Thursday, October 15, 2015


"Code-Cademy" has been great. I'm still on the HTML+CSS instruction and built a Airbnb website page as directed. Too easy. But... it's a start. Not even halfway yet. Late night free time is pretty much next to nothing these days. But I can easily pick up where I left off. I love my Mac with all the automatic log ins.

Ok that's it for tonight. Cold's got a hold on me.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Bottom Line on Coder Foundry (Learn .net)

The quest continues for updating my technical skills. Low and behold, there is a strong sales-oriented ad on youtube I clicked on that led me to their site called "Coder Foundry." The newsletters were slightly assertive but also helpful. Basically, the article I read had two main points: Learn how to code in .net and here is how you get the job:

Step 1: Choose the right programming language (.net).
Step 2: Learn the right programming language quickly. ($9,000 for 12 weeks)
Step 3: Fill your portfolio with the right projects (make your own)
Step 4: Win the Technical Interview

They explained the benefits of going with a popular language, why some people use the same language in every job vs. people who learn a language to get their ideal job (me me me!). So I guess I'm about to pick up .net along the way. Can you guess where I am going to go to learn it?

First, I googled, "how to learn .net" and came up with this article:

Monday, October 12, 2015

VTC - Virtual Training Company - Review

What you care about right now is getting or keeping your job. Right? As a contractor, your job is to knock it out of the park so you can get hired, right?  If you suck at interviews or they just don't have the permanent position available, may I suggest, VTC. After playing in Java and HTML with a lot of system administration in my background, it made sense that I could pick up this contract with IBM for web analytics... but become the tech support for their product and knock it out of the park... required a lot more back end research in Unix, SQL and then running the Akamai log game every freaking day.  So, I jumped online and found a good source of training for those first few nights to get me up to warp speed. It was cheap too - $30 for a month of unlimited access. Here is what I did:

I took a few more that I didn't bookmark for some reason but it was fast enough to get through in a few nights. The gent teaching it was easy to understand, which is important to say because in 2008, youtube wasn't well populated. Now in 2015, anyone can write a tutorial and post it with some pretty graphics... that doesn't mean they are any good at teaching, speaking, organizing information, or speaking English. These things come in handy when you are in a hurry. If you are anything like me, I have no patience for digression, snails pace, vlog screens or virtual zombie games to teach me a language. Just give me the awk, sed, grep, ifconfig and make my life tick.

End of plug. :D

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Code School

One of the most fun month long projects I had was learning Ruby. I didn't like the theme of the lessons - zombies are not my thing. But I got to learn and fly through it when I was tired and slow down to get the practice when I wanted to get it. Here is my badge of completion for all the stuff I did 14 months ago on code school: 

I don't know how I would apply what I learned, to be honest about it. I mean, with any language, if you do not use it, you lose it - or have to go back and review it, heavily. When I took the contract with IBM-Coremetrics to support their web analytics product, I had to pick up UNIX after at least five years not using it. I was much better at HTML and java - - and not development - only reading it. 

So there is another topic for another night. How I was able to take a ton of courses overnight to get back on my feet and enjoy working there... except for the girl that let her thong show above her jeans. Ew. It's great to be smart and beautiful but you don't have to be "ew" about it. She was admittedly awesome at her job. Sometimes people just don't care what others have to look at in your presence. I try to at least bathe and present well. It's a part of being an adult really. That and I love a good lip gloss. More on that another day. Peace out. 

Git it Girl

Watching Iron Man tonight reminds me of the many versions, attempts, hacks and wonders of technology we experience before the bad guys get to it. I suspect there will be some tough changes in the future involving artificial intelligence. We already have Alexa, the Amazon Echo, telling jokes to my kids in the morning and helping us with a weather forecast and some home automation stuff. Anyway, back to collaboration.

I told myself I would learn github this week. I ran into a snag.

I started here:

But got this failure message during configuration:

Agreeing to the Xcode/iOS license requires admin privileges, please re-run as root via sudo.

Guess I was missing an update in my Xcode. Now don't get all security scared. You agree to running the git application so the machine needs your permission to run the app. Here is the best answer on that from StackOverflow:

You don't need admin privileges to run Xcode or git. You need admin privileges to agree to the terms of the Xcode EULA in order to use its applications--which git does (and you did when you installed the application). Privilege escalation here is akin to sites asking for the 3-4 digit security code on the back of your credit card. After agreeing, you don't need admin privileges anymore


Anyway, 107mb of updates later, it's late enough in the evening that Github will have to wait.... yet... another.... night...

On another note, I have not installed El Capitan.  I'm waiting for that to shake out first... Hope they didn't push an update on a Friday afternoon like young tikes might do once in awhile. We've all done it. It happens. Helps to just let it go and try to always be patient with your own work and be open enough to have someone check yours before you go pushing stuff out there. Some day I hope to use that advice wisely. Until then,

"It's not about me. It's not about you, either. It's about legacy, the legacy left behind for future generations. It's not about us!." - Tony Stark, Iron Man 2

Friday, October 9, 2015

Codecademy Hey Look I'm coding like Mike Bloomberg

I am like Skrat with the acorn. I WILL get my coding job one day. Somebody will own me like a boss and see how putting me to work makes them look good.  For now, I shall roll on with the chase. Today, my sumptuous acorn involved a few lessons in HTML. Child's play. LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. I think I've found my niche... although it is probably not that uncommon of a language so I still remain a nickel treasure in a dime store. Nevertheless, it is more than the average bear. Herein I commit to you my basic page lesson in the screenshot below:

What was really wonderful about this work day was the email from Zach Sims. Not only did the non-sleazy email attract my reading pleasure by making sense (talked about money and why peeps need to learn code to stay in the game yo), THIS was worth its' weight in gold:

I went right back to where I had left off I have no idea how long ago, and picked right up with the lesson. I don't even remember signing up for this stuff. Awesome sauce. Kinda like an acorn. Thank you Mr. Sims. :D If you're wondering why the title, here is where Codecademy got their huge plug from Mayor Bloomberg: 

Peace Out and Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Do button

My husband started a quest for home automation last year. We recently got the Smart things hub, but before that we had the wink. I don't know that much about it. But, when he started dimming some lights for me while I'm working which is terribly annoying because I can barely see as it is because I need to get glasses... I had to figure out how to use it myself.

So that part drove me insane but it has been handy when we are sitting somewhere and we need to turn off the lights and we don't want to get up. We're definitely going to become those lazy creatures from that movie called Idiocracy. Remember it? It's awesome sauce:

We will continue to do the automation thing. I found this "do button" along the way in my research, which automates tasks that will email you or remind you with your location and other things like weather using If/Then statements. Here's that link:

Maybe IF I can figure out how to use all the stuff, THEN he won't keep turning the lights off on me.  :]

Hey Farhad - What happened to your link?

Broken links are a small pet peeve compared to being ignored. But you figure someone working for the NY Times would catch this dead link and misspelling in his writing. Seems like to me someone should do a grammar and spellcheck before uploading or slow down. Which reminds me... I better go do that...

Anyway, I sent a message trying to be kind but got nothing back. At least if you're going to work with the public, write back to someone trying to be nice. Maybe my email got lost in the shuffle. The article seemed like a HUGE plug for this place called Udacity anyway. I hope he writes back - but until then... here is that article if you're wanting to update your skills like I am doing these days.

And here is what I wrote... wonder why I haven't heard back... AND it's still not fixed. Ick. 


Today I started with Github, trying to see what I could get started there. I signed up for a meet-up but it won't be until the end of the month. Here is their current Hackathon: if you want to try your hand at it. I still do not understand how to get started  - I just don't know where to start. But I will get to it sometime this week.  So I tried to start a lesson on youtube for beginner Github. Zzzz...

However, during the lesson, I noticed the guy had a few apps on his desktop that got me curious. So... looked up those and therein became a diversion..  I had fun with Java... Dr. Java specifically. So here is that computer science lesson then I found online at the website:

It was great to pull code that looked like what I used to do in the past and really enjoyed playing with something that was recognizable. We did the Hello World thing. Here is a screenshot of my creation:

I was pretty proud of myself, even if it was a simple task. Java, party of one please.  It's like the basis of all languages... er well universal enough to get into easily if you've done Unix like I did many... many years ago. Why Java? Here is an excerpt from the school's FAQ page about it: 

Why Java? Why not C or C++ or C# or Python or Ruby or Matlab? The program that we are writing are very similar to their counterparts in several other languages, so our choice of language is not crucial. We use Java because it is widely available, widely used, embraces a full set of modern abstractions, and has a variety of automatic checks for mistakes in programs, so it works well for students learning to program. There is no perfect language and you certainly will find yourself programming in other languages in the future.


Post Mortem 2014

A year ago, I was posting on Twitter, helping out with someone's fan site out of Spain, and thinking about going back to work. I had two kids under 5 who were just about ready to start school. I didn't like the options for school and thought maybe I would be a better mentor for them as a preparatory teacher for their first year in public school. There were so many conversations about the cost and value of private vs. public school in our house. I was in the middle of getting my head back in the game of internet language so I could restart my career. This time last year, my last post:

I completed 'Level 6 ActiveModelSerializers 2' on Rails 4: Patterns via  I completed 'Level 6 ActiveModelSerializers 2' on Rails 4: Patterns via

It was two months later I would find out I was pregnant and sick as a dog. No more ability to sit upright, see straight, read to my children or even lay down without wanting to throw up. So we made due. I returned the homeschool materials to A.C.E. and gave my kids full access to their tablets, my phone, their Leap pads and apologized just about every day, at least once, for being sick. Handling that information about being pregnant was just matter of fact. You can't put it back. I don't do the abortion thing. I was highly at risk for several complications... and worried. But I also didn't care. There was nothing I could do but let things just roll. So we did. The kids had really great questions and I answered them freely. My husband stepped up his game, taking on more responsibilities at home to make it easier on me. He set his mind in motion about doing well at work to keep food on the table and paychecks flowing. It's just what we do.

A year later, almost to the day, here I am in this space, wanting to share again. I totally want to do the coding thing. What part I'm still figuring out, but this is my space where I will share that journey. As a former Tech Support Engineer, I enjoyed web analytics, knowledge management and rolling out new projects. Being under pressure is my kind of fun. So here we go.