Tag: Career

Slides from tek11

Here are my slides from my two talks at PHP 2011 tek conference in Chicago, IL.  Slide PDFs and any demo code are on GitHub.  Recap to follow!

Of (PHP) Sessions, Cookies, and Authentication

Do you know the difference between the PHP config directives session.gc_maxlifetime and session.cookie_lifetime? Have you wrestled with implementing a “Remember Me” button on your login page? Learn how popular sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, keep you logged in (apparently) forever and the security risks of such methods.

Who’s Using Your Software?

Software is only successful if someone can use it. Good developers need to do more than just follow specifications, they need to visualize the people who will use it and understand what they need. Get to know your users and the questions you need to ask to make your implementation a success on all fronts.

I am nothing if not timely. 

Last month, Chris Shiflett proposed an excellent blog revival idea, wherein I am to write a blog in the month of March about why I like blogs.  Of the ones I managed to read, I liked this “Ideas of March” the best. As for me, well, we are halfway through April – but I started this draft in March?  Here were the rules:

  1. Write a post called Ideas of March.
  2. List some of the reasons you like blogs.
  3. Pledge to blog more the rest of the month.
  4. Share your thoughts on Twitter with the #ideasofmarch hashtag.

So here goes…

Way before I had a technology blog, I had a blog about local issues.  Local politics, sports, development, you name it.  I started that blog because I had a lot of opinions about development that was happening around me and issues that were balloted, and I couldn’t rob the world of my enlightened positions by keeping them to myself.   Blogs allow anyone with something to say to say it.

Blogs are ultimately social.  Before there were tweetups, there were blogger meetups. And it is very easy to have something to talk about when introducing yourself to someone (“Hey, I really liked your blog about…”).  Twitter has taken that “breaking the ice” concept to new levels, but it I’d much rather have someone come up to me and say that they’ve read my blog rather than say that they follow me.

Blogs are written, and writing is a good skill to practice.  If I have to write to explain something, then I have to know it well.  And with practice, the explanation gets better and clearer. Then other thoughts get better and clearer.  Then the world just gets better and clearer.

Oh, and blogs contain a crapload of useful information that solve all sorts of problems, or just spread interesting news.

In summary, I like blogs because:

  1. They give everyone a voice.
  2. They help people be more social.
  3. They help me improve my writing.
  4. They contain a crapload of useful information and news.

To round off the requirements, I pledge to blog more in this month of March, er – how about I just pledge to blog more?  And hopefully my RSS tweeter should get out the hashtag in the title.

:)

Coding In A Startup

The Center of Innovation program at the College of Applied Science at UC aims to show seniors that their choices for employment upon graduation is not limited to Fifth Third, Kroger’s, and Great American Insurance (not that there’s anything wrong with those fine companies).  The program also aims to show them that, in a region full of marketing, design, and business talent, there is serious need for young technology talent with an entrepreneurial bent.  For those who might want to take the plunge, the program also outlines business skills and resources they’ll need to complement their technology skills.

This is a great thing, and kudos and support goes to Andy Erickson and Dr. Hazem Said for their work so far.

This past Tuesday I gave a short talk to students in the Innovation Seminar series in CAS at UC about what’ it’s like to work in a startup from a coder’s point of view.  I talked about transitioning from a cubicle farm job to a startup environment, the nature and pace of working in a startup, and the tons and tons of learning that is inevitable.

You won’t get a lot from these slides without the narrative, but I post all my talks here so I thought I’d post this one.

Cross-posted on my Cincinnati blog.