Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Things I Read May 2018

On month four.  That's a good run...
  • 5/15/2018 - Scalzi reread
  • (CODE) 5/14/2018: Data Science Essentials in Python: Collect - Organize - Explore - Predict - Value (The Pragmatic Programmers)
    • Chapter 2: Core Python for Data Science
    • Wrote a Top x words in a URL file program.
    • Wrote a file that indexes words and maps them to files in a directory using a dictionary.
    • Wrote a file that looks for phone numbers in a file.  That last one was only partially successful.  The 1- numbers not at the front or back of a file don't work as well.
    • Used PYTHONPATH to get to BeautifulSoup4 in my Anaconda3 directory (using IDLE usually, but I also have PyCharm and Sublime) as I'm in dev.
    • Used import sys and print(sys.path) to validate PYTHONPATH was returning the values I needed (BeautifulSoup wouldn't let me do a dual install and had dependencies of its own.  Could have mapped a path file in the project, but I'm playing, not pushing out production code).
  • (CODE) 5/14/2018: Data Science Essentials in Python: Collect - Organize - Explore - Predict - Value (The Pragmatic Programmers)
    • Chapter 1: What is Data Science - wrote a "Hello Scott" program.
  • (BOOK/STORY) 5/13/2018: Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories by Vandana Singh: Ambiguity Machines: An Examination
    • Three separate subtales about "machines" that transcend time and space and individuality.  They are generally structures/patterns.
  • (BOOK/STORY) 5/12/2018: Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories by Vandana Singh: Wake-Rider
    • This one felt incomplete.  Han Solo type (female) goes after a body that can stop a corporate-induced plague.  Ended with her floating and waiting.
  • (BOOK/STORY) 5/12/2018: Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories by Vandana Singh: Cry of the Karchal
    • I liked this even though it isn't strictly scifi.  More Arabian ghost story tying past to present via a woman who's a little like the mummy (in the modern movies), but...nice?  And a bird.
  • (BOOK/STORY) 5/12/2018: Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories by Vandana Singh: Sailing the Antarsa
    • Good story! About finding a different form of matter that flows between the stars and that it's comprised of life that can ride that matter.  Being immersed in it transforms the traveler.  Very "we're all in the same ecosystem" sort of story, but a great take.
  • (GN) 5/11/2018: KINO Volume 1: Escape From the Abyss
    • I assume this has to get better as it's primarily about a body in the clutches of a scientist who puts him in the equivalent of The Matrix to get his powers up to speed before he awakes.  There are competing companies/governments trying to get him back, but this whole book is just little in-his-head fights.  I wasn't enjoying it.
  • (GN) 5/10/2018: The Gravediggers Unions: Volume 1 - sort of a Cthulhu slant.  So so.  I discovered the Graphic Novel section on Hoopla, the online public library system.
  • (BOOK/STORY) 5/9/2018: Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories by Vandana Singh: Ruminations in an Alien Tongue
    • I liked this one!  There's a bit of the Star Trek episode (All Our Yesterdays) where a race abandons their planet by traveling to their own past.  In this story, they find alien artifacts that let them travel to other dimensions via the nexuses at the center of stars.  Because you can find a universe that best suits you, everyone just vacates.  One woman is left, and she tends to a traveler that comes from multiple dimensions (same traveler) and is always confused when he makes his way back to the lab/machines and the scientist who learned to use them.
  • (BOOK) 5/8/2018:  Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
    • Work-related book I was assigned.  We've done something similar on my teams, but there's a new push to determine faster ways to solve problems.
  • 5/7/2018: Product Conference (hosted by Dev Jam) at the Minnesota History Museum
    • Focus was on products and how to iterate and fail faster. 
    • Sara Cowles: Data Driven and Human Centered: Learning to Connect the Data for Maximum Impact  Talked about Ethnio software, the HEART Framework (Google Ventures), how we speed prototyping, and included some info about five (5) being the optimal number of testers per the Sprint book (above).
    • Mike Gillespie - Amazon's Culture of Innovation. Didn't get into enough detail.  Kind of boring.  The whole bit about no code until a press release, an 8 page product paper, and then a full user manual first really smells like old school waterfall in a way.
    • Vivienne Whifield - May you fail....over and over again.  Ok presentation.  Tied it to her kids and personal experiences with failure in the workplace.  I was wearing out a bit by end of day.
    • Keynote David Hussman - You're Definitely Wrong....  David looks in pretty rough shape physically, but he still gives a good presentation.    Pushing a variation of post-agile, beyond agile, deconstructed agile.
    • Jeff Sussna - Continuous Learning: Harnessing Change for Competitive Advantage.  I really enjoyed his keynote.  All about conversations and user-centered design and cross-functional design.  Good speaker - he's obviously been deep in this space for a while as a consultant.
  • (BOOK/STORY) 5/6/2018: Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes - Harlan Ellison, I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream
    • I think this one is also in Deathbird Stories and I have read it a dozen times.  There's quite a bit to unpack in this story, particularly about the characters and whether they got what they wanted or even deserved.  It makes sense it's in Deathbird Stories because it's about the worship of money, the worship of beauty, loneliness, and more.
  • (BOOK/STORY) 5/5/2018: Delusion for a Dragon Slayer - Harlan Ellison, I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream
    • One of my favorites.  I think it's also in Deathbird Stories.  There are some things it has in common with Lonelyache. But I like how it's handled better here in a magical Heavy Metal-esque world of legend with a harsh ending.
  • (BOOK/STORY) 5/4/2018: Lonelyache - Harlan Ellison, I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream
    • One of my least favorite of his stories.  The personification of dread and the heaviness of life as a thing in the corner.
  • 5/3/2018: Overview - Chrome Extensions
  • 5/3/2018: Getting Started Tutorial - Chrome Extensions
    • Yes, I did read both of those Chrome Extensions articles in full and modified - but not created - an in house Chrome extension for managing session tracking between our error system, session tracking system, enterprise tracking system, and Kibana (AWS logging).  Works like a charm, but I only had to do the configuration management to add the Kibana section.  Theoretically you could say it was coding because I had to use string concatenation, replacement, and character escape sequences, but that's just silly stuff.  It's more impressive that as a manager I checked my code into TFS and overrode the review and other policies (because it was POC, not mainline build).  That should scare everyone.
  • 5/2/2018: America’s Greatest Horticulturist Left Behind a Plum Mystery
    • Kyle posted it. Good article on Luther Burbank.
  • 5/1/2018: Kriegsspiel – The 19th Century War Game That Changed History - Military History Now.com
    • "all the cats living in the house hosting the game were banished"
    • This holds true for pretty much everything, including software teams, over one hundred years later.  "By giving his officer corps more responsibility, accountability and better understanding of tactics, the Prussians had a far more effective command structure."


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