Code PaLOUsa Day #1

In the spirit of “have a garage sale of code”, I’m posting these without “finishing” them:

  • Excellent presentation on scaling out applications, where to scale first, when is consistency important.  Example: Craigslist 30 minutes before your post shows up is actually front side caching (from listening to a podcast did I gather that).  (add attribution here)
  • I saw bits and pieces due to full rooms of Knockout / CoffeeScript and once again caught the last half of @ReverentGeek’s MongoDB presentation.   (more attribution)
  • I verified my hopes (and fears) about automated database deployments, turns out the approach I’m using for scriptwriting for DDL changes is a fairly valid one.  (this could be a post by itself with code)
  • I “manned up” and put down a request for an Open Circle:   “Why should I blog?   Why do I blog?”
  • I chatted with the professional Videographers from InfoQ!   They took my card.  They pay $300 for a gig, but I have to supply my own equipment (I think).
  • Had maybe 20 minutes of comparing first computers with some people from my relative computer generation.
  • I got to hear Richard Campell’s David and Goliath story.

On Blogging.  IT WAS A HUGE CIRCLE!  (omg thank you guys) (and gal) (who showed up later)

  • If nobody ever reads my blog.. was it worth it.. to me?   It has to be stuff I love, or is relevant to me. 
  • Affirmation: yes, today’s market,  I can probably represent myself better via a blog than via my resume.
  • Affirmation: It is possible to write about stuff while keeping things anonymous.  If everybody knows where you work and thus anonymity is defeated, get prior buy-in from work first just to be sure (I think that’s what we arrived at)
  • Devil’s advocate: If I am writing a blog just to have followers / standing / market myself, why not hire followers? (eww) (obviously, my intentions do not lean in those directions)
  • Some talk about WordPress vs Drupal – we had a Drupal seasoned veteran who had some hard times with migrating WordPress content.
  • Later on, a lady from a worldwide recruiting company was talking about how she wanted to change the nature and content of their company blog – to be something more real? relevant? honest? not-just-a-piece-of-marketing?
  • Several of us referred to Hanselminutes a lot, most specifically the “I am a Phony” post.
  • Is my contact information actually on my blog anywhere?
  • Reminder to self – I have a presentation I made internally on “surviving managing a project” that I could anonymize and post.
  • Internal take-away:  yeah, I’m certainly not famous, but if I am a bit further along than some other folks, who have stories inside yearning to get out.. If there is ever any way I can be of service to you..  bring it.   I can promise you dedicated readership for AT LEAST a year.  And comments if you want them.   Smile  <—unprofessional smiley face.

Double duty: I ran across the street and picked up my race packet for the Half Marathon as well.

  • I’ve decided not to record the entire race, as.. it won’t fit on my 32G SD card, and I have not trained with that additional weight, and it rubs against the chest strap heart rate monitor.  Instead, I’ll carry the GoPro in a pouch on my belt.
  • There’s at least one or two other guys at CPL13 who are also running the Half Marathon.
  • The November Half Marathon is back on.   I think I’ll be training for it, especially starting in September.
  • Extra security – due to the explosions – cannot check a backpack, so I have to make sure that my motorcycle gear fits into one of those plastic bags.  I checked.  It does.  I’m good.

Complications:   The brake lights on my car are broken.  All three of them.  (Thank you officer for helping me figure that out, and giving me an opportunity to put that little red sticker on the license plate, yesterday).  Research shows it might be more than just bulbs or a fuse. As a result, I don’t have my car; and my wife and kid are out of town; so I’m left with the scooter. It gets cold riding a scooter.  But the jacket makes me look awesome.  People who know me well were punching the armored shoulders all day. 

Times up.  Gotta get some laundry going, get all my gear put together for tomorrow..  maybe I need to hire UPS to do my logistics for me..  Later!

The Purpose Of This Blog (and deriving posting patterns)

When I started this blog, I wasn’t sure exactly what or why I was doing it.  Maybe, I wanted to be famous like Hanselman.   Maybe, I wanted to derive some ego from it.    Maybe, I wanted to feel that my geekiness could be appreciated by some. 

It is clearer now.  Today, there are several components:

  • I hope my peers read it, and get it.    And thus, get to know me a little bit better.  I am a social being, and I have a need to be known.  And unfortunately, I don’t game, I’m married, with a teenager who makes our lives interesting, and I don’t work out a lot, so there seems to be little overlap with my peers.    But yeah, this is all a part of me.
  • When I run into somebody at CodePaLousa or the .Net Meetup Group, I’d love to hand them a card with the blog’s URL on it, just so that I have a “brand” that I could be identified by.   I no longer want to be the Anonymous Software Developer who seeks to Prove Himself to You via Resume.  That is so.. un-networked.  (And no, I’m not looking, thank you very much)
  • Building on the previous point – I hope that in the future, if somebody is interested in hiring me – they’re hiring ME, not just my skills.  ME the person.   I’m hoping that I’ll have the this blog to document myself – my intent, my sparkle, my love of people, love of process, love of teamwork, love of Geeky STUFF.   This is a gamble – that WHO I AM is a valuable asset, much more than whatever skills I am currently current at.

This decision, realization, understanding yields some side effects:

How Often Will I Update

I tried to be the “constant content creator.”  One post a week, on Fridays.  When I had a lot of stuff happen AND documented, I tried to stretch the posts out into the future, to have a series.   It felt like I was lying – withholding myself to increase market share or some silly thing.   Way too full of myself.   I’m not going to do that again.

Today:  I had the time, I had the keys, and I think this is my Third Post of the Day. (W00T!)   Then there might not be anything for a while, till the buffer fills up again.  And I get time to dump it out into a post.

Does this Blog Really Represent Me, or is it just a big Advertisement

Pretty much everything that goes on here is 100% indicative of me. (Although the inverse is not true: I am NOT 100% this blog, I am much more than this.. at least 3 circles more, which are off-topic here).     [But, if this was an advertisement, could I say this and be lying… ?   *ouch my brain hurts*]

If you know me in person, you will pretty quickly figure out:  I am incapable of subterfuge, of keeping up a pretense, of keeping a poker face, of being fake.    This yields some interesting awkward moments.  But it also keeps my life simple.  I like simple.  I tried complicated, that disintegrated under its own gravity into nothingness. 

What do I seek

I don’t think I’m going to discover something big, or write the most awesome anything (anymore (I used to)).   Nor do I seek to make people think really hard about abstract ideas.   Pretty much, I’m trying to figure out: 

  • How can I make sense of things
  • How can I make things better
  • How can I be of service

At least, that’s what I *think* this blog is about.   8 months after starting it.   Maybe another year will bring something different, but I doubt it.   

What now?

I have no clue.  I think with this, my buffer is clean.    Tomorrow is going to be all about family stuff.. 6 of us going to a WWE event!     Maybe next weekend..  who knows what will be brewing in me by then.