Your nerd is showing

My pharmacy upgraded their computer system. I can tell by the label on my most recent medicine bottle: the QR code is in a different spot, and the prescription identifier now sports a leading zero. (Only programmers think numbers can … Continue reading 

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

What I learned by coding with kids on my summer vacation at That Conference, an essay by Sharon

It was a perfect moment. I’m at last year’s That Conference, sitting in the big dining hall, while people step up to a microphone at the other end of the room and announce the Open Spaces session they will convene … Continue reading 

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Maybe that shouldn’t be settable

I think this is pretty, and I wanted to share. I like classes where the compiler ensures they are always in a valid state—you can’t help but use them correctly. I was writing a class that needed to call a … Continue reading 

Posted in refactoring | 22 Comments

Arduino Show and Tell at Pablo’s Fiesta

My favorite conference is coming up! (Shh, you’re all my favorites; now hush.) Pablo’s Fiesta has the most engaging density of relevant content because we make the content. You and me (and some other folks), on Friday evening, propose Saturday’s … Continue reading 

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Coding for Charity

I’m definitely getting away with something here. I code for fun. (I also code for work; it’s a good life.) On any given weekend, I’m likely to be developing software, pushing on some new technology, plugging bits into breadboards, you … Continue reading 

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Pin 13 Considered Harmful

The scariest thing about teaching is the risk of being wrong. Maybe you can relate? Written some blog posts, given a few talks, published an article, and then found out your spiel contained a piece of inaccurate—or even damaging—information? Hits … Continue reading 

Posted in arduino, electronics | Tagged | 8 Comments

Message around a brick: Rising to traffic spikes

LEGO.com impressed me with its ability to scale to handle a spike in traffic last Thursday. Seeing it through the lens of Jimmy Bogard’s presentation “Telephones and postcards: Our brave new world of messaging,” I paid attention to what LEGO … Continue reading 

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Welcome Patrick Lioi to Los Techies

I am the lucky donkey who gets to announce Patrick Lioi has joined Los Techies. I’ve benefited from working with Patrick at two jobs now; the first was a happy coincidence, the second, quite deliberate. Patrick is interested in what … Continue reading 

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Getting a Fix on Fixie

My friend Patrick Lioi (@plioi) is writing Fixie, a testing framework, and I’m using it in one of my projects, a genogram generator (which I will write about once it does something interesting). Why make a testing framework when we … Continue reading 

Posted in Open-Source Software, unit testing | 6 Comments

Everything’s Coming Up ‘Duino

I just went to Barnes and Noble and bought a magazine with my name in it. :D Check it out: “Hello, Arduino” in CODE Magazine, an introduction to the programmable microcontroller designed to be approachable and fun. If you’ve ever … Continue reading 

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