I hate the below kind of thing. To avoid repeating the behavior, I’ll tell you _why_ after I show you what I hate.

[8:52 AM] XXXXX: Just saw this feature today.
[8:52 AM] XXXXX: https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/user/project/web_ide/
[8:52 AM] XXXXX: That’s interesting.
[8:52 AM] XXXXX: There’s a button for it on our version… Chromebook here I come !

I hate when someone suggests I should check something out, but gives no context. In this case, the person posting it is high enough above me in the food chain that I should check it out. In my passive aggressive response mode, though, I’m just venting online, though protecting the identity of the party. Note that this isn’t just a him thing – I get emails of that sort, as well. Most of those I shunt aside and justify by saying, well, that’s a great way to infect someone with viruses – get them to click on a link but give no real context.

OK, done venting. Time to get back to work. If you click through to the Gitlab doc link, let me know what you think of it. I’m guessing by URL structure they’re saying there’s now a development environment bundled with Gitlab. I can guess along some other paths what that might be, and suspect it could be very useful for a former project of mine. But I’m still going to hold out on looking for a little bit.

I heard from my brother today. It’s rare and typically unpleasant when I hear from him. Today’s messages: “I see that you are a messenger contact with my boys. Leave them be. They have enough bad influence from their mother. No response necessary or appreciated.”

I am Facebook friends with one of his sons. I think I friended him a few years ago, mostly to let him know that even though his family life was falling apart (mom took the boys, dad has a host of issues), that his dad’s family wasn’t abandoning him, too. I don’t think we’ve ever chatted, and he’s not a prolific Facebook poster. So, the whole leave him be thing is pretty well covered. Per the bad influence thing, I’m mostly amused by my brother’s perception of me as a bad influence. Annoyed to be compared to his ex-wife, but amused at the irony of the comparison.

After stewing and thinking to myself ‘How dare he?’, I realized I didn’t need to respond. Not just because he said ‘no response necessary’, but because I don’t need to care about his opinion. And that realization is a gift. I thought about blocking him on Facebook. And then thought that it was a better gift to both him and me to turn the other cheek. His insults don’t hurt: they’re immaterial. Responding to him would cause him and me to spend energy. I can think of much more positive ways to do so.

Merry Christmas, brother. You’ve given me a gift: the ability to turn the other cheek to you and other a**hole folks. May your Christmas be filled with positivity, with people you find inspiring, with ideas you find aspirational. I’m apparently not that for you, and neither are you that for me, but I hope you find it this holiday season.

I’m really enjoying this show called ‘The Good Place’, starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, as well as a cast of other characters whose actors I hadn’t seen before, but who _really_ make this show.

Catch the trolley episode in season 2 if you’ve ever had to suffer through a philosophy course. That’s all I’ll say.  Oh, and “I hear windchimes!”

#MeToo.  It’s a meme going ’round of folks (ladies mostly, I assume) indicating whether they’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted. The idea is that by raising visibility on how many women this affects, it’ll spark a discussion that may lead to change.  I’m a fan of change for the better, of believing that things can and should be made better.  But I’m not a fan of just stopping at a tag.

I have two daughters and a son who I need to teach how to live in this world.  I believe strongly in

– treating folks as people, rather than genders.  It doesn’t matter whether someone is one gender or another or is non-binary or presents as the opposite of their birth binary.  We are people, with gifts, talents, and flaws.  Categorizing someone as some [thing], where [thing] is based on gender (or race or …) discounts the breadth of creativity in our Maker.  “Nope, I can’t give that one strength or confidence or … because I gave them a gender ‘foo'” strikes me as well beyond the pale.

– developing and recognizing folks’ talents, gifts, and interests.  Like sports?  Do sports.  Like art?  Do art.  Show an aptitude for nurturing and caregiving?  Use it.  Oh, you’re male / female / trans / non-binary…?  Doesn’t change any of the above.

– NOT assuming that the rest of the world works this way.   Learn to speak up for yourself.  Learn to defend yourself physically, if required.  Make it clear that you have these skills and more and aren’t afraid to use them.

– setting up situations where you gain power, not give it away.  Many of the situations where folks are harassed / assaulted / you name it involve instances where folks feel like they don’t have a choice but to go along or need to keep quiet to avoid suffering the fallout of being impacted by someone more powerful.  (Try to) always have an out, and make it clear you can and will take it.  Save money in the bank to quit the job without another one lined up.  Build a strong reputation to help provide more than one career path option other than the one that involves the Weinstein-like creepster.

– sympathizing, empathizing, and fighting for the rights of #metoos.  Life isn’t fair, becoming a #metoo isn’t fair, and having more folks in #metoo’s corner at least helps avoid some of the additional pain and sting of feeling isolated or blamed.

None of the above are guarantees to avoid being a #metoo.  Some of the above are easier to implement than others, and/or may be more challenging to implement in various life situations.  Until folks aren’t attracted by sex and power, though (meaning, likely not ever in my future until there’s a full wipeaway of all sin), I’ll equip my kids and myself with as much armor and defensive weaponry as I can.

Oh, and yes, #metoo.  Harassed, yes.  Assaulted – thankfully, unsuccessful attempt.  Now scheduled to take a women’s self-defense class in early November with my oldest daughter to help add to her armor.

“Hi, Raju. Thanks for thinking of me – these are exactly the sort of technical skills I’m using now. However, I have NO interest in commuting to McLean. The DC Beltway is a life-sucking endeavor. Good luck in your recruiting efforts!”

The above was my response to a recruiter who was looking for someone with microservices, Docker, and Kubernetes experience.  I fit all of that.  But he specified a job in McLean, VA.  For those of you who don’t live in the DC area, to get to McLean, VA, I’d have to go around the DC Beltway.  And, per my note back to poor Raju, “the DC Beltway is a life-sucking endeavor”.  The image that comes to mind is from The Princess Bride, where our hero Wesley is strapped into a machine that’s supposed to suck the life-force right out of him.  (For anyone not familiar with the scene, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbgyppGqBgg.)

For the record for any recruiter that may catch wind of this post, the Baltimore Beltway is only slighter better.  I’m not interested in traveling either of them, just as a matter of quality of life.  And yes, I’ve tried Metro and MARC.  No, your commuter benefits package to pay for those don’t interest me.  I’ll keep my career path nicely tucked away between the two circles of traffic hell, thank you very much.  But good luck in your recruiting!


Needed a pick-me-up, so went to the tea shop. Ooh, bubble tea. I’ve heard good things, let me give it a try…

Reaction: bleah. Tea should not have floaters. And then I looked up calories and carbs. Double-bleah. Straight tea and/or espresso for me next time.

We’re hiring at my company, Hayden Software, and I’ve been asked to help interview for my contract, so I’ve had a few different opportunities to ask candidates how they track down programming problem solutions.  The usual answer?  Either Google or Stack Overflow.  Both are reasonable answers, though are a bit broad brush in terms of their coverage.  If I find something mentioned in documentation, what I’d _really_ like is to see a working example of it.  Particularly since most programmers seem to write awful documentation.

I’ve taken, of late, to trying to use GitHub as my compendium of source code examples.  I’ll assume that the folks who cared about this post already know what GitHub is…  if you’re hear to read a post about clowning, you’ll have to wait for the next one…  GitHub announced in 2013 that it had reached over 10 million code repositories.  It’s not quite yet the infinite monkey theorem, but there’s definitely enough source code there to make me think that any library or framework feature that I’m interested in using already has a bit of sample code for it in someone else’s repository.

But how to find the examples I’m seeking?

Recently I was seeking examples of fabric8’s docker-maven-plugin in use.  It’s one of a couple of plugins that are supposed to help with managing Docker builds and Docker containers.  I don’t personally find Docker build files particularly challenging, but perhaps the managing the containers part would somehow be made easier with the plugin.  (TL;DR: finally didn’t find it useful, at least for our uses).  But in my hunt, I wanted to find examples of folks using this thing…

That plugin would be used in a pom file.  So, I want to find pom files that make use of the plugin.  In the case I originally went looking for, I wanted to use something called inline plugin configuration.  Basically, if I was going to use a Maven file to do the docker build, I wanted to keep all of the build information in the single pom file.  The docs described it as possible, but it just wasn’t coming together for me.  So, the query against Github:

(inline assembly docker-maven-plugin fabric8 dockerfile)  filename:pom.xml fabric8

Look across all repositories for a file named pom.xml which had certain keywords in it, and which were part of a repository or owned by a user which included the word fabric8. Found a few examples (and, and), but nothing which blew me away on the usefulness of that plugin and approach.

What about when I wanted to see examples of a particular routing package used in Go code?

language:go beego router

Wow, that gave me back 7K+ results.  Maybe narrow that down a bit?  I’d like to narrow that down by cross-checking the stars on the owning repository: theoretically, something with more stars would have more useful examples.  Interestingly, I cannot seem to get that to work as I’d like…  Although I can hunt for repositories with the phrase beego in their name or referenced in their description, I cannot get it to further check files.  The query below ignores the ‘stars’ descriptor and gives the same 7K+ results.  (I say ignores because I pulled up one of the repositories and it showed zero stars.)

language:go stars:>10 beego router

So, GitHub filtering has its challenges and quirks.  That said, I can also filter on looking for code within a particular repository or by  particular user, both of which help in filtering out the wheat from the chaff.

I can’t learn everything in software on my own, but if I can learn from someone else’s example (good or bad, assuming I recognize the difference), I can get the thing done and build upon my knowledge very efficiently.  Would love to hear if other folks have code search tricks and techniques, on GitHub or otherwise.


In last month’s Nerd Nightmare, I described the interruption of flow of a broken arm when one works at a keyboard.  So, here’s the update since then…  I did get a plate and some eight screws to hold everything to the bone.  I spent two weeks in a splint and a sling, and then got my stitches out and was put in a exoskeleton sort of removable hard splint.  Turns out, I get light-headed when I see fresh scars on me: nearly hit the floor the day the doc took the stitches out.  Since that appointment, I’ve been doing a twice a week physical therapy visit to work to get the mobility back in my wrist and arm.  Two days ago, the doc even told me to take off the exoskeleton..  Scary times.

The bones are apparently healing nicely, based on what the doc said this week after seeing new x-rays.  The marathon part refers to what it takes to get mobility and strength back.  Right now, my right (non-broken) wrist can pivot 90 degrees from thumb up…  I can go palm down or palm up, no issues.  My left wrist can go mostly flat if I go clock-wise.  And I maybe get 10 degrees counter-clockwise.  My right wrist can get close to 90 if I bend it up, and something much less than that bending it down.  My left wrist gets about half down what the right does, and barely makes it out of flat when trying to pull up.  Needless to say, push-ups are out of the question the right now.

My physical therapist tells me not to worry, that it’s a marathon.  I told her today, I’ve run marathons.  There are those who run sub 5 minute miles and finish in 2 1/2 hours (not me) and there are those who run 5 1/2 hours or more (me).  She laughed and didn’t comment further…

I got a turtle tattoo on my leg after my first marathon, as a marker of a dream accomplished and work put in.  What’s my wrist marathon tattoo, I wonder?  Got a handy 6 inch scar I guess I can work in…

I’m typing this out one-handed, as my left arm is in a splint with a broken arm and wrist.  Nerd nightmare.  Complete interruption of “flow”.  No longer do my thoughts just appear in code..  everything’s slowed down enough to make even the ideas disjoint, as well as my arm.  Pain coupled with frustration makes every day a slog…  and the guy who wanted to hold a design discussion in a chat room?  He held a special label in my heart that day.

Now, a few advantages just to help focus my mind in a better direction…

– I’m getting better at taking advantage of bash shortcuts, aliases, pulls from command history, etc

– More in-person chats to get things done mean a chance to get to know my co-workers better

– The more junior members of my team are getting more focused time from me.  Their hands on a keyboard solving a problem are much more efficient than mine.  My personal productivity is down, but our team’s going to look great at next week’s sprint review.

Tuesday I’ll get to become a bit bionic with a plate and screws, and some two weeks after that I might get the ok to do more than just open and close my hand.  So, there’s hope in sight. But only a week into this nightmare, I’m really not looking forward to several more…