Edison, Genealogy, and Festivities

Edison, Genealogy, and Festivities Featured Image

It seems we’ve already arrived at the end of week three for The Renegade Coder. That’s an entire week as the only kid on the block. How exciting is that?! The transition has been smooth, but the site has been pretty dead the past week. I guess I’ve gotten a little busy with Edison as well a few other things. Let’s see what I’ve been up to!

Table of Contents

Site Verification

As I’ve said before, one of my biggest goals with the new site is to cut down on extraneous widgets and plugins. I’ve done well so far by using the OnePress theme. It has just about everything I need already integrated.

For functionality that it doesn’t support, I’ve fallen back on plugins like Jetpack, W3 Total Cache, and All in One SEO. In fact, I upgraded to a premium tier of Jetpack because I’m such a big fan of what it has to offer.

This past week, I leveraged the site verification feature of Jetpack to help get The Renegade Coder indexed a little faster. Jetpack allows you to verify your site with Google, Bing, Pinterest, and Yandex. Naturally, I created accounts for all of them, and I’m hoping the analytics help me get my content going organically.

General Work Stress and the Last A-Course Assignment

For those of you who are unaware, I currently work at GE Transportation in my hometown. I’ve been working in the Edison Engineering Development Program since last July. The Edison program allows me to see a different area of the company every six months for two years.

Work has picked up considerably since I started my second rotation. I was previously in an embedded role working on camera systems and video file verification, but now I’m in a more application-level environment where I spend my days troubleshooting Python code.

The trouble is we’re trying to deliver our first product by the end of the month, and I’m responsible for nearly half of the architecture and development. Sometimes I feel like the bureaucracy consumes most of my time, and other times I feel like I’m buried in GitHub issues (granted… I make them).

To add to the struggle, I’m back in the swing of A-Course. A-Course is sort of like a two-semester college course that every Edison has to take. We have a four hour class every week with a homework assignment due the following week. Each assignment requires some sort of design or study followed by a report. Sometimes these reports are accompanied by a presentation.

Needless to say, these classes have soaked up quite a bit of my time and brain power over the last nine months. Each class tacks on anywhere between 10 to 20 hours of work on top of a regular 40 hour work week.

Luckily, the last lecture was this past Thursday. It focused on software architecture, and the assignment has been taking up what is left of my free time. The good news is I’ll be finished up by Friday, so there won’t be anymore late night stress until September! 🙂

Morgan’s Graduation and Mother’s Day

I always seem to have plans to chug through work on the weekend, and then the weekend actually happens. This time I got a mix of my girlfriend’s college graduation and Mother’s Day.

On Saturday, I ran out to Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania with Morgan’s family to celebrate her graduation. She finished up her education degree which she hopes to use in Atlanta starting at the end of this summer. Of course, I’m also hoping to land a job down there as well. We’re expecting a pretty big move coming up in July!

SRU Graduation
Education and Business graduation at Slippery Rock University

Of course, everyone knows that Sunday was Mother’s Day. If you’re fortunate to still have your mom around, I hope you took the time to reach out. I sure did! I got my mom a silly little bonsai tree which she actually seemed pretty excited about. Then we chatted about genealogy for a little bit. Her and I have been getting interested in finding out more about our family tree. But I won’t spill all the details in this section…

Ancestry Research

With what free time I had left, I blew it on building up my family tree. The thing is I got interested in my genealogy a couple months ago. I actually ordered one of those DNA kits from Ancestry.com that you spit into and ship back. I activated the kit on April 9th, so I should be getting the results within the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime I’ve been building my family tree. I’m particularly interested to see if I have any Polish in me. I’ve been under the impression that I’m Polish based on my mother’s maiden name, but I haven’t been able to confirm it yet with my family tree. Hopefully I find out soon!

Site Updates

Latest Posts

Latest Plugin Changes

  • Updated Akismet Anti-Spam to version 3.3.2
  • Updated WooCommerce to version 3.0.6
  • Updated Google Analytics by MonsterInsights to version 6.1.8
  • Updated Page Builder by SiteOrigin to version 2.5.3
  • Updated SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle to version 1.8.6
  • Updated WooCommerce PayPal Powered by Braintree Gateway to version 2.0.1
  • Updated Google Analytics by MonsterInsights to version 6.1.9
  • Updated WooCommerce to version 3.0.7
  • Updated WordPress to version 4.7.5

Coming Soon!

By now, everyone knows about my plans to kick off a PDF store. I haven’t had much of a chance to work on that, but I have started thinking about the next Java series. In fact, I’ve started to lay out the road map for two future series: Java Core and Data Structures.

Java Core

For the Java Core series, I was thinking about simply following up on Java Basics, but tailoring the series toward more difficult subjects like inheritance and polymorphism. In addition, this series would focus on special Java features like streams and lambda expressions. The following is the current layout for this series:

  • Inheritance
  • Enums
  • Comparators
  • Iterators
  • Lambda Expressions
  • Method Referencing
  • Functional Interfaces
  • Streams
  • Review

Of course, this is all preliminary. I want to make sure I cover a lot of the basic object oriented principles that we sort of missed in the first series. Then I’ll dive into language features.

Data Structures

As for the Data Structures series, I just want to run through Big O notation and the standard data structures. In addition, this series will likely hit on topics like sorting. The following is the current layout for this series:

I’m even starting to toy with a software craftsmanship series that covers topics like design patterns and style. For now though, I’d like to start small. I still need to put together some projects to get the store going!

With all that said though, I’m looking to get back to working on another project. Once I get the store up and running, I plan on getting back to work on powlib. I’d like to have that ready to go before Morgan starts teaching. However, we’ll see!

As always, if there’s anything you want to see on the site, feel free to share either below or via email. I always try to be available within 48 hours, but you can expect a quicker turn around. I check my email all the time, and now I’m rocking unlimited data with my cell plan. Unless I’m in a dead zone, I should be on top of every comment and email.

The Legacy Newsletter (56 Articles)—Series Navigation

For a long time, I used to try to write a custom newsletter every week which eventually became every month. If you’re interested in browsing those old posts just to see how this site came to be, I’ve created a small series for you. Check it out!

Today, the regular newsletter is issued via email which you can access by becoming a member of The Renegade Coder. Alternatively, you can subscribe to the newsletterOpens in a new tab. directly through MailChimp.

Jeremy Grifski

Jeremy grew up in a small town where he enjoyed playing soccer and video games, practicing taekwondo, and trading Pokémon cards. Once out of the nest, he pursued a Bachelors in Computer Engineering with a minor in Game Design. After college, he spent about two years writing software for a major engineering company. Then, he earned a master's in Computer Science and Engineering. Today, he pursues a PhD in Engineering Education in order to ultimately land a teaching gig. In his spare time, Jeremy enjoys spending time with his wife, playing Overwatch and Phantasy Star Online 2, practicing trombone, watching Penguins hockey, and traveling the world.

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