Blog Moving

March 12, 2007

kungfuhustle.jpg

I’ve moved my blog to a hosted solution with its own domain at BlackBeltCoder.net

Move your feeds, bookmarks, and attention.


Marketing Thyself

March 7, 2007

I once read about a millionaire that was having a conversation with some of his other rich buddies, and they asked him what he would do if lost all his money. His answer was to hire a personal marketing advisor. His thing was that life is all about marketing, perceptions are king and the world would open up to him once again.

Knowing that, why do I do such a piss poor job at marketing myself? When I read Steve Pavlina’s blog I feel like that guy knows everything, he’s living the sweet life, and somehow owns 32.05% of my soul when he decided to diversify right before the dot com bubble. Why is it, I have the worth Nothing in my blog title? Why do I use a hosted free version of WordPress that is a serious hit on my credibility?

Does anyone care? (The answer is surely no, as people generally don’t care why you do stupid things to oneself.)

Insert philosophical thoughts here.

Now that the bull is out of the way, lets get some upgrades. Scrum style.

Lets do a small sprint product backlog

– New Hosted Blog

– New theme for blog, thats not so common and tacky.

– Rename blog

– Develop a topic for the blog

– Move blog posts to new blog

Good thing thats over, lets get to sprint planning.

New Hosted blog – 8 hours

New Theme – 20 hours

Rename Blog – 2 hours

Develop a topic for the blog – 2 hours

Move old posts to new blog – ?

Lets assume I’m really busy, and have 8 hours available per week, and lets do week sprints.

Committing to a New Hosted blog by next Wednesday and determine how long it will take to move old posts to new blog.

Ready! Break!


Holiday Happenings

December 10, 2006

John Pizzarelli

I had mentioned earlier that my girlfriend (forever known as Danielle) and I were going to the John Pizzarelli concert at the Benaroya Hall. That concert was last Friday and it was amazing. Its easily one of the best times I’ve had at Benaroya. Pizzarelli uses a jazz quartet to liven and compliment the always wonderfull seattle symphony.

The only negative is that John Pizzarelli himself provides the vocals, and his voice doesn’t have the range to do the classics justice.

Jingle bell run results

Danielle and I also ran in the Seattle Jingle Bell run, a quick 5k jaunt through downtown. I wasn’t able to break an 8 minute mile, but it was crowded, and had some hills so at least I have excuses. I provided my NikePlus report for the run, this tool really is great and if your a fringe runner that needs motivation, seeing your results certainly helps.


My daily reading

November 27, 2006

To follow up the last post, I thought I would list just the main sites I go to for my daily reading. (Excluding my RSS feeds, which would be a rather large list that I just don’t feel like formatting at the moment.)

Shouldn’t there be some way for me to export my entire list from Google Reader, then format it in a view friendly manner for others to view? Yes no? Hmm, I need to look into that. During a few minutes of research, I’ve found you can publicly share posts that you think are interesting, so check my Shared Page (link also available in my blog roll section)¬† on google reader from time to time for Hot stuffs!

Digg!

Espn

Cnn

Google Personal Page

Google Finance

 Seattle Times

Good stuff.


25 dollars in profit!

November 24, 2006

Today I made my first stock purchase, and after purchasing 50 shares of AMD, I was elated to see a 25 dollar profit at the end of the day. Yea, I know, 25 dollars is a peasly sum. But for a first time buyer, its really re-assuring to come out with a profit, especially after no technical analysis, and research.

So I’ll be attempting to learn more and more over the next few months so I can reach the lofty heights of the triple digits!

Below is the list of blogs that I’ll be reading, trying to suck every bit of information from.

http://www.investingblog.org
http://philstockworld.wordpress.com/
http://short-termtrading.blogspot.com/

I’ll be looking for a few more, but at the moment, these are it.

One last mention, the google finance tool is exceptional.


10 Things I wish I could get at work

November 14, 2006

If you give McGyver a paper clip, ionized water, and a match, he could find Osama Bin Laden from his hotel room in Monaco. Equivalently, give a programmer a computer and he can give you the next version of Microsoft Office in AJAX (with just a little extra work over the weekend.)

Does it not seem the perception is that as long as programmers have what they need they should produce? Here is my list of items that I currently don’t have that I feel would improve my productivity (oh! oh!).

  1. An Office
    If your well read, you may be lucky enough to have read Peopleware and know the outstanding virtues of private offices. How do I politely tell my co-workers to leave me alone so I can work, especially without talking to them?
  2. Two HUGE monitors
    More workspace, more work. This is an extra 500-600 per developer, depending on the monitors they already have, but when you can’t hire more developers, CHEAP productivity is key, and relative to overpaying for a developer that may not be the quality desired, this is cheap.
  3. Constant Hardware upgrades
    Goes with the previous point. I’m very greatfull for getting the newest VS.NET version, but each version demands greater hardware. 100 bucks for another gig of ram, would save me several process switches.
  4. Water
    I need a Monkey that delivers me water. Oh and Lunch. I can drink a liter of water in about 20 minuets, so I have to get up and get another, which breaks my focus. I say monkey cause its probably improper of me to say Chinese intern.
  5. Travel
    Call it a Conference, call it knowledge building, maybe even profile building. But if you can make an excuse to send your developers across the country or maybe even out of the country on the companies dime, hot damn who would want to leave that job? Conference: 2000 dollars, Developer Salary less then Market Average: 5000 dollars, replacing a developer: (loss of 100% developer productivity) + (head hunter/job board fees) + (Higher salary of new guy to bring in) + (Loss of developer ramp up time) + (Uncertainty of developer skill), get the point?
  6. Good Chair
    I spend 80% of my day at work on my butt, and when its happy, I’m happy.
  7. Salary increases to meet market
    Who really knows what the market rate is? But when I see posts on craigslist and headhunters sending me jobs that pay 30-50% more then I’m making now, why would I want to stay at my present company? Sure they make me happy, but so would owning my own house, which surely could happen if I switched to that new job.
  8. Incentives of Extra features
    You get x amount of developers for 8 hours a day, so realisticly you can only produce at most x * 6 (no developer is going to get 8 solid hours of work in one normal day) hours worth of work. Yet when all those developers go home, they work on their development skills in a variety of technologies. Do you want them programming a partially functional Chat Client that serves you no purpose? or would you want them developing that Web 2.0, AJAX, COMET, (More Acronyms here) component that is 2 quarters down on your road map? The tricky thing is that most employees are not going to go through the complete hassle of unit testing, acceptance testing, integration testing, design write-up, clean development that is involved when producing something that is production ready, vs just a learning project, for free, or out of the goodness of their heart for the company. Going to have to be some kind of bonus, which if your catching on to the theme of this post, probably means money.
  9. Path to the Top
    Theres a wise phrase that says, “There are many paths to the mountain, but the wrong path leads nowhere”. When a developer wants to become a senior dev, what is required? This is likely my next post (I smell a rant), but lets just say, I’m not exactly sure whats required to become a senior dev.
  10. Pool Table
    Hey ping pong is all great and all, but sometimes it would just be nice to talk over a relaxing game of pool.

Our companies JSUnit test experiences

November 6, 2006

So at my employer, we’ve recently switched to Scrum for our development purposes and the transition has been, difficult. It was easy to jump off the cliff, but were hitting every tree branch on the way down. I’ll have to write another post about all that, because I would never get to JSUnit if I blabbed on and on about Scrum.

To summarize that future post in short, we now have time and the will to accommodate Javascript testing, off I go to find a nice framework. There was two frameworks nicknamed JSUnit but only one seemed really professionally ready. So I installed, implemented, and experienced.

This review is made up of two separate but equally important parts, the bad, and the good, these are thier stories.

Da Dummmmm The Bad

  • Does not allow Remote Execution of local test scripts
    • Being a self proclaimed WebDev god, I really should be able to figure this one out exactly, though the only thing I’m able to deduce so far is that the security settings won’t let me run scripts from so many domains in the context JSUnit needs. This is a moderate hindrance as I wanted to be able to have the JSUnit test runner application to be run on one machine and I could tell everyone to navigate to this server to use it, but instead I had to get everyone to install the test runner themselves.
    • I was able to have the test pages reference the jsUnit application script remotely, this needed to be on every page and so its nice that it was able to be centralized.
  • Does not allow selection of tests, does not display names of tests run.
    • Am I spoiled by NUnit’s simple but informative layout? And it does list the names of the failing tests, with a button that you can press to see why it failed. But It still seems like, this should be a nice little UI that would show me all the info I need to get a clear picture on what happened in one glance.
  • Does
    not allow multiple pages to be run.

    • I’ve not digged into how JSUnit works, but being able to cue up a list of pages with tests on them would be very helpfull. This may also solve the issue with refreshing the page and losing the URL to your test page, irritating. Grrrr!
  • Total lack of ability test an Asynchronous operation.
    • This is the 06, I need to be able to unit test an AJAX call. Obviously I can make the call, but I can’t validate the results in any way.

The Good, Yaaaay!

  • Damn, that was kinda easy.
    • That great satisfied feeling was still there, it made the code super slim and easy, and it even made me modularize it to just about the right level.
    • Installation is almost to simple, I don’t think people around here feel like its a solid framework when you just have to setup a virtual directory, unzip and navigate to the test runner. Wheres the configuration file? Don’t I have to install some file I don’t know exists?
  • Pat on the back and a blind eye.
    • This process has been well recieved, those with a stake in the script have been very encouraging to me to get this implemented. Testing is excited that they will have additional coverage, that they don’t even have to write. Management is excited because they actually know the value of unit testing. Everyone else, well they don’t have quite the infatuation with Javascript as I do, and thier lust for this framework has been tempered so far. We don’t really have a lot of javascript projects going on right now, so that might change as the work comes along, but until then…
  • It does its job
    • For all the points against it for poor UI, its still doing a very good job at its core function, which is to unit tests javascript. I feel more comfortable now then I ever have about script in the past, and its never been cleaner.