2015.06.18 – More Playing at Work

I’m still just working through various apps trying to figure out what they do. There is a lot of reading involved so not much to really talk about. It’s all very interesting but there is a lot, lot, LOT to learn. I was working from home but had a meeting scheduled with Will to learn about automated reports. We had a GoToMeeting uh…meeting and he walked me through getting things set up. He said I needed to have MySQL or Celery, Redis, Python and Virtualenv ready to go before hand. Well I have all of these things installed via Vagrant so I figured it would be sweet to set up a Vagrant instance for this walk through.

He called in the afternoon and I told him I was set up in Vagrant on CentOS. He was a bit unsure about this but we proceeded and things went pretty well at first but then some long command I was supposed to use wouldn’t work because the Vagrantfile was a level too deep in the directory structure. I said I could just move things around but he was unsure of this and suggested I just install MySQL on my local machine. So much for Vagrant and keeping things in a VM!

I got it installed and we started over. Things went well again and we got a bit further but ended up having some S3 error (something to do with Amazon Web Services) and we couldn’t get past it. He said he thought it was an issue with the version of Python and thought an older version would fix the issue but that downgrading seemed like a stupid resolution so we decided to pick this back up next week.

Meanwhile I decided to make this all work in the Vagrant instance! I was able to get it going pretty quickly and ended up at the same S3 error I was getting on my local machine so go me!

Today I learned that I’m getting a pretty good handle on Vagrant.

2015.06.17 – Working or Playing

Right now I just spend all of my time messing with things and figuring out what they are. It’s a lot of fun and feels more like playing than working. I’m not entirely sure what sort of timeline I’m on to get up to speed but I’m not stressing about that. I’m just exploring and hopefully learning a lot. It sure feels like I am.

Today I learned how to make something semi-complicated work from beginning to end. Whew!

2015.06.16 – Plodding Along

I’m pretty much on my own to just learn and explore what things are and how they work. I feel like I’m playing as I cram my head full of fascinating information. I got pretty stuck on something though and asked around for help. Each person I asked said they had no idea but would point me to someone else who also said they had no idea. Hmmm this was not going to work. I didn’t want to be stuck for the next two and a half weeks so I mentioned it to Adam when I saw him. He offered to help me with it at the end of the day if I was still stuck and I was. He sat in the hangar with me and I watched in awe as he worked through everything and figured out the issues. I want to be able to do that! Anyway I’m back on track so far.

Today I learned that Vagrant didn’t properly set up permissions and a vhost for Celery workers so I couldn’t get it running. I don’t know how I would have figured that out on my own.

2015.06.15 – Back to Work

I did not want to get up this morning but at the same time I was excited and nervous to go back to work. How would it be with my boss on vacation for three weeks? Would I be able to be productive all on my own?

I decided to take the Max so packed up my stuff and headed out the door. It was a beautiful morning. I love looking at our city as the train winds its way downtown. The 10ish block walk from the train to my office was really nice as well. I got all set back up at my desk and got to work on some paperwork I needed to finish for HR, signed up for the 401k plan and got my login working for the online paycheck site. Once I was logged in I saw that I had been paid. Nice! So far this job is surreal. I can’t wait to do a kick ass job for them. Right now I needed to get busy reading and learning though.

I don’t even know everything I read through during the day. Lots of things. I had forgotten how distracting Slack can be. It’s like a fancy version of IRC with all sorts of other features. I’m going to have to figure out how it fits in my workflow without completely sidetracking me. There are also a bajillion places to log in to and a butt-ton of documentation to read. Email is coming in all the while. Let’s see if I can remember most of the things I have to log in to or keep track of so far. Email, calendar, paycheck site, 401k site, box.net with multiple directories, Jive with tons of documentation – TONS, Jenkins tickets, Stash, github with over 800 repos, IRC, Slack, PagerDuty, JIRA, Chef, Vagrant, Redis, Celery, VPN, LDAP, the location of my desk, the location of the bathroom from said desk, all the people and the names and what they do at UA…..So many things. And it’s fucking amazing! I love, love, love all of the information I’m having to cram into my brain. It’s the best feeling.

I screwed around trying to get Vagrant up and running like John showed me on Friday but I kept getting some dumb error. I had been worried about deleting everything and starting over though. It was not working as is so finally I figured it couldn’t really make things worse so I deleted everything and started from the beginning. It all went really well until I needed to start the celery tasks. I keep getting some “connection refused by host” error on a certain port. I happened to be riding the Max home with someone from my pod so I asked him, Joe, about it. He said he hadn’t used Vagrant in a while though but told me who to ask in the morning. That’s progress I suppose.

Today I learned that I got my first paycheck! This might be real 🙂

2015.06.14 – Heading Home!

The conferences were lots of fun but we were so ready to be home. Our flight wasn’t until around 15:00 though so we didn’t have to rush. We got up, dressed and worked on packing before walking to a grocery store for some breakfast type food. We ended up getting bagels and hummus. I also grabbed four boxes of this tasty smoked tofu we can only get in Canada.

After we ate we decided to just grab a bus and wait at the airport with everyone else. Security and customs were a breeze and we were at our gate before we knew it. We talked with Steven, a really nice guy from Salem, Oregon who attends the monthly PLUG meeting. Our flights were fairly uneventful but for the 1.3 hour delay at Dulles. The pilot made up most of the lost time though and we landed only 20 minutes past our originally scheduled time. Sweet! I read The Martian the entire time. It’s SO good!

Wayne picked us up and it was so good to have my arms around him. I sure miss him when we travel. Luckily he’s coming with us on our trip to Pittsburgh in about a week! We ate a quick dinner of leftovers and headed to bed. As usual Wayne had clean sheets waiting for me. They were our new, really nice, bamboo sheets. Our bed felt amazing!

Today I learned about this interesting bit of physics.

2015.06.13 – BSDCan Day Two

Oh man we were soooooo tired. We stayed up far too late last night but it was too much fun so who cares?! Andrew and I went to a breakfast place we had been wanting to try last year but were unable. They have vegan pancakes. They didn’t open until 10:00 though so we ended up missing the first talk. The pancakes were awful! Oh well 🙂

I tried to stay awake for the talks but it was tough. We had a fire alarm midway through the day though and that woke me up! After the conference was over we all headed to a restaurant/brewery for the after party. They were great about hooking us up with vegan options even though it was a pre-planned menu. We had a ton of fun eating great food and talking to everyone. We had a flight the next day though so we decided to head out at 22:00. We started making the rounds to say goodbye to our friends but were made to sit down with a whole table of OpenBSD people. That meant we didn’t get out of there until about midnight! It was worth it. We had a great week.

Today I learned that trying to make a tech environment inclusive by promoting the idea of not seeing gender has the effect of driving away women and minorities.

2015.06.12 – BSDCan Day One

Andrew and I grabbed a quick breakfast of oatmeal from a nearby shitty coffee shop. We were in a hurry though because we wanted to make sure we had seats to see the keynote speaker. Stephen Bourne was the guy who wrote /bin/sh. He was so interesting and so funny. It was a great talk.

We watched several other very good talks, lunch was provided and then more talks. Andrew went to another talk while I stayed out in the hall. I happened to see Dr. Bourne walking alone so took the opportunity to approach him and tell him how much I liked his keynote. He was happy to hear it and joked that it was probably really boring.

After the talks Andrew and I walked in the rain to an Ethiopian restaurant. The food was once again yummy! We were a bit damp from our rain walk so we stopped by the apartment and threw our sweatshirts in the dryer for a while and then headed to the Royal Oak to see if anyone was hanging out. The place was packed and there was Stephen Bourne sitting at a table with a bunch of other people. He waved us over and they made room for us to sit with them. I spent the next five or so hours talking Dr. Bourne’s ear off and encouraging him to tell me stories. We were also sitting with Kirk McKusick and Mike Karels. I didn’t know them before today but they were right there in the beginnings of Unix. Their stories are amazing! The thing that really struck me though is that they know what they did was cool and fun but they were completely down to earth and friendly. I had the best time.

Today I learned so many things. Kirk McKusick designed a display that was used on the space shuttle. It had something to do with radar and the space shuttle docking mechanism. I’m not entirely sure. There were so many interesting stories.

2015.06.11 – Off to Ottawa

We were up early and on our way to the airport. It was an uneventful trip and we very easily found our way to our apartment. As luck would have it the venue was in a different building this year so we were in an ideal place.

We got settled in and wandered over to the dorms to meet other BSDCan attendees. There were eight of us and we went to a yummy Indian place. I had WAY more food than I could come close to finishing but it was delicious. We hung out for a bit at the Royal Oak which is the bar where everyone seems to migrate to. It’s also where attendees pick up their badges. We were pretty tired after our long day though so didn’t stay out horribly late.

Today I learned about this very nifty website, What is Code?

2015.06.10 – YAPCNA Day 3

Today is Andrew’s talk and it’s first thing in the morning! We were up and ready early so we could head to the room and get him all set up. I sat up front so I could take pictures of him. He was nervous and wasn’t feeling that great but he did such a good job anyway! I found out afterward that Larry Wall sat through his talk! He’s the guy that wrote Perl.

There are so many Perl luminaries at this conference. It’s interesting to see people practically fall over when they see these people who have paved the way just standing there chatting with everyone. The famous people don’t think they are so famous though and it’s really endearing. Andrew works with a couple of them and I had no idea they were a big deal in the Perl community. Graham Barr and Tom Christiansen are two of them. Really nice, smart people.

In the evening Andrew and I met James who is an ooooooold friend of mine and his wife Elisa for dinner. He was actually my first boyfriend when I was 15. Damn we are so old now 🙂 It was great to see them and to catch up on life. The food we had was so awful though. But we had a nice time so that’s ok. We went straight to bed since we had an early flight to Ottawa in the morning.

Today I learned that The Martian is a really good book!


2015.06.09 – YAPCNA Day 2

Today was much like yesterday. Lots of talks for half the day, lunch at Bud’s, helping Lauren with programming in the afternoon, dinner at a Himalayan place that was really good. Lots of fun social time!

Today I learned that I can’t keep track of much while at this conference. It’s a whirlwind!