Monday My Time, Wheels Rolling, Thrashing Code Metal Monday for July 15th 2019! \m/

First up a little trip back to that city with swagger, New Orleans for a little Exhorder. Seems they’re as heavy has ever!

Sonia Anubis shredding through one of her band’s songs, ripping it like she does!

Then why not a little Crazy ala Frog Leap Studios with Leo. Yeah, ANOTHER Britney Spears song turned into metal, putting it in a better state of existence.  \m/

The Daily Question Answer Review Routine

UPDATE 7/22/2019: I’ve added a survey to attempt to collect more options. Please fill out this quick survey ~(30 seconds) so that I can build up a larger list of options derived from the community. Thanks! Survey here.

I’ve started trying out a “punch list” to go through on a daily basis. It’s one of the first things I do in the day as a way to get into topics of discussion and also the workflow for the day. There’s also a “checklist” that I go through on a weekly basis, thanks to head honcho Jeff Carpenter @jscarp, that he has brought into our team’s weekly SITREP.

I use the term “punch list” because sometimes it gives me that “I wanna punch something” level of frustration. The “check list” on the contrary is more a list of intended accomplishments and ongoing accomplishments. First of the two, here’s the punch list.

Daily Punch List

Each of these sections I try to time box in 5 to 20 minutes at the most. If there’s more I can answer, or help out with I might go a little longer, but otherwise I try to keep it concise and to the point for each list item.

The first site I check out these days is the DataStax Community site. I go through, answer questions, or just give a good look at anything new or conversations that are going on.

Next up to bat is Stackoverflow. The first 4 topics I’m aiming to cover everyday include these, but I’ll admit so far I’ve trampled off into the weeds on the topics.

I routinely then click through on the “unanswered” too just to see if I can help out and provide some answers.

Dev.to I don’t always visit every single day, but try to every other day or so. I take a look at the main page and then look at any new comments, questions on my own blog entries, or whatever else that might have come up. Then I also give a look at any blog posts or other entries others have written that seem interesting and are a quick read. Finally, if I’ve got any ready, I post a blog entry or two myself. The other sites that I generally tend to do the same process for I’ve included below too.

Some of the other sites I dive into on an almost daily basis, or am trying to on an almost daily basis, include the following.

The last two sites I check into and read, comment, or otherwise on an almost daily basis include DZone and Medium. I try to make semi-frequent posts here too but that doesn’t happen to often these days. However the content tends to be pretty solid on the technical front.

These are the higher value daily punch list items, then there is the high value low value items of pure social media: LinkedIn and Twitter. These two sites can be vast and total wastes of time if not used right. They’re almost as bad as Facebook, which at this point I largely ignore.

  • LinkedIn – For LinkedIn the content needs specific call to actions, appropriate link and images, ideally a good URI to follow through, and of course good content. This way LinkedIn can actually be super useful for rallying coders to open source projects, finding out what others are working on, and any and all other curiosities that can – if used right – provide positive value.
  • Twitter – Twitter, number one priority these days is to avoid the political garbage fire and troll trash since it’s a complete and utter waste of time. However, Twitter can and does still provide an excellent way to follow key figures in the industry, keep up with trends and find out about events for example. Using it for such, and providing a valuable stream of such content makes Twitter a solid investment.

NOTE: When I say I ignore Facebook now because of low value, I’m talking about maybe 5-10 minutes of use PER MONTH! Facebook is an extremely low return site for software development and related technology industry efforts these days. Avoid it like one would avoid the plague!

You might have noticed I didn’t put Twitch on this list, that’s because it isn’t on the punch list but a fundamental element of my day to day coding efforts. For more on it check out my repo and corresponding blog entry from a few weeks back.

Weekly Checklist

The checklist for the week involves a few questions that when answered provide a solid basis for direction for the week and a short list of accomplishments to discuss:

  1. What am I learning?
  2. What development am I working on?
  3. What’s coming out next?
  4. What’s the next event?

What am I learning? – This should be answered with anything from high level “I’m learning physics” down to tactical things like “I’m figuring out how to run concurrent go routines to better handle messaging between node instances I’m running.”.

What development am I working on? – As a developer advocate I aim to make sure a significant bulk of my day to day activities is centered around doing actual software development work. That can be on actual internal repositories of code, open source project, or some other variant coding option. Whatever the case, whatever I’ve found to work on that can help add value in some way is what becomes the answer to this question.

What’s coming out next? – For this answer I tend to look at upcoming blog entries, conference talks, releases of software I’ve been working on, and almost anything else that is getting released by me, or that I’ve been involved in that will be released. This sometimes matches the next events too when I’m the one hosting and organizing the event.

What’s the next event? – This answer can be anything from “no event this week” to a “I’m attending/hosting/crashing a cool meetup on topic X” or “releasing X feature from Y project”. Something along these notions.

That’s that, so what’s your flow for getting started every day? What’s the routine for checking in with your world and network?

Until next time, happy thrashing code! \m/

Provoking the Parietal, Temporal, Occipital, and Frontal Lobes!

I love starting the week provoking my mind into some intertwined, interlaced, involved, compositional, and a nice dose of craziness in my music. So for this Monday, here’s the weekly prescription. Gojira…

From the lands of Canadia, here’s some In Vertigo by The Agonist!

To wrap up today’s trio, here’s a classic The Underground in America covered by Leo and Ola Englund!

Learning Go Episode 5 – Functions (and Methods and lots of other things)

Episode Post & Video Links:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (this post), 6, 7, and 8. Non-linked are in the works! Videos available now on Youtube however, so check em’ out!

In this session we covered a host of topics around Go Functions. Along with some troubleshooting, debugging, and other features in Jetbrains Goland IDE.

If you’d like to go through this material too in book form, I highly suggest “The Go Programming Language” by Alan A.A. Donovan & Brian W. Kernighan as a starting point. I’m using it as a simple guideline, but also doing a lot more in each stream that includes ecosystem, dependency management with godep, IDE use of Goland from Jetbrains, and more. In this session I get specifically into: functions, signatures, declarations, recursion, return values, and more.

Video Time Points & Topics

2:50 – Introduction to the snowy wonderland of Seattle and episode 5 of the Learning Go series. Introduction to the various screen transitions and such.
6:40 – Getting started, opening up JetBrains Goland and creating a new project. The project exists on Github as https://github.com/adron/learning-go-….
12:18 – Starting with functions in Go. See the blog entry I wrote on the topic for more additional information around this first code session within the episode 5 session.

Code – This first example I setup a basic function in Go that is called by the main function. The sample function below I’ve named exampleExecutor, and the signature is made up of an int parameter called this, a string parameter called that, and a return parameter of type int and one of type string. In summary for the function signature we have two input parameters going in and two return parameters coming out.

The function does very little besides print the parameters passed in and then return the parameters back out as the return parameters.

Recursion with Go & HTML Parsing

28:10 – Here I get into recursion and the application example, largely taken from the book but with some very distinctive modifications, that parses HTML and the various nodes within an HTML document.

For the recursion section I use an example from the book with an expanded sample set of HTML. The HTML is included in the repo under the function-recursion branch. For this example I setup a set of types and variables up that are needed throughout the code.

First a type setup called NodeType of type int32. A constant array of ErrorNode, TextNode, DocumentNode, ElementNode, CommentNode, and DoctypeNode for determining the different nodes within an HTML document. Then a general struct called Node with Type, Data, Attr for attribute, and FirstChild with NextSibling setup as a pointer to *Node, which gives a type of memory recursion to the underlying type. Then finally the Attribute struct with a Key a Value.

One of the first functions I then end up with is the visit function. It turns out as shown below. Here the function takes a links parameter that is of type string array, a parameter name n that is a pointer reference to an a node within html, and then the function returns a parameter of type string array.

After that function I worked through and created two additional functions, one for countsWordsAndImages and one called CountWordsAndImages. The casing being specific to scope and use of the functions, and they respectively look like this in completion.

Then all that is wrapped up, with recursive calls and more, in the main function for program execution.

Starting Error Handling && Anonymous Functions

1:32:40 – At this point in the episode 5 session I get into a simple Error handling function, and further into function signatures and how to set them up.
1:52:24 – Setting up some anonymous functions and reviewing what they are.
1:59:00 – Introduction to panics in Go. After this short introduction I also discuss some of the pedantic specifics of methods vs functions and related verbiage around the Go language. Additionally I provide more examples around these specifics for declaring functions, various scope, and other types for function calls and related usage.

With that done the wrap up of the session is then a short introduction to anonymous functions.

A Little Monday Help for Monday the 1st of July, 2019!

Ever wake up on Monday and just feel like you aren’t gonna be able to handle anything? Well here, open your mind and prepare to get woken up with an unstoppable energy that’ll drive you through the day and breath life into those lungs of yours! For starters: Parasite Inc.

Then, make sure to give a listen to some Words of Wisdom.

To calmly then move on with the rest of the day now that you’re awake. At The Gates has The Mirror Black to pace yourself!

Enjoy the Monday another day to happily code, and may you thrash the code to your demands!

TRIP REPORT: Accelerate 2019 in Washington DC, I mean National Harbor!

Trip Time.

Today’s trip care of Alaska Airlines Flight 2 out of SEATAC Airport (Seattle & Tacoma’s airport) to National (Reagan) in Alexandria, Virginia. I’ll be staying there and commuting daily across the Potomoc River to Gaylord Resort and Convention Center (at National Harbor). I decided I’d write up something about this trip for a few specific reasons:

  1. I finally purchased a Bromptown Bicycle which I’ve been wanting to attain and use for my trips that require air travel or don’t have enough space for a proper bicycle.
  2. The adventure is entirely new to me, I’ve not been to these locations at any point in my life. New for me, new for those reading this (or adventuring along with me on my Twitch channel).
  3. I also picked up a number of new things that I want to see how they’ll work for streaming while on the go. These include; Android Phone, a new dual Go Pro + Phone mount for the bike, and among these a few existing devices like my trusty set of GoPro Cameras.
  4. I flew over via first class for various reasons. I thus, wanted to share some of the advantages and why I think it’s more than worth it to fly first class vs. coach and why companies should rethink their ideas around this when positions require frequent travel and working on the go.

Leaving Cascadia

The first thing I did was pack up the Brompton. I got a hardshell case to go along with it since I’d read during my research the airlines sometimes will snap off parts of the bike when a softshell case is used. The other advantage, the hardshell case has wheels! Inside this I also put my front mount messenger bag and some bungie cables so I can mount this stuff up to the bike upon arrival.

Once that was packed it was time to get the Mission Workshop ARKIV backpack I have locked and loaded. In my pack, which is the large of the two sizes, I get all my cloths, toothbrush, razors, and related amenities. In the side pouches that I mount up specific for longer trips I put my power brick and other electric plugs I’d need regularly in the quickest to access pouches. The other things go in various assorted pockets here and there. Since this is such a short trip, I also skip the outer backpack laptop pouch and just put the laptop in the inner sleeve.

Stats

Backpack w/ Laptop: 22 lbs. (with laptop)
Hardshell w/ Bike: 32 lbs.

All in all, a fairly heavy load, but the cool thing is with the configuration and post-arrival setup I have there isn’t actually much to carry. Backpack goes on my back and the hardshell case rolls along like a carry on. What makes it even easier, I’ve got an express bus with plenty of space and light rail with special areas specific for luggage like this. My 17x Express arrives on time, I board and ride off with my pack and hard shell sitting right next to me.

When I arrive downtown I merely pack up and roll downstairs to the Sound Transit LINK, board the train and off to the airport I go. No need to mess with a driver, no need for chatter or worrying about the implications of social anxiety or evils of clicking “don’t talk to me uber driver”. Just board and go. Then, read a book, check your phone, or whatever comes to mind. That’s what I do.

At the airport I strolled and rolled into the first class lounge, which I attempted to record via my new Android with the Twitch app. It… went oddly I’m assuming. Let’s take a look here.

Once I got situated in the lounge I made some pancakes – a tradition I have now – and sat down for some coding. The seats are comfortable, the views are great, and along with the coding I get to nerd out on all the planes taking on and off. At least, when one is flying in and out of C Gate at SEATAC. N Gates are kind of “meh”.

Eventually I left the relaxing lounge and headed into the boarding area of C Gates. The Alaska Air 737-900 arrived and started deplaning. With deplaning, boarding, and refueling done for the trip back east to DC we headed back out on the tarmac to queue up 15th in line to take off. Check that out, total plane traffic jam!

IMG_20190520_140122

Once in the air we flew through some piddly turbulence and into more clouds. Clearing 10,000 foot laptops came out and a little bit more coding resumed. In addition I started this post, took a few pictures, and knocked out a few other things I needed to do.

After a while food and drink services began. In first class anything over an hour can safely assume a meal will be served. This time it was tortellini or a sandwich of some sort. I got the tortellini. The meal is then served in three parts. Starting with a little salad and soup, entree, and then wrapped up with a desert.

The soup was tasty, I was somewhat surprised by this. Where as the salad was merely a salad with some cherry tomatoes, carrots, and greens. Nothing real special, but then of course it’s a salad so not like there’s much expectation.

The tortellini was pretty good. Even in comparison to other food outside of the airlines. A little salt and pepper brought it up just slightly to something I’d even have been happy with in an actual restaurant!

Finally we wrapped up with some Salt & Straw for desert. Considering this is an airplane I was kind of amazed they’d get Salt & Straw, but then again, Alaska Airlines does like to play to the local products and all!

After food, a couple more hours of coding and prep for the oncoming days of Accelerate.

Arrival in the District of Columbia

I arrived in DC, retrieved my Brompton and racked up the case it packs in and threw my bag on the front. Now for a 26 minute bike ride from the airport to Alexandria.

the-path.png

On the way, the setting was magnificent with honey suckle providing a divine fragrance while I road along the bike trail along the Potomac River. The moon shined down, almost full, and in spectacular fashion!

Eventually I arrived at my new home for the week. The ride a success, an experiment that it was.

Bootcamp!

NOTE: I am an employee at DataStax, just so you know, in case you didn’t know. I always do my best to give you the direct details, but just so you don’t think I’m being a shill here. Some people don’t seem to be able to determine how people and occupations are correlated, so I like to keep things on the up and up.

First day, or maybe it’s zero day on account of zero based indexes and all, bootcamp kicked off!

In the boot camp we covered a lot of material to get attendees up to speed on Apache Cassandra. To boot, Patrick McFadin announced that everybody would get to use DataStax Constellation, our new Cassandra as a Service offering – currently in test. The awesomeness about this whole bootcamp was that we provided Constellation for everybody, without a blip on the radar! No system issues came up, albeit we crossed a few programmatic network wires that were crisscrossed but that got remedied in seconds. With that all wrapped up, released, with a bow on top, bootcamp went off without a hitch. Also a huge shout out to the dozens of team members that provided support throughout the room of 300+ attendees!

Good times in success!

Day 1 – Announcing DataStax Constellation

The first day, based on our zero based index numbering of conference days, started with Billy Bosworth CEO of DataStax giving keynote number one.

In the keynote Billy talks about the direction of DataStax and the upcoming releases, and current releases as of Accelerate 2019. Then Chelsea Navo joins Billy to do a LIVE – emphasis on a LIVE demo of DataStax Enterprise (i.e. Apache Cassandra and all the goodies) running multi-cloud in Azure, AWS, and GCP.

9:23 – Demo of DataStax Enterprise – Multi-cloud in real life. “Not a pretend demo!

15:17 – Chealsea shows how we introduced a little chaos into the mix, and introduces the ability to simply and easily bring a datacenter down. In realtime, as the related reads and writes are occurring. Nothing stops, not even a blip… whoops, did I spoil it? Give it a watch, it’s a solid keynote demo!

At the 20 minute mark, Billy introduced DataStax Constellation. Watch it, learn more, etc. Following that Billy talks about Insights, which will be built in and services based AI, system health, and related capabilities within the cloud offering.

After the keynote, everybody broke out into technical sessions on a wide, very wide range of topics. From Apache Cassandra to DataStax to Kafka to Vue.js! Great day!

Day 2 – Apache Cassandra v4.0

On day two Billy starts off the keynotes, and introduces others including Nate McCall. Nate is the Apache Cassandra PMC Chair & committer to the project. He dove into the new features, capabilities, and changes of v4.

Next up is DataStax CTO (and founder!) and Apache Cassandra committer of yore, and more, Jonothan Ellis! (video is time point linked below so you can dive right into the talk).

After the keynotes more technical sessions. I attended some architecture discussions around graph and related technology. Lots of good conversations. I really enjoyed it, and to wrap it all up that evening we had an ending keynote with Keren Elazari.

Departure

I had a great time, and as I always like a little lagniappe. Here’s some photos from the trip back. If you’d like to join DataStax Accelerate for 2020, give a good look at the upcoming conference next year!

 

Your Wake Up Lagniappe Dose!

Welcome to another metal Monday morning wake up call. Here’s your dose, get going, may your thrashing code be the best ever!

Unearth is back with some Incinerate!

If you dig Adele, here’s a version of the song Hello that’ll go over better for the metal inclined.

Then for a little melodic death metal, check out the this Deadtide.

For a little extra, check out this Behemoth cover by Ada Kaczanowska.