Comprehending List Comprehensions in Erlang (a comparison with C#'s LINQ)

Any time we learn something new, we tend to make sense of it in relation to what we already know. One thing builds on top of another, as it were. Since I started learning Erlang a year ago, I find myself frequently drawing comparisons to the C# knowledge I gained over the previous 8 years. One of the tougher concepts to accept was that the value of a variable in Erlang cannot be modified once it's set. Instead of a loop that repeatedly updates a variable, you'll frequently use recursion. For example, this is perfectly okay in C#. It accepts »

Maybe building a robot..? Four magic words... It's For The Kids!

Short post tonight. My 10 yo came to me the other day and said she'd like to build a robot. This is good for two reasons. I've been meaning to do something like this and kids are great at pushing you to do something you've been meaning to do but haven't. If I'm really lucky, she'll ask about it every night for the next year if I don't move on it. It's like this awesome alarm that goes off every day, at random times, and there's no shutoff or plug or battery or receipt or anything! I can open the »

Finding your niche is figuring out what drives you and letting the world know

There are some phrases that come up so often that I tend to reject them as if they're "dirty" or have some negative connotation. "Networking" used to be one. Before I had ever attempted to go to a user group, I used to hear people laud them as opportunities to network, and it left me with this feeling that the main reason to go was to sell yourself. But once I started going to a few, I learned that the focus is just going, talking to others, sharing a few stories, learning something new and coding together. Networking is a »

Quotes 'n Notes #8

Just a few of the inspirational and thoughtful stories and quotes I ran across this week. Come across any of your own that you'd like to share? I'm always looking for something interesting to read... Characteristics of Good APIs Have you ever had to deliberately create an API for another programmer (maybe at a different company) to use? Have you ever created a subsection of the program you work on at your company, which one of your coworkers had to consume using whatever subsection they were working on? Erik Dietrich discusses creating a clean and easily discoverable interface that abstracts »

Unable to renew LetsEncrypt certificate using certbot - 404 for HTTP-01 challenge request

When I woke up this morning, I decided to hack away at a blog post for a little bit. As soon as I opened the site, my heart sank. This is the PITA thing about running your own site. Like owning your own house instead of renting an apartment, or buying a car instead of taking a bus, when something breaks it's on you to fix it. And mechanics ain't cheap. Happy days. I wouldn't click through this even if it let me, but even better I have HSTS enabled. That's a way for a website to ask a browser »

Doin' Manly Stuff (kids are so funny)

Manly stuff. That's what my 8yo son said he wanted to do yesterday, lol. We were getting ready for my daughter's bday party and he told me he wanted to help out with the manly stuff. You'd have thought I was heading out to rebuild an engine, do some huntin'... take in a round of sportsball. So what was on the agenda for my morning? Really exciting stuff, like bringing up the card table and chairs from the basement. Re-assembling the patio furniture I took apart for storage last year. Setting up a sprinkler for the kids, getting out the »

GitHub... a tool for collaborative list making

GitHub is beyond doubt the number one place for sharing code and collaborating on projects right now. I share a lot of my code on GitHub when I'm writing a more technical post, my workplace uses it internally, and of course millions of people use it to create and maintain useful software. Another popular use for GitHub is creating lists of, well, whatever you're interested in listing. And because it's on GitHub, anyone who'd like to add something or make a correction can fork your list, update it, and submit a pull request. Here's a list of the lists I've »

The Curse of Knowledge

TIL the phrase "The Curse of Knowledge" from a 10-year old article by that name. The article focuses on leadership, discussing how executives tend to summarize years of knowledge and experience into vague goals like "achieve customer delight" and "unlock value". While they may understand intuitively what concrete steps will achieve those goals, most employees will have no idea what role they play in getting from point A to point B. Taking a step back though, this isn't just a challenge for execs, but for anyone who learns something new or obtains a new skill - especially if that knowledge »