One month of Ruby (from a C# guy's perspective)

Yukihiro Matsumoto
I didn't work hard to make Ruby perfect for everyone, because you feel differently from me. No language can be perfect for everyone. I tried to make Ruby perfect for me, but maybe it's not perfect for you. The perfect language for Guido van Rossum is probably Python.

- Yukihiro Matsumoto, inventor of Ruby

You're a C# dude! Why Ruby?

How many of you enjoy enterprise software development? I've been doing it for 15+ years and if I can be honest after a while it can feel...tiring. A bit stale. I firmly believe there is only so much object-mocking, layered architecture implementations and architectural "design meetings" that a human being can handle before burning out.

I remember when I first started programming as a teenager in GW-Basic. The code just flowed. I'm not saying my code was elegant or robust...and yet at the end of the day I


How to Fail at Almost Everything

The Key to Success

This is a more of a summary of what I got out of Scott Adams' book entitled "How to Fail at Almost Everything". This is by no means a comprehensive review but rather five biggest things I took away from reading this book. Hopefully this post will inspire/educate you in some way. Who knows, maybe it'll even get you to buy the book :)


  1. Goals are for losers.
  2. Passion is rubbish.
  3. Conquer shyness by being a huge phony.
  4. Fitness has to be "every day" and sustainable.
  5. Eating with the aim of maximizing your daily energy.

Goals are for losers (use systems)

The basic takeaway here is that goals have a starting point and an ending point. If something has an ending point then what happens when things end; i.e. when the goal is reached?

Take for example diets and weight loss. Most diets work...while you are


Five Things I Learned From Battlehack Raleigh

"I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower

This blog post is kind of half Battlehack retrospective, half how-to-win-at-hackathons column rolled into one. Before I delve into the "lessons learned" section, I just wanted to remark that overall it was a wonderful experience. Everything from the organization, to the food, to the hosts. Truly a well executed event and one that I hope to attend in future years as well.

We named our team "Forgone Conclusion" and our hackathon project was to make the world a better place by developing a system that would help people driver more safely via behavior modification (I'm not including the details here, you can read more about them in this excellent post by one of my teammates).

Alt text "Forgone Conclusion" placing 3rd at Battlehack Raleigh
(except for the guy on the far left, he was a judge


4:30am Experiment

Put your doubts to test, let them be disproven. — Leo Babauta

Roughly two weeks ago I decided to make a New Year's resolution commitment to change some things in my life. The list was kind of long and a bit overwhelming. And frankly I wasn't sure I could stick with a single commitment let alone multiple.

So I thought I'd just start with the one - waking up early. If it isn't already clear from the title, I defined early as "4:30am". I felt this was the one commitment that would allow for some of the other habit changes I had in mind further down the road (exercise, writing, etc). Almost a prerequisite habit if you will. (side note: from here on out I will tend to use the word 'commitment' and 'habit' interchangeably)

My neighborhood in Durham, NC

How I did it (so far)

The key to implementing this change was planning for


Azure ML - Early Impressions

"I have no professional training.... I already gave my best, and I have no regrets at all." - William Hung, American Idol


A few disclaimers before I launch into this post. First, I am not a data scientist. I have studied aspects of what might be construed as ancillary to becoming a data scientist in the predictive analytics field - neural networks, expert systems, econometrics. Most of that happened more than a decade ago, certainly the statistics aspect of things almost two decades ago!

Secondly, this is a brief impression of what I learned in two weeks (actually a little less than that), but the point is that I've only touched the surface so my blog post will be fairly brief. I plan to circle back later and write another post on the topic once I spend more time with this. Nevertheless, I put together a short 10 slide


Codemash 2015 Takeaways

"I have met so many people who say they've got a book in them, but they've never written a word. To be a writer - this may seem trite- you actually have to write." - Khalid Hosseini

These are some takeaways/observations for the Codemash conference from the perspective of a first-time attendee and speaker. I'm purposely avoiding writing a day-by-day recap and just focusing on what stuck out to me and was personally relevent.

The Conference Itself

  • Bottomline: The facilities were great, an embarrassment of riches, dare I say almost too decadent for my simple tastes :)
  • When you factor in the special benefits for being a Codemash attendee (private waterpark hours, meals, etc.) then it's even more amazing.
  • And, when you factor in being a speaker, even moreso (more on that later)!
  • Food was great. I heard a few people complain they got tired of the food or left