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  • Story Of Us16 Oct 2017
    Collective Fiction Interesting thing here. Here’s an excerpt from a blog post I’m reading (unrelated to this idea): Recently I read Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari. The basic thesis of the book is that humans require ‘collective fictions’ so that we can collaborate in larger numbers than the 150 or so our...

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  • Setting a Vision05 Oct 2017
    We have a series of internal classes at Optoro called Managing at Optoro. It’s a great way for us to be able to promote talent into a leadership role and make sure they have the tools they need to be successful. The class I teach is called “Setting a Vision” and it’s something I think about a lot. I’m teaching...

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  • On Change31 Aug 2017
    I’ve always wondered how people can expect so much permanence in their lives. In Washington DC, where I was born and raised (and live now), change is a way of life. People come and go. Buildings change, are torn down, are lost to time. It’s normal. When I lived in western Massachusetts I lived in...

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  • I get asked this now and then, “why did you transition?” Or “what’s it like?” Or even just “how does it feel?” For what it’s worth, some trans women really don’t like this question, so unless you’re invited to ask it, it’s probably safer not to. But I don’t mind sharing my story, and maybe it’ll help shine a light...

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  • Hello World!28 Jul 2017
    Hello world, my name is Jess! I’m transgender :) It’s taken me awhile to admit it to myself, but I did last fall (2016). Coming to this realization made a lot of my life make sense, and transitioning has given me a sense of peace and joy like I’ve never experienced before. I am...

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  • Experiment Results30 Nov 2016
    This is a continuation of my blog post series on trying to use a Surface Book as my primary computer. The first entry was Surface Book and the entry previous to this one was A Surface Roadblock. I give up. I got so frustrated today trying to just deal with basic window management that I said “well...

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  • A Surface Roadblock29 Nov 2016
    This is a continuation of my previous posts, the last one being More Surface Book Damnit Docker. There is Docker for Windows, but there’s no docker CLI in the WSL environment. This might be a problem because we’re shifting more and more to using docker to deploy all our services. As the CTO I am occasionally required...

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  • More Surface Book28 Nov 2016
    This is my first “normal” work day using the Surface Book. For first impressions go back and check out my first post, Surface Book It’s the little things now, and a few big things VIM So ConEmu doesn’t show my visual highlights properly. Maybe that’s a yak I can shave but it’s an annoying one. General Windows...

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  • Surface Book23 Nov 2016
    I’m trying out the new Surface Book with the performance base as my main computer. It’s been.. interesting! Here are some ramblings about my experience: Initial thoughts I installed a bunch of stuff. Primarily Windows Subsystem for Linux, but also normal stuff (Chrome, etc), and the nicest terminal emulator I could find, ConEmu It’s definitely different! It...

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  • Podcasts My commute is pretty long (about an hour and fifteen minutes each way), so I have the opportunity to listen to a lot of podcasts or audiobooks on the trip. I talk about them with folks pretty often, and some have asked me for a list of what I’m listening to, so here it is. Before the list,...

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  • Ergodox22 Dec 2015
    I went on a quest awhile back to find the perfect keyboard for me. I used a Microsoft Natural keyboard for a long time and got used to the split layout, but eventually the keyswitches started to annoy me. I tried Microsoft’s Sculpt Natural keyboard, and it was nice but then I heard about mechanical keyboards. I tried...

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  • StrangeLoop20 Sep 2014
    I went to StrangeLoop. It was awesome! Basically a polyglot conference that pulled together academia and industry. Very focused on Functional Programming (FP), but had other ideas too. I took notes, pasted in somewhat raw fashion below. I highly recommend going next year! 2014-09-17 Future of Programming Workshop x Emerging Languages Camp I attended a bonus day...

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  • Free and Open Source14 Sep 2014
    Open Source, Open Communities Open source is really great. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. We’re all standing on the backs of giants. Think about it—if we hadn’t had the open-source movement, we’d all be paying thousands of dollars for access to mediocre software that would allow us to write slightly less mediocre software in carefully...

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  • The other day I went to CoderDojoDC and it seemed like every kid there was obsessed with Minecraft. I recently interviewed Charles Nutter, who mentioned you could mod Minecraft with JRuby. I wanted to get some experience with it so I could help the kids out, so I figured I’d give it a shot. It wasn’t hard!...

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  • Measuring Rails Boot Time07 Sep 2012
    Our main rails app is pretty slow to load, so I hacked together a really simple report to show what’s going on during boot. This system could use a lot of improvement to aggregate together requires, but it’s enough to draw some immediate conclusions. First, I created this script that overrides Kernel.require: Kernel.require...

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  • On Entrepreneurship18 Mar 2012
    You live in a city on the ocean. Your fellow citizens are generally part of two groups: normal people and people who have won medals. The people with medals are accorded higher honors and have access to the best things in life. You, of course, want a medal. The problem is, the only way to get a medal is to...

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  • TL;DR: Ruby 1.9.2 leaks memory with rails apps, switch to 1.9.3. We’ve been having some trouble running out of memory on our production servers ever since we upgraded our app to Rails 3.1 and Ruby 1.9.2 (p290). Our unicorn processes will gradually use up all the memory on our (m1.large) servers (7.5Gb) over the course of 24 hours or so....

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  • Ruby DCamp Retrospective21 Sep 2011
    I attended Ruby DCamp this year. It’s a programmers’ event where you camp out (in cabins). There’s a code retreat the first day and then subsequent days are an open-spaces event. The Code Retreat The code retreat involved programming Conway’s Game of Life over and over again. Each time you get 45 minutes to work on...

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  • Shut Up, HAProxy!10 Mar 2011
    We use HAProxy to load-balance requests across multiple Rails backends. It works great, but man does it clutter up the logs. Every N seconds (2 in our case), HAProxy requests our root url (DashboardsController#index) to ensure the site is up. This results in lots of log entries like this: Processing DashboardsController#index (for 10.0.0.205 at 2011-03-07 06:42:20)...

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  • Net::HTTP Alternatives10 Feb 2011
    Here at Optoro we’ve been building some external tools that interact with our website via http. For simplicity’s sake, we’ve been using curl. I was discussing this with some friends when someone recommended I check out Curb. I was already in the middle of transitioning to HTTParty, due to its improved syntax, but I figured I’d...

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