Category Archives: life

Time when I was scared to act

When was I scared to act?  This is an easy one!  When I started looking for a job as a developer!  There’s always a little part of me that’s scared that I won’t measure up to employers’ expectations.  I’ve only been developing since April so I’m still learning things that people around me already know.

Also I didn’t know if I wanted to stay in Charleston or try a new place.  I’d only lived in Chucktown for 6 months but I found myself wondering about the mountains a lot.

So there I was again.  New job, new career actually, new city, new friends, new routine.  Exciting yes, but scary – you bet.

I’m a veteran at doing this kind of thing by now, but it’s still scary when I actually act on it.  Always worth it though.

$(’<h1>new-life</h1>’).appendTo(‘.andrew’);

What money can’t buy

Money can get you a lot of things.  It’s nice to have around.  Hmm… so what it can’t get you are a lot of things you really want.

Work that is worthwhile.  I’m so thankful that I get to work for a company that translates old movies to digital content.  I do the front-end development work, and while it’s very difficult sometimes, I am really starting to thrive on the challenge.

Good relationships.  It’s such a good thing to have good support in whatever you do.  I’m lucky to have great neighbors, excellent co-workers, and a family that supported me when I changed careers in a very uncertain economical time.

Daily writing prompts from John Saddington.  Apparently it’s free.

Innovation.  Actually I’ve usually been more innovative and creative when I don’t have money.  It forces me to think different.

It seems whatever itch that we feel we just have to scratch in life, seldom can money take care of it.

Growth hurts

It’s always a good thing to step out of your comfort zone.  You know that it leads to growth and that’s a good thing.  Unfortunately it sometimes hurts.  This past Saturday I upped my ‘long run’ mileage to 10 miles.  It was difficult but I knew I would be glad that I did it.

Every action has a reaction.

Here I am at my desk at work and I’m sooooo tired and sore!   Man I just want to lay down and sort of watch a movie.

So short post again today because of that and I keep making typos!

Don’t be afraid to step out, just stretch a whole bunch when you do!

Mentoring

How fast you turn from student to teacher in this industry.  Crazy.

Only a few months ago I was asking myself if I would even make it in this new career. Now I’m helping others get into it and get through it.

Their thoughts and concerns bring back not only memories of when I felt the same thing, but also the little tricks I used to get myself out.  I continue to refine my outlook on the things I do professionally and as a hobby.

As a distance runner, I’m not out there at full bore – giving it all I’ve got every step.  That would be a sprint and I’d only make it to the end of the block.  I carefully think of things to improve my run.  I look at running as a balance of machinery.  My arms have to swing enough to benefit my legs and, using synced momentum, take some of the load from my legs.  This is incredibly helpful, and you’ll find you can rest during a run.  Further refined, you can start intentionally running with your arms creating most of the momentum while your legs aren’t necessarily driving you but catching you.  You’re almost low-level hopping.  You have to do funny things like that to go the distance.

Coding is the same to me.  You can’t sprint all the time, learning every possible thing all at once and be an expert after 1 or 2 days.  You need to set a pace, learn a little, refine your learning a little, and repeat.  Then you’ll be able to go on these distant runs (projects, hackathons, etc) because you’ve refined things.

I hope this makes sense.  I am trying to convey a similar concept to new students of web development.  Constant refinement, being in running, coding, or working on cars, whatever.

I don’t know it all, and neither do you.  But we’re all working on it, aren’t we?

and in the news

http://www.wired.com/2015/01/president-obama-waging-war-hackers/?mbid=social_twitter

If you read the above article, hasn’t it pretty much always been this way?

So what constitues a ‘hacker’?  Is it the ability to program?  Is it just having a basic enough understanding of the terminal to throw commands at linux?  Is having kali enough to be arrested nowadays?

I live across the street from some pretty sharp CS majors and I have to scan my wireless a lot.  I live in a small 4 unit building and supply internet to the other 3 tenants, so needless to say I don’t want 10 other people on there as well. So I use a few tools to keep things safe and routinely look for entry points.  I’m breaking into my own network.

So from the point of view of my neighbors, since I provide internet to them and defend it as much as I can, just having the idea that I can slip into their computers and have a look – can they bring legal action against me? We’re all friends, but who’s to say one of them gets mad and calls the cops saying I broke into their computer?  No evidence of intrusion exists.

Maybe the evidence would be the tools I keep on the computers.  Maybe I should delete them and hide my head in the sand and just trust that no one will jump on our wifi again.

Maybe we should all stay inside, lock the doors, and hope nothing ever happens.

Come on.

How about this, if only there were a freely distributed version of linux that has pen testing already built in?  What if it’s so easy you don’t have to really know what’s up?  What if we just give it to a whole bunch of people, in which case everyone will have at least some basic defense with the option of learning how to protect yourself.

Oh, this has been around?

So everyone’s a hacker I guess.  Hey, if you have terminal on your computer then you’re a hacker.

Didn’t even know it did ya?

If I’m off base, feel free to correct me.  I’m no activist, just observing.

Getting Back on Track

Since the new year my routine has been a little crazy.  Along with work, I have accepted 2 short side projects, restarted this blog, started my long distance runs again, and completely just felt drained.

My creativity was just shot.

I know I didn’t take on too much, what I have found is that if I don’t have a routine to stick to then my time management flies out the window.

I read this somewhere recently (Saddington probably said it) but if you have a routine, you don’t have to create your day from scratch.  That’s leaving lots of brain processing for thinking creatively.  It reduces stress, that’s for sure.

Like this blog for instance – I know that it’s going to be the first thing I do today online.  I’ll get it done before I jump on my first project for the workday.  Of course this may sound like ‘Life 101’ to most of you guys, but it’s easy for me to get off course if I don’t have that kind of structure.

I’m more free to think about the blog.

I’m more apt to use my countdown timer for the blog and my projects for the day.  Hey this has been super-helpful because I have to do quite a bit of research for each project and it’s easy to get sucked into the technical rabbit hole!  My timer goes off and I realize ‘OK, I got what I came for.  Back to the job.’

I get off work and go run 40 minutes – no excuses.  That one frees me up for the longer weekend runs.  I’m already prepared to take it on.  Don’t even have to think about it.

I didn’t really make structuring my days a priority last year and I realize I wasted a lot of time.  So this is my mid-January New Years’ resolution.

Take it easy guys!