An introduction to design patterns — trying again

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in Blog | No Comments

This week, we leave Fowler’s Refactoring behind in favor of embarking on a journey exploring design patterns. As I understand it, when writing code, there are certain ways of structuring a program or application as a whole that are patterns on which we can base the design of code. This is a topic that has […]

Refactoring: Real world benefits of soaking it in

Posted by on Jul 10, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments

After last week’s marathon reading session, we took a week off with no readings, to better absorb and apply what we’ve learned from refactoring. (Or take a break for the July 4th weekend. But the first one sounds better.)

Thoughts on Refactoring – Chap. 5, 6, 13, Selected refactorings

Posted by on Jul 3, 2014 in Blog | No Comments

Continuing our journey through Fowler’s refactoring book for this week, we covered a lot of ground which mostly concentrates on the role of testing (Chapter 5) and selected refactoring that seemed most relevant. They did a nice job attacking some of the common problem areas I have (including complex conditionals, too-complicated functions and data structures).

Thoughts on “Refactoring” – Chapters 1-3

Posted by on Jun 30, 2014 in Blog | No Comments

I wanted to remember to blog about what I’m learning by reading Martin Fowler’s “Refactoring”, but I fell behind. No apologies, just moving forward from here. I’ll conflate what I’ve covered so far into one post.

Teaching at Medill!

Posted by on Jun 30, 2014 in Blog | No Comments

I’ve been in very much a learning space at work, even moreso than usual (writing my first test-driven and object-oriented Ruby code these days), and I am thankful to be in a place where I can learn and grow. As I approach my learning with a redoubled effort, it feels like some sort of balance […]

Embarking on a study of refactoring — what I’m learning and why

Posted by on Jun 15, 2014 in Blog | 2 Comments

I finally no longer feel strange when someone calls me a programmer — I have learned to own it. It’s taken me the better part of five years to feel that way, but here we are. At the end of 2011, I wrote a post lamenting my code quality, and I still feel that way, […]

Sharing knowledge with knowledge-lovers

Posted by on Apr 8, 2014 in Blog | No Comments

Hello again, dear reader! It’s been a long time again. Where does the time go? I’ve been trying an experiment for well, months now. If I engage with the community a bit less, and care for my own learning, about code, journalism, cooking, drawing and well, everything, am I pursuing The Mission less? Will all […]

A letter to my 15-year-old self, celebrating life’s lessons

Posted by on Dec 15, 2013 in Blog | One Comment

“What would you write if you would write a letter to your fifteen-year-old self?” asks the latest prompt from j-carn, a blog carnival I like to participate in occasionally here. When I was fifteen, I had strange dreams. My group of friends and I were the geeky ones who thrived in the classroom. And the […]

Wrapping up ONA13: Learning to own who I am

Posted by on Oct 27, 2013 in Blog | One Comment

Last week, I didn’t sleep much. I mean, that’s every week, but I slept *less* then. After several near all-nighters preparing for epic workshops for the Online News Association’s annual conference in Atlanta, and then going to said conference, talking to all of you constantly and furthering my sleep debt, I’ve spent yesterday and today […]

Learning about…pushing the envelope when paying it forward

Posted by on Jul 28, 2013 in Blog | One Comment

Me: “I think I talked too much on my panel yesterday.” Colleague: “Maybe that’s WHY you keep getting invited to panels.” Me: “Oh.” I talk about The Mission (of data journalism) and paying it forward often on this blog. Smart people tell me that it’s important when I give talks/lead workshops, because it shows a […]