For some time I’ve wanted to write a short post about each of the teachers I’ve had over the years who has passed along something that has made me the way I am today. This is the first in hopefully a series of posts honouring those people who you can point blame to.

It’s fascinating how one little sliver in time can so distinctly shape us as persons. These moments mean the world to us — we hold onto them, embellish them, and revel in how important they are. More often than not, you’re the only one who has any…

I am a serial starter. I have unfinished projects in the double digits. These projects are locked away in shame, constant reminders that I failed to manage my time appropriately, get enough sleep, and answer “no” to that age old question, “are you still watching?”

If you’re like me, you have to have at least ten projects going on in order to focus enough to wash the dishes. You have maybe 20 minutes of uninterrupted focus in a meeting before you wonder what everyone’s Wu-Tang Clan name would be (recent highlight was Phat Kafka and Namooh the Magnificent). …

Introducing: AC

Sometimes we accidentally write code that has memory leaks. Sometimes these memory leaks cause Out of Memory Exceptions. Generally, these are unrecoverable scenarios. Generally, whomever wrote the faulty code should chalk it up to being a lesson, learn from it, and move on. Sometimes, you intentionally write code that has memory leaks.

Last week I talked about how my work on the database replication engines RJMetrics Pipeline fell into this very scenario. Streaming client data can sometimes come in to the tune of 4GB per row. …


Bombay Hook Wildlife Refuge in DE. Possibly the most Horsefly bites I have ever had in my life. This has nothing to do with the content of the blog post.

I was recently asked, almost out of the blue, about an old repo of mine in Github. This person was mentioning how they had been looking over my Github account (a wasteland of half finished projects) and they wanted to know more about cp-investigator. The repo exists because of the following:

  • I built a data replication engine for my employer RJMetrics which depended upon Sqoop.
  • Because it used Sqoop, we had to use an environment which had Hadoop installed.
  • Because it needed Hadoop and because at the time we were on the AWS stack, we used EMR.
  • We had…

Working on losing fingers from a young age

Tonight, I am embarking on formatting my resume again for the last time. I’m not talking about adding a new skill, or reference, I’m talking about completely overhauling the format. This will be the last time, again.

The last last time, it was to Adobe’s Indesign. An amazing layout tool which I had been using profusely at the time to make books, magazines, five by twenty foot art installations, the works. I figured “this is the be all and end all, I’ll never have to do this again.” …

Long’s Peak — RMNP

I write buggy code and I’m betting you probably do too. Sometimes these are bugs which are easy and painless. Sometimes they require apologies to clients. Sometimes they require migrations. Sometimes they push decisions into product which are long lived like those scars we pick up as children.

The first three categories I listed above aren’t of real interest. For those there’s always a clear path. You have things in place like unit, generative, and integration tests. You have QA and an actively involved client base. In most cases, we’re able to protect us from ourselves.

Bugs which stay with…

Alex Mann

People, places, things. Diversity, expeditions, artwork. Craftspeople, cities, gear. Creatives, homes, computers. Dreamers, continents, instruments.

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