David Pollak's blog... and such.Lots of DPP's thoughts here...
February 4, 2014
A Different IT Consultancy
@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.
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.
The first and most stupid issue is the divider at Balboa and Great Highway:
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.
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.
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.
@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?
January 17, 2014
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
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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
October 5, 2013
A fair number of people on Twitter had different experiences with the 2013 Nexus 7 tablet, so I tried again.
The Nexus updated itself to Android 4.3.
Android 4.3 seems to have addressed some of these issues. The WiFi is now reliable and the key presses are more accurate.
The unit runs warm but not hot around the camera, so I can hold it for long enough to read Twitter.
So, my revised conclusion is that the Nexus 7 2013 is a reasonable successor to the 2012 Nexus 7. It's lighter.
But the out of box experience is really important. I had a very bad out of box experience that, luckily, could be addressed mostly with software.
October 1, 2013
My Thoughts on the Government Shutdown
The Republican-led House caused the US government to shut down today. They did it because they think the US debt is too high and because they oppose ObamaCare.
Here are my thoughts:
Deficit spending can continue forever as long as the deficit is smaller than the increase in GDP. Why? Because the amount that the aggregate debit impacts the value of the dollar is based on the numerator (debt) and denominator (GDP or potential GDP if you're an economist). In fact, the US grew out of the post WW2 debt not by paying the debt down, but by building a bigger economy.