Talks I’ve Given In The Past Few Months

Since mov­ing to Las Vegas, I’ve joined the PHP Users Group. Over­all it’s been a great expe­ri­ence meet­ing peo­ple in the com­mu­nity and hear­ing about more PHP stuff. Since I’ve been there I’ve given a few talks and fig­ured I should list them here.

First up, a talk that was an intro­duc­tion to CakePHP. Prob­a­bly my best talk out of the three listed. It was infor­ma­tive, with lots of ques­tions and I knew the mate­r­ial really well (one would hope con­sid­er­ing it is my day job).

Next was a talk on Ember.js, this one didn’t turn out so well. I under pre­pared for it, and it showed. It also didn’t help that I mostly based my talk on a co-worker’s slides. Over­all this was novice hour for me. Moral of the story — don’t give talks unless you know the infor­ma­tion and don’t try to base a talk using some­one else’s work.

Last pre­sen­ta­tion was one on PHPUnit, which went ok. I knew the mate­r­ial bet­ter than the Ember stuff but there were a few weak areas. Over­all I think it went pretty well but it could have gone better.

Some ran­dom thoughts on pub­lic speaking

Pub­lic speak­ing (of a sort) is some­thing that I used to do much more often, it’s been good to stretch that part of my brain over the past few months and get a han­dle on deliv­er­ing talks that deal with tech­ni­cal infor­ma­tion for a gen­er­ally tech­ni­cal audi­ence. It is def­i­nitely some­thing I want to do more of in the future and to get bet­ter at.

Not every­one may want to do this type of thing, but if you are inter­ested in it, I would urge you to give it a shot. It is eas­ier than what you think. I would sug­gest pick a topic you are very famil­iar with and can answer ques­tions on the fly about. Feel free if you get a ques­tion that you can’t answer to say so, rather than present impre­cise information.

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Posted in Communication, Technology, Writings
Short Link: http://jty.me/Rbnv9G

Why Care About 30,000 Notes?

I’m just explain­ing what I think about when I’m mak­ing deci­sions regard­ing per­for­mance and scal­a­bil­ity. If I assumed that there would never be a way to auto­mate adding notes, I might be cor­rect — but I’d be guilty of mal­prac­tice. The engi­neer­ing depart­ment doesn’t have the lux­ury of mak­ing that assumption.

I enjoy this bit “engi­neer­ing depart­ment doesn’t have the lux­ury of mak­ing that assump­tion”. As a con­sul­tant it’s even truer that I can not make assump­tions espe­cially since I don’t have any spe­cial insight into the busi­ness. As an engi­neer we don’t have a lux­ury of mak­ing assump­tions in gen­eral but espe­cially when it comes to the amount of data that an end user might stick into our soft­ware, we have to offer sup­port for all our users in general.

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Posted in Computer Science, Programming, Software Code
Short Link: http://jty.me/17PB3M8

lolcommits

lol­com­mits takes a snap­shot with your web­cam every time you git com­mit code, and archives a lol­cat style image with it. Git blame has never been so much fun.

Find out just how coher­ent you were for that 3am commit.

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Posted in Programming, Software Code
Short Link: http://jty.me/14IAHs2

Skeuocard

When you begin enter­ing your card num­ber, Skeuo­card attempts to match it to an accepted card type. Once it is able to do so, it mod­i­fies the lay­out of the card to match the card prod­uct (Visa, Mas­ter­Card, etc) and makes any tweaks spe­cific to the issuer — for exam­ple, the spe­cial lay­out of the Chase Sap­phire card.

As you enter your infor­ma­tion, Skeuo­card mod­i­fies the under­ly­ing form val­ues from your orig­i­nal, non-enhanced form. It also val­i­dates each field to find sim­ple user mis­takes and miss­ing fields.

If the card prod­uct has fields on both sides of the card (for exam­ple, plac­ing the CVC code on the back) the user will be prompted to flip the card to fill in the remain­ing fields.

Pretty cool use of skeuo­mor­phism, makes it really easy for some­one to val­i­date that the credit they entered is their credit card. Even bet­ter it’s on Github, so feel free to make it better.

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Posted in Programming, Software Code, Web Design
Short Link: http://jty.me/14BcrYU

App Updates for iOS 7

Like many of my fel­low devel­op­ers, I am in the mid­dle of an update of an app for iOS 7. As you’d expect, it’s a lot more work than pre­vi­ous ver­sions of iOS. But results are stun­ning: both David Lan­ham and I have com­mented that our ship­ping ver­sion was “feel­ing old and clunky.”

While crank­ing along on the update, a cou­ple of thoughts occurred to me: how many other devel­op­ers were doing the same thing and were they going to com­mit fully to iOS 7? The depth and breadth of the changes in iOS 7 makes it dif­fi­cult to sup­port older ver­sions of the OS.

So I just asked. I also included a sim­ple ques­tion that any devel­oper who was actively work­ing on an update would be able to answer as a sort of CAPTCHA.

After a lit­tle over 24 hours, I had my answers:

The per­cent­age of devel­op­ers sup­port­ing iOS 6 and 7 is higher than I would have thought.

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Posted in Programming, Software Code, Technology
Short Link: http://jty.me/15nfjYr

The (i)Message we crave

How strange is Apple’s iMes­sage? The strangest.

With each release I antic­i­pate UX improve­ments, but they never come.

Presently, in iMes­sage, you can reg­is­ter some email addresses with some devices. Some phone num­bers with oth­ers. Not all sync automag­i­cally. Mes­sages appear willy nilly. His­to­ries are frag­mented. It feels very un-Apple like. As if they made prod­uct deci­sions based on engineering-think rather than user-think.

Seri­ously, Apple’s iMes­sage, pretty awe­some tool at the same time pretty bad software.

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Posted in Communication, Technology
Short Link: http://jty.me/1dWjyt7

The Web’s longest nightmare ends: Eolas patents are dead on appeal

The inven­tor of the Web, Tim Berners-Lee, had never tes­ti­fied in court before last year. In Feb­ru­ary 2012, he left Cam­bridge to fly down to Tyler, an east Texas city of about 100,000, to tes­tify at a patent trial. It was the cul­mi­na­tion of a bold cam­paign by a man named Michael Doyle to levy a vast patent tax on the mod­ern web.

Berners-Lee was one of sev­eral web pio­neers who came through the court dur­ing the course of a four-day trial, which ulti­mately con­vinced a jury to inval­i­date two patents owned by Eolas, the tiny patent-holding com­pany that Doyle and his lawyers trans­formed into one of the most fear­some “patent trolls” of all time.

Now Eolas appears to be gone for good. The com­pany mounted a lengthy appeal, but it was all for naught; this morn­ing, a three-judge appeals panel affirmed the jury’s ver­dict with­out comment.

This was a par­tic­u­larly bad patent troll for the web.

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Posted in Computer Science, Patent, Programming, Technology
Short Link: http://jty.me/1bYC1r2