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Archives for Programming

programming as meditative practice

I’ve been thinking recently about what I want to get out of work; and it seems like, these days, I’ll get the most out of work if I focus on what I personally like about the process, the details of working with code. Which, for me, translates into: paying attention to the shape and feel […]

netrunner, systems thinking, rule sets, cynicism

I play a lot of Android: Netrunner at work; other board games, too, but Netrunner is the one that’s sunk its teeth into me most deeply. I mostly play over lunch, but sometimes I play at other times, and occasionally those lunches get pretty long; this makes me wonder: is there any way I can […]

on estimation

It probably would surprise people who have interacted with me recently to hear it, but I actually spent a fair amount of time a few years back trying to get good (as an individual, as part of a team) at estimating: reading the literature (both agile and otherwise), trying it out, and refining and repeating […]

object thinking

One of the books I read over vacation was Object Thinking, by David West. I should probably reread it, I certainly don’t claim to understand it well yet or know to what extent I trust the ideas therein, but it’s the sort of melange that appeals to me. The book doesn’t shy away from grand […]

upgraded memory to rails 3.1/3.2

A while back, I got around to upgrading memory (my spaced repetition memorization project) to Rails 3.0. Then Rails 3.1 hit; I upgraded to that in the sense that I was using a 3.1.x version of the Rails gems, but Rails 3.1 came with a bunch of new defaults: jQuery instead of Prototype, the asset […]

silicon valley vc startup culture

One thing I’ve been wondering recently: to what extent do I like the influence of Silicon Valley venture capital firms on the local startup culture? There are certain ways in which their influence is good, no question: it’s great that there’s money available for people to try new things, it’s great that it means that […]

upgraded to ubuntu 12.10

I upgraded this server to Ubuntu 12.10 last night. And, as is always the case, almost everything went smoothly, with the only exception being my memorization program. It’s a Rails app, and at least half the time I upgrade the server, something goes wrong with it. Usually, reinstalling Passenger does the trick; last time, I […]

sumo logic has launched!

The startup that I’ve been working at for the last year, Sumo Logic, has now launched its product! Our product is a service for gathering, searching, and analyzing logs: if you have software that’s generating log files, you point our collector at those files and it will upload them to our service, at which point […]

polishing fragments

A while back, I mentioned that I’d written a little microblogging platform called ‘fragments’. At the time, it was a little unpolished; since then, I’ve cleaned up the code a bit (most importantly, separated the content from the guts of publishing, though presentation is probably more interwoven with the latter than would be ideal), enough […]

an apple-focused personal history of computing

When Steve Jobs died, I felt I should write about him. Probably about Apple, really: I don’t know anything about Jobs, but Apple (the company and its products) occupies a surprising amount of my psychic space. It took me quite some time to get around to writing the post, however; and, when I started typing, […]


I’ve started another blog (or blog-like thing), “Malvasian Fragments”, whose intent is to give me a space to explore nascent thoughts, thoughts that are too long for Twitter but aren’t well-developed enough to fit in this blog. (Insert snark about the lack of coherence of a lot that does show up in this blog!) The […]

rock band driven development

I’ve been playing through a bunch of Billy Joel songs this month in Rock Band, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Mostly repeated chords and chord progressions, but they’re interesting enough chord progressions for me to have fun playing them, and there’s a fair amount of melody interspersed throughout the songs as well. One song […]

testing updates via unobtrusive javascript

When talking about upgrading memory to Rails 3.0, I mentioned that I’d had trouble testing a bit of the unobtrusive JavaScript code. Specifically, I had a file answer.js.erb that contained the following: $(‘answer’).update(“<%= escape_javascript(render :partial => ‘answer’, :object => @item) %>”); and I wanted to take apart the HTML returned by that render :partial section. […]

being on call

At work, our service has been in a pre-alpha mode for the last month or so. Which has been a fascinating experience, one that I’ve never been so heavily involved in before: in the StreamStar group, we were selling a product rather than running a service, so there wasn’t the same visibility into how well […]

upgrading memory to rails 3.0

I wrote a program to help me memorize stuff a few years, partly for reviewing Japanese vocabulary (and grammar) and partly to give me an excuse to learn Rails. It’s done very well in the former regard; it was somewhat useful in the latter regard, but it’s simple enough (and used by few enough people) […]

getting (lots of) things done

As I’ve said before, GTD isn’t actually about getting lots of things done: it’s about doing what you most want to do at any given moment. Having said that, ever since I stopped putting tasks on my Next Action list that are more than two weeks out, I have in fact been Getting Things Done. […]

some recent java experiences

I’m more excited about learning Scala, but some Java experiences I had last week: I was making some changes to a third-party library that was already using mockito in its unit tests, so I decided to give it a try. And, after a half-day of experiences, I will tentatively declare myself to be a fan. […]

come work for sumo logic!

I’ve been at Sumo Logic for about a month and a half now, and I’m really enjoying myself: very interesting programming, great coworkers, and I’m quite optimistic about our product. So if you live in the Bay Area and think it would be fun to write Scala code to do real-time analytics on very large […]

java, maven, and include files

Libraries, Interfaces, and Dependencies The code base for my new job is rather larger than the code base at my last job, which means that I have to start thinking about the build process more than I’ve been in the habit of doing recently. I know how to set up a good build system for […]

composing, decomposing, and recomposing methods

Applying Compose Method After I wrote that post on precedence, map, and function composition in Scala, I started to wonder: I’ve been thinking that I should experiment more with applying Compose Method. That refactoring recommends that, if I start with the original version of my code, data.foreach(s => writer.addDocument(createDocument s)) then I should extract the […]