Ramiro Franco

Education Is Great.

Written on Monday May 5, 2014 at 3:57 p.m.

I recently read a book called "Smart and Gets Things Done", which was an interesting book on the hiring process for a tech company. I really enjoyed it and I thought it had a good chunk of advice that I will definitely take into account, but it has a passage on filtering resumés that I didn't particularly agree with.

The book essentially stated that ivy league candidates could outperform community college candidates, and it made absolutely no mention of candidates without the opportunity to have taken higher education.

Being a software engineer without a degree myself, I feel like I'm constantly having to fight the mentality that because I don't have a college degree I'm somehow an inferior developer, even though I have a good, long work history, I have contributed to open-source projects, and I have sample works that show an obvious passion and skill that is at least on par with that of anyone who does have a degree.

I understood the logic that having higher education means someone else has already filtered this person for "intelligence", but the smartest, most talented developers I know did not come from universities, they are people who started programming on their own to follow their passion, frequently, years before they would even be old enough to begin higher education.

I don't have a problem with people who have entered a tech career through a path of higher education, I just don't like the exclusive attitude that I frequently see in hiring guides, especially since it seems very few developers share these same prejudices.

Responsive Design is Fun

Written on Friday February 21, 2014 at 4:30 p.m.

I've recently been working on a new contract that has given me a very active role in the mobile design process, as in, all of it.

I'm finding myself really enjoying the challenge and the creative freedom as a change of pace from what I've fallen into where I'm typically given a task and complete it to specifications. Not that I have a problem with that kind of work flow, it's just something I'm really burnt out on right this second.

Something in particular that I plan to write about as soon as I find the time is manipulating markup to supplement responsive design and why it's really not as problematic as people seem to believe it is.

Learning to Bark

Written on Monday June 24, 2013 at 8:57 p.m.

So I recently introduced a new member to my small family. His name is Jake, he's a miniature poodle, 2 years old, stands at around 15" tall, and weighs just shy of 12lbs. He came home with us from the Oregon Humane Society 06/12/2013.

I'm really tempted to just spoil him to death, but I've been pretty good at curbing that temptation and actually following a training regimen for him. His training is going really well because of that and he's managed to learn "sit", "off", and "watch me" in just the week or so since we've started. He was already house trained too which was a bonus for us!

TZ Tactics.

Written on Friday June 7, 2013 at 8:30 a.m.

Timezones. For the most part, I like and agree with their purpose. They help maximize the amount of time people spend awake during the day, keeping them less prone to seasonal affective disorder, and saving power for homes and businesses, in turn using less fossil fuels.

My issue with timezones lies in programming, where they are a minefield of problems waiting to happen, and yesterday my coworkers and I managed to blow up a few of them.

The first issue we stumbled on was relatively minor, everything just seemed to be an hour off when it involved daylight savings time. We seemed to have it fixed, until our app went into staging, where all of our times were now around ten hours off. What happened? Turned out in local development where all time was local, things behaved as expected, our staging environment are all running on utc, so whatever method we had in place was simply translating time to local machine time.

We did eventually stumble onto a clumsy solution that was astonishingly similar to what it was before. We used a little bit of javascript to trim off timezone data attached to date time objects on the front end, then on the back end, took the users choice of timezone, set that as the time zone in a before_save method, and just parsed a time object from the string sans-offset. It's not pretty at all .. but it works:

If anyone knows of a way to clean that up further, I'd love to hear it, but for the time being this seems to be the only way we can generate a Datetime object in the right time zone in Rails.

Educating Portland

Written on Thursday May 30, 2013 at 8:48 a.m.

Yesterday I ventured out for lunch with Dave and Kevin to meet a promising young man named (Jackson Gariety)[http://jacksongariety.com]. We had no real expectations or requests, just wanted an opportunity to pick his brain and maybe get his perspective on a couple of things.

We first talked about his ambitious and promising entrepreneurial goals, we talked about his educational goals, and then we talked about his experience teaching a programming class at his school, to a class of only eleven students even though one-hundred-and-fifty or so had applied, because those were all the computers the school could muster for the course.

That last snippet rejuvenated my concern for the Portland education system. I feel high school is an important part of education for most people, so that they have a good rounded introduction to several subjects ( and at least some grasp of world history ) before entering college. It seemed however, that what high school should be, is far from what it actually is at the moment.

I know I can't change things all by myself, but I can certainly help raise awareness of how bad things are. So I intend to.

I was also inspired to start up my own mentoring / beginner programming workshop oriented toward youth again. I have the space, it's just a matter of organizing it and making the time at this point.