Posts filed under 'Ruby on Rails'

Bottom line, We All Lose

Here’s an excellent post by Amanda Blum discussing the latest Women in Tech tragedy. I call it a tragedy because people got hurt and damage could have been avoided every step of the way but instead spiraled out of control.

Standing up about women’s issues is hard. Choosing which issues are worthy of fighting the good fight and how best to handle a situation are not always obvious. It’s a touchy subject. Folks are nervous.

Sometimes the pendulum has to swing too far in the other direction before things right themselves. Was her public response an overreaction? Christie Koehler makes a good point in a recent post Bold IdeasUttered Publicly: “…as someone not part of the dominant social order you have limited options for calling attention to transgressive behavior.”

Read the entire post for a thoughtful explanation of what that means, but my take (and from personal experience) is that it’s really, really hard for a minority to speak up directly.

Let’s be honest, when was the last time you called someone out for bad behavior to their face?

Regardless of whether you side with Adria or with how she handled the incident, all can agree that things definitely got out of hand thereafter.

Honestly, I feel bad that someone was fired over something that could easily have come out of my own mouth but it’s the subsequent nerd range and death threats against Adria that make me even more afraid to speak up (about anything) than I was before.

As a dear male colleague said to me, “Why can’t we talk openly about these things without it exploding?”

2 comments March 22nd, 2013

Sarcastic Catchphrase… Not!

I can already tell that .not is going to be my new favorite thing in rails 4.

Article.where.not(name: "Hello")

That is all.

Add comment March 19th, 2013

Holiday Side Project

Since I’ve been wanting to try out CanCan and Twitter Bootstrap this holiday, I spent a few hours creating a silly game called Recycled or Not.

My app was generated with Rails Apps Composer. The rails_apps_composer gem installs a command line tool to assemble a Rails application from a collection of fully-tested “recipes.”

It’s too bad the core recipes don’t include MiniTest, although this is a option when creating recipes from scratch. And the core example recipes use Cucumber which has fallen out of fashion around here of late. But other than that, I really loved using this tool because it allowed me to get started with the features of my project in a snap.

In addition, I enjoyed working with Devise, Rolify and CarrierWave. But I think my favorite discovery was that the load_resource method from Cancan will set up a before filter in your controllers which loads the model resource into an instance variable for you. Love that!

Add comment January 1st, 2013

putting it together

Dan Pickett, who I think is an awesome rails dev and truly outstanding person, posted a link today about the show MasterCrafts and how it relates to startups.

Well, this kind of stuff really speaks to me. And it put me in mind of lyrics from my favorite composer.

Bit by bit, putting it together
Piece by piece, only way to make a work of art
Every moment makes a contribution
Every little detail plays a part
Having just a vision’s no solution
Everything depends on execution
Putting it together, that’s what counts!
Ounce by ounce, putting in together
Small amounts, adding up to make a work of art
First of all you need a good foundation
Otherwise it’s risky from the start
Takes a little cocktail conversation
But without the proper preparation
Having just a vision’s no solution
Everything depends on execution
The art of making art
Is putting it together, bit by bit

Making art is HARD. But so worthwhile.

Add comment August 30th, 2012


if a ^ b

What the hell is that carrot doing there? ….It’s an “exclusive or”.

It’s the same as saying:

(a && !b) || (!a && b)

which also means…

a | b |
0 | 0 | f
0 | 1 | t
1 | 0 | t
1 | 1 | f

Damn, useful… sometimes.

Add comment August 20th, 2012


Just came across this blog post randomly… love it when I come across tidbits like this.

Although, &&|| might actually be more useful than Billy Baldwin. Just sayin’.

Add comment June 8th, 2012


Nola Stowe, Jennifer Stander, Liz Cortel, and Desi McAdam are the originators of the DevChix website where women programmers meet virtually to support one another in one of the best careers in the world!

I find myself constantly referring women to this wonderful community and if you don’t know about it… you should!

Over the years, I’ve watched this community grow and I’m so proud to be a part of it. It’s one of the few sites where you can find truly hardcore technical, accomplished women… and ask their advice. You’ll find mentors, a new job, speaking opportunities, and role models.

These aren’t a bunch of craggy, stiff, feminist man-haters… (seriously, no one wants to hang out with those party poopers)… These are cool, fun, DevChixen who love to code and can hold their own against any “bros” out there.

Add comment May 28th, 2012

BostonRB Outreach and Education

I’ve mostly been MIA this past year on this blog and in the community while I’ve been focusing on “leveling up”. But sadly my endeavors in the community have suffered.

I have either led or participated in the various incarnations of ruby women’s groups in town for the past few years. With toddlers of my own and a husband who works in the evenings it’s been tough keeping something going.

But I’m thrilled to see a passionate group at BostonRB that are working on ideas and events directed at growing and diversifying the ruby community.

It would be really wonderful if there were more local women adding their voices to this conversation.

Checkout the Google Group here:…

Add comment May 25th, 2012

Girls just wanna Ho-Gram…no Bra-Gram… no wait I’m a Pro-Glammer… Wut?

Having come from a life in show business where I was judged daily on the most superficial terms, I’m not readily angered or upset by sexist stupid shit.

There’s just so much of it. Everywhere. That I choose to ignore it.

“…Wut?”, I hear you say.

But here’s where I’m coming from. I have a great deal of respect for the women who are fighting the good fight head on. But that doesn’t work for me. I just don’t win in those situations.

Instead I choose to just be a positive example. Yeah, I guess that’s a passive agressive way of bringing folks to task. But focussing on all the negativity just brings me down. I don’t want to talk about all the things the boys won’t let me do. I don’t want to talk about all the things the boys tell me I’m supposed to be.

All I wanna do is ignore the haters and write awesome code.

But. I think I’ve been naive.

I keep hearing about stuff. Bad stuff. I mean, like the whole Sqoot thing right here in Boston. What year is this? Have ya’all been living under a rock? You can’t get away with that shit anymore. Or can you?

Now, at first I liked the whole bro-gramming meme. To me, it seemed like it started out as a self deprecating joke amongst the hipsters. Hell, I wanted to be a “bro” myself. Seemed like fun. But now, I think the fear is that it’s more of a battle cry to round up fresh tech talent from a pool of jerks.

Well, okay… if you wanna hire assholes then go ahead and add this to your adjective list along with ‘rockstar’, ‘ninja’ and ‘jedi’. But honestly, some guys are taking this bro-grammer thing to heart.

For the last three months, I’ve worked in a startup incubator space. I can stand up and see five or more separate companies with their own personalities all around me. The majority of folks are *wonderful*. And I’ve loved being in such an energized, youthful place.

But then you have your bros. The guys who stand up and pace, talking loudly on their headsets. The ones who throw around terms like ‘gangbang’ and ‘bitch’ to their male colleagues, ignoring the fact that they’re offending people sitting not three feet away.

Oh, and here’s the kicker. One of them upon learning that I was a developer said, “Wow. You’re a girl programmer? You should use that to your advantage.”

Honestly, most if the time I would let a comment like that go. But when weighed against everything else…

So, what do I do about it? What’s my responsibility here? There’s no HR department to complain to.

Honestly, do I need to do anything? These guys are alienating everyone around them. They’re not making the smart, necessary connections within the startup community that they need because men and women alike can’t stand them.

I will personally go out of my way to continue being an awesome rails dev with awesome rails dev friends and encourage them *not* to join “that startup”. And I have faith that they will implode and fail, and look like an ass doing so without my calling them out publicly to people who already hate them.

Ack, I’m back to being passive aggressive.

3 comments April 27th, 2012

Ruby Hero Awards

Via the railsbridge free ruby on rails workshops for women (men are included if they can bring along a female), “the sarah’s” Sarah Allen and Sarah Mei have inspired me to take action here in Boston where I led a similar workshop at Harvard and am planning another workshop (yet to be announced) this May.

In addition, their work has extended to creating workshops for kids AND they have inspired many folks to consider offering childcare when putting together events which just helps everyone be awesome.

This sort of inclusive work is great for everyone in our community. That’s why I’ve nominated them for the Ruby Hero Awards again this year. Shouldn’t you?

Click here:

Add comment March 14th, 2012

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