Welcome to the June 2018 Newsletter. Last month was quite productive, so let’s see a recap.
Table of Contents
June 2018 Digest
In May, I published 18 articles (not including last month’s update):
- 9 articles for the Sample Programs in Every Language collection
- 4 articles for the A String of Unfavorable Roles series
- 1 article about my wedding
- 1 article about my name change
- 1 article for the Journey to a PhD series
- 1 article about cool programming language features
- 1 article about coder infallibility
In total, that amounts to about 25,000 words.
The Coolest Programming Language Features
As the Sample Programs in Every Language series grows, I continue to discover cool programming language features for the first time. The Coolest Programming Language Features article is a tribute to all they cool features I’ve learned about on this journey.
Of course, I continue to find cool features all the time, so don’t be surprised if I update this article pretty regularly. As of right now, here’s the list:
- Extension Methods
- Automatic Properties
- Optional Chaining
- Lambda Expressions
- Gradual Typing
- Multiple Dispatch
- Inline Testing
- Inline Assemblers
If you know of any cool language features, let me know in the comments.
The Artificial Arrogance
As we continue on in the String of Unfavorable Roles series, we’ll stumble upon the Artificial Arrogance. If you haven’t read this article yet, it’s a little bit more rough than some of my others. That’s because arrogance is something that frustrates me quite a bit. After all, arrogance is a barrier to knowledge, and I love to learn and educate.
That said, much of this article compares engineering to manufacturing. As we watch the downfall of traditional manufacturing, I sometimes wonder how engineers can still feel safe and comfortable in their careers.
At any rate, you’ll get a proper take on my opinion of engineering arrogance in this article.
Sample Programs in Every Language
As usual, instead of cluttering up the digest with the various program articles, here’s a nice little sublist from the past month:
- Hello World in Visual Basic .NET
- Hello World in D
- Hello World in PicoLisp
- Hello World in Bash
- Hello World in ALGOL 68
- Hello World in Google Apps Script
- Hello World in C*
- Hello World in PowerShell
As always, if you want to contribute to this series, head on over to the GitHub repository.
The Irony in Coder Infallibility
Often times when I publish a new article, I have to deal with a handful of critics. As frustrating as this was when I first got started, I’ve started to grow a thick skin.
Of course, not everything has been so easy, so I’ve decided to fire back with a bit of an article that touches on topics like emotional intelligence and arrogance. If that sounds interesting, take a look.
The Military Mentality
If you’ve been following along with the A String of Favorable Roles series, then you know I’ve already ranted about bureaucracy, arrogance, and managers. Now, I’m calling attention to project management.
In The Military Mentality, I spend a lot of time critiquing the phrase “Hurry Up and Wait.” During my time as an engineer, I felt like there was always a calm before the storm. That’s no way to treat your employees.
The Grifski Wedding
If this is you’re first time hearing about a wedding, guess what! I got married, and I finally got around to writing about it. Of course, if you’re hoping to hear about a huge blowout wedding, the article will be a bit disappointing.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to do something a bit less traditional without upsetting your entire family, you might like this article. Morgan and I are happy with how everything turned out.
The Dire Discrimination
When I was drafting up A String of Unfavorable Roles, one subject just kept coming up: discrimination. Of course, as I preface the article, discrimination is not something I expect to deal with as a straight white male. That said, there was an abundance of discrimination in engineering. In fact, even I felt the impacts of it.
Of all the types of discrimination, I faced age discrimination—something that isn’t often discussed beyond hazing. But, isn’t age discrimination of youth just hazing? That’s the question I tackle in the Dire Discrimination.
How Griffith Became Grifski: A Name Change Story
Since you know I got married, you should know that I also changed my name. Unfortunately, that reality hasn’t exactly gone over well with many people.
In this article, I tackle the issue of male name changing as well as the process for doing so. If that sounds interesting, this is a great article for you.
The Looming Legacy
In every engineering group that has at least a couple years under its belt, there’s a fair amount of legacy system work that must be maintained. As a result, you may find yourself in the unfortunate position of maintaining an old system with no retirement date in sight.
As someone who was exposed to software for rusty locomotives, I’m aware of the nightmare that is legacy code. In this article, I tackle what that experience is like and how it can make for a bad experience.
Journey to a PhD
Since I’m just a couple months away from starting my PhD, I thought it would be cool to kick off a little blog series about the journey. In this article, I tackle the application process and my decision. Unfortunately, you’ll have to read the article to find out more!
June 2018 Community
Last month, I had a lot of fun reading and reviewing articles in the community. This month, I plan to continue that trend. However, the articles I plan to review aren’t all necessarily coding related. In fact, some are a little political, so I apologize if that’s not your thing. Feel free to skip over any of that stuff.
Words to Avoid in Educational Writing
Recently, one of my Sample Programs contributors let me know that some of my language can come off as condescending. They had done so by updating my contribution instructions with more inclusive language. Of course, their contributions can only help so much. In the end, I have to take the step forward to improve my own writing.
In addition to their comments, they also shared a Tweet with me that ultimately led me to an article titled Words to Avoid in Educational Writing. As indicated by the title, the article does a great job of sharing a list of words that would be best left out of education writing—something I do a lot of.
If you read that article, one of the phrases the author recommends not to use is “of course.” To be honest, I’m screwed with that one. I use that so often as a transition because it’s a nice little colloquialism. After all, I don’t like my work to seem overly formal. I want everyone to feel comfortable with my material.
As for everything else, I’ll keep working at it.
Psychology of Code Readability
About halfway through last month, I stumbled upon an article called Psychology of Code Readability. Being someone who is rather passionate about code readability, I found the article to be a great read.
But it wasn’t just a good read, the article also contains plenty of images to help through some of the concepts. Perhaps I should get back into that a bit. After all, I love to make visual aids.
At any rate, I love the breakdown of the various readability components like name scope, idioms, and uncertainty. In each section, the author does an excellent job of showing both good and bad examples.
At the end of the day, however, readability is still largely subjective, so feel free to grab only what is useful and pass it on.
Remote Workers Are Outperforming Office Workers–Here’s Why
If you didn’t know already, I spent a bit of my time in the industry working remote. While I didn’t exactly love the experience, I can vouch for everything in Remote Workers Are Outperforming Office Workers–Here’s Why.
As a summary, the author cites three major points as to why remote workers are outperforming office workers:
While I don’t love how these points play out in reality, I agree that they do drive remote workers to be more productive. In fact, I felt like I was far more productive after leaving the office. Perhaps we should move toward a more remote model.
Golden Knights Were Built for Success Thanks to Favourable Expansion Terms
If you weren’t already aware, I love to watch hockey. Unfortunately, I won’t be watching my team this June as they didn’t make it beyond the second round. That said, I have been supporting the Winnipeg Jets as they used to be the Atlanta Thrashers.
Oh, and I’ve been supporting the Tampa Bay Lightning because the Washington Capitals are the worst. After all, I refuse to support Tom Wilson. Just take a look at some of these hits:
Of course, the only team left in the third round is the Vegas Golden Knights. If you weren’t aware that Vegas had a hockey team, that’s because they just got one this year. Perhaps even more surprisingly, that team is already in the third round of the playoffs.
As a result, a lot of people are wondering how this was possible including Greg Beacham who wrote Golden Knights were built for success thanks to favourable expansion terms. And, I’d have to agree.
Basically, the article covers what you would imagine:
- Expansion draft was the most favorable of all time
- However, no one could have guessed the instant success
- Also, you have to hand it to the team for their dedication
All in all, I think the article is solid, but Vegas fans are more than a little salty about it. Just check out some of the comments:
No one, and I mean NO ONE thought Vegas would be a success before the season began. Now for people to say that the team was going to be a winner now, is simple wrong!
And this one:
The (expansion draft) rules were favourable to a point but GM’s and owners still made these players available. GM’s and owners have become so reliant on “Central scouting” they rarely look at players for potential whereas Vegas did.
Oh, and this one:
So why weren’t all the media telling us back before the season started this Knights team was going to be a juggernaut? I don’t remember one NHL analyst giving Vegas a chance to make the playoffs let alone compete for the Stanley Cup! I think it’s a credit to the organization, coaching staff and the enthusiastic Vegas fans that the team has done so well, let’s not forget the goaltending injuries they had at the start of the year and they still did good.
That’s a lot of salt coming from some fans who haven’t even watched a full season yet—or they jumped ship which seems to be popular lately. But, I digress.
A Team of Misfits
Personally, I get irritated with this concept of a team of misfits. Just because a player wasn’t protected doesn’t mean they were a reject. Unfortunately, that narrative seems to be fueling their success.
Perhaps I’m a little upset that a team is this successful right out of the gate. But, who wouldn’t be? There are established teams like the Columbus Blue Jackets who have never even left the first round. In fact, the Blue Jackets are 18 years old and have only five postseason wins under their belt. Yet, even they gave up William Karlsson who went on to be one of the Golden Knights’ best scorers.
The Golden Knights are a team of second and third liners. So, while their top line may not be as good as most top lines, their bottom line is leagues above the average bottom line. In other words, they have the depth most teams can’t sustain. After all, let’s not forget they’re backstopped by a 3-time Stanley Cup Champion, Marc-Andre Fleury.
In a league with this much parity, it’s hard to discredit the Vegas Golden Knights. After all, every team has a fair shot at the cup. That said, it’s hard not to look at their instant success and wonder how much of that was a result of the expansion draft. After all, each team did take a slight hit in depth.
We’ll see how they pan out over the next couple years when they’re forced to play by the same rules as everyone else. In the meantime, I’m praying they don’t get the cup. That would be downright baffling; pay $500 million to receive a cup. Thanks, capitalism.
The Blame Game
Many of the players Vegas drafted were young talents or seasoned veterans—no real star power beyond Fleury. Consequently, predictions were rather negative. As a result, people cite these predictions as proof that there isn’t anything inherently wrong with the expansion draft. That’s quite the fallacy. Since when does prior popular opinion matter at all when we have a verifiable outcome?
Rant aside, something is clearly wrong here. In a league this balanced, we would expect Vegas to fall middle of the pack. If we’re lucky, they would end up a wildcard team. At worst, they would finish in the bottom five. No one expected them to cruise to the Stanley Cup Finals while beating the second best team in the league in five games.
At any rate, where do we cast blame? People like to blame the GMs, but I can’t say that I would beyond Florida. After all, how do the other teams protect against bad deals? Likewise, what deals can bottom 5 teams make? How about top teams with little cap space? In other words, the leverage is clearly in the hands of the expansion team.
While we’re on the topic of blame, everyone seems to be crediting the Vegas coaching staff and management while simultaneously discrediting 30 other teams. Even with the small sample size, I feel like that’s statistically impossible. Can all 30 teams really have been their own demise? This is victim blaming at its finest.
In my opinion, the current expansion draft is a major problem. Perhaps not so much for the league as its clearly bringing in money, but it’s definitely an issue for diehard fans. It’s bad enough fans have to watch the new team steal players. Why would anyone want to watch them win the cup?
In the end, I have to hand it to Vegas. I don’t like what I’m seeing, but I can’t turn my back on awesome players like Fleury and Reaves.
Oh, and I can’t possibly support a team that has Tom Wilson, so you know I’ll be rooting for Vegas in the final. We can’t have that goon’s name on the cup.
That said, I’ll be looking to future expansion teams like Seattle to see if the expansion draft really played a perfect hand to Vegas.
Saying We Should Treat Guns Like Cars Overstates How Well We Regulate Cars
I believe we’re all familiar with the latest shooting, right? Some kid decided to steal his parents guns and shot up his school. At this point in America, I’m hardly surprised by this story, yet I’m even less surprised that nothing has changed.
What’s the solution to this madness? On one side, we have a group of gun obsessed lunatics who refuse to give up their weapons even if it means saving someone they loved. Meanwhile, we have a group of anti-gun protesters who want strip everyone of another freedom if it means saving a single kid from a gun crime. As you can see, there’s really no gray area here.
But, I’m not here to argue gun control. After all, the issue is incredibly nuanced, and honestly I think the scope is much broader than simply controlling guns. We need a multifaceted approach that tackles issues like mental health and other cultural issues like healthcare and drugs.
That said, I do have a bone to pick with every single person who tries to compare guns to cars. Fortunately, one author has done a great job of contrasting gun issues with driver safety trends, bad human behavior, and even self-driving cars.
That said, before I get into my opinion, I want to examine this article a bit. Overall, the argument seems to be that regulating guns like cars in the United States would be useless. After all, the United States is doing a terrible job of regulating cars.
Throughout the article, the author compares the United States to other developed nations in various stats related to driving and gun ownership. My only gripe is the comparison between gun deaths (82 times as bad as abroad) and vehicle deaths (twice as bad as abroad). The author seems to act like these are somehow equivalent.
In the end, I love the point about self-driving vehicles. Basically, the author states that eventually self-driving vehicle will replace regular driving, and people will be crying for the right to use a steering wheel despite the overwhelming data against it.
Of course, I still hate the analogy, but I thought some of the author’s points were interesting.
Guns Don’t Kill People
In my opinion, I would ask people to please stop comparing guns to cars. It’s a false analogy for many reasons.
Let’s say person A claims that guns don’t kill people. To support their claim, they argue that we don’t blame cars for accidents. Instead, we blame the driver.
Now, is that a fair point? Consider the following:
What do car manufacturers do when they find out their vehicles are unsafe? They improve their vehicle’s safety. Now, what do gun manufacturers do when there’s a gun crime? They argue for more guns while improving the killing power of existing ones.
My point is that death is a byproduct of vehicle use. While that byproduct is a major issue, every manufacturer is doing what they can to limit the risk of death. At the end of the day, we use cars to travel.
Meanwhile, the primary use for a gun is to kill. Whether that be for hunting, defense, or straight-up murder, that’s a gun’s main use case. As a result, manufacturers are always looking for ways to improve a weapon’s killing power. Whether that be by improving its accuracy, range, or destructive power, it doesn’t matter.
But, if Person A really wants to compare cars to guns, let’s treat them the same way. Everyone has to take a gun test, both written and weapon. Upon successful completion, you receive a state issued photo ID. Meanwhile, manufacturers shift their focus to weapon safety.
If that sounds like an interesting concept, I found a couple articles that cover the idea:
I’m aware that the original article I recommended sort of goes against this idea, but I’m all for it.
That said, even this logic is trumped by the fact that guns are a constitutional right. The hilarious part is that this right is an amendment, meaning the constitution can be changed. Oddly enough, we got the right to bear arms before black people got the right to be citizens. It’s funny how history works.
While we’re here, humor me for a second. Why aren’t gun nuts calling for even more gun rights, you know? Like, why aren’t they asking for mines, grenades, and drones? How about snipers, tanks, aircraft carriers? Why don’t people have access to nukes?
Could it be that even for these animals there are weapons that cross the line? Sometimes I wonder.
Hell, while we’re here, let me ask this: is this fear of the government a legit issue? We have three branches after all, right? Can a tyrant even come to power? My favorite angry libertarian, Ben Shapiro, would say so. Granted, I think he tries to argue that less government would have reduced racism, so take whatever he has to say with a grain of salt.
Criminals Don’t Follow Laws
Overall, the issue is complicated. For instance, a common argument I see is that criminals don’t follow laws. Now, is that an argument against laws? I’m not sure I understand.
When this logic is applied to the gun debate, we end up with a positive feedback loop:
- Criminals become armed
- Citizens must become armed to protect against criminals
- Criminals become more armed?
In other words, an increase in weapons implies more safety. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I’m buying that logic. To me, an increase in weapons implies easier access to weapons. Ultimately, that can lead to any number of things: more suicides, more accidents, more homicides, etc.
America is so full of guns at this point that I’m not sure there is even a solution to this problem.
Joke’s on You
At any rate, I’m over this topic. Before I move on, here’s a list of funny tweets on the subject:
So half of the right is arguing for door control, and the other half is telling teenage girls to have sex with any boy who wants it to prevent mass shootings. Welcome to the modern American conservative movement.
— Jerry (@js_edit) May 20, 2018
Republicans shouldn’t pussyfoot the 2nd amendment. The right to bear arms isn’t just about owning a pistol or an AR-15, but about having the right to the same artillery as the military. The push for freedom will not rest until ALL weapons become legal to the public.
— Liberty Hangout (@LibertyHangout) May 7, 2018
This is the gofundme for the man with terminal cancer whose wife had to go back to work to pay for it and was murdered in school the other day. https://t.co/PvsT3Fziar
— Sean T. Collins (@theseantcollins) May 20, 2018
Naturally, this discussion is always fruitless. For every point I make, there’s a thousand of others who will circumvent it before they see the full picture. There’s another group I know like that. They’re called flat-earthers.
Wabtec to Merge with GE Transportation
From what I can gather from the article, this is hardly a merger. In fact, it looks like Wabtec is going to completely own GE Transportation at some point in the next year. At least, that’s what I’m gathering from this quote:
While the entire company will operate under the Wabtec name, Campanelli said the GE Transportation name is expected to continue in some fashion.
I’ll be interested to see what happens to the Edison program. No doubt that Wabtec will have some reservations about throwing money away on it. Of course, I’m sure the program will have no connection with the rest of GE. And, it all would have happened before I finished.
That said, I feel bad for Erie. Hopefully, companies like Erie Insurance can pick up the slack and try to resurrect the city a bit. I imagine Wabtec is going to phase out the Erie plant if possible. After all, they’re not making locomotives there anymore.
While we’re here, I’d just like to share this quote:
“They have been trying to bust the union since (CEO Lorenzo) Simonelli was here,” Young said. “We make too much money, which is why they opened Texas. We make a good product, but they want it for half the money.”
I’m glad even this guy acknowledges the union makes too much money. That’s something I wrote about in my Artificial Arrogance article.
N.F.L. Teams Will Be Fined for Players’ Anthem Kneeling
But wait, there’s more! After all, I can’t leave this June update without addressing the new NHL policy to fine players for anthem kneeling.
To be honest, I hate getting political. That said, this topic is just outrageous to me. In fact, I find this so crazy and radical that I’m not even going to address the symbolic arguments. Instead, let’s talk reality.
As of May 2018, players are going to be fined for kneeling during a song. Can anyone even wrap their mind around that?
Imagine your employer forced you to stand and listen to Nickelback’s Photograph every morning:
While that is probably the most insane thing you’ve ever heard, picture this: investors and fans of the company hear about you sitting during the sacred Nickleback song, so they stop supporting your company.
In a panic, your boss creates a policy that fines people for ignoring the Nickleback song in the morning. As a result, you’re forced to stand and listen or risk losing money.
To make matters worse, you’ve become infamous on the internet. “How can he disrespect the sacred Nickleback song,” they say. “Think about the people who died for that song and photograph,” they scream.
Congratulations, you’re Colin Kaepernick, and you’re a villain for disrespecting a melody and a symbol. Never mind the fact that you’re simply exercising your first amendment rights as a citizen. Never mind the fact that you’re protesting a photograph that doesn’t represent you or people like you. In the end, you’re being chastised for everyone’s interpretation of an inanimate object and a collection of tones.
Oh man, what a time to be alive.
Only You Can Prevent Tech Burnout
Alright, let’s get back to talking about tech.
Recently, I found an article about burnout by my favorite tech author, April Wensel, the founder of compassionate coding. As the title suggests, the article covers different ways to prevent burnout which include finding meaningful work, getting physical activity, cultivating growth, focusing, and developing compassion.
Just because I gave up all the main headings doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go support the author. I recommend you check out this article as it’s a great introduction to the lack of compassion in the engineering and technology environments.
It’s Time to Retire “RTFM”
While we’re on the topic of compassionate coding, I found another awesome article by April. Of course, this one is about retiring terminology.
To be completely honest, I had never heard the term RTFM until I read this article. As it turns out, RTFM means Read The F*cking Manual which is about as insensitive as it gets. I would even argue RTFM is the current embodiment of Stack Overflow culture, so I already have an aversion to it.
After reading more of April’s work, I find that she does a much better job at articulating her thoughts than I do. In many of my articles, I turn to personal rants and aggressive anecdotes. Meanwhile, April focuses on the future while commenting on the present. I need to be more like that.
The Old “Don’t Bring Up a Problem Unless You Have a Proposed Solution” Rule
I think you’ll find that the title says it all, but I think this is a valuable topic considering how much I complain in my A String of Unfavorable Roles series. After all, I don’t believe I’m whining. Instead, I think I’m tackling issues that are too big for me to come up with a sensible solution.
Regardless, the article is great. Basically, it covers a few scenarios where it would be crazy to avoid talking about problems (i.e. Global Warming). By the end of the article, you should feel comfortable with addressing real problems without feeling like you’re complaining.
June 2018 Added Value
Perhaps one of my favorite section from the new monthly update is the added value section. This month I have a lot to cover including minimalism, anime, and video games, so let’s get into it.
Obviously, I value The Minimalist since they inspired this segment, but I have a special reason this month. After all, I’m a normal listener to their podcast, so they’re work isn’t usually extremely profound. Why should it be? The message is simple: how might your life be better with less?
That said, this month I have to hand it to them. They had one of the best podcasts I’ve ever heard. In fact, it was so good that I even mentioned it to a few friends, and I typically keep to myself. Check out their podcast titled Schools featuring T.K. Coleman.
While I didn’t always agree with Coleman, I thought a lot of the points he made were solid. In fact, I really enjoyed his bits about family and the idea that they don’t always want what’s best for you.
Burden of Proof
While we’re on the subject of podcasts, let’s talk about another one that brought me a lot of value in the last month.
Recently, I decided to start listening to a new podcast called Revisionist History. As it turns out, they have an excellent podcast on CTE which makes me wish every high hit in the NHL were punished. But more than anything, it makes me wish the NHL paid any attention at all to Tom Wilson.
At any rate, the podcast is great. It gives you insight into CTE, and how it’s responsible for player suicides. As it turns out, CTE is pretty scary. It makes me want to outlaw head contact in all sports as soon as possible.
If you don’t know by now, I love a good anime. However, I haven’t really watched much anime in about a year. Instead, I’ve been working or playing Overwatch.
Honestly, I think part of the reason I abandoned anime for a bit is I’ve become a bit of an anime snob. Basically, I have a type of anime that I really like, and a lot of them don’t make the cut. If you want an idea of the kinds of anime I like, here are some of my favorites:
- Your Lie in April
- Tokyo Ghoul
- Mirai Nikki
- Made in Abyss
If you’re looking for a trend, I tend to be a fan of anime that are emotionally taxing. In other words, I like to feel what the characters are feeling.
Of course, I love a good comedy too, but they tend not to make it on my list of favorites as they don’t usually stick with me long term.
At any rate, I got a lot of value out of Angel Beats! this past month. I wouldn’t say it’s a particularly good anime, but I enjoyed it. Believe it or not, I really only watched it because I heard it was pretty sad. Unfortunately, it’s a major let down in that department until literally the last episode, but I still recommend it.
Normally, I wouldn’t bring something up in the added value section just to bash it, but I’m just so frustrated with Overwatch anymore.
The Fight to Diamond
Since the game released, I have been playing on and off. In fact, I’m fifth prestige—if that’s what you want to call it—and I finally hit diamond last season. However, I think I’m going to give the game up for awhile.
After spending literally hundreds of hours playing Overwatch, I find that the ranking system still has one major problem: it somehow manages to prefer previous teammates when matchmaking. How is this not the most incredible flaw ever?
Here, I’ll give an example. Since season 10, everyone seems to be playing Hanzo all of the sudden. If you’re not aware, I play a lot of Hanzo, and I have since the game launched. However, I refrain from playing him because he instantly tilts your entire team.
The Hanzo Meta
But now that Hanzo is in the meta, everyone instalocks him including my buddy Putty. Who’s Putty you might ask? Well, Putty is this idiot that I had the misfortune of matching with three games in a row—all losses. Naturally, I fell back into platinum.
What did Putty do exactly? Well, he locked in Hanzo at the beginning of every single match and proceeded to single-handedly throw each of those matches by tilting teammates by refusing to swap.
Can anyone tell me why it’s my responsibility to stop playing the game just so I don’t get paired up with this idiot? How was I never fortunate enough to at least end up on the other team? Even after reporting him twice, I still got paired with him a third time. Come on, Blizzard. Now, I’m three games in the hole because of a terrible matchmaking system
I think the icing on the cake is that this idiot will probably get banned, but I’ll never be compensated for my troubles. Instead, I’ll have to deal with some other Putty down the road. After all, there seems to be literally thousands of them just trolling matchmaking.
At any rate, I guess the silver lining here is I’ll be giving up a hobby that is effectively just wasting my time. How’s that for minimalism?
As a user, you won’t notice any difference, but I’m hoping these policies will be automatically updated to comply with GDPR. Now, I don’t collect any user data, so there’s no impact on your end. That said, I’d like to make sure my terms are compliant regardless.
While we’re on the subject of GDPR, I’m super excited that my information will no longer be floating about on the internet via WHOIS and whatnot. I already get enough spam as it is even with that information private.
Easy Table of Contents
As you may have noticed around the site, I have completely converted every post to now include a table of contents. Personally, I love it. Not only does it automatically generate an excellent overview of my work, but I can use it to easily navigate my own articles.
In the future, all new articles will also include a table of contents. The new structure is great because it allows anyone to quickly jump to the sections they need. No longer will you have to scroll through a post to find anything.
And, when you’re browsing a post, you can copy the link to the section you need and share it with others. How cool is that?
June 2018 Discussion
Last month, I asked all of you “what makes a good coder?” Unfortunately, I didn’t get any responses. If you want to add to that discussion, feel free to check out last month’s update.
That said, this month I want to talk about personal projects. That’s because lately I’ve been leveraging Ben Halpern’s weekly open source contributors article. Since shamelessly using this post for a few weeks, I’ve watched my own Sample Programs project grow rapidly.
As a result, I want to pay that support forward by opening up this post to the public for sharing open source projects. Go ahead! Share whatever you’re working on below in the comments.
Coming Soon to The Renegade Coder!
When I switched from weekly to monthly updates, I was hoping to cut down on my workload, and I think I was successful. However, the new format was lacking a very personal component from the weekly updates; I find that I enjoy chatting about myself a little on the blog every now and then.
As a result, you probably noticed that I incorporated a few personal topics in the community section. From hockey to gun violence, I felt like these were all good topics to at least chat about. After all, we all have lives outside of coding.
In the future, I intend to keep this personal aspect in my monthly updates, but I hope to distill the content down a bit. We’re up over 6000 words in this update, and that’s probably not ideal. That said, I expect the updates to simmer down by the time I start my PhD. Until then, expect a lot more of the same.
As much as I love to write, I don't read nearly as much as I should. That's why when I recommend an article, you should probably check it out.
If you're looking to learn some Python, I have plenty of practice problems to get you started.