Notes from January-2015

When I was running the Virtual Brown Bag (VBB) a few years ago, I used to share weekly links to things I thought interesting or useful. I don’t currently have time to go back at hosting weekly VBBs, but I’ll start posting my links monthly, mostly for my own reference, but it may also turn out to be helpful to my readers.

Technical

10 tips for better Pull Requests
A brief history of web design for designers
Better Specs  rspec guidelines with ruby
TastyCupcakes.org
How We (and You) Use Alfred Remote Every Day

Lifestyle/Productivity

Find Work You Love by Identifying Your Unique Angle
27 Simple Things to Start Doing for Your Happiness
How to Stop Procrastinating by Using the Two Minute Rule
How to Trick Yourself Into Drinking More Water Every Day
The Secrets Of Highly Efficient Napping
How to Stay Focused When You Get Bored Working Toward Your Goals
Identity-Based Habits: How to Actually Stick to Your Goals This Year
Tim Ferriss: How to feel like the Incredible Hulk

Evernote

A couple of years ago I posted about how I use Evernote. I’m still using it a LOT, and am always looking for ways to improve the way I use it…

How To Use Evernote To Achieve Your Goals
How To Get More Done Using Evernote and Have Peace of Mind Every Single Day Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 Dictate Notes Into Evernote for iOS
Scannable: A New Mobile Scanning App from Evernote
Command + J Will Save Your Day
Plug Sunrise Into Your Daily Routine
How I organise Evernote
How Susan Orlean Writes With Evernote
Bring Creativity to Life With Evernote Post-it® Note Camera & Scannable

Etsy

I mentioned over a year ago that I help my wife organize and run her online store on Etsy. I read several articles about improving Etsy sales…

How to Boost Sales One Step at a Time
Wholesale Guide for Etsy Sellers
8 Pinterest Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season
3 Keys to Enticing International Shoppers
Top Tips for Managing Custom Orders

Misc

Essay · The future of the book
How Facebook and Candy Crush Got You Hooked

Funny

Intelligent Elevator

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Hello? Is this thing on?!

It seems like my blogging fever comes in waves. Ever since I started this blog (almost 10 years ago), I spend some months blogging somewhat frequently, then I go on a hiatus, and then I come back to writing, and the cycle goes on like that. The last wave came when I switched over from .NET to Ruby on Rails development. With so many things new I had to learn, there was certainly no shortage of things to write about. My posts related to Rails can be found here.

In the last three years, I’ve had just way too much going on in my personal life and blogging just gradually dropped in priority. Another thing that has made me slow down is that I really liked using Windows Live Writer

(WLW) as my blogging editor, and I could never find a similar tool, or a tool that I liked, on the Mac. Since I’ve been using more and more the Mac as my main machine, and less and less the PC, it just didn’t make sense for me to keep a PC around just for blogging.

As I’m currently having to work on some things that require a PC, I’ve set up one as a virtual machine (using Parallels on the Mac), and also set up WLW on it, so I should be able to be back into blogging here more often.

Even though I haven’t been writing, I do have been keeping track of ideas of things I’d like to write about, so that should give me a head start.

I know some of my readers have also enjoyed posts related to my musical endeavors. I decided to create a separate blog just for that! Go check it out: it’s called Sanctuary of Nevermore. A technical note about that new blog: I’m publishing it to Postach.io, straight from Evernote!

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Material From My Talk at Tulsa Tech Fest 2013

Tulsa Tech Fest 2013 was fun. I’d like to thank everybody who showed up for my sessions.

Here’s a link to my “Adventures of a .NET developer in Rails land” presentation.

It seems like my “Software Development is a Joke!” closing keynote was overall a great success. Since I’ve now presented that session twice so far, I’ll be writing a separate post to talk about my experiences there.  Smile

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Material from my presentations at HTF 2013

I’d like to thank everybody who shows up for my presentations at Houston Tech Fest 2013, as well as the organizers for letting me speak there.  Smile

Here’s a link to my “Want to Build Software? Get Your Act Together First!”  talk. This talk has been recorded on video. I’ll let you know when it’s available online.

As for my other talk  (“Software Development is a Joke!”), it has also be recorded, but since I’ll be presenting it at Tulsa Tech Fest 2013 next week, I don’t want it out so we don’t spoil the fun for the attendees there. Smile Also, I’m going over the material and streamlining it in order to improve it.

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Houston Tech Fest 2013 is Upon Us!

Houston Tech Fest is upon us! It happens this weekend, Saturday the 28th, and I have a surprise for you: I’ll also be doing my “Software Development is a Joke!” session there. Check out the conference’s agenda to see where and what time my sessions are going to be, and make sure to stop by and say hi.  Smile
Want to build software? Get your act together first!

Software developers are supposed to create applications that make people’s life easier, automating tedious tasks, encouraging users to get their work done, organizing complex workflows into digestible information and actions, helping them separate the most important information from the least important. But still, most developers forget to automate their own boring tasks. We forget to organize our information. We sometimes use tools that do not help us get our work done.

So how can we build software that fits our client needs, if we don’t understand those needs ourselves?

This session is NOT about software development; this session is about things we can do and tools we can use to organize ourselves, so we can free up our minds to more important things. Tools covered in this session include (but not limited to) Evernote, application launchers, screen capture tools, tablets, smartphones, etc.

 

Software Development is a Joke!

Several of my technical presentations introduce some kind of humor, but sometimes people end up learning the joke and not the concept. So I decided to do a humor presentation based on software development, introduce some technical stuff, and see what I get!

After so many years writing software, I can’t help but laugh at so many (good and bad!) experiences myself and other developers have had. Not to mention things that just can’t make sense to normal people: how can this ?[A-Z0–9._%+-]+@[A-Z0–9.-]+.[A-Z]{2,4}$ be called a “regular” expression? (If you know by heart what that expression means, you are probably the kind of people who will try to explain to me why zero-based arrays are kinda cool… please, just don’t!).

F-bombs may be dropped, but let’s be honest, you drop them yourself when it’s 5pm on Friday and that code insists not to work, don’t you?

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Using Evernote to Manage a Gifts and Crafts Shop on Etsy

Back in 2011 I wrote a post on how I was using Evernote, which is the 2nd most popular post on my blog currently. I guess it was about time for me to write another one, as I continue to use Evernote a lot! Actually, instead of writing another long post, I’ll probably write a couple of short ones…

A few months ago my wife started to produce some great handmade gifts and I wanted an easy way for her to publish, as well as to organize her business. I found out Etsy was a great platform for publishing her items, so we opened her online store called CLVL Arts Brazil, and we are using Evernote to organize her business. It’s worth mentioning she had no idea what Evernote was, but once I showed her how I use it, she started to use it too, and even got a better phone that runs the mobile app more smoothly. As I teach her how to use Evernote and other tools in this business, I plan on writing a series of posts describing our experiences, hoping this will be helpful to somebody else.

I’ll keep updating this one blog post with all the posts in these series, and will also use tags such as “CLVL Arts Brazil”, “Evernote”, etc., so we can find everything around more easily. 

More to come! Meanwhile, you may want to check out our store at http://www.etsy.com/shop/CLVLArtsBrazil.

CLVL Arts Brazil

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Upcoming Speaking Engagements

I’ve taken a break from doing presentations in the last two years or so, and a lot of people have been asking me when I’d come out and develiver a talk again. Time has come! :)

I’ll be speaking at the Houston Tech Fest on September 28, and also at the Tulsa Tech Fest on October 11. I’m looking forward to both conferences, as I’ve had a great time presenting at both in the past.

Here are the talks I’ll be doing…

Houston Tech Fest

Want to build software? Get your act together first!

Software developers are supposed to create applications that make people’s life easier, automating tedious tasks, encouraging users to get their work done, organizing complex workflows into digestible information and actions, helping them separate the most important information from the least important. But still, most developers forget to automate their own boring tasks. We forget to organize our information. We sometimes use tools that do not help us get our work done.

So how can we build software that fits our client needs, if we don’t understand those needs ourselves?

This session is NOT about software development; this session is about things we can do and tools we can use to organize ourselves, so we can free up our minds to more important things. Tools covered in this session include (but not limited to) Evernote, application launchers, screen capture tools, tablets, smartphones, etc.

Tulsa Tech Fest

Adventures of a .NET developer in Rails land

After several years of working almost exclusively with .NET, I started looking into Ruby on Rails; different language, framework, tools, mindset. In this session I go over the findings that were important to me, the main source of difficulties, what resources were helpful, the things I enjoyed the most, etc. Attendees to this session will learn what they need to know in order to get started developing Rails apps, or at least learn things that might help them approaching things in a different way when doing .NET development.

Software Development is a Joke!

Several of my technical presentations introduce some kind of humor, but sometimes people end up learning the joke and not the concept. So I decided to do a humor presentation based on software development, introduce some technical stuff, and see what I get!

After so many years writing software, I can’t help but laugh at so many (good and bad!) experiences myself and other developers have had. Not to mention things that just can’t make sense to normal people: how can this ?[A-Z0–9._%+-]+@[A-Z0–9.-]+.[A-Z]{2,4}$ be called a “regular” expression? (If you know by heart what that expression means, you are probably the kind of people who willl try to explain to me why zero-based arrays are kinda cool… please, just don’t!).

F-bombs may be dropped, but let’s be honest, you drop them yourself when it’s 5pm on Friday and that code insists not to work, don’t you?

Share your story!

Have your own funny or outrageous software developer story to share? Check out my post on Software Development is a Joke and leave a comment!

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