Jumble of thoughts about Ruby and programming

I really like the Ruby language. I like it for its syntax and its idioms and the programming culture. Recently I’ve been thinking about the things that I don’t like about the language. It’ s a relatively short list. Ruby: some things I don’t like about you The slow speed. It really is bad, but we […]


Crystal is a cool new language that I like. One thing that’s neat about it is that even the compiler (as opposed to the runtime libraries) is written in Crystal. That is, the compiler is written in the same high level language that the compiler is intended to compile! As an aside, this is really powerful and important […]

Slow Vim? Check your ~/.zshenv

This is probably a “duh” tip, but here goes: don’t put heavy loading code in ~/.zshenv because this code will be processed in every system call inside another program like Vim, making the program seem slow. Like every single programmer I maintain a repo of my dotfiles that I constantly tinker with. At some point […]

Raspberry Pi wifi+ssh connection disconnecting (Ourlink rtl8192cu)

I started playing around with a new Raspberry Pi 2 that arrived yesterday. I had used a Beaglebone before (always connected to ethernet) so I knew what to expect in terms of memory and CPU limitations. What surprised me was how flaky ssh connections were when connected over wifi using this USB wifi dongle (an Ourlink RTL8188CUS/RTL8192cu chipset) from […]


I mean to write some longer pieces here soon. I’ve put some energy into various posts on I would especially recommend the links category, which is where I put interesting things that I find through my feed reader. I also write over at my company’s blog on software development topics, mostly Ruby-related: When I write over there of course it’s in a certain voice and I have to be slightly less opinionated, so I’ll still talk about software development here.

Review of It’s Complicated, by danah boyd (This book is actually available for free download here:, though it would be good to support her work if you like it.) The remarkable thing about It’s Complicated is that danah boyd actually talks to teenagers for her findings. As she describes the different popular attitudes and beliefs about teens and social media […]


Somebody asked me to make a list of webcomics that I subscribe to (using Feedly these days) and I started writing little descriptions next to each one. I figured I’d just place it here in case anyone else is interested. These are the webcomics that have made the cut after having tried out and abandoned […]

Helpful commands

As a follow-up to my last post here are some commands that I use throughout the day. They are admittedly nothing special but they help me out. .bashrc aliases: The one worth explaining is gca. This one stages and commits everything to the previous commit. I use this constantly to keep adding stuff to my WIP […]

Git workflow

In my last post I described how at my work we use code review feedback to iteratively improve code. I want to describe how Git fits into this process, because this is probably the biggest change I had to make to my preexisting workflow. Basically I had to relearn how to use Git. The new […]


My new work is great ((New as in I’ve been there for ~6 months )). The main thing I like about it is the consummate professionalism of the team. Everyone I work with is interested in improving their craft and is eager to engage in discussions about software principles, code quality, development processes and tools. In […]


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