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Overfund Finalists

This is the second scholarship we’ve put out into the world. Some quick stats for you: The fund started with $1,000 dollars. The post was collectively shared more than 200 times. The fund is now at $2,275 dollars. The average donation was $81.25 dollars. And the most important stat of all? More people pitched in to the fund, than applied for it. (there’s still time to donate)   Whenever you start to question what kind of world this is, just read that line over again. I was BLOWN AWAY. I still am. Again, as much as I’d like to fund them all, I’ve chosen just five finalists. The winner will be announced on Friday (June 29th). Your input is always welcome. In no particular order, these are the 5 finalists: Pablo Orozco …was executive director of an environmental non-profit (calexico new river … Continue reading

Ten Things I Learned At MicroConf 2011

Firstly, how about a big fat round of applause for the likes of Rob Walling and Mike Taber? They put on one rockin’ conference for self-funded startups. If you didn’t go, that was a bad decision. Don’t make that mistake next year. For, like, the amount you spend on bottled water each year, you could have listened to and learned from ONE-JILLION smart people talking about startups and what to do/not do with them. How’s that for value? (Seriously: 11 speakers, and 105 interesting attendees. Andrew Warner, Hiten Shah, Ramit Sethi, and Patrick McKenzie among them.) Here’s some stuff I learned that you would have learned if you had gone to Vegas instead of playing with Instagram filters at work: Test your stuff, but don’t waste your time testing. Email is not dead. Don’t let TechCrunch fool you. Investment, booooo. Bootstap, yay! Tomato juice … Continue reading

Geekwise Academy

The Big, Fat Idea [ 16-26 year-olds, please take the survey. ] There are some of us in the Valley that think we can do tech education, specifically for web development, better.  We think we need more geeks — good ones — to help push our region in the right direction. You see, there’s about to be a big gap in the industry.  We can already see the beginning of it.  People who are not developers are having ideas (some of them are good!) and want to build the next big thing.  Instead of hiring out to software firms, or potentially spending tens of thousands of dollars to have their idea built, the smart first step is to get a rapid prototype out there and see if the idea floats. The Problem We’ve seen a lot of this happen:  Entrepreneurs — … Continue reading

The 59DaysOfCode Web & Mobile Apps Competition

So my friends and I are putting together this little ditty that, really, is going to be quite the big ditty. We are holding a Web & Mobile Apps competition that is designed to highlight the programming/nerdy talent in the area. It’s open to everyone and the prizes are pretty major. We are doing two categories: Zero Code, and In-Progress. Zero Code is a timed category. You have 59 Days to build your app once the clock starts. In-Progress is for those who might already have something started but still want to compete. The way that it works is this: Apply, Early March > Party + Kickoff, April 23 > Get your App Ready > Showcase + Awards, June 22. We’re putting together around $40K in prizes with one of the winners landing a chunk of cash. (More details about … Continue reading

Dispelling the Launch Myth

I’m just going to lay it down in small words: “If you build it, they will come,” is a crock of shit. To borrow a phrase, if I had a nickle for every time a website launch was delayed on account of the imperfections… As a web programmer, I see a lot of projects come and go. We depend on the project manager’s ability to say, “We could spend more time polishing and adding features, but let’s get this in front of some eyes,” which is a hard thing to say, I’ll admit, because there are 10,000 things that could be better.  If you happen to be the project manager, then that burden is on you. And what makes it even harder is this strange voice in your head that says, in no uncertain terms, that as soon as you upload those … Continue reading

PHP/MySQL Full Database Search and Replace

Downloadable script to perform a find and replace operation over all the tables and fields in a database. Continue reading

Seeing the Build

Entreprenuerial programmers can see the end product in their heads before they get started writing the spec.   That vision of the end prodcut is the reason for starting to develop in the first place.  But seeing the end product is a long way from what it takes to make a good programmer.  Really all that means is that they are good dreamers, and has nothing at all to do with writing code. Good programmers follow specs (you do have a spec, don’t you?) and cover all the edge cases as they write code, test  and fix (write code test, and fix,  write code, test and…) But it’s the entreprenuerial programmers that muscle through that, from the very beginning, and do something mediocre programmers will never do: See the Build When a programmer begins to visualize how each module of … Continue reading

The Thing About Teaching

…is that you’re aiming at a moving target. And it’s hard to say who you’re serving in the first place.  Is it the students?  Their parents? The board? The principal? Oh sure.  Take the easy way out and say it’s the students.  No Child Left Behind.  All children have a right to learn.  Blah blah blah.   There’s a very good argument out there that says that teachers are very much like prison wardens. “And as for the schools, they were just holding pens within this fake world. Officially the purpose of schools is to teach kids. In fact their primary purpose is to keep kids locked up in one place for a big chunk of the day so adults can get things done. And I have no problem with this: in a specialized industrial society, it would be a … Continue reading