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Killing Distractions: Mac Automator Style

It has been a long long while since I’ve posted anything here. Life just kind of got in the way. Lame. Frankly, I’ve gotten a bit away from the “fit” part of Here’s what I am excited about: I recently took a position as the Java Developer Evangelist for Stormpath. This is such a wonderful mix of two of my favorite things – programming and writing – I sometimes can’t believe my good fortune! Shameless plug alert: I really love Stormpath and what we are up to. Check us out. And, I’ve begun putting the “fit” back in....
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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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