• 01 Oct 2014

    Research List

    I’ve been kind of quiet in the weeks since leaving Microsoft. It’s been a good quiet - in fact, the best kind of quiet there is. It’s the quiet the results from being completely overwhelmed, engrossed, and excited about the challenge ahead. I’ll describe some of these challenges over the next few weeks in more detail, but one of them is about making large scale architectural and technology shifts. Specifically, my team is out in front, figuring out the best way to design and build lots of interoperating large-scale services that run reliably and cheaply in the public cloud. While we’re certainly open to suggestions regarding our technology choices, at present, we’re envisioning a stack based on Unix design philosophy - and as such, our current stack is Linux (currently CentOS, but really interested in CoreOS) + Docker + NodeJS + MongoDB/Couch/Postgres + a limited number of AWS services like S3.

  • 14 Aug 2014

    Leaving Microsoft

    After 8 amazing years, it’s time for me to move on. I’ll articulate my own rationale for leaving shortly, but it would be disingenuous to not first list some of the many, many ways that I have grown and benefited from my time working at Microsoft.

  • 01 Jul 2014

    Managing a Database Connection in an ExpressJS Application

    A Web API or Web application backed by a database of some sort is a pretty typical application architecture regardless of what language or platform we might be looking at. So you can imagine my surprise that I haven’t really ever been able to find a satisfactory answer for how to best accomplish this kind of thing for an Express application that uses MongoDB. Maybe I either don’t know how to search very well, or maybe I just don’t really understand the answers that I’m finding, but the typical kind of answer that I’ve come across in the past reads something like this:

  • 14 Jun 2014

    Stuck in a Rut

    Warning: This is a completely downer of a post. If you don’t want to risk being pulled down with me, stop now.

  • 02 Jun 2014

    Ergonomics Without the Office Furniture Look

    In my last post I talked about my switch to a mechanical keyboard and in that expressed that one of my chief concerns (and reasons for not getting one earlier) was the fact that the keyboard was not ergonomic. On further inspection, I concluded that the bulk of the problems related to keyboards in general had less to do with their own ergonomic features and more to do with the fact that the typical desk is too high to type on top of. By that, I mean that, unless you are exceptionally tall, typing with the keyboard directly on top of a standard desk means that your wrists will not end up angled downward towards the keyboard, thereby putting unnecessary strain on wrists, arms, etc. In my case, I had grown very accustomed to using wrist rests, and negatively sloped ergonomic keyboards (the negative slope is actually a really good thing, btw) - but because keyboard was still sitting too high, all that did was cause me to stop touch typing and get lazy with my wrists.