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That’s me, at a rest-stop somewhere between Austin, Texas and South Carolina, eating ramen with a plastic spork as I lean against the car holding everything I need to live. I took this photo a quarter of the way through a cross-country road trip in a shoebox camper that I built myself. Here’s how I did it.

Research

Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube were gold mines for researching car-dwelling set ups. I watched over a 100 hours on YouTube and scrolled through countless other photos of Priuses, Honda Elements, Jeeps, and more. I also found blueprints for a Honda Fit build deep in the forums of fitfreak.net, …


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A good teacher is a gift.

A good teacher is a gift, and any self-taught programmer knows it. You can copy and paste Stack Overflow solutions until you drop, but if you don’t really understand the fundamentals, you’ll keep hitting roadblocks. When I learn, I like to dive deep, practice with real applications, and understand all the “ifs” and “whys” that might arise.

I present to you the developer resources that I have found to be extremely helpful in my life of learning and building things. If you have a personal favorite to add to the list, please leave them in the comments below!

Tania Rascia

Oh, Tania, my love, my life. I’ve never found another teacher with tutorial blogs quite as detailed or adequately explained as hers. Want to learn React from scratch? Check. Want to create your own Wordpress theme? Check. …


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If you want a free and relatively easy stack to quickly build and deploy portfolio projects, Netlify, Airtable and React make a great trio. I’m currently using these tools to build Cascara, a web application for finding local independent coffeehouses. Since I couldn’t find a good tutorial on how to set up these three tools to work together, I’m writing one.

I use these tools to build serverless web applications because they’re user friendly and are either completely free to use or have free tiers — the perfect combination for a developer straight out of college. …


Generating The Onion headlines with Markov Chains and other shenanigans.

See the data and source code for this project in my GitHub repository.

Can computers learn to be funny? The odds aren’t in their favor, but a few scientists have started picking up computer humor as a hobby. [more on related work here]. I decided to take my own crack at programming comedy into a machine, so I conducted a Machine Learning investigation into a data set of around 3,000 news headlines from The Onion.

Obtaining and Cleaning the Data

There are a few great News APIs out there, but for speed and simplicity’s sake, I decided to grab my headline data from The Onion’s twitter account using the free tool AllMyTweets. Once downloaded, I wrote a quick function in python that would filter out any datetimes, twitter handles, URLs, and emojis, leaving me with a text file of just the good stuff. …


This is a write-up about a project I built for my Computer Networks & Data Communication class. If you’d like to see or contribute to the source code, visit my GitHub Repository.

I am a total, unapologetic literature geek. When my professor asked us to create a final project that implemented some type of network API interfacing, I wanted to combine my love for computer science with my love for the written word.

Thus was born the idea for Haiku the News, a python application that generates haiku poetry from daily news headlines or keyword-related articles. Through computer-generated poetry, we can analyze the language used in our news media while taking a step back from the emotional manipulation used in headlines to capture our attention. …


This is a write-up for a mobile application that I built for my final projects in Database Management and Android Development. You can find a portion of the code on my GitHub Repository.

The Idea

I love coffee shops. Ever since the academic massacre of my Junior year of high school that included AP US History, AP English Composition, and AP Physics, I have practically lived in a coffee shop. When I travel to a new city, one of my favorite things to do is find a local independent coffee shop to read a book in. …


Connecting with my grandfather through a book he gave me ten years ago.

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Early into my life I decided I wanted to be a writer, and no family member was more encouraging of this ambition than my grandfather. He printed out my first novel and kept it on his desk at work. He sent me letters addressed to “Ms. Murphy Studebaker, future author,” and on Christmas of 2009, he gifted me the book Walden by Henry David Thoreau.

Inside the front cover he had written,

“Murphy, there are some who say this is a must read for all authors.”

You can imagine how well attempting to read Walden as a twelve year old went. I got to the word “sojourner” in paragraph one and surrendered, going back to Harry Potter. But even then I felt the magic inside these pages, and I promised myself I wouldn’t try to read it again until I was ready to appreciate the text in full. …


Go behind the scenes of my short film “Mother’s Day”

At Chapman University, every sophomore creates what’s called an “Intermediate Production” that follows the 3–2–1 formula, or 3 pages, 2 characters, 1 location. The Intermediate Production is the first official short film you make as part of Chapman’s curriculum, the first time you get to screen your work in a theater with your peers.

The film I made is called “Mother’s Day.” It is five minutes long and about a brother and sister overcoming the wounds of their parents’ divorce while writing a song on Mother’s Day. This is how I made it.

Pre-Production

The second week of class, we had to come prepared with three different log lines to pitch. From the three, the class and professor would give us feedback on which film they think would be the best option to make. …

About

Murphy Studebaker

creative software engineer in los angeles

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