Interesting Intervew w/ Michael Tiemann

So I didn’t know who Michael Tiemann was until listening to this interview on Hacker Public Radio, but apparently he’s been one of the most major forces in Open Source over the last couple of decades. He’s incredibly well spoken, knows what he’s about, and the interviewer does a good job of guiding the discussion. Tiemann is also no edge-case hacker who just loves Open Source. He’s the VP of Open Source Affairs at Red Hat, Inc.

I thought my OTRS readers might be especially interested in the interview and in the philosophies presented. Check it out.


PS: I don’t necessarily recommend Hacker Public Radio by default. There are some stellar episodes, for sure, but it’s not like standard commercial podcasts you might be used to where there is consistent subject matter or a consistent host you can form a bond with. All I can say is that I get something out of Hacker Public Radio and you don’t have to be a “hacker” to appreciate every episode (sometimes they’re just talking about how to use free software like LibreOffice Calc effectively). So if you’re shopping around for a new podcast, consider giving it a shot.


Quick Note On My Absence

Hi folks. I’m sure no one is watching this blog religiously, but it’s gained more popularity than I ever would have expected–and quickly–so I thought I should post a quick note about why I haven’t been posting lately. First, I did a lot of traveling over the summer and relaxed my commitment to the blog. It was just too much to keep up with. I had plans to start a series on OTRS ITSM this fall, but I at the end of the summer I had a very nice surprise. I was accepted to Georgia Tech’s Online Master of Science in Computer Science program!

I started out taking a single course, hoping that would allow me to ease back into the student mindset and hopefully leave me time to continue with some of my other side projects. However, I’ve found that working full time and taking just one course is usually enough to fill up my time. I’ve gotten much better at managing my time, so I hope to return to the blog soon. I will probably include some posts about what I’m learning in the program, as well. OTRS ITSM is still on my radar. It will just be behind my anticipated schedule.

Thanks everyone for reading and for your kind comments. I look forward to providing more help to you as soon as I can!

Discounted iOS Development Boot Camp

Somebody passed along this link, and so I thought I’d pass it along to you in case you were interested:

This is a generously discounted boot camp course for total beginners. You don’t need to know how to code at all to start, but you will need access to a Mac running OS X Snow Leopard or higher. If you’re thinking, “If I have to buy a Mac to do this, the discount doesn’t help much,” well, I agree. But if you can get your hands on an OSX86 ISO, you can run this in a Virtual Box. I haven’t experimented with that and so can’t provide any specific links or suggestions, but that’s how I’m told it’s done.

So for those who might be interested in developing for theĀ  Mac ecosystem, this is a really good way to get in on the ground floor with some concrete direction.


Why shouldn’t a blog have a foreword? With the brilliant literary precedent set in the print world by Sarah Silverman’s Midword, I think it’s time to rethink the blogular form. But that discussion really belongs on my personal blog, Love Calls Us. I’m already messing this up. And that brings us to the blog title.

I’m kind of a dummy–in the usual way. There are a handful of things I do really well. Then there are the other things: the things I’m fumbling my way through on my way to absolute awesomeness. One of those things has been a transition from teaching English for a living to being a professional software developer. I’m getting pretty good at parts of it.

My training as a writer has come in handy. I learn well through writing, and it helps me be more productive. You’ve had that experience where you study something really hard for a few days and then don’t actually need the knowledge until a couple months later, right? And then you have to start studying all over again? Well, I try to avoid those experiences by writing references for myself. They usually supplement a product’s official documentation with concrete examples I can wrap my head around… after I’ve done it half a dozen ways that didn’t work or that I realized later were miserable solutions.

I named the blog “How this Dummy Did It” based on those wrong ways. I like to document my process as I’m putting the pieces together (that’s what I call “failing” so I don’t have to call it “failing”). It’s a good learning strategy for me, and it helps me go back and put the bigger picture together a lot faster when I learn new stuff. Maybe if I get to a point where I’m not fumbling as much, I can change the title to “How This Developer Did It.” Or when I just do everything right the first time and better than everyone else, I can graduate to “How This Deodate Did It.” (Deodate means “gift from God.” It’s what they were going to call Oreos until some guy in the marketing department pointed out that people might think they were selling sweet fruits. This, of course, would make his job harder, and he wasn’t interested in that.) For now, though, Dummy seems about right. It’s mildly self-deprecating without completely discounting my self esteem.

I don’t come from a CS background like a lot of programmers, and there are more people like myself in the field of software development than I expected. I’ve probably met more people who came to programming from another field than I have people with CS degrees. There are a lot of materials in print and online that you can use to teach yourself to program. And the equipment and tools you need to learn and practice on are widely available–mostly for little or no cost. I’ve been on that journey for a little while, and I thought it would be fun to start sharing some of my progress. I’ve gotten where I am because other folks are willing to blog and share code and answer my questions on Stack Exchange. Maybe I can give someone else a leg up here and there by sharing what I learn. (Plus, I can use my blog as an online repository of these growing references! Take that, Google Drive!)

Ok, this is a tech blog (or it will be starting after this post). As I mentioned, I have a personal blog, which is where this kind of rambling will usually go. I just wanted to set the tone. This is my voice. Soak it in. And come back infrequently, cuz that’s how I post!

Love and kisses,