Style, The Marx Brothers, and The Salt of The Earth

What is style? Is it fashion? Is it matching colors on a well-dressed man? Is it a certain type of behavior in the way you walk? It’s hard to define, but I’d argue that everything memorable in this world has style, and that style makes life interesting, exciting, and have purpose because nobody likes bland, boring things.

Think about it: all the best, most memorable artists, businessmen, politicians, historical figures, etc had some sort of style to what they did and it helped them stand out and become successful. Picasso was Picasso because he chose the colors he chose, he placed the lines down the way he did, and added texture where he added texture. When you look at a Picasso’s work (particularly his most famous work), it looks incredibly easy because most of it is just a bunch of shapes. But if you try to make your own “Picasso”, you’d find that it’s a bit more difficult than that. You quickly realize that his style is actually pretty difficult to duplicate if you are not a very skilled artist, and no matter how hard you try even if you are, you will never be Picasso. read more

Coding For Work vs. Coding For School

It didn’t take long working here to realize that programming on the job is a lot different than how I programmed at school. It made me realize that while class projects are useful for learning syntax and the core concepts of programming, they don’t do a whole lot to prepare you for the ‘real world’.

Coding for School

On a class project, if there are parts of the code that are kind of sloppy, or if it doesn’t work perfectly, often times I might find it worthwhile to get 5 – 10 points knocked off the project grade than spend hours debugging. Occasionally, a project may have a really obscure bug in it that the TA or professor might not catch, and it doesn’t matter, because no one is going to be using that code after the Professor is done grading it. read more

Epistemology and You

For those of you know know me as more than an acquaintance, you’ll know that I’m pretty intense when it comes to learning new things. I love to learn new ideas and new skills. I love it so much, I compete with myself to learn more than I already know and be better the next time I do it.

I would never claim to be an expert at anything though because the more I learn about one subject the more I recognize there is to learn. But see, that’s my point! There is so much to learn out there and all it requires is a little investigation and an interest in learning it. I also take a particularly strong bias towards anyone claiming to be an expert because if you’ve reached the point of “expert” and that’s your claim then where do you have left to go? read more

5 Tips for Email Marketers and Guys on the ‘Playing Field’

I don’t have to be forthcoming with examples for you to identify the prevalence of bad email marketing. We all experience it in our own inboxes, and if you are anything like me, the first thing you do when you hit a full mailbox is incinerate the stuff that even looks like junk, thus lightening your work load by notable proportions.

But then there are the cherished few; the emails you relish and look for among the drab list of meeting requests and CCs that earn little intelligent or emotional interest. These are the emails you signed up for while you were researching an idea you wanted to pitch to the boss, planning your Memorial Day weekend or looking for that special Valentine’s prix fixe menu. read more

Pros and Cons of an MVC Framework

The web development community has been abuzz in recent years with using more and more frameworks and content management systems to build websites and web applications on. Frameworks using the MVC model, have been gaining a lot of popularity lately, but are they the best choice for your web project?

What is MVC?

MVC stands for Model ? View ? Controller. The idea is that your database information is contained in the Model, the data that controls how the data is displayed (I.e, the page itself) is in the view files. The controller files handle requests from the user, and help handle getting data from the model to the view, and vice versa. Some of the more popular MVC frameworks include Ruby on Rails and CakePHP. read more

Why I Like Working at J House: An Epic in CSS

So, suffering from crushing blogging block, I was cruising through my old LiveJournals and other blog posts looking for something CSS-y  I could talk about in greater depth, I kept coming across entries I wrote while working at my old job. Now, my old job wasn?t bad, but it was just a job, you know? And as I saw page after page after page of it, I started to realize how different working at J House really is. I mean, it?s a small design company that actually cares about the products it makes, where everyone has pride not just in what they do, but in what our company does as a whole. read more