Tips on professional blogging

Andrew Chen recently posted his experiences on ten years of professional blogging. One of his points that I am trying to implement is writing frequency (maintain a regular schedule). I am working to post something everyday to build up the habit of posting. Right now, that mostly consists of links that are interesting to me. Andrew also linked to an older post with 10 tips for starting a professional blog, again there are a number of good points there.

Links for January 19, 2018 Thoughts from a new software engineering manager. I am not a manager, but as a lead engineer, I can identify with the problem of not being able to focus on making code changes due to interruptions.


Links for January 18, 2018

CivikOwl: Case study of launching a Minimum Viable Product, this article describes the launch of a Chrome extension. One of the top takeaways is using video to help spur interest from potential users.




Links for January 15, 2018

Linux Journal: A delightful 2-part article about analyzing Beatles song lyrics using Linux/Unix utilities. Gives a new meaning to “small pieces, loosely joined” as it relates to software tools.

Links for January 14, 2018

HP Enterprise: Neat article by Alan Zeichick on programming lessons from 1970s mainframe programming. I did mainframe programming in FORTRAN from 1985-1989, we were not limited by cost as much as Alan talks about, but I can identify with competing with others for CPU time, and being aggravated when getting my output back to see that I made a trivial error which wasted the run.

Links for January 12, 2018

NYTimes: A terrific photo story of a pencil factory, gives you a better feel for the backstory of I, Pencil.

Book and Ledger: Introduction to forming a business, good overview, especially the part of different business structures (LLC, etc).

IndieHackers: Some links to interviews and info on no-code programming. I think this is fine for people who want to put together strawman products or MVP apps, but I am not sure this would be a good base for a “for-real” business. But – who am I to say this? I am no entrepreneur!

HackerNoon: A story of what a person did over last year to go from zero knowledge of web development and Javascript to becoming a full-time web development employee. There was a little bit of deception to me in that near the end of the article, the author adds that he did have programming experience prior to starting his education effort.  That greatly reduces the effect of rags-to-riches, in my opinion.

Joshua Lyman: What I learned about bootstrapping in 2017 – the article breaks his experience into seven lessons. I liked the details he shared about his stumbles as well as his successes.



Links for January 11, 2018

FreeCodeCamp: People getting their first development job in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. This was interesting to me, I am in my mid 50’s, and it is neat to see people applying themselves to learn programming.


Using app from Jon Udell to annotate web audio

I linked to a Jon Udell post on Sunday where he describes his recent experiments on annotating audio files available on the Web. It looked so good that I had to try it to annotate a podcast!

His app is at I then needed to find a URL to a MP3 file, which took a little bit of searching, since a lot of podcast play pages are not a direct link. Finally, I settled on an extended cut episode of Side Hustle School.  I hovered over  the “Listen Here” link for episode 12 and saw that it was a link to a MP3 file. I copied the link address and pasted it into the url text box in the Jon Udell app. Next, I entered a start time and stop time for the clip (from 1:00 to 2:00) in the selection boxes on the app page, then clicked the button “Play clip”. The app then started at 1 minute in and played for 1 minute – excellent! Finally, I clicked on the link at the bottom where it says “link to av editor with these settings” to get a URL for my clip. Now you can listen to it as well!

Thanks Jon!