Monday, April 11, 2016

A Code School Evening

I took my time getting to Tillikum Crossing by bus and light rail, having plenty to read, including Southeast Examiner (neighborhood news) and Willamette Week (WW, April 6 "can't believe I ate the whole thing" cover, 2016).

I'd eaten nothing but Soylent all day.  The Flying Elephant Delicatessen was singing a siren's song when I got off the Max and I headed straight to it.

WW was far harder on 10 Cloverfield Lane than I'd be, were I to write my full movie review.

Yes, it turns absurdist, almost dada at the end, but surrealism is the province of science fiction, to which this film lays claim.  It's a genre question.  I saw it in that place where comedy / sitcom meets horror (more Joss Whedon maybe)?

I also saw it as a throwback to stage theater, with high quality close-up performances, most the emphasis on the acting.  Another really good movie like that, also science fiction:  Ex Machina.

I then wandered to Starbucks for an hour of black coffee and WiFi, before ascending the hill behind the tracks, to PDX Code Guild, passing under a maze of freeway overpasses in route.

Many of the regulars were curious about Elm, a new web dev technology, and so were attending its debut meetup tonight.  So attendance at this Monday night Python meetup was initially fairly light... until the tour group showed up.

Greg and Margaux, of workingIT (dot com) arrived soon after I'd set up my second monitor, borrowed from the standing station.  Greg is a professional auditor and expert in risk-based thinking (RBT), with a background in homeland security.

His daughter Margaux was interested in interviewing some of her peers familiar with the code school experience.

Chelsea and Katie practically live at the code school, and were helping orient a newcomer.  Chris (CTO) helped install Python on the newcomer's laptop.  That's pretty much a first step where <guild /> is concerned.

The code schooler across from me wanted to know more about Vagrant, which I at first confused with some Mozilla tool to create random noise for web clients, simulating a VUCA world.

But that's not what Vagrant is at all.  I was confusing Vagrant with Mozilla's Vaurien, used in front of Nginx, by Luciano Ramalho in Fluent Python to deliberately create a choppy Internet experience for browser testing purposes.

Vagrant, in contrast, works with a hypervisor, like VirtualBox or VMware, to smooth the developer experience in mixed OS settings (very common).  I need to learn more.  Good thing I have Safari.

I hooked up a larger monitor so I could show off some of my own projects, for example Peter Farrell's rotating letter F, controlled in Pygame.

I'd needed a gfortran compiler (courtesy of gcc) to get that demo working, and was eager to show off my chops in getting Pygame to actually work on El Capitan.  I was hoping for some applause and approval I suppose, kudos.

I'd also planned to boot up Ted Kosan's MathPiper, a Java-based computer algebra system, but also a study in the generic power of JEdit to run multiple languages, including Clojure.  He'd sent me instructions for getting my tetravolumes demo going.

I also showed off O'Reilly Safari, where I go for a lot of my readings (like tonight's on Vagrant for example).

As I was writing in a memo to Charlie earlier today, I think paywalls like Lydna's and Pluralsight are fantastic for what they have (I've learned plenty from both), however in IT we need to read books a lot too, so paywalls like O'Reilly's need to stay in the game.

I didn't get a picture of the tour group.  Sheri took them off somewhere, and probably out of 2626 to the Business Accelerator building just up the street.  That's where I taught Intro to Programming (accelerated version), which I'd gladly teach again.

Greg and Margaux gave me a ride home, right to my front door.  A productive evening!