Getting healthy!


In a departure from the things I normally talk about here, I’m going to do a short(?) series of posts on health-related stuff — some apps and tools I like (or don’t), plus some recipes I’ve been into lately. It should go without saying that by “health” I do not mean body-shaming of any variety. Body-shaming also will not be tolerated in the comments. This series is about good habits and feeling good (and a little bit of gadget love), and that’s all. Still, not everybody’s into health stuff, or any other topic I might post about, and I get … Continue reading

Two keys to a failed CS education

Not a great place to start

I think there are two keys to why I was a successful electrical engineer, when I did not (initially) succeed as a computer scientist—despite being more interested in the latter, to begin with, and despite wanting to pursue the latter now. The first key: invisible struggle, no displays of fallibility I went to the University of Virginia as an undergrad. I transferred into the Engineering School a year in, which put me approximately one semester behind my peers. I chose Electrical Engineering (EE) instead of Computer Science (CS), even though it was a CS major who convinced me to switch. … Continue reading

Looking at 2014

Mom brought me daisies for my wedding anniversary, because she knew I was sad that Dale was in Alaska.

I always write either a year-end or a year-beginning post, depending whether I want to focus on reflection or resolution—or maybe depending on when I get around to it. :) Re-reading my 2014 resolutions post is a little heart-breaking, not only because I was in such a bad place (so much physical pain; I sound so defeated, in that post), but also because I didn’t stick to the plan. I was going to take this year easy, make sure I had time to paint my nails—or do some other “unproductive” thing — every week, ha. I was going to make … Continue reading



I started writing my annual changing-of-the-calendar-year post, and I realized I was spilling a lot of virtual ink on, arguably, a pretty small aspect of my year — because, while it’s kind of unimportant, in the scheme of things, it also takes a little explanation. And it’s fun! So, rather than keep expanding the bullet point in that post, I figured I’d give Ingress its own post and just link to it in making my points about 2014. Ingress is an augmented reality game created by Google. It’s probably really cool with Google Glass, but I’ve only ever seen people … Continue reading

A little bit about Unicode


I thought about writing a really long post about handling Unicode in Python, but, honestly, you should go watch this video; that’s where most of my points would have come from, anyway. (It’s a great video! It’s funny and helpful and relevant, whether you use Python 2 or 3. I hope I get to go to PyCon and meet Ned in person and thank him for it!) If you wonder how I ended up watching that video—along with several coworkers—we were doing a lot of metadata parsing, as part of our work on the SHARE project. We were building an … Continue reading

Playing with GitHub

this shows up when GitHub has errors

I had the opportunity, at work (and a bit outside of work), to learn the GitHub API, as wrapped by Python’s github3 module. I found the documentation really hard to follow, maybe because I don’t have a lot of experience reading API docs, or because it wasn’t organized in the way I think about things, or maybe just because my work on this API was part of a larger, much more harrowing project, and I was already discouraged* … who knows? I made a thing! Maybe it’s helpful! Ultimately, I ended up documenting the parts of it I needed to … Continue reading

Psoriatic arthritis awareness


October 29 is World Psoriasis Day. I’ve already missed World Arthritis Day (Facebook link), which was October 12th. (I was too busy to write, then, anyway.) I’m going to bullet point out the conclusions I want you to draw from this post, before I get to the post itself. Consider this a TL;DR: Not all disabilities are visible. Many people are fighting battles that you can’t perceive. Some people literally have fewer hours in their day than you do, either because they need more hours of sleep per night, or because their body requires extra daily maintenance to work; some … Continue reading

Help make #moreadacamps happen!

the AdaCamp star

I’ve written before about how amazing AdaCamp is. Twice. By now, y’all know it was a huge step in my growth as an intersectional feminist and as a member of the open culture and development communities. I wish there was some way to have everyone go through the Impostor Syndrome and Ally Skills workshops—the world would be a better place! So this is going to be a short post. Throughout this week, AdaCamp alumni are planning to blog about our experiences at AdaCamp and about why it’s so vital that AdaCamps continue happening, so that more women in open culture … Continue reading

Three weeks as a developer

My work laptop is fairly opinionated, too.

Three weeks have gone by. I still don’t feel like a real developer, most of the time. But there are glimmers, moments when I do. Usually it’s right after I finish a little script of some sort, or I give a funny name to a variable (while still following PEP 8), or I use a clever shortcut, or I realize I’m writing really opinionated code. There’s that moment of “YES! I am good at this!” Continue reading