• A Better Conversation about Tech

    April 6, 2014

    Celebrate Diversity

    I am a support a more inclusive high technology industry. I put my money where my mouth is. And I spend my time making sure that there is a good mix of people and conversation at conferences.

    But I am really dismayed by the way the tech industry is handling both the inclusion of under-represented folks as well as the way the industry gets into mob mode when someone is "outed" for funding a non-mainstream view.

    What the Underlying Issue is About

  • How can we have a Different Conversation

    March 12, 2014

    The Lure of Private Schools

    I read this post when I woke up this morning. I am a huge fan, supporter, and believer in public schools and specifically public schools in San Francisco. I am just totally dismayed at people in my cohort putting their kids in private school.

    I get the mindset of a people who have money and normally use money to buy solutions to problems. There are some problems for which money is a very reasonable solution approach. Want a quiet car that doesn't have technical problems and when it does, they get solved with little time/effort on your part, you can buy that. Want flawless, high quality construction on your house, you can buy that.

  • About Brick Alloy

    February 4, 2014

    A Different IT Consultancy

    An interesting half conversation on Twitter (the other half is protected) led Jono Ferguson (a member of Brick Alloy) to tweet:

    @handmethepanda @benwalding @michaelneale build it for and by technical people. Talk to @dpp about @BrickAlloy

    Which prompted me to write a little about Brick Alloy.

    Lawyers and Accountants

    Lawyers and accountants have varying sized practices from solo practitioners to thousand lawyer firms.

  • Bad Planning on Balboa

    January 27, 2014

    What are They Thinking?

    I live at the corner of Balboa and Great Highway in San Francisco. Over the last year, there's been a ton of construction on Great Highway and on Balboa. Sadly, the folks doing the construction didn't do good planning or design. This is frustrating.

    Hit Me

    The first and most stupid issue is the divider at Balboa and Great Highway:

    Great Highway Divider

    If it looks like it was hit by a truck... it was.

    The end cap of the divider is there for a good reason. It keeps pedestrians safe when they are standing in the middle of the road.

    But, the end cap itself is in the blind spot of the A-pillar of many cars and trucks. This means that once or twice a day, somebody hits it.

  • Praying in the Church of Silicon Valley

    January 21, 2014

    Reviewing an "Accelerator" Class

    I got invited to participate in a pre-demo-day review of an Accelerator class.

    It seems that these days in the Church of Silicon Valley (the one true way to innovate) the hot stuff are hackathons and accelerators.

    Hackathons are multi-day gatherings of entrepreneur wanna-bes and some folks that judge the results of a couple of days of hacking and ideas.

  • Clojure/West Ticket Subsidy

    January 20, 2014

    Inviting Women and People of Color

    I'm giving a $200 per person subsidy for four people to attend Clojure/West. I am giving the subsidy to women and people of color.


    @aphyr said is best:

    @aartiparikh because there are too many straight white dudes at confs, and if we shift that balance a little it won't feel as isolating.

    And my reasons.

    Do you qualify?

    If you feel like you'd be out of place because there aren't enough people like you to hang out with at a tech conference, then, yes.

    How does it work?

  • Still Liking the XPS 13 Developer Edition

    January 17, 2014

    Nice Machine

    A few weeks ago, I starting using a Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition as my laptop development machine. I have some thoughts on the machine.


    The XPS 13 is as solid as and as well designed as Apple MacBook Pros. The keyboard, trackpad, display, etc. are all very nice. The machine is light and mostly balanced nicely.

    Excellent Battery Life

    The XPS 13 running Linux has excellent battery life. I routinely get 5-6 hours of work done without recharging. Particularly nice for a Linux box and Linux has historically had worse power management than Windows or OS X.

    Runs Linux Perfectly

  • Good Dogs

    January 11, 2014

    Raising a Good Puppy

    I had yet another bad dog owner interaction this morning.

    Now, maybe it's 'cause I'm and old curmudgeon, but I seem to have been interacting with a slew of people who should not own dogs (heh... how's that for judgmental... and you kids get off my lawn).

    This morning's interaction was between a medium sized 6 month old dog and Archer.

    Archer is 10 and has interacted with tens of thousands of dogs. He makes it a point to meet a new dog on every way (3 to 4 walks a day) and say, "Hello," and generally get to know a dog. He's very well socialized and can interact successfully with most dogs... and the dogs he doesn't interact successfully with, he just walks away from.

  • My Priorities for Scala

    January 6, 2014

    What TypeSafe Should be Working On

    There was a Twitter thread that started off discussing Clojure REPL usage but devolved into a discussion of Scala's compiler.

    An Aside

    Well, not an aside... My Clojure workflow is: use Clojure's REPL to incrementally create code and once the code is right, write a test around the code and move on to the next task.

    This works well because changes to Clojure code can be done on a function-by-function basis rather than on a whole-class basis. Having smaller units of change means that it's simpler to say, "evaluate this S-expression" and have the change made in the environment.

  • Got me a Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition

    January 3, 2014

    Disappointed in Apple

    Apple came out with Haswell MacBook Pros way later than most other hardware manufacturers came out with Haswell-based laptops.

    I bought a 13" MacBook Pro with 16GB. And it had a nasty bug that caused the machine to lockup.

    Plus, the 13" MBP was slow. So, I got a 15" MBP.

    The 15" MBP is fast, but it's big and bulky.

    Too much iCloud

    The problem with Mavericks on the Mac is that Apple is pushing iCloud way too hard. Specifically, it is really hard to not send your Keychain up to the cloud where "Apple cannot see the contents."

  • What I want for my 50th Birthday

    December 15, 2013

    Yep... I'm Gettin' Old

    I've started the countdown to my 50th (January 2nd).

    And people have been asking me "what do you want for your birthday?" And, thus, this post.

    I'd really like world peace. I'd like my kids to grow up in a world where kindness and fairness abound. I'd like a world with fewer weapons and fewer tribes. But, in terms of a birthday present, if Nelson Mandela didn't get a markedly kinder world for one of his birthdays, and he did work every day towards one, I'm not going to hold my breath.

    But there are things we can all do to make our corner of the world better.

  • Twerps Herping Derp about Lift

    December 13, 2013

    Way Too Much Derp About Lift

    There have been way too many twerps herping derp about Lift. It's gotten to the point where some of the less flappable Lift committers are getting semi-flapped.

    So, let's work on some facts about Lift.

    @dpp Is Part of Lift

    There are lots of rumors and innuendo floating around that I've somehow left the Lift community. That is simply false.

    I left my role as Benevolent Dictator for Life for a bunch of reasons.

  • London Tips

    December 8, 2013

    Some Tips for Tech Travelers in London

    I travel to London 3 or 4 times a year. Why? Well, James Governor is London-based and there's always value in a pint with James. I also present a lot at Skills Matter for stuff like Scala eXchange, Clojure eXchange, the Functional Programming eXchange, etc.

    These are my travel tips.

    Get a UK SIM Card

    If you've got a GSM or "World" phone, you can buy a SIM card and have very inexpensive mobile phone and data service in London.

    If you're an AT&T or T-Mobile customer, you've got a GSM phone. Call your carrier and ask them to "unlock" your phone. If your bill is current, most providers will unlock your phone if you tell them you are traveling to Europe.

  • Tech Needs to be more Inclusive

    November 26, 2013

    We Are Failing to Even Have an Inclusive Discussion

    The tech industry needs to be more inclusive of woman and people of color. It's about having the largest pool to draw excellence from.

    Sadly, most of the discussion, even the discussion that is advocating for a more inclusive culture, itself is divisive.

    We Are All Individuals

    We are all individuals. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. We all have our perspectives that we've developed over a lifetime.

    We must proceed through this discussion and all our discussions working to see each participant as an individual, not as the member of a tribe.

    No, I Don't Understand You

  • Java: a Local Minimum language-wise

    October 20, 2013

    Back to Java

    I wrote hundreds of thousands of lines of code in Java between 1996 and 2002. I wrote web frameworks, spreadsheets, and much much more in Java 1.0 through Java 1.4.

    Compared to mid-90's (pre-templates) C++, Java was a totally amazing language. And the JVM is the best run-time for any computer language.

    The Long Strange Trip

    In 2002, I started doing C#. Then Ruby. Then Scala. Some Haskell and most recently, I've been doing a lot of Clojure.

    So, the amount of Java 1.5/Generics I did up through this year is very limited.

    Got a Java Gig