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Archive for the ‘Craig’ Category

Episode 59 – On Bitcoin and kids gaming

September 5th, 2014
On this episode Guillermo and I don't do much development talk, but instead we chat about Bitcoin and how Guillermo's mining machine is doing.

Also, what is the appropriate time to get your son or daughter into some of the more "adult" games like Call of Duty? Guillermo and I have differing thoughts on at what age a kid should try certain games, and what the consequences might be.

Of course the chief topic on people's minds when it comes to games is "will the violence transmute itself to real-life". We have many examples of kids acting out violence in our society, but did "video games make them do it"? Anita Sarkeesian thinks so, thunderf00t doesn't.

Enjoy!

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Craig, Podcast

Episode 58 – Make Code not War… The battle of the sexes in Tech

August 8th, 2014
On today's show Guillermo, Heath and I talk about everything from be "careful not to offend" and sexism in the workplace to my startup and the Scala-based technology stack I chose.

Heath brought up a good point, when we speak at conferences these days we have to be *really* careful not to offend anyone. The advent of social media provides a soap box for anyone who feels even slightly offended by what you say. We've seen this play out over the past few years in extreme cases but it has slowly evolved itself into a "you can't offend *anyone*, however the slightest".

Attendees of these conferences aren't exempt, as evidenced by the public outting of a couple of developers who were making sexually suggestive jokes. To the subsequent firing of one of those developers.

Github
Finally, sexism in the workplace is nothing new, it has plagued our female friends ever since they hung up the apron to bring home the bacon. However, we're hearing more of it in the Tech sector as more women are involved in tech jobs. I remember being in university, out of a class of 200 Comp/Sci students I could count the number of women on one hand. That's changing, and it's a hard adjustment for some guys. Granted, what a lot of people overlook in the case of Github vs. Julie Ann Horvath is the fact it appears to be at its core a problem between two women (Julie and a co-founder's wife). That being said, GitHub sounds like high school all over again. One of the complaints Julie had was that some male coworkers were "gauking inappropriately" at some female coworkers while they hula hooped in the office. Hula hooping in the office? WHAT THE FUCK. That's your problem right there.

*Sigh* maybe some day things will get easier between the two sexes...

Until then, enjoy!

Listen here:

 

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Craig, Podcast

Infographic: Microsoft Ballmer’s Failures

August 10th, 2012

Interesting infographic of the how Microsoft has stagnated since Ballmer's reign began. You have to wonder why though, Gates was totally late out of the gate (pun intended) on company vision concerning the Internet, and Balmer had the success of the XBox during his... I don't think it's fair to blame it all on Ballmer, but the infographic does make some good points...

Microsoft MBA: Over 30 Years of Innovation
Created by: MBAOnline.com

Craig

Introduction to Functional Programming

August 2nd, 2011

Recently I started a local user group called the WfPG - Winnipeg Functional Programming Group. The mandate is simple: Learn Functional Programming paradigms and languages, in a friendly and helpful setting.

So much of the time when learning Functional Programming, one is faced with a feeling of inadequacy (at least that's how I feel). The online community can be divisive and just downright demeaning to its members at times. Hence, I thought, why not bring together people willing to learn and share out from behind the veil of anonymity and sit them in a room together.

The video from our first meeting has been posted, feel free to skip ahead to around the 6min mark for the main topic. If you are in the Winnipeg area and are interested in becoming a member, please become a member of our Meetup.

Craig

Apache Wicket Cookbook Review

July 7th, 2011

Some Background...

This review of the Apache Wicket Cookbook is interesting because, as it turned out, I was asked to write this book originally! I had been singled out based on my contributions to the 5 days of Wicket. The offer was made back in 2009 when I was placed at a contract full-time on-site at a client. I knew there was no way I could crank out a book in the timeframe given while dealing with work deadlines, not to mention having time left over for my family.

The [PACT] representative assured me it would be ok, but made the suggestion I should look for a co-author to help. That actually sounded like a good idea, so I approached a person I was working with and put them in touch with the representative. Turns out this person whom I handed a co-author spot to couldn’t even be bothered to respond to [PACKT]! So in the end, being realistic about the time-frames and my current workload, I passed on the offer and suggested they try and get one of the committers (other than the two who wrote Wicket in Action) to write it. I honestly have no regrets about this decision, I think I would have ended up writing the entire thing *myself* between 9pm-2am. That would have gotten really-old really-fast. If my co-author couldn’t even make the time to respond to an email, how would they every help me write a book?

Fast forward to present day...

I happened to catch via my twitter feed that Igor Vaynberg wrote a book on Wicket! This is a very good indication that I have not been paying attention to the ##wicket Freenode channel lately! I was delighted to know it was Igor who landed the book offer. He is literally the foundation of the wicket-user mailing list. He has single handedly helped more people with more problems (which are usually more PEBKAC than anything) than anyone else. Not to mention he’s a heavy committer to the project itself.

The Review…

The book is in the [PACT] Cookbook format, and that is to say, a cookbook meant for an experienced chef, not the “20 minute recipes” variety. So don’t go into this book without a firm understanding of Apache Wicket. My suggestions would be to go out and get yourself a copy of Wicket in Action first, then pickup this book when you want to learn some pragmatic solutions to the “how do I do X in Wicket” questions you might have.

The format of each section of the book takes on this style:

  • State a problem (i.e. “How do I display data as charts?”)
  • Show an Example
  • Explain each aspect of the example
  • Give supplementary hints and tips

I liked how each segment of the example was broken out and explained. My only criticism of this approach would be, in the interest of saving trees, the code samples could have been annotated and then each explanation tagged with the annotation of the code sample it references.

Again, you must have a good foundation in Wicket to understand what’s going on in much of the book. Even I was thrown for a loop when Igor used the following in his examples:

Form<?> myForm  = new Form<Void>(“myForm”)

I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what the “Void” was doing. Was it part of Wicket? Was it part of the JDK? I couldn’t even really formulate the proper Google search to find out. Finally I resorted to asking the question on Stack Overflow and got an acceptable answer. My point being is, it wasn’t explained in the book, it was assumed the reader knows. I think perhaps the reviewers should have caught stuff like that. Either that or I'm just an idiot for not knowing how that all worked, which is probably the more reasonable explanation.

The chapters of this book are indicative of its author. These chapters are based off of questions I’m sure are asked many times on the wicket-user list and that’s what makes the book so great. I mean, how many times have I seen the question “How do I prevent my form from submitting more than once?”. There’s a chapter for that. Or: “How do I authenticate users of my site?”. There’s a chapter for that too!

Conclusion...

Great book, go buy a copy!

Given Igor’s legacy, I’m sure writing this book was 100% less work than if I would have done it (not to mention 100% better!). The recipes were already written by him countless times in the community on both the user-list and the Wicket codebase itself. He merely had to collect his thoughts and consolidate it all in one place. Great job Igor!

I look forward to future cookbooks by Igor, this old dog definitely learned some new tricks along the way.

Craig

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