Every day, every moment, is an opportunity to learn

Saturday Morning Reads #2

I read so many good articles during the week, stuff that’s so much better than anything I could dream up. Every week or two, I’ll share some of the more thoughtful and inspiring ones on here. :) If we’re lucky, we get to do what we enjoy and improve lives at the same time. Matthew Schroeder is helping his son learn how to interact with others socially. Matthew...

HacktoberFest, and Making My First OSS Contributions

All last month, DigitalOcean carried out an event called HacktoberFest. In their own words… HacktoberFest is a month-long event encouraging people to contribute to GitHub-hosted open source projects, whether by fixing bugs, creating new features, or updating and writing documentation. More significantly, t-shirts were involved. And stickers. Developers love them some swag. And we’re pretty much suckers for any kind of prize if...

Saturday Morning Reads #1

I read so many good articles during the week, stuff that’s so much better than anything I could dream up. Every week or two, I’ll share some of the more thoughtful and inspiring ones with you. :)

The Beauty and Joy of Computing (mooc), and My First Snap! Script

“The Beauty and Joy of Computing” (BJC) is a new mooc that started just a few weeks ago. Dan Garcia has been teaching it at UC Berkeley for awhile, and now it’s available on edX. Discover the big ideas and thinking practices in computer science plus learn how to code using one of the friendliest programming languages, Snap! (based on Scratch). We’ve been working on this...

5 free resources for improving your programming skills

There are two truths about programming that didn’t sink in (for me) for several years: We have to be life-long learners. There are a lot of people who will help us along the way. (And eventually, we can return the favor!) Okay, we don’t have to keep learning. No one’s going to force you or me. The number of small businesses running legacy apps is only going to...

Charles Townes, The Laser, and Fostering Curiosity

When I hear about a discovery or invention, it sometimes seems inevitable that the people involved should’ve ended up where they were, doing what they did, as if they were handed the situation or the whole thing were preordained. At the very least, I don’t give much thought to what in their lives led them to that eventual point of discovery. I...

Setting up Windows 10 in a Virtual Machine (VMWare Player or Hyper-V Manager)

Windows 10 was officially released on July 30. You can download Windows 10 from Microsoft, but note that you will need a valid key to install it. There’s been some confusion about what Microsoft meant by “free upgrade”. Or you can download it from your MSDN account if you have one. The “multiple editions” option (4 GB download) worked for me (currently named “en_windows_10_multiple_editions_x64_dvd_6846432.iso”). If you’re...

A (somewhat brief) intro to Code Katas, TDD and Red-Green-Refactor

Every few months, a nearby user group does a code kata du jour. Everyone pairs up, and uses common practices like TDD and red-green-refactor. A couple weeks ago, I was partnered with someone who hadn’t done this before, so I had the opportunity to talk him through it. Assuming you’re in the same boat (maybe you’re going to a user group where you’ll be...