hi, i’m scott.

i write ruby, javascript, and look for errant asterisks in java.

thanks for reading


It’s been quite a while now, and I’m pretty much content to declare this site dead… for now. It’s more of an indefinite hiatus. Perhaps I’ll find something else I’ll want to post regularly about. For now, however, I just can’t seem to bring myself to write even brief posts.

I intend to leave this blog online for the time being, but, short of finding some posting topics, I’ll probably end up making a new, single-page portfolio site.

Thanks for reading!

one week in

I’ve officially been employed for a week now. It’s still somewhat surreal.

Amplify’s been really easing us in. By “us”, I mean the other new dev that started on the same day and I. We’ve been getting lectures and meetings from all kinds of people about the business and all the components of the company. I suppose this is pretty much the other extreme from committing code from day 1.

This week, we…

  1. Set up our dev machines. It took a full day because we weren’t familiar with Java and Android, and the instructions were of dubious quality. However, the struggle meant that we at least have some clue about the components we work with.
  2. Had tons of meetings and lectures
  3. Paired on our first ticket, where we looked at automated tests that made sure that a server was sending back the required information.
  4. Committed some code! It was only Ruby, however, as I can barely tell what’s going on with Java and Android.

There’s still so much to learn. I read a bit about Android development via official Google documentation. I think I’m starting to grasp the foundational components of Android apps.

Regarding project ideas (as tagged), I’ve been toying with writing a new blog CMS using node. Now that I’ve picked up on deploying node projects on Digital Ocean, I’m itching to write something. The goal would be to create a blog CMS that took markdown, feature images, and allows for drafts. Nothing fancy, essentially just a CRUD app in the back-end. The real fun would be from the front-end, as I would be building it up using AngularJS. I’ve built a proof of concept project using this idea before, so it should be plenty doable. I’ve also learned a bit about creating a current_user angular service to help with user authentication. Far as I can see, the real difficulty will be in designing, not actually coding, the front-end. I’m also planning to take the public folder from this existing Octopress blog and drop it into the node project! It can continue to serve these static resources, so I won’t have to worry about broken links.

i… have a job?

Well, after all this and that, I think I can finally say that I’m a Software Engineer now. Like, one that gets paid.

Holy shit!

I’m happy to announce that I’ll be joining Amplify Education in one week as a Software Engineer. All the paperwork’s been filled out and cleared, so all that’s left is to wait. It still feels pretty strange that I would be calling myself by such a job title.

Amplify is creating an Android tablet platform for the K-12 classroom, and it looks like working there will be a lot of fun. They do make use of Rails and JS, so I hope to start contributing code as soon as possible. Their JS framework of choice is AngularJS, and that’s looking like a lot of fun. Unlike frameworks like Backbone and Ember, it’s possible (or at least much easier) to just drop in Angular to app-ify just a portion of a page, so I’m going to try converting parts of plzplzhireme into an Angular app. Probably nothing fancy, just an interactive table and ajax CRUD (can you guess which plzplzhireme page am I talking about?).

Other than that, I hope to pick up some QA automation, Java, and Android development. It looks like a great shop, and I can’t wait. See, App Academy paid off. If you’re on the fence, go apply! It doesn’t even take that long of a time to apply; when they say it takes like 2 days to hear back, they mean it.

did orgo help me learn to code?

Many of the interviewers I’ve met thus far were all intrigued/confused by my orgo background. They’re certainly vastly different fields, but I’ve been seeing a lot of parallels lately.

1. Object Orientated Design

Coming from organic chemistry, where we have to think about specific atoms in a larger molecule and their attributes (electron config, oxidation state, etc), chemists just might be highly attuned to object oriented thinking. It’s not like thinking about entities and their properties are unique to chemists, of course, but it’s certainly something we think a lot about and use as guides in our planning.

2. APIs

Connecting internal and external software components via APIs feels very similar to finding and using sites of reactivity in synthesis at times. Maybe this is a bit of a stretch?

3. Retrosynthesis

Retrosynthesis is a completely awesome strategy for breaking down complex entities into simpler subunits. You can probably guess why practicing a basic concept like ‘break down big complicated thing into easy little things’ can be powerful in both orgo and software development.

How organic chemistry HASN’T helped

  1. Math
  2. Math
  3. Math

In the end, it’s all just building things, right? No surprises that there are commonalities here.

new look

Just making some visual changes. Everyone thank Alex Garibay for the really fresh theme! I did tweak it a bit, but the light version of the site is fantastic nonetheless.

app academy week not dead yet


This site isn’t quite dead yet, but the last weeks were pretty incredibly busy. What did I do the last month?

  • Wrote the second capstone project, plzplzhireme. It’s a job application tracking app that I wrote for us that like half the class is actively using!
  • Made fakebook so much better
  • Became the maintainer of an open source project
  • Applied to a ton of places
  • Spoke to a bunch of people
  • Wrote up an entry for a little Ruby challenge from Moz

Still looking around for a good place to work. I can’t quite decide if I want an outright software dev kind of job or if I want to work for a creative agency. Regarding location, NYC would be nice, but Moz in Seattle would be killer. Hopefully, we’ll make some progress with the Hiring Day deal with have on the coming Monday. I may or may not keep you updated on what happens.

Also, I realize that the Twitter feed up top is broken thanks to the old version of the API phasing out. However, I think I’ll just leave it like that because that’s clearly Pacman chomping away up there.

Happy birthday, Murica!

app academy week 6

A pictureless post today.

It…it’s the end of week 6 already? Damn. Unfortunately, there’s not much to post tonight other than that this was a long week consisting of fighting with Ubuntu and JavaScript. Luckily, though, I think I’m getting how Backbone.JS works. It should be a fun week. Well, provided that my final project(s) idea(s) are okay. If not, it’ll probably be a lot less fun.

BTW, if you have a HP DV6 6135, are interested in putting Ubuntu or Mint on it, and somehow found this post by searching for that info, here’s what you’ll need to do in order to resolve the most pressing install issues:

  1. Get proprietary AMD drivers to keep the fan and dedicated GPU from running super hot. See thread here. You’ll probably want to just disable the dedicated gpu afterwards. Trust me, it becomes completely silent and super nice.

  2. Get proprietary drivers for the Ralink wifi card. If you’re lucky to have a somewhat functioning wifi connection from the start, you’ll probably discover that it’s way weaker than before. To resolve this, follow directions here. Sorry, you’re on your own if your wifi just doesn’t work at all.

Just one more week of actual class classes, then two weeks of capstone projects to go! Wish me luck.

Daily Reflections