Category: Uncategorized

“I just sent you an email” is something you should never say. Either it’s urgent enough to just say something (in which case, why did you start with the email?), or it’s not urgent & you should let email do it’s job.

Salary Negotiations

One thing that we aren’t really taught in schools is how to negotiate a salary. This means that one side in a negotiation is almost better prepared. If a manager has 5 direct reports, they negotiate (at least) 5 salaries a year. An employee likely only negotiates one. It’s an imbalance of power.

Employers also have more information. They know how much everyone else in the org is making.  Information asymmetry leads to market failures. See 2001 Nobel prize for Akerlof, Spence, and Stiglitz.

So how do we fix this as employees?  Build a network you can talk salary about. Practice your speeches asking for a raise. Prepare your arguments. Explain the value you add to an organization. How is it making more money from your actions?

Also, think outside the box. Salary is one part of compensation. Bonuses, time off, benifits, office location, title, responsibilities. Everything can and should be on the table. Know what is the most important for you.

My experience with the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II

I volunteer every year running a collegiate Model United Nation conference. One of my responsibilities the past few years has involved taking photos. This year, I decided to rent a lens since I lacked both a good zoom and a good telephoto lens.  The Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II fit the bill and so I gave it a shot.

I needed a lens longer than my 100mm f/2.8, but I didn’t want to sacrifice speed since I was shooting inside at a hotel where the light can be described as poor at best. During the opening and closing plenary sessions, about 2,000 people fill a hotel ballroom that feels as big as a football field (at 125×320, it’s pretty close), and I am mostly taking photos from around the edges in order to not obscure people’s views.

Here are a couple of the shots I took with it.

The biggest negative is by far the size and weight. Carrying a 7.8″ 56oz lens around is a big change for someone who is used to shooting with a 50mm lens weighing 1/5 as much.

Overall, I found this lens to fit my needs, though it is heavy.  It’s super sharp at both ends of the zoom, quick to focus, and worked well in all the lighting conditions I encountered. Next year, I will likely rent a lens again.  I’m debating if I should try the Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 which is even heavier but gets me some further range.

What is your experience with fast telephoto zoom lenses?  Anything I should consider next time I need one?

“Time is something that cannot be bought”

Outside of when I lived in Portland and worked the Trailblazer games, I’ve never been a huge basketball fan.  But no matter what my thoughts on the sport, I’ve always enjoyed watching any sport on TV.  Great broadcasters make it worthwhile.  They welcome you in and create an atmosphere that makes it possible to forget for a moment the rest of the world.

Craig Sagar was one of the truly great reporters.  With his trademark flamboyant suits (which I can totally get behind),  Craig interviewed everyone with respect and an understanding that those of us watching at home were there to be entertained.

This year, Craig was presented with the Jimmy V award.  He knew that sports was only a part of what matters. During his talk he noted that “Time is something that cannot be bought, it cannot be wagered with God, and it is not in endless supply. Time is simply how you live your life.”

Until we have a cure for all cancers, bone marrow transplants are one of the ways to treat leukemia. I’m a member of the national bone marrow registry and encourage you to become one as well. Join today.

Best New To Me Beer – 2016

The first time I drank my favorite new to me beer of 2016, I was visiting my friend Justin’s house and spent the evening tasting beers. On the train back into the city the next day I started looking online to find where I could get more.  I then went to 3 different beer stores in order to get a few more bottles. It was that good.

According to untapped, I tasted over 200 different beers in 2016, many of them for the first time.  One of them though was a step above the rest, and that is Coffee Dinosmores from Off Color.  Here is how Off Color describes this delicious beer:

Coffee Dinosmores (2016) | 10.5%abv

We worked with Metric Coffee this for this years Coffee Dinosmores. Looking to highlight and expand upon the roasty, smokey aspect of the beer we chose a single origin bean from Sumatra – Ibu Rumani with classic dominant chocolate, pipe tobacco and cherry notes because big, dumb stupid flavors in the right proportions can be delicate and nuanced as well.

This is a beer that I’ve absolutely found to be one that you need to drink warmer.  When cold, it’s unimpressive, but once it comes up to in between cellar and room temperature, you can taste all the individual notes. The graham is the most understated and the coffee the most pronounced, but overall it’s a complex beer with so many flavors.

Another batch is allegedly coming out early in 2017. It will be interesting to see the coffee chosen. I didn’t get to have the 2015, but that used Quasar coffee instead of the Sumatra from Metric. Would be cool to see the trend of different coffees continue.

Some of the other new to me beers that stood out are: Valley of the Heart’s Delight by Almanac Beer Company, Mango Lunacy by Mudshark Brewing Company,  Friek by Odell Brewing Co.,  Bourbon Barrel-Aged Framinghammer by Jack’s Abby, Psychokinesis by Grimm Artisanal Ales, The Known Universe by Finback Brewery, Eighteen by Central Waters Brewing Company, Oude Bae by Stillwater Artisanal Ales, and M1 Saison (w/ Ginger, Lemongrass & Orange) by Transmitter Brewing.

Best of Random Thoughts 2016

I like to publish my random thoughts on varius subjects.  I published 8 collections of them this year on a number of different subjects.  Here are my favorite ones from each of those 8.

Thoughts on the PHP 5.6 support timeline

We have to remember that the vast majority of end users and site owners don’t know what PHP is, let alone what version of PHP they are running.  Many have no control over the version of PHP they are running. It’s the hosts responsibility to ensure users are running an up to date server software and software vendors responsibility to ensure they work on the latest and greatest versions.

Thoughts on being an MC for A Day of Rest

It’s much easier to introduce people you know. I was lucky and knew every speaker (might be why I was given the honor of introducing everyone ). I tried to connect for at least a moment with each speaker so I knew how to pronounce names properly (important for everyone, including those that you worked with for multiple years)

Random Thoughts on the WP REST API and WordPress Core

Due to the fact that every WordPress site’s API is going to look a little different, clients for the API are going to have to be a “smart”.  This means they are going to have to consider getting both more data than they expected and less.  This is very different from a lot of other API clients where the response is consistent.

Random Thoughts on Pressnomics

The Jorbin Test seems to have had a mostly positive reception. I hope it helps other developers.

Random Thoughts on Finding Jobs

Know your skills and experience, but don’t let them hold you back.  A lot of times job descriptions will be written in a way that make you not feel qualified.  That might be your impostor syndrome talking.

Random Thoughts on… Teaching yourself to code

  • Fail.  Fail a lot. Failure is a gift.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
― Thomas A. Edison

Some More Random Thoughts on Default Themes

What excites me most about TwentySeventeen is all the pieces that will likely not be a part of the theme, but will be changes that the theme drives in core.

Random Thoughts on Selecting Speakers for conferences

Diversity is incredibly important for a speaker lineup as it helps present to an audience that all types of people are doing great, important things you should know about.  Diversity in this context means physical presentation (gender expression, age, race, disabilities, etc.), experience, reputation in the community, and employer.

Video: The WordPress REST API Guide for Non-developers – Petya Raykovska

We rarely talk about are the challenges presented by the REST API, especially for non-developers, mostly because the only people who talk about the REST API are developers.

This talk  provides a short guide to the WordPress REST API from a non-developer perspective: what is it, how it will change WordPress development, combined with some thoughts on the impact it will have on projects created with WordPress and the people creating them.

Source: Video: The WordPress REST API Guide for Non-developers – Petya Raykovska

Petya gave an excellent talk at WCUS that I highly recommend everyone watch to better understand the REST API that shipped as a part of WordPress 4.7