2015.03.21 – Digging In

I have lots to do to get this feature ready by Wednesday even though I’ve been working on it seemingly forever! When Peter and Richard first talked to me about what I would be doing I was so confused about why this feature would be the project for my entire internship. I mean come on, it’s a star you click on and off. Yeah, silly me! I had NO idea how much was involved in making this all work. Tons of parts and pieces and lots of things to consider. What I end up releasing will just be a start too. I am sure I and others will want to add to it and improve it quite a bit.

Needless to say, I worked all day on stuff. I hit some walls, got frustrated, figured some things out, asked for help with other things and got a decent amount done. I rewarded myself with some Dr. Who.

Today I learned that these are a thing. A thing I must try!

2015.03.20 – Now I Have a Deadline

I am finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel! I feel like I am really close to having this feature finished enough to deploy for live testing and feedback. I was doing a bit of refactoring out in the common area and Jim came over to ask how things were going. I told him how much I don’t love JavaScript and he welcomed me to the club. He sat down and asked what I was working on. We ended up talking until lunchtime! It was fantastic though because it gave me an opportunity to show someone my code who knew nothing about what I was doing. I had to explain how it all worked and fit together and it was a huge test of my knowledge. It also led to some questions about some coding choices. He is ridiculously smart and could quickly see things that just didn’t make sense to him. I was either able to explain the reasoning to him so that he saw what was going on or his questions brought issues to light. I made notes as we went through everything and had some really good points to talk over with Peter after lunch.

I grabbed a quick lunch and then moved to the conference room so that we could Vidyo chat. He looked over my PR and was happy with it. I then asked him about some particular user interactions that might be an issue and we were both a bit perplexed on how to solve them. I’ll have to do more testing. He also pointed out that one of my views doesn’t have any tests. Huh? I’m not sure how that can be but I’ll have to work on it. He wants to deploy it by Wednesday so I need to get extra busy.

After he looked things over he thought I should implement a Django context processor to handle showing and caching of some HTML. The purpose is to then not need to do GET and POST requests when data hasn’t changed. I get this in a general sense but technically implementing it at this point in the project felt huge. He agreed and said he would take on that task and send me a PR to merge in. Great! He mentioned that he had to run soon as he was showing off something during Beer and Tell. He then said I should join so had Mike come and get me to take me to the conference room where it was being held. It was so interesting to see what side projects everyone was working on. Busy people!

Wayne had to take Natale and Jayde to the dentist in the late afternoon so I told him to just come and get me while he was already out. I worked for about 30 minutes and then he was on his way. Before I could even get to the car though Peter sent his PR. What?!?! It only took him about 30 minutes to get all the code done for the context processor AND write tests for everything too. Man…

Today I learned more about JavaScript promises. Jim tried to make them make sense to me. He says I will understand them better when I use them. Hopefully!

2015.03.19 – Portland Commons Q&A Day

Today was interesting and good even though I got very little coding done. I got to the office early and it was still full of additional people so I sat out in the common area again. I struck up a conversation with Selena and got to talking about jobs. She was SO nice and sat with me and gave me a lot of good suggestions about various companies to look at and how to advocate for myself as far as trying to get a job with Mozilla. I’m ready to work somewhere full time now so am exploring every option. It’s daunting for sure.

I had a lunch date with my friend Vicky at Laughing Planet. The walk over there from the office was nice and it included the company of a few of Portland’s mounted patrol. We had delicious food and caught up on the trials and tribulations of life/work. It was really nice to spend time with her one-on-one but time flew and we both had meetings to get to.

I got back to the office in time for the Q&A session to begin. Dave Slater the Chief of Staff and two other people were in town to talk to the Portland people about any complaints or questions they had about Mozilla and/or the Portland office. It was really interesting to participate. For the most part everyone is really happy with the office and environment. A few people did request a new coffee grinder though 🙂

That pretty much took us to the end of the day. I worked a bit while I waited for Andrew to come to my office. We were going to walk up to Tea Chai Te and get some Northwest Earl Grey for me. It’s so good! While I was working Dietrich was at a table flashing a bunch of Firefox Flames. They are the new FirefoxOS Cell Phones. I told him I hadn’t seen one yet so he went in the back and got a new one and gave it to me to hack on. Nice! I’ll also be getting one from Lukas so I hope to help someone else learn how to hack on one as well.

The walk up to 23rd was so nice. People were out everywhere enjoying the early evening. We each got a drink and sat in the tea shop for a while just enjoying the moment before walking back down to the Max. While we walked we talked about the near future and about what we wanted to do/change.

Today I learned that the London office is “why we can’t have nice things!” I guess they’ve had some issues.

2015.03.18 – Getting Closer

Today I was back at the office but Katt was using the conference room. It seems there are some MDN people in town and also a new IT person is being trained so the office has a lot more people. I got set up out in the common area and put on my headphones. I had a lot of changes to make after reading through the comments on my PR. I worked through everything one by one and tested as I went. Everything was working great until I had to add some new JavaScript. I’m pretty sure it hates me because I could NOT get it working. I tried this and that and searched the net and looked through books on Safari. I was basically just getting frustrated again so I deleted my code and left that issue open. The rest of the fixes went really well though so all in all it was a good day. The weather was amazing again so that made everything better.

Today I learned about these 8 regular expressions I should know. I think I’d like to know a lot more but this is a good start.

2015.03.17 – St. Patrick’s Day

The car had to go in for routine maintenance today and I was making homemade sourdough bread so it seemed like a good day to work from home. I had pushed up my latest changes and let Peter know so he could look them over. Once that was done we headed to the dealership. While we were out I needed to run by the bank and we needed to get groceries for Dinner Night. We were having lasagne and it’s a bit time consuming to prepare and assemble even without pre-boiling the noodles.

By the time we got back home I had to get my bread rising and by the time I got that done it was time to go get the car. By the time I got back home with the car it was time to start dinner. I got very little coding done today but I did get a nice list of comments from Peter so I would have a lot to work on tomorrow.

Wayne and I got the lasagne and bread in the oven and Alice came over shortly after that to make the salad. Lisa from Urban Airship arrived so Wayne took her on a tour of our house while Alice and I made a peach cobbler. Dinner wasn’t done too terribly late! Tonight we had the six of us, Lisa, Alice, Jason, Spencer, John, Miri, Dale, and Baby Michael.

Today I learned homemade bisquick doesn’t taste as good as the real thing even though it’s not as full of crap.

2015.03.16 – Testing Grrr!

Jordan came to Mozilla with me today and sat in on the Monday meeting. Much of it was probably boring for him but they did talk a bit about their WebVR. They are doing some pretty cool stuff.

I pushed some stuff up for Peter to look at but he was super busy today. I worked on tests instead. I have two that are failing but they seemingly have nothing to do with what I have changed/added. I rebased my branch from master to see if that would help. No luck. I forced a new database. No luck. I switched to the master branch and rebased and of course all tests pass. Well, I guess it’s something I added/changed but I really can’t see how. I put in some print statements but I still don’t see where things are going sideways.

On a positive note I was able to help a new contributor and get them pointed in the right direction. Jordan and I cut out early and wandered down to the Max. It was SO beautiful out. I was definitely overdressed.

I’ve been job hunting which is NO fun at all. I am really hoping to be able to go back to Urban Airship if they will have me. I loved the environment and the people. I learned a ton and the work was great. I will have to apply everywhere though because it’s crunch time and there are never any guarantees. I want to work somewhere I look forward to going each day and I really loved going to UA. Ah well, something will work out.

Wayne made us yummy perogies, vegan kielbasa and cabbage for dinner.

Today I learned about this cool thing that works on Android or Chrome devices. Don’t forget to move around!

2015.03.15 – Shopping

Natale wanted to go shopping for some shirts. I’ve always had pretty good luck at the Goodwill stores here in Portland so I figured we could just start there and then go to a clothing store if we struck out. Jayde and Jordan wanted to join us so the four of us went over to the Goodwill on Lombard. It was pretty busy! We all headed our separate ways and searched through the racks of stuff. Jayde hadn’t gone with us before so was a little bit snobby about it and barely event attempted to look at stuff before deciding they didn’t have a single thing she liked. Jordan and Natale on the other hand found all kinds of stuff as did I. Jordan even found a brand new pair of Vans that were ten bucks!

Once Jayde saw that we were all finding stuff she was more agreeable and went with Jordan and Natale to find stuff. She found several shirts she liked and seemed sold on Goodwill. I’m glad because they really do have some nice stuff.

We were all so excited about our good luck at that store that we decided to head over to the bigger store on Broadway. It was much less busy than our local one. Once again we all found a few things we really liked. After we were over clothes shopping we headed to the store to get stuff for dinner. We decided on mac n’ cheese and mixed vegetables. We also grabbed stuff for Monday’s dinner while we were there.

When we finally made it back home I quickly mixed up some sourdough for two loaves of bread. I plan on making lasagne for Dinner Night and I thought some homemade sourdough would be good with that.

After dinner Andrew got a message that his talk submission for YAPC::NA::2015 was accepted! I’m so excited for him! He’s been wanting to give a talk somewhere and one was finally accepted. I guess I need to figure out travel since it’s in Salt Lake City, Utah and we have to be in Ottawa two days after and then come home.

Today I learned that our trip to Pittsburgh overlaps Father’s Day. Seems odd.

2015.03.14 – Happy Pi Day or Half Tau Day!

I woke up to a rainy day and what a pleasant change that was. It’s Pi or Half Tau Day depending upon your beliefs. I celebrate both! I got up early to make the meringue for one of the pies we were taking to the party. Unfortunately I was so busy doing other things during my pie making marathon the night before that I didn’t completely read the instructions. It seemed the pie would have to bake and then cool for several hours before being served. I was going to have to leave it behind. Luckily I had made two chocolate cream pies so it would probably be fine.

I gathered everyone, Natale, Jayde, Estelle, and Andrew and we headed over to Portland Code School. Paige was the only one there and it seemed the Holligan crew was running late. We rang in the moment at 09:26:53 without them. Paige had brought an old computer tower and oversaw Estelle, Jayde, and Natale as they disassembled and reassembled it. They were so excited to learn about the insides of a computer and then to actually build it so that it booted into Windows XP. We ate pie, the kids had a computer speed building contest(Natale won at ~8 minutes), had a contest to see who could recite the most digits of Pi (me! 40 digits), ate more pie, talked about nerdy stuff, ate pizza and more pie and then cleaned up and came back home.

The Holligan’s came over and Dave worked on something with Andrew while Alena, the kids and I watched some movies. It was a great day 🙂

Today I learned that it’s totally possible to make vegan meringue that tastes just like egg based meringue!

2105.03.13 – Assembly Language

I got to Mozilla a bit later than usual and was barely getting going when Katt said some maintenance people needed to work in the room I was using. No problem! I moved myself out to the common area to one of the comfy couches and got back to work. Or so I tried. It was Friday and everyone else seemed to be in “wind down for the weekend” mode so there was lots going on in the common area. I put in my headphones but still got drawn into conversations. I love it though because it has taken me a bit to become a part of the office since I’m kind of separated from everyone else for the most part. I was pretty frustrated with my feature anyway.

Earlier in the day Jim had mentioned some cool game that teaches people about Assembly. It sounded really interesting to me as I had never learned anything like that before. After lunch I looked up the game and was poking through the tutorial for it when Jim came back from a trip to Powell’s. I told him I was checking it out and he immediately sat down with me and spent the next 2 hours (or more since we were pretty involved in it) helping me work through and teaching me additional things I didn’t know. He taught me about representing negative numbers as a really large number, hexadecimal math, two’s and ten’s compliment, memory addresses, bits, flags, and tons more that I am sure I am forgetting. My brain was so happily full of information! It was an extra excellent day for sure.

Today I learned SO much!

2015.03.12 – I Can’t Save the World

Andrew and I went downtown early this morning and I hung out with him until I noticed how late it was getting. As I was walking up to Mozilla there was this guy walking in front of me and he seemed maybe drunk or on drugs. He was calling himself stupid over and over and then said, “I’m done with drugs. D.U.N. done” and then turned around and looked at me. I told him I thought that was a great idea and then he ended up walking with me all the way to the office all the while telling me his story. 36 years old, 9 year-old daughter, 15 year heroin addiction, 7 overdoses, multiple stints in rehab and today was going to be his first day of not using…..until some random girl offered him some drugs. He said yes and then hated himself for it. It was a very depressing conversation and kind of put me in a bummed mood for the rest of the day.

After work Andrew and I rushed home so he could grab his laptop and we could head over to Free Geek for the Perl Monger’s meeting. Andrew was giving a talk about Perl on OpenBSD. He did a great job even though he started out kind of nervous. Someone took notes with questions and suggestions and I had some suggestions as well. He’s hoping his talk is accepted for YAPC::NA::2015. He’ll find out Monday! We all headed over to Lucky Lab afterward and had long, interesting conversations with some of the regular attendees. Good people. I’m glad my day ended on a more positive note.

Today I learned that I really don’t have many bad days because I had forgotten what it felt like to be so sad. No complaints here.