README

TL/DR; This site is about fitness and technology. I have been working with technology professionally for over 20 years. I have crossed the spectrum from sys admin to junior developer to project manager to senior software engineer. I have a (perhaps unhealthy?) love affair with technology. While my main focus is software development, I love tinkering with electronics and other DIY projects. For over 10 years, I focused mainly on the Java family of technologies. I even got to co-author a book on the subject as well as having a number of articles published in trade magazines. I’m a casual grey hat,...
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Pomodoro & HipChat: Automate Availability

The Pomodoro Technique is a way to enhance focus while working. There is a high cost in brainpower to stop doing what you are focused on, look at the tweet that just came in, and then try to start up where you left off. The idea of working in “pomodoros” is that you work uninterrupted for 25 minutes. Then you get a 5 minute break. After you do 4 of those cycles, you get a 10 minute break. Speaking from my own experience, I get a lot more done in 4 hours of pomodoros than 8 hours of work disrupted by various notifications. At Work Market, we rely on HipChat to communicate with each other...
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Coin Change Kata

At the SCNA conference this year, I was reminded of the importance of practice for craftsmen. In one of the breaks, there was a “kata battle” where two people were competing to see who could get a complete implementation of the Coin Change Kata working first. The Coin Change Kata exercise should produce the minimal amount of change for a given amount. For instance, If the input is: $0.99, the output should be: 3 quarters, 2 dimes, and 4 pennies. I was inspired to take this on myself and sharpen the saw. You can find my node.js implementation here. There are 10 commits that demonstrate each...
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To iOS 6 Maps Haters: Settle Down, Beavis

There’ve been a lot of hate posts recently on the new built-in Apple Maps app released with iOS 6. Many good points have been made about the inaccuracy of Maps and Apple’s lack of infrastructure, compared to Google. In this post, I want to focus on why the Maps app is nothing short of awesome and why many of the negative points are not such a big deal. First, the awesome: integration. Apple has integrated the Maps experience into every facet of the iPhone user experience. From Siri, to the lock screen, to the status bar, to notifications in other apps, Maps is active when you are getting...
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Guest Post: Pomodoros, Homework Edition

Shaina is my daughter. She’s been writing since first grade and today, she agreed to do a guest post for afitnerd. Her post is below, with only one minor edit from me. My name is Shaina, and I’m in 8th grade. My typical homework load takes me about 2 hours to finish. Usually, I would just try to do all of it at once making myself so exhausted that if I also had a test to study for, I couldn’t focus. Sometimes, I would come home and watch TV for half an hour to try to unwind before i did my homework as well. That technique of mine didn’t work because I lost my drive to do my work after...
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Sprint Life Hacking

Imagine my surprise when I received my Sprint bill with overage charges greater than my monthly bill this month! Turns out, I had a lot of land line calls this past month. Here’s the deal: Sprint has a cheaper unlimited plan ($69.99) and a more expensive unlimited plan ($99.99). What’s the difference? One word: Land Lines. On the cheaper plan, you have 450 anytime minutes when calling out to or receiving calls in from a land line. Anything over your 450 minutes for landline calls is charged at $.45/minute. Here’s the hack: Sprint has a little known feature where you can call them (up...
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Websockets Over SSL: Stunnel, HAProxy, Node.js

Background I lead a team of talented developers and we’ve been working on a few Node.js projects. We already had one project in production (code named coltrane) and had arrived at the point of deploying a second project (code named maps). This second project makes use of websockets using the socket.io library. It was at this point that I unexpectedly found the need to put on my network architecture hat. Our current setup uses Nginx for SSL termination and load balancing. +-------------+ +----------------------------+ https://dev-coltrane +-------->|...
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