Functional Programming Principles in Scala

Posted on Oct 3, 2012 in Training / Conferences | 0 comments

Last month a group of developers in my company (mostly Java devs) and myself enrolled in an online Scala class, taught through Coursera.org: https://www.coursera.org/course/progfun

I had no particular practical interest in the language itself, but so far its certainly been an eye-opener in terms of understanding the ins and outs of functional programming. Ah, recursion.

Well worth checking out. And free!

Read More

Google I/O!

Posted on Jun 28, 2012 in Training / Conferences | 0 comments

At Google I/O this week. This is the third year running I’ve attended Google’s big developer conference. Fun as hell, as always. Yesterday’s keynote was … unexpected, what with Sergey Brin’s absurdly over-the-top intro to Project Glass.

Keynote #2 about to start.

Read More

Entomology!

Posted on Aug 21, 2010 in Blog, Training / Conferences | 2 comments

FINALLY, I enrolled in a course on Entomology at Iowa State – ENT 201. Insects are something which has interested me for longer than I can remember – and a subject of which I’ve comparatively little. I’ve probably been interested in it as far back as when I as in diapers and ate one, thinking that it tasted “okay, considering”.

It’s a 5-week course. This is going to suck up some of my time otherwise spent on Form Tools and generatedata.com, but what the hell – it looks fun. :)

Just a heads up.

Read More

More thoughts on Portland / OSCON 2010

Posted on Jul 18, 2010 in Blog, Training / Conferences | 0 comments

From the toilets of the convention center. Nerds!
http://twitgoo.com/198gp3

There is *MONEY* here. I picked up my welcome package (includes a new nerd mug!). I’ve never seen such a level of sponsorship and advertising. It’s nuts! This conference is clearly representing the right-wing side of open source of which I’m not yet familiar. I’m more of the ilk of the poor, the downtrodded, the huddled masses – programmers doing everything for free and being spat in the face for it. My impression so far is that this is more like Fuck-The-Hippies Open Source In-Your-Face FUCK YEAH! perspective. Should be interesting.

More observations on Portland
- It’s really, really green. I think it’s the greenest town I’ve ever seen. There’s plants EVERYWHERE. Seriously.
- It kind of reminds me of the portrayal of Cleveland in 30 Rock. Nice people, very up-beat, with a kind of a prevailing atmosphere as though the town is under-appreciated.

More observations on my hotel
- Remember the scene in Barton Fink where the camera pans down the steaming-hot hotel hallway, showing the wallpaper peeling off the walls while John Goodman is going insane? I think that was based on my hotel.
- Remember the scene in The Shining where the little boy runs into the two twin girls who try to convince him to play with them forever? I think that was also based on my hotel.

Okay. I’m going to do a little work (generatedata.com v2.3.6) then go see Predators. FUCK YEAH!!!

Read More

Hello Portland!

Posted on Jul 18, 2010 in Blog, Training / Conferences | 0 comments

Just arrived in Portland today. A few thoughts:

  • Portland is AWESOME. Really. I just love it. Beautiful, beautiful city – not touristy at all like San Francisco. Far more my speed.
  • My hotel room is NOT awesome. I appear to be in the epicentre of the Portland Slums.
  • Powell’s Books is terrific – a whole city block & they put the old and new books beside eachother, which is extremely rational of them. However, they did NOT have Improving Goat Production in the Tropics by Christie Peacock and they did NOT have any books on how to take care of Apple Snails. I came very close to buying a book on Cockroaches, so I could learn more about the other inhabitants of my hotel room, but vouched for the classic (which I’ve never found elsewhere) Animal Liberation by Peter Singer.
  • I had a pint of Oregonian beer and I Saw That It Was Good. I plan on having more. What I especially liked was the waitress didn’t look down her nose at me when I ordered beer before 12pm; instead she enthusiastically remarked that the beer I chose was an excellent way to start the day. Amen sister.
Read More

OSCON 2010

Posted on Jul 17, 2010 in Blog, Tech News, Training / Conferences | 0 comments

Tomorrow I’m off to the OSCON conference in Portland, Oregon for a full week of open source goodness.
http://www.oscon.com/oscon2010

This is the first time I’ve attended this conference. I’m hoping I’ll have a little time over the week to work on my Python adaptation of generatedata.com for Google App Engine… but we shall see.

And a big thanks to my company, Central1 for helping fund the trip. :)

- Ben

Read More