Pittsburgh Code and Supply: Making music with Overtone in Clojure; Conveying information through sound

I attended a fine meeting of Pittsburgh Code and Supply dedicated to two related topics: music and sonification. I thought it was a great idea to have presentations on both topics in the same session, thereby giving a broad view of what can be done with sound through computation.

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Understanding Clojure transducers through types

Yesterday, Rich Hickey published a blog post, “Transducers are Coming”, which attracted a lot of attention.

I have a confession to make, which I have made before: I find it very difficult to understand ideas or code not presented with types. So I decided that the only way I could possibly understand what “transducers” are would be to actually implement them in a typed language. I ended up doing so and am sharing my findings here.

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Pittsburgh Code and Supply: Programming in journalism

I finally attended my first ever Pittsburgh Code and Supply meeting! The group, which posts its events on Meetup, was created by local Pittsburgh software developer Justin Reese just a few months ago, in March 2014. His vision is to create a local community that, unlike conventional specific language/technology-based meetups, is much more universal and broad. If you haven’t do so already, read more about the goals of Pittsburgh Code and Supply. I’m very excited about this new group!

The Code and Supply meetup I just attended was about “Programming in journalism”. This is a topic of huge importance, and I was excited to attend to hear more about what some local journalist/programmers are doing.

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Why programming puzzlers make me sad

I recently saw a “guess what this does” article on a blog I follow, and this post presents mysterious Perl code for which the reader is asked to guess what it does:

perl -le 'print(two + two == five ? "true" : "false")'

I looked at it briefly, got a headache, and didn’t even want to solve it. This despite using Perl as one of my main programming languages from 1993-2010 and considering myself fairly proficient at Perl.

Programming puzzlers just in general make me sad.

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Pittsburgh Scala Meetup: Exploring type-directed, test-driven development using FizzBuzz (my practice talk)

The Pittsburgh Scala Meetup met, with me presenting a practice talk for “Exploring type-directed, test-driven development using FizzBuzz”, which I am presenting at the upcoming local Pittsburgh TechFest conference.

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OpenHack Pittsburgh: working on a private project

Last month at OpenHack Pittsburgh, I had a rather social time. This month, I kept entirely to myself. I didn’t even speak up to say what I was working on. I was in a somber mood, and didn’t really want to talk. I worked on a private project that I will share when I am ready. It did feel consoling to be around other people, even while keeping to myself. Sometimes I just need to know that I am not alone. Read On →

Pittsburgh Scala Meetup: Implicits

The Pittsburgh Scala Meetup met with Justin presenting on “Implicits”.

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OpenHack Pittsburgh: a great place to share and learn

Another month, another meeting of OpenHack Pittsburgh! The project I worked on was writing a blog post on the controversial subject of unit testing private methods. I ended up not finishing the post, not only because there’s a lot to say, but also because I got sidetracked (in a good way) because of discussions with people while at OpenHack! There were many good points that were made and so I had to reconsider some of my arguments. Read On →

Pittsburgh Scala Meetup: Introduction to Reactive

The Pittsburgh Scala Meetup met with Josh presenting an “Introduction to Reactive”.

It was great.

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Review of the free Coursera course "Principles of Reactive Programming"

At long last, I have officially completed the free Coursera course “Principles of Reactive Programming”, receiving my “Statement of Accomplishment”.

This was an intense course, a lot of work, actually, and made the last two month s of my life (November and December) challenging as I juggled many activities. But it was worth the effort. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who has completed the introductory course “Principles of Functional Programming in Scala” (or has the equivalent background). (See my review of that course as offered in fall of 2012.)

I took this course along with a bunch of local friends who are also members of the Pittsburgh Scala Meetup.

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