You’re More Skilled Than You Think

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When you’re in the trenches slinging code, it’s very easy to become disillusioned about your skills. Without a frame of reference, tasks you think should be easy become mind-bendingly difficult and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. That’s certainly been my experience developing for the web and also in designing games. In […]


Process Buzzwords and Gemba Walks

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Looking out the window where I work, my co-workers and I can see the steady progress on the construction of Amazon.com’s new buildings in the South Lake Union neighborhood. Today, safety-vested and hard-hatted troop of people came parading through in the rain, presumably on a tour to see the progress being made. Since we use […]


Javascript Sorting

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Not too long ago, I was asked, as a theoretical question, how I might take a string of random alphabetical characters and sort them in order using Javascript. Thus, given NFARAKDMSLSJDQKJKCXLK, find a simple way to turn it into AACDDFJJKKKKLLMNQRSSX. It’s a pretty basic question for anyone who uses Javascript and I immediately thought of […]


Computer Science Education Week (December 6-12)

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As a current computer science major, I’m glad to see the ACM in a joint effort to help organize Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek), which started December 7th. The week was chosen specifically in honor of Rear Admiral Dr. Grace Murray Hopper, also known as “Amazing Grace”, or “a little old lady who talks to […]


Idioms and Economy of Language

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I was talking with a co-worker about my limited facility with Japanese and my interest in improving my facility with that language. During the course of our conversation, she mentioned a fascinating aspect of Japanese for expressing certain idioms or proverbs. That’s were I learned about yoji-jukugo (四字熟語), which are idiomatic expressions made up of […]


Language Impressions

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Today I read an interesting perspective on Dutch language, particularly the rather unique ‘ij’ sound in that language. But more than that, it’s a poetic take on the way language seems to feel. (via Snarkmarket) “There’s something slightly disturbing about the visual scan of the language (I don’t even know what the term is for […]


Mapping Early Manhattan

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The September 2009 issue of National Geographic Magazine had a fascinating article about Manhattan before it was settled. The article is based on the work of the Manahatta Project, an endeavor to match the current city to the terrain as it existed prior to settlement by Europeans and to then add the ecosystem that went […]


It’s Not Easy Being Green

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With the recent heatwave in Seattle, we discovered that one of the joys of working in a LEED-certified building is that there are controls on how long the air-conditioning can be run (or rather, I suppose, the usage of energy to run the building). That means it wouldn’t kick on until after the sun had […]


Creating an RSS Feed in JHTML

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Because we use an older version of ATG Dynamo (6.2.0) at my place of employment, we’re sometimes constrained in what we can do and aren’t able to take advantage of features in newer versions of Dynamo. One of those features is the ability to generate an RSS feed from a content repository (which I believe […]


A Breadcrumb Story

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Where I work, one of the site features is a breadcrumb trail on all pages allowing linking through the content hierarchy. All of the breadcrumbs in the breadcrumb trail was generated using a rather lengthy Javascript file. The main reason for the length was due how the folders were named and the number of exceptions […]