Showing posts from September, 2018

Coding Against Data or Data Structures

Your an applications developer. You are provided data in some format; an API, a database of one form or another, or something else. You are asked to build a feature using the provided data. You look at the data, the format it is in, how you might consume the data in order to build the feature, and then you build the feature. The data changes, the feature breaks because the data is not in the expected format, and rework is needed.

The "proper" solution that will often be suggested is to code the logic to not be overly stringent on the format of the data. Code for edge cases, do not bake in assumptions into your code, protect for every scenario and alternative format. The code becomes complex and unmanageable, and defining what is a feature and what is a bug becomes extremely difficult. Defects are raised, investigations happen, and no one really knows what is supposed to happen, if any such objective declaration is even possible.
The solution of course, is to not write code …

Fire from Below: A D&D 5e Session Report

They retreated to a deep place in the dungeons of the citadel in order to find rest. The fiery slashed of the flame creature rent deep into the armor of Slighter, and the icy slashes of the undead seemed to now cause a deep ache in their bones despite their armor having deflected the blows. After some time, hours or even a day they could not tell in those sunless depths of the earth, they continued their exploration. Treasure they were told they would find, and they had yet some of their own bravery to uncover.
The dungeons of the ancient citadel were now torn, shifted, and cracked as the ancient stone structure now slide ever deeper into the earth, inch by inch, year by year. In some areas of the citadel holes with rising heat peppered the ground. Looking down one as they passed Slighter thought the size of the hole was eerily familiar to him. Suddenly the heat swelled like an oven and a worm of fire slithered upward and exploded in flame about him, blasting him back. It's scaly …

My Experience with Heartburn

For nearly 6 years now I have dealt with fairly severe heartburn and have noticed that my symptoms and apparent triggers did not seem to match up with the common advice. I would like to describe my own experience with treating and preventing heartburn in case it may help others narrow down on their own triggers. Now saying that heartburn is sever is relative of course. Some might hear the descriptions of my symptoms and call it mild. Others may hear the same thing and be wide eyed. Therefor, allow me to elaborate.

My symptoms began with burping, as odd as that may seem. Now this was not normal burping, but constant burping all day. This may not sound that bad, but if you burp every five to ten seconds for hours on end, it becomes begins to be very annoying. After a few hours it becomes down right frustrating. Over time my symptoms developed into a burning sensation low in my chest that would on occasion rise higher up into my throat. At times this burning was very painful, especially a…

Get Ready for Tomorrow, Today

I enjoy waking up early and getting the day started quickly. My normal goal is to wake up at 4:30 and get something like three hours for myself in the morning before beginning my workday. Feeling most effective in the early morning rather than the late night, I have been taking careful notice of what helps me to regularly wake up and stay up early in the morning.

Certain things will usually cause me to sleep in until the last minute if not prepared the day before. These are such things as not having my backpack packed, clothes laid out, coffee pot prepared, and having no immediate action to take such as a short walk down the street or a few pushups. This last one is key, having a short checklist of things to do immediately when waking up greatly increases the odds that I get out of bed when I had determined to.  Not having these things prepared the day before loses me hours that I could have been productive with and so I like to find ways to more regularly wake up when I mean to.


The Descent of Vines: A D&D 5e Session Report

They had descended the hole some fifty feet. The vines crawled down the sides of the whole all the way to the floor of the dungeon that lay beneath them. From this lower room the vines extended out from the ceiling to the floor forming an earthen wall. Asuryan peeled apart the vines to look into the outer room. Stepping out of the vine enclosure, he motioned for the others to follow.
The room was covered in piles of dirt filled with small saplings. A purple glow came from the moss of the walls and floor. The light was dim as they walked into the darkness of this deep and sunken dungeon. The eerie creaking of a wheel could be heard. Looking up Asuryan saw two skeletal figures, one of which was hauling a wheelbarrow, the other holding a shovel.
With a mechanical reaction the skeletons screamed and hurled themselves at Asuryan. Suthra and Slighter charged forward to his defense. Together they fought these dark dead terrors in the depths of the earth. Their weapons clashed against the bon…

No Code and the Future of Software Development

No Code is a growing term in the software industry. The concept is around having visual methods for creating software based business strategies as well as developing web and native apps. I chose the phrase "a growing term" as apposed to "a growing concept" for a very particular reason which I hope to explain in this blog post.

No Code promises to put the power of software engineers directly into the hands of business strategists and product owners. Instead of needing highly skilled programmers to craft complex algorithmic solutions encoded in obtuse programming languages, anyone can use a visual interface for putting their own ideas into action. This would skip the middle man, revolutionizing software development and disseminate the power of technology. This is true excepts that it does not skip the middle man and it is not revolutionary.

From the dawn of the computer era we have developed simplified abstractions on top of complex underlying mechanics and structures…

What is Hunger?

For the past nine months I have been experimenting with various diets and eating habits. It started with 16 / 8 intermittent fasting on something of a standard american diet. Sense then I have experiments with a slow carb diet where the number of macronutrients is not the concern, but rather the quality of the macronutrients. I also experimented with a low carb diet where regardless of the quality of the carbohydrates, you want them to be low. This then was an easy bridge into the keto diet. During this time I have also experimented with one meal a day which is essentially a 23 hour fast every day and then eating all your food within a one hour window. It is also very important to note that during this same time I usually included a single cheat day each week.

I have kept careful track of total calories, the amount of time I am spending exercising along with the types of exercises, and also body composition changes. I have seen great results in terms of body composition, strength, and …

Goblins in the Deep: A D&D 5e Session Report

The hobgoblins and goblins lay slaughtered on the floor. The door from which they came had been closed behind them as they attacked. Suthra looked around at his fellow delvers and then proceeded to the door. He heard the screeching sound of Meepo's voice behind him. The creatured uttered as best of common speech as he could as an unintelligent kobold, "Help Meepo. Dragon save" he said as he bowed down to Nim. "Help Meepo. Dragon save" he said again, begging for the assistance of the elf.
"Leave us" came Nim's cold reply. "Leave us, and do not return!" He held no sympathy to play nice with kobolds, having experienced the full measure of their evil. Meepo turned and scurried away.
Suthra pressed his ear against the crack in the stone door frame, "nothing" came his whispered voice, "ready yourselves" he continued. With a heave and a shove the door opened. Mysterious purple torch light shone through.
A vicious gargling s…