Welcome! Here you'll find doses of many things I think about in my spare time, and hopefully give you some things to think about in yours. I'd love to hear from you if you're interested in anything I mention here.

“So you see! There's no end to the things you might know, depending how far beyond Zebra you go." - Dr. Seuss

I'm currently teaching people how to code at The Iron Yard. I'm a lifelong learner interested in how to make information a democratizing force.

Coding is thinking practice

Published on Friday, Jan 29, 2016 under #reflections

I talk to a lot of people who get caught up on “the right way to learn to code” and other variants of that question (what language they should learn, whether they should attend a bootcamp, whether they want to focus on frontend / backend / etc). I’ve recently seized the opportunity to move from the tech product world into coding education @ The Iron Yard, and the experience has helped me form opinions on learning and teaching code.

Living a life of improv

Published on Thursday, May 28, 2015

I just finished my first post-middle school improv course from the fine folks at Leela SF and was absolutely blown away by how much I took away from it. I joined the class thinking it’d potentially be fun and I’d perhaps get a bit more comfortable with myself but walked away with a bunch of new friends and perspectives on how I interact with others and myself. On day one our instructor told us that improv was a lifestyle, not just a hobby.

Heatwave, my first mobile app

Published on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 under #neckbeard

I use my phone a lot, but not nearly as much as I should for calling and legitimately catch up with far-away friends. I’m not what one would call a maestro at keeping in touch, and often my phone serves as much as a distraction as it does a helpful tool for improving my life. Back in 2013 I was spending quite a bit of time walking back and forth between school and home and noticed that I was calling the same family-and-girlfriend circle and regularly losing track of how long it’d be since I’d talked to other friends.

I shall pass this way but once

Published on Saturday, May 2, 2015 under #reflections

I’ve been doing a lot of reflection recently on what I find important. A good friend just sent me Sam Altman’s latest write-up on life advice now that he’s hit the ripe old age of 30 and I thought the exercise (as well as his version of the output) was really interesting. Several of my mentors have encouraged me to periodically reflect deeply on where I’ve come and where I want to go, and I’ve been tossing around a couple of nuggets for several months now, though I’ve never taken the time to polish them.

The joys of Hugo, my new blogging platform

Published on Wednesday, Apr 8, 2015 under #neckbeard and #website

I recently re-launched my website, which pivots primarily around my personal blog. For years I’ve used Wordpress to manage my own site, which is great for what it does but frankly overkill for what I need, with a bunch of administration menus, a database, plugins, etc. I’ve got a lot less time to spend administering my own site than I did in college, so what I want is a simple, fast, secure, and rock-solid site that has very few parts that can break, even if it means I have to trade that off for a bunch of bells and whistles.

Books that grew my brain

Published on Monday, Apr 6, 2015 under #brainfood

I love nonfiction. I finished reading Guns, Germs, and Steel recently (another book I may write about later!) which describes writing as one of the underappreciated technologies that gave Europeans an advantage in their conquest of ancient North American civilizations like the Aztecs and Incas. The key advantage in that case is how much it’s possible to learn from reading the work of others, such as military strategy in unfamiliar terrain.

Picking your battles

Published on Monday, Mar 2, 2015 under #reflections

I’m going to start this one off by saying that I generally prefer to avoid most forms of confrontation. There are a lot of people who aren’t good at handling disagreements, and there are also some people who are remarkably good at it. This is one of those dramatically undervalued skills can really change the way that people view you, and it doesn’t usually get the screen time that it deserves.

Get the gist

Published on Sunday, Feb 22, 2015 under #gist

Learning new stuff can be really intimidating, especially if it’s in a field you don’t know much about. Many topics are big and meaty so figuring out where to start can sometimes be the hardest part of getting going, especially if you don’t have access to someone who knows the ropes and can help you break it down. As a firm believer in the protégé effect, I’m going to try kicking off a series of posts that I’m calling “gists” that have two interrelated goals: Force myself to understand difficult concepts well enough to explain them to someone with no background on the topic.

Street fighting math and the age of inspiration

Published on Sunday, Feb 22, 2015 under #edu

It’s pretty rare to see an entire field redefined before you, especially when you’re relatively young. Education, I think, is both a tremendously important practice, both culturally and socially, and is nearing on it’s way up a climb that will shatter what exists today with obsolescence. The very objective of education has recently changed, and many of the things we’re doing today still drive towards yesterday’s goal, not the one our new ship is sailing towards.