Graduating from College

Friday was my last day at South Dakota State University.

Somehow, I expected that leaving someplace I’d worked for nearly eight years would involve more ceremony. It didn’t. I announced that I was leaving and two weeks later, I left. That was pretty much it.

I programmed at State for years but I also wore a lot of other hats—like providing technical support and content strategy to the university’s editors across campus—and over time I realized that as much as I like coding and as much success as I think we found with that there, the university needed someone to continue wearing those hats.

Later this month I will start my new job as a programmer for The Good Samaritan Society. Another team handles testing. Another team handles support. Since our team builds web apps rather than a single giant (largely informational) website, I won’t be dealing with content in the same way that I did at a large sprawling public university website.

I can’t wait to join a larger team with other, more experienced developers with whom I can ask questions or compare thoughts. I can’t wait to work with a team that does dedicated testing. I can’t wait to hand off support duties.

Most of all, I can’t wait to start building software again.

Rethinking Episodes I through III

With The Force Awakens arriving on iTunes and video earlier this month and the trailer for this year's Rogue One dropping this week, I thought this made as good a time as any to dust off and finish a post I started around the time that The Force Awakens hit theaters in the US.

Like everyone else in the universe, I saw The Force Awakens over the holidays. The day after, I introduced my son (age six) to Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

He loved it.

Not only that, he loved most of all the parts that cause me and so much of the rest of the Internet to groan and sigh and wail: the perpetual, gratuitous fish-eating-fish in the center of the Naboo; that a boy (hardly older than him) might fly a ship into space and knock out an entire starship by accident; and, yes, Jar Jar Binks.

Actually, he loved all the accidents. He really enjoys physical comedy and, truthfully, The Phantom Menace deals that out in spades. He laughed at every clumsy droid antic. Jar Jar’s stupid stunts though really made him roll. The kid was jumping up and down in glee over all the things that make me cringe.

Since he really doesn’t follow dialogue, he completely missed everything about midi-chloridians. He missed a lot of things, really. He still absolutely loved it.

I have heard George Lucas defend the movies in general (and Jar Jar in particular) as “Well, kids enjoy it.”

That my son loved this movie didn’t really surprise me. What did surprise me was how much more I enjoyed the film watching it with him. Sure, he asked a thousand questions, sometimes all at once. The dialogue mostly bored him. (On that, we agree.) Still, seeing him genuinely crack up so hard over all the cheesy stuff caused me to lighten up a little about the while thing.

That night, he brought his toy light saber to bed with him.

So Many Projects

Finally getting around to moving over the projects from my old portfolio site

Before relaunching it as what it is now, this site served as a portfolio of personal and professional projects. Today, I finally got around to porting (most) of those projects over to this site.

Some of my personal favorites include:

Check out the projects page for all the details.