Update and Coming Events

I haven’t written her for awhile and the reason is quite simple: I started a new job. In addition to that I kept the part-time minimum wage job that I was also working. Throw in the fact that part of the time I am a single dad, have a house to keep up, and am still learning programming, and you end up with a lot of stuff to do. That said, my time management skills have slipped, and now I am working on getting back on board the train. I wasted time on Instagram, ridiculous political arguments on Facebook, and getting lost in the endless articles on Medium – not to mention Bullet Journal blogs and Instagrams.

Yes, I’ve fallen into the Bullet Journal craze, but to be honest, mine is as utilitarian and minimalist as it can be. No drawings, no fancy fonts, I don’t even use a ruler. But it has helped quite a bit anyway. Things that were slipping through the cracks are now getting caught. I haven’t gotten back into the full “Getting Things Done” mode that I was a few years ago, but now I find that I actually have time, for example, to…write a blog post! So at some point I’ll do a post on how my BuJo works, and how I organize and all that stuff, but for today, let’s hit some highlights.

As noted, I landed a job, in the IT field (at last). It doesn’t have as much development or writing code as I’d like, but I’m learning a lot about networks, how systems of different software work, and what it’s like to be on call pretty much all the time(!) I’ll do a post soon on how I got the job, how Free Code Camp helped, etc.

In addition, I’ve decided to build a Fintech app. Really, it’s a toy app, something for me to play around with and learn to use some new languages and technologies, as well as mock up something that could actually be used. It will involve me learning SASS, React, ArcGIS web development and Bitcoin.JS, as well as using the knowledge I have of HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript (I may even need to learn ES6), MongoDB, Node, and Express. It’s pretty ambitious, I guess, but I can do it in pieces and slowly get up to a full scale app.

Anyway, I’ll be blogging my adventures, hopefully weekly or more, and I hope you’ll jump in for the ride!

What I’m Reading – July 2016

Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathaniel Popper. Anybody who hasn’t heard of Bitcoin by now must be living on Mars.  Although I know a little about it, I wanted to get a better handle on how it works, why it works, and whether or not it really has a future.  This book seemed like a good place to start, especially since it was at my local library for free.  I look forward to exploring this subject in more depth over the coming months.

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Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande. I read Gawande’s book on checklists – The Checklist Manifesto –  and found that it was easy-to-read, interesting, and had practical applications.  I decided to read this one and see if that was again the case.  So far, it seems to be.  In the first chapter, Gawande talks about how hard it is to implement simple things like just having a doctor wash their hands frequently, which cuts the infection rates in hospitals significantly.  But humans are humans, and behavioral change is hard.

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Abyss Deep (Star Corpsman: Book Two) by Ian Douglas.  Ian Douglas has written many novels involving the Marines in space.  They are well researched hard science fiction with excellent combat scenes and enough techno-geekery that even an engineer can love them.  I think he’s one of the best military sci-fi writers out there.  the fact that he’s from Greensburg, Pennsylvania, about 30 miles from my hometown of Pittsburgh, makes me happy too!

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