other people how to treat them. I’ve done this for many years and I try to pass on my wisdom to as many people as I can. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to listen. So many technologists work untenable hours, say yes when they know they should say no, don’t demand to be part of the planning of work. Basically, see themselves as just employees who should accept the arbitrary whims of “management” as if they hold superior power in the relationship.
It’s an equal partnership and you should expect to be treated with that respect. You are trading your highly desirable skills for money. Pure and simple. Project managers, vice presidents and directors can’t create the foundation of the company (meaning the software being sold), just as technologists can’t go out and perform the tasks of marketing the product, selling the product, establishing business partnerships, and accounting. Neither can survive without the other.
If you are constantly allowing someone else to dictate how much work you can, or cannot, perform in chunk of time without giving your input, then you have some choices.
And if you are fearful of losing your job, then approach the situation from a position of strength. If you find that others are not receptive to you changing the relationship, go find other people who are willing. One of Paul’s points was a quote from a book/movie that I can’t remember was “you need a job, but not this job.”
As technologists, we can always find work. Every day, the world is more and more reliant upon the software that we create.
I sat through several sessions before I gave my presentation on mobile web app development.
First up, was a talk on Salt. I’ve had plenty of experience since I’ve now built two products on it, and I wanted to see a lively discussion and hopefully share some experiences. Unfortunately, I spent more time working on my own presentation than listening because I still wasn’t happy with it, but what I heard was good. He covered the basics of how to configure minions from the master and handled managed files.
After lunch, I sat in on a talk about establishing trust in your work relationships. It was a somewhat interesting topic, but nothing of any real substance was discussed. A lot of common sense topics about how to be a professional and treat everyone you work with with respect.
Then I did my presentation, and for as dubious as I was about how it was all going to flow, I was surprised how it ended up fitting together. I was also concerned with the fact that I was covering four different frameworks. While I hit my time perfectly, I didn’t feel satisfied that I gave the code part of the presentation enough focus, and I was right, as one commenter noted in his feedback.
I want to give the presentation in a couple more venues and I’ll do some moderate reconfiguring to show more code and talk about building an app with more focus for the next time.
Last up, I attended a really cool talk about gadgeteering. A wooden puppet was manipulated via the laptop with a microprocessor attached to the back and all the limbs. It was a lot of fun.
As always, I saw a lot of old friends, and made a couple new ones. I’m always amazed to learn the ideas and projects that people are working on. It’s very humbling because just when I think I’m doing something cool, someone tells me about something that makes me jealous.
And though I didn’t get to talk to him, Cal Evans pulled off another fantastic event. Everything went smoothly, he adroitly handled some last minute speaker changes, and made sure everyone was happy and had everything they needed. Thank you, Cal, for stepping up in such a big way to make Nashville that much better for its technology community.
Can’t wait ’til next year.
You can read the official job posting on Taleo, but I wanted to add my own spice to the mix.
I’ve been working at Digital Reasoning now for over one and a half years. In that time, I’ve seen all the baggage that the company carries on its way to the airport. Every company has baggage, it just varies by color and smell. The reason I don’t pay much attention to the baggage is because we’re all in a giant taxi together, on our way to fly to Tahiti.
When the destination is something incredible and beautiful, suddenly it doesn’t matter how many bags you packed – you have a spring in your step and nothing seems to matter.
The potential at this company is staggering. We’re working on a problem that only a handful of companies are tackling, and we’ve got some mighty customers already using our technology with several other giants working with us on prototypes. Everyone is striving to make the company better, the product better, the process better, and each other better teammates.
Yeah, there have been rough patches, but (so far) they’ve all been unique and lessons learned actually get solutions rather than going on a suggestion form that gets filed away into the black hole, never to be seen again.
We learn from our mistakes, quickly.
We focus on using FOSS whenever possible, because, let’s be honest, that’s where the real innovation is happening these days, and you immediately become part of a community of passionate technologists who care about making and improving a product for the benefit of humanity, rather than their stockholders and board of directors.
I’m currently in the midst of developing, what we believe, to be a game changer. It’s not part of a big game, but taking something that has been relegated to only the upper echelon of the tech elite and putting in the hands of the whole world is part of what makes working here amazing. That really speaks to me because I care about helping people, with no regard for rewards, and making the world a better place. Yeah, it’s cheesy, but that’s who I am.
By the way, we’re calling it stackd.io and the purpose is to have an open source application that anyone can use to launch and provision machine instances on any cloud provider with a simple to use user interface, as well as a solid RESTful API for other developers to hack on. By the way, that link doesn’t work yet because we just registered the domain and haven’t had the time to throw up a placeholder page yet, but I’ll leave it there anyway.
So, if you’re looking for a place where autonomy still matters, where you are encouraged to gain mastery at what you, and that has a purpose behind the work, please let me know and I’ll talk to you more about the opportunity.
This is all my opinion that, likely, is the result of lack of sleep combined with a couple interactions this morning with some really awful people. If reading me rant is not your cup of tea today, please move on.
If your Great Big New Idea is some shitty e-commerce site whose sole purpose is to sell more shit to people who don’t need more shit, thereby consuming more of our precious natural resources for the sake of consumerism all in the name of making you rich so that you, in turn, can go out and buy more shit that you don’t need….
I don’t want to hear about it.
Seriously, we’ve fucked up this world so much in our past states of selfishness and ignorance. Isn’t it time we stop passing the buck down to future generations? Can’t we start cleaning up this mess?
I think that we’ve acquired enough game consoles, smart phones, plastic quad copters, and worthless crap from China (produced by child, slave labor) and cheap clothes from Wal-Mart that we can start using our collective intelligence and work ethic to help people. Help people that really need help. I’m not talking about sending $20 to some poor, first world woman who broke her foot and has to scale back her spending for a little while.
You know what happened yesterday while we all sipped our lattes and caught up with each other on Facebook in our 4000 square foot homes?
So I’m sorry if reading about your shitty new company on TechCrunch this morning that specializes in flash sales on bath soaps, ugly designer shirts, skinny jeans, and art from some pretentious jackass I’ve never heard of before didn’t get me all atwitter with excitement.