Unpimp the Developer Resume

This article, about how to be ready for web developer job interviews, is just as relevant to me as a returning developer as it is to “newbies.”

Eric Elliott: How to Land Your First Development Job in 5 Simple Steps

Which reminded me of those great VW commercials:

Continue reading “Unpimp the Developer Resume”

The Journal Tweak Experiment

I was served an ad for the self journal on Instagram (bestself.co). Have you seen them? They are pretty great. I was incredibly curious about the company and I appreciated their openness to share what the journals offer and how they developed the idea. I loved that it’s a mash up of a day planner and a journal. I loved that it could help me set clear, concise, 3 month goals for myself. Continue reading “The Journal Tweak Experiment”

Backpacking analogy

I just had a thought that my working and studying and interviewing and all the things I’m doing to get back into tech is a lot like a really long backpacking trip through steep mountain passes. I think I am at the crest of whatever climb I am on, only to discover that the top of your hill leads to another, steeper hill. I am still making the miles, some days slowly, some days at a break-neck pace, but I am going forward.  Sometimes I have to stop and rest. Sometimes I have to backtrack to get water. Sometimes I have to take a day off to rest in a beautiful little canyon with a magical swimming hole to remind myself this is all worth it. Some days I yell “FUUUCCCCKKK MEEEE!” and I don’t stop no matter what the pain. I’m lonely, I’m scared, I’m so very tired. I am also proud of myself. I am also stronger than I’ve felt in a while. I am also learning so much and growing so much. Pretty much every day, no matter what kind of day it is, I get to have a moment where I say “yes! goddamnit, yes!” Continue reading “Backpacking analogy”

Termina plug-ins for sublime


I’m using Sublime and iTerm. I like iTerm a bunch, I like Sublime a bunch, but I’m thinking about keystroke conservation… For now I’m going to install the Terminal package in Sublime so I can launch iTerm from a keystroke instead of command tabbing all the time. I may consider looking into Sublime libraries that add terminals right into the Sublime window. Continue reading “Termina plug-ins for sublime”

Double Bind

Book: Double Bind – First Glance, but mostly about me and how it’s not about me.

First, before I tell you about this cool, new book, I’ll give you a snapshot of my life as I see it pertaining to the book’s subject.

After umpteen years in the tech industry, I left my career as a web developer to go back to school and pursue a career in art. I earned my Masters Degree hoping to become an art teacher. I needed to find a career that didn’t take me for granted. I needed to feel like my ambitions and skills appreciated and not squandered. I needed to feel like I mattered to the world. I’d been feeling mostly like a cog. Continue reading “Double Bind”

Break Me

If I’ve learned anything from software development, it’s that the only way to make sure something is really strong is to spend a whole bunch of time finding out where it breaks and make it stop breaking.

This is a sentiment I understand pretty deeply on a personal level. I like to see how far I can bend before I break.

Quick Start Guide for WordPress development on OSX

I found this great WordPress guide on installing a local development environment using brew and npm for wordpress, php and mysql. With the db running through brew services. Loving it. Install was fairly easy, with a little bit of troubleshooting (why oh why did I not document the troubleshooting part!).

Here’s the site: http://www.brodybits.com/wordpress/osx/homebrew/2016/03/09/quickstart-wordpress-testing-with-osx-homebrew.html

I cannot for the life of me remember how to create a new db, the instructions in the quick start aren’t working for me.

This post shows a much better method for creating new databases once you’ve gotten everything else running from the quick start guide above.


Step 1
mysql.server start
Step 2:
shell> mysql -u root -p

Enter password:
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 1
Server version: 5.0.88-log Source distribution
Type ‘help;’ or ‘\h’ for help. Type ‘\c’ to clear the current input statement.

shell>  create database db_wordpress;
Response: Query OK, 1 row affected (0.08 sec)

shell> GRANT ALL ON wordpress.* TO admin@localhost IDENTIFIED BY “YourPWHere”;
Response: Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.08 sec)

What I’ve Been Up To

What a wild ride it’s been. I left my job at PNCA at the end of June 2016. I had a glorious summer with my daughter — the first one we’d had together since I started grad school in 2013. I also biked a bunch and enjoyed the sunshine.

Starting in the fall I went back into web developing. I spent some time thinking about my role as a woman in tech. About how my leaving to pursue a masters in art had sort of made me a statistic. Women leave tech mid career 50% more than men. I did a great deal of research and soul searching. I thought about my own experiences, and how gender inequality might have been a factor in my decision to leave. After spending some time on this I realized many things. 1. I love to code. I have missed it so much. 2. I would be doing myself, the world, and my daughter a disservice to stay out of tech forever. Great, I took a break, I gained some perspective, I strengthened my art practice. Now it’s time to go back to tech.

The article was great fun to write. I had help from many great friends. My former colleague and tech writer Lynn Beighley helped me strengthen and polish my ideas. Masse university professor Lucas Haley and former cohort at PNCA fed me lots of inspiration and lit a fire under my ass. PNCA Librarian extraordinaire Linden How edited my piece into a finely forged  treasure.

That under my belt, I began consuming online web developer tutorials like a pig to swill. I’ve completed or watched over 60 tutorials on a multitude of subjects like: vanilla javascript (which I’m kinda falling in love with), JS frameworks like Ember,js, React.js, and angular.js, some advanced WordPress templating, git, sass, gulp, node.js, html5. css3, bash, sublime text editor (mad advanced user skills), PHP, I made some IoT projects with my raspberry pi and an Intel Edison board on an Arduino, learned some Python, expanded my PHP knowledge…. the list goes on and on. When I’m not actively coding along, I’m watching videos while I pedal away on my bike trainer in the basement. I’ve built vergepdx.com in ember for my curatorial practice and started a web developer website, which at the moment doesn’t know exactly what it wants to be in React.js. I’ve joined user groups like Women Who Code PDX, PDX Women in Tech, and Portland React.JS, although because I’m a mom, I can’t make ti to most of the meetups because they happen after school and before my husband gets home to take over parenting duties.

I am a force to be reckoned with. All I need now is my forever job. Have you seen it?

Until then, I have a couple of freelance clients and I continue to eat up knowledge.

Gendered Dummy Data in Online Programming Courses

The test data/subject matter of all these programming courses I’ve been taking is always either dungeons and dragons or games or robots, seriously. Where are the programming classes that use glitter or barbie as test data/subjects. What about cleaning products, vacuum cleaners, diaper brands, laundry detergents.  No wonder men are so reluctant to share home duties. They are always thinking about dragons and robots. I’m kidding here. I would like to see some less gender stereotyped content in these things though.

A great in-depth article about custom fonts in wordpress

I’m impressed with this very in-depth article about ading custom fonts. If you are looking for a specific answer, it’s easy enough to scroll down and find what you are looking for, but if you want a full primer, this has lots of great info.

Adding Custom Fonts to WordPress with @Font-Face and CSS3

Art and Empathy

The other day juniper couldn’t sleep. She was distraught and frustrated. I got into bed with her and when she started expressing her frustration I would say “it’s ok, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to worry about sleeping. You don’t have to go to sleep right now. Just enjoy being in my arms right now.” We were both asleep in minutes. When I woke up, I felt like we had somehow repaired a tear in the fabric of the universe. I felt like a little part of me was healing and a little part of juniper was getting something that just might last her a lifetime. All it took was my act of love, patience and understanding, and her acceptance of it and trust in me. 

I was proud of myself right then and I wondered… how did I learn the patience and empathy to see this was the right thing to do? I think this is what art and curiosity has taught me. This ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and try to give them what will help them, is not expressed in mainstream media enough. It needs to be injected into our daily lives however we can find a way, so we learn how to be good to others. Public education, art, public access television, offer us plenty solid examples of humanity doing things right in this crazy world. 

Warsan Shire poem – “for women who are ‘difficult’ to love.”

you are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
forget you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth
his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial
he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn’t you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him travelling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do love
split his head open?
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.

Don’t Panic

So… a few thoughts. The moral of this story is:

don't panic
Don’t Panic! Do. Not. Panic. Remain Calm.

I am relearning old (to me) stuff (JavaScript, CSS3, HTML5, bootstrap, mysql, WordPress) and learning new (to me) technologies (React.js, Angular.js, Ember.js, Node.js, git) at home, alone, utterly alone. So very utterly alone with my screen full of letters and number and brackets. Developing alone, learning to code alone, is a touch racket. It is not for the faint of hearts. Software is a pain in the ass to troubleshoot. A royal, girthy, unlubricated pain in the ass. The only reason I can do this without jumping out my window is because I’ve got many many miles of software troubleshooting on these old tires of mine. I know when they’re gonna grip and I know when they’re gonna slip. I also don’t bother jumping out the window because I’m only on the second story and I’d only manage to break a leg, which would only worsen the situation. But I digress…

What was I saying? Troubleshooting, right. I have to continuously remind myself that I have the skills to figure out any problem I encounter. Last week it was completely uninstalling mySql from my Mac. Not as easy as it sounds, I first had to figure out that the problem I was having had to do with machine migration and how mySql doesn’t like to do this. Am I digressing again? Maybe I’m postgressing? Maybe I should have been postgressing.

Working from home makes you kinda loopy.

Yesterday I broke one of my dev environments. I really broke it good. And I was kind of afraid I’d have to rebuild the whole environment from scratch. I have an itchy trigger finger and if things aren’t working, I’m liable to just chuck it and start over. This time, my friends, I kept my cool. I just sat on it for a while. I thought about all the ways it was broken, and I had a lightbulb moment where I figured out how to fix it. See? I got this. Easy peezy.

I really need to remember that I have the skills to do this. My ego has been messing with me something fierce. I think it’s time to put the “Don’t Panic” sign up behind my desk.

Deep breath, go do a head stand. put the code down and go hug your child. The code isn’t going to get more broken if you ignore it for a day.