It’s PanelPicker Time!

Uncategorized 10 August 2014 | 1 Comment

Conflicts in Startup Marriage

Get the right people communicating. You know that the founding team is so important; now really learn how to value what each member brings to the team. Learn how to create a culture of value between the sales and the dev team. Pick up on key factors that are driving your founding individuals so that you can truly learn how to communicate in their language.

This is a must-have conversation. Come watch it unfold live and take it back to your team with an immediate action plan.

Vote and comment here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/38031

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What a month!

JavaScript,MeteorJs,Programmers,source control 8 August 2014 | 1 Comment

hustle

It started with a fun experiment on Facebook that turned into a brutal month of work. With the OpenFloor MVP released, I am looking forward to a few days of reflection and talking with some of our first set of users to find out what they like, what they don’t really like, and what they want to see next. Rinse. Repeat.

I am so thankful for the tools developers have at their disposal now. Getting what we have done in a month would have taken 3-6 months years ago.

Weird Meteor error in Safari

Uncategorized 8 August 2014 | 0 Comments

Problems like this is why I prefer backend development. One browser crashing for what appears to be no good reason, and no real way to troubleshoot except commenting out code and running to try and find the culprit, just raises my blood pressure.

I have two routes specified in my header. New and Popular.

If I switch quickly between the two (progress bar never gets to right side of page before I click the alternate route) I can eventually create an error in Safari that says “a problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded.”

The other crazy thing to note was that the error never happened if we had the safari developer console open!

Even before I tried to find the needle in this haystack, I decided I might need to tighten up my routes and templates. Even after a 3 hour clean up sesh that started at 2am, and still getting nowhere (except code to clean you could eat of it) my co-founder and I had to get dirty commenting out small chunks of code until the app was stable.

What we discovered the issue was, and the workaround, still makes me shake my head…

We had a list of items being rendered into a template like this:

{{#each itemsWithRank}} 

    {{> itemItem }} 

{{/each}}

Super simple, but commenting this each block helper stabilized our crashes. Why would this be an issue? It’s really no different than many of the examples we have seen on the web or in other projects.

My co-founder decided to just wrap the the template inside the each block with a div, prevented our error. All we did was this:

{{#each itemsWithRank}} 

    <div> 

        {{> itemItem }} 

    </div> 

{{/each}}

Still not sure why this is needed, only for Safari, but it works! I hope this saves you some time, because it took us far too long to figure this out.

OpenFloor released!

startup 5 August 2014 | 0 Comments

http://tech.co/george-diab-launches-openfloor-2014-08

OpenFloor

Downtown Las Vegas just got a brand new platform from the minds of George Diab and Max AceitunoOpenFloor, as they’re calling it, is a combined effort of their combined UX and programming skills to bring a Q&A platform into the spotlight.

OpenFloor was designed as a hyper-engaged question and answer platform that allows anybody the experience of being the authority on a topic. The unique UX of OpenFloor heightens the engagement and can be used for fun, educational purposes, or even brand promotion.

It feels very similar to Reddit’s popular Ask Me Anything (AMA) threads, and there are already a host of Downtown Vegas entrepreneurs who have opened the floor for questions. Frank Gruber and Jen Consalvo each did their own as well; their responses are awesome.

Pretty exciting to get written up in Tech Cocktail, and we are from launched, but if gmail can have the BETA flag for two years, I suppose we can hold on to it a bit longer too.

Meteor package to post to Slack

open source 29 July 2014 | 0 Comments

At OpenFloor, we decided to use Slack for team communication. We also had a use case for getting real time notifications into a specific channel or two for when users do a certain action. Also, I thought it would  just be easier to have users feedback submit right to a feedback channel for discussion with the team. When I checked the meteor package repo Atmosphere, I was surprised a package for slack didn’t exist. I had been raiding these packages for use in our MVP, so I thought I’d give back by writing and sharing the slack package I wanted for myself.

Well here it is: https://atmospherejs.com/package/slack-notify

I hope you will find it as useful as we do!

The Mill – It’s official!

startup 3 July 2014 | 0 Comments

the-mill

Max and I are in! We submitted our idea to The Mill two weeks ago, and today it is official!

It started with an experiment on Facebook. I just wanted to engage my audience on Facebook, so I typed up a simple status update and hit submit.

“The floor is open for questions.”

What happened next was a ton of fun, I had an incredible amount of engagement and conversations with many of my friends on Facebook. It was mostly playful and fun, but it was more engagement than I had with anything I had posted in the recent past.

A few days later I did it again. Same engagement, same experience, very satisfying.

Then over the next 7 days, I saw a few of my friends do the same thing on their walls! Ah…Validation! With some prodding from my now co-founder to make this experiment into an app, we decided to submit an application to our local Idea Accelerator, The Mill.

The Mill starts with a $5k investment, two months of office space at the downtown co-working space Work In Progress, and sprinkles in a few great mentor-ships and networking opportunities.

So here we go! I can’t wait to see my friends and peers open the floor in the near future!

Hackpad is the essential tool for the start-up team

startup 16 June 2014 | 0 Comments

hackpad.logoA few months back I was given access to a local start-up teams Hackpad, and I was just blown away. I had heard of Hackpad before that, but I was comfortable with Google Docs, and couldn’t see a reason to swtich.

Seeing how this team used Hackpad to keep the ENTIRE team organized, I was sold. I couldn’t wait to implement it with my next team. This of course isn’t easy to do with an existing team. Most teams are resistent to changing tools, especially the non-technical team members. I understand the resistance.  Besides having to export all the current content, it can be a drain on a team lead or CTO to retrain and educate some of the other individuals on a team, so often the team continues to use “what we have used from the start.

A great tool is worth the effort and if you believe in it as a leader of a team, you need to work with your team to get all of them to buy in and commit to it’s use. Without exception. Consistency is important, and members of the team will often fall back on what they are used to. It’s to be expected, but be firm, and get everyone on the same page as quickly as possible.

I am researching the Meteor framework for a new project, and I was giddy to find the Meteor team using hackpad, and having it open to the public. That was exciting to find.

Check it out here:

https://meteor.hackpad.com/

Web Essentials for VisualStudio

C#,Programmers,Visual Studio 12 February 2014 | 0 Comments

Web Essentials extends Visual Studio 2013 with a lot of new features that web developers have been missing for many years.

If you ever write CSS, HTML, JavaScript, Markdown, TypeScript, CoffeeScript or LESS, then you will find many useful features that make your life as a developer easier.

Check it out here: http://vswebessentials.com/

A thing to remember about SSD drives

Windows 8 April 2013 | 0 Comments

Switch from SATA to ACHI for better performance.

 

This post is partly to help me remember, and to save you pulling out your hair.

 

Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE_System_CurrentControlSet_Services_Msahci
In the right pane, right-click Start in the Name column, and then click Modify.
In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.
On the File menu, click Exit to close Registry Editor.

 

restart.

change your BIOS settings for the IDE controller to use ACHI instead of SATA. Save and restart. It should install the appropriate drivers. Then rejoice. BTW…although this is straightforward, you should make sure you have a restore point and/or a backup to save your ass if things go badly.

Polyglot Programming

Uncategorized 7 April 2013 | 0 Comments

Polyglot: a person who speaks, writes, or reads a number of languages.

 

Long before the Web and client-server programming, it was common for an entire application to be written in a single language on top of a single platform or system. A programmer could specialize, become successful in this one language, and remain employed for years with a great deal of job security.

 

Then we started to see specialized tools and languages designed for a specific purpose. With relational databases, came SQL. When GUI client development was all the rage, we got C and Pascal. When we wanted to write code with object-orientation, we got C++. Then the web become “the thing” and we got HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. As web development matured, we began regularly working with regular expressions and XML.

 

Programming languages are always changing, and in recent years, a large number of new languages have joined the landscape. Procedural languages like PowerShell, Python, and Ruby. Existing languages expanded to include new features, such as data querying with LINQ being added to C#.

 

Being a polygot programmer allows a developer to use the right language for the right job, or the ability to dive in to a new language leveraging what is known about existing language tools. Every developer has a specialty or a language they are best at, and nobody can be an expert at all of the languages out there.  Often, learning a new language allows you to apply new ways of thinking to the code that you write most often.

 

I was tired of being called the “.NET guy”, and I didn’t want to switch to becoming a “Ruby guy”. I wanted the familiarity with many languages. I wanted to be “the right guy” for any job. I started with teaching myself Node, then taking a weekend crash course in Ruby. That led me to getting very comfy with a few different flavors of Linux. A fun project with friends lead me to PHP and MySQL. I love all these languages. I know when it is appropriate to use, and I can jump in to many other possible projects with ease. Absorbing the mindset of these new languages and platforms allowed me to return to my core of the .NET stack and to become passionate about diving deeper into what was already in the tool-sets and libraries I was using regularly.

 

Most of my peers snub their nose at languages outside their expertise. That’s just wrong. We should celebrate  the diversity of software development. All developers should “just for fun” write some code in a new language. We should support and learn from all developers, regardless of the language they prefer, or the tools they choose to use. Discuss. Share. Teach. Ask. Learn. Participate.