An Event Apart

An Event Apart, Monday Edition

Wow. Just phenomenal.

Day One brought the first of six speakers All, of whom touched on things I will be taking back with me to the job to implement and use, or integrate into the many projects I have going on. Invaluable to say the least.

I won’t go into details tonight, I am going on hour number fourteen of being up and at ’em. I will have a very in-depth post in my wrap-up, probably Thursday or Friday when I get back home and settled in. The conference ends Wednesday, but I won’t be home until late that night.

A quick recap. I got to see Jeffrey Zeldman and he was gracious enough to have me follow him around like a roadie, Eric Meyer, whom I have always followed and these two were major influences on my career choice. I am glad I did not give up my dream. I hadn’t seen them for eight nine years! It was wonderful to see them again.

Claudia Snell, whom we don’t know how, but we became online friends and met as I snuck up front to grab a front row chair.

The speakers. Jaimee Newberry, Laura Martini, Dan Mall, Brad Frost, Chris Coyier, and of course, it was kicked off by Jeffrey Zeldman. So much valuable information from the talks. Every talk, every speaker, touched on something that I needed, to bring back to work with me, to do my job better and improve what we need to improve on with our website and web application.

Unfortunately today, as I ate breakfast, I didn’t realize (not enough coffee in me yet) that Chris was sitting at my table. Duh. So I need to (again, unfortunately for Chris), hunt him down because I have questions. I was able to talk to everyone today and it was great. The SVG talk was fantastic, I again, have many questions.

So with that, I’m tired, I have an email to send off, I have a migraine to curb. Ciao!

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An Event Apart

An Event Apart, Sunday Edition

Rolled into Boston around 6:30 and to the Westin Copley at 7-ish. After a weekend tournament, 2 nights in Hampton, N.H. and then seeing my son off after a disappointing loss in the championship game (wish he was able to come with me this week), I drove down to the park & ride in Portsmouth.

From there it was a bus to South Station, from there the T. Red line to Orange line to the 5 minute walk around the corner.

Now I’m up on the 14th floor in a pretty sweet hotel room, ready to call it a night and hopefully see and get to talk to some folks I haven’t seen in 9 years. So it is time to settle in, settle down, and look forward to a great conference, for people who love the web!

AND HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the moms out there and the dads pulling double duty!

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AAU Spartans

After a great start Saturday (2-0, 4-0 for both 10th/11th grade teams), the Spartans 11th grade bowed out early, and the 10th graders lost in the championship game to my son’s former team. Hard fought all the way. He is disappointed, but the learning experience has become huge for him. He’s growing and maturing on the court weekly.

It was a great weekend, not the results we were looking for, but, in the end, the drive to come back and get that rematch is stronger than ever.

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An Event Apart

An Event Apart Boston 2017

So the time has come where the wonderful web conference happens in Boston at the Marriott Copley, An Event Apart.

My first (and currently last) time was in 2008. A life time ago in web years. I still have all the schwag I got, I still have the pictures on my Flickr feed, and my An Event Apart laptop case… It was a great conference.

I got to meet the likes of Jeff Veen, Doug Bowman, Jason Santa Maria, Andy Budd Eric Meyer, Jeffrey Zeldman, and Bruce Lawson to name a few. It got me in touch with Ethan Marcotte, Christopher Schmitt, and a few others as well.

Looking back still, I got a little fan boy-ish when I thanked Bruce for conditional comments which helped me with the whole IE styling back in the day and even got a shout out on his site. Which made me laugh and makes me laugh even more to this day. Thanks, Bruce!

During the days when I was very active on the web, when I was freelancing and doing very well for myself with my little one-man band development club, when I was religiously following everyone I could in the early days of Twitter, I wanted to do the web standards thing. I was fawning over the fact I met, talked to, and even broke bread (lunch I believe) with Jeffrey Zeldman.

To sum it up, AEA was great, educational, and terrific. I highly suggest people in the industry to go if they have never been. it is money well spent.

Then I planned in grandiose fashion, of course, to and vowed to return every year, when it came to Boston to keep in touch with folks and see the others I have never seen or met before such as Jeremey Keith, Andy Clarke, and a pantheon of others I religiously followed.

So then life came along and I got in my own way. I don’t hide the fact that my past was very checkered with addictions of all sorts. Alcohol and drugs being the worst of the worst. I got a big head, a.k.a. ego. I missed 2009, I vowed to return in 2010. I missed 2010, I swore to return in grand style on a unicorn, throwing lightning bolts and proclaiming my return in 2011. Missed 2011.

I went through many years of failure on grand levels. I got in my own way and the addiction thing is probably best saved for another post.

I decided that my dreams of working at a great firm such as Happy Cog, 2Advanced, Razorfish, Red, etc., were done. I continued to slop around and freelance, but work dried up, I got deeper in the hole I was digging, and by 2012, I gave up.

The last 5 years, I have been in recovery. Got a year, stumbled, currently working on 4 years in August. May of 2016 I was hired by a company that I am still working for, doing web work. I got the itch back. So I decided to ask if they would send me to AEA, I got the go ahead.

I’ll be returning after 9 years. Yeah, I got right back. I’ll leave the unicorn and lightning bolt throwing at home though. I’m back to learn. I’m back to hopefully catch up with people and re-introduce myself to some folks.

It’s been a real struggle, but I’m glad I’ll be back in May.

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The Plague 2017 Part 2

So I contracted the sequel to the Plague that I had earlier this year, but tenfold. I was on the shelf for over a week. Flu-like symptoms, head cold, chest cold, high fever… this time, this one, hit me hard.

I’ve felt so run down, but I slept about 140 hours last week, I was that sick. So be careful when you come down with something, hit it fast and hard with medicine and hopefully, you won’t be writing a will like I was and a note to my children about how much I love them and will miss them.

I have tried getting into the programming frame of mind, but without avail. I did wrap up the Try Docker course over at Code School the other day, but it was a short course and just touched on what Docker was and the basics. Like the minimal basics.

I will be getting subscriptions to Pluralsight and Treehouse at some point.

Travel season for AAU takes a lot out of me. I drive my son 2 hours away for practices. Driving 8 hours a week for practices only. We have a 2 week hiatus (1 week remaining) from tournaments until we go back to Springfield, MA next weekend. He’s been out all week with a bone bruise and will be back this week.

Which I learned yesterday was school vacation week. March and April vacation weeks come too close to each other.

I tried getting into the Twitch project over at Free Code Camp, but didn’t get too far into that either. The bug has to hit me and I feel so fatigued, especially after last week’s near-death experience, in which I almost called a priest.

Summer will bring relief and relaxation.

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Travel Season

Travel basketball is in full swing, even though posts are very infrequent, between work and everything else, my time to post is limited but I am looking to get some scheduling done that will allow for some posts on the road, here and there, more often.

Just finished up last week the Elixir courses over at Code School, so I am going to head over and work on some stuff I have going over at Udemy and Coursera.

Hopefully the summer season will bring some downtime and I can take a few weeks off and enjoy the summer, if it ever gets here to the New England area… more snow in the forecast for this weekend with a tournament to drive to in Pembroke, MA!

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Busy, Volume II

So I have just gotten around to posting an update. With basketball (the high school season) thankfully over, we move on to the AAU travel season which officially starts next week. The boy starts this year with new team that plays ball in A division tournaments and gets prep/college scouts looking at them, so maybe he has a chance to be noticed. How he does is on him.

The break in-between was much needed, but there will still be plenty of traveling to do. I managed to get the Wikipedia project for FreeCodeCamp done, you can view the CodePen “pen” here, or you can also view it over on my site right here.

I, on the other hand, are trying to relax and rest before a 3 month long tour of New England and basketball tournaments. I’ve been filling the time with my keeping up over at Code School, work at my full time place of employment, parenting, and other things/people that matter.

I’ve been doing some courses over at Udemy and Coursera, Saylor, I have been immersed in learning, downloaded some great eBooks on programming, and just trying to save up for a nice vacation this summer.

Look for my next post, whenever that might be, on Building A TwitchTV Viewer from FreeCodeCamp.

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Busy, Volume I

Close Encounters with PHP is up and I can finally go back in and go through this course. Finally, back to being really busy, I’ve been trying to manage my time better. To no avail however.

My son plays basketball and is currently starting on JV and on the bench for varsity. So he has practices nearly every night and games, couple that with working 40 hours a week, I get home and I am beat. I wouldn’t trade it for anything though.

I’m hoping soon, and that’s probably in March, that things slow down a bit. We shall see. I’ll get back to updating this thing more often and I have another Free Code Camp update to post as well. Ciao!

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Mentoring

So in my effort to accumulate as much knowledge as I can soak up about the Web in my lifetime, I had stumbled across, or rather, an email came in to me about just that. I figure it is a sign from something telling me to actually do what is asked and see about getting some mentoring in some fashion.

In order to apply, all I ask is that you write a public post somewhere on the Web that discusses why you love the Web, where you’re at in your career, and what your goals are for the coming year. I’m not looking for a particular length or anything, just trying to get a sense of you, your passions, and your interests.

So…

I love the web because since I got my first computer many moons ago, it has always been a passion of mine to create things. Whether it is a program that runs random numbers, or just make websites function and look good, I have always been fascinated with the technical aspects of the Web.

I’m at the point in my career where I am doing tech support for a web based application my company created and which other companies use daily. I am updating a 15 year old website and an 18 year old web based application UI as well. I’m usually glued to a laptop during the course of my day.

I just want to create things on the Web. I just have that passion still. After five “burn outs” I still keep going. CodeSchool, Free Code Camp, Codecademy, Udemy, etc.,etc. the drive for knowledge still has me in its clutches.

My last AEA was 2008. I want to go back desperately this year. I want to keep learning until my children send me into a home, or even when I finally take that dirt nap I hear about. I just want to keep learning. Learning from a mentor willing to give back as prominent in my mind as this person would just be another highlight in my professional life.

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The Plague 2017 Part 1

My son, being the altruistic philanthropist he is, gave me his version of some strain of the Black Plague to start my new year. When I return, if I should, I’ll be posting more. I’m just starting to get some sort of will to live back, so this will be interesting on how long it will take to get my strength back. Until then, Happy 2017 everyone (all 4 people) that read this, and best wishes.

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