Matt's Blog: while { coding }
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A Brief Introduction aka START HERE

This blog is now 10 years old. Some years were more prolific than others. It takes a lot of time to write a decent post and for the past few years I’ve been busy on other things in life. I have a lot of half-started posts laying around my computer but until those bear fruit I’m writing this as a sort of highlight reel of the things I’ve written which may interest you.

The Popular

If you’re unaware, I’m a computer programmer. Often, while programming I’ll have things pop into my head. Sometimes related to programming, but often completely unrelated. (Hence the title “while {coding}”.)
One of the things that pops into my head often (and that I’m able to articulate fairly well) is the process of hiring and/or being hired as a programmer. These posts have seen the most traffic, by far:

How To Hire Me (or any other programmer for that matter) And the follow-up. This went insanely viral, especially among recruiters. I received emails about that post (and the published article that came out of it) for about 4 years.

A Tale of Two Interviews (a two-part story) compares two different interview experiences I had back in 2009. This was popular on Hacker News but I don’t think it reached much further than that. If you’re a programmer or other technical professional you probably have similar stories to tell.

But I’m Most Proud Of

My call to Play, which I still read from time to time, especially when feeling stressed.

Whither Bob Grossblatt. Not only did I write a heartfelt piece, it resulted in a nice correspondence with the man himself.

My Not-So-Hyper Loop. I worked on this for the better part of a week during a research hiatus when I should have been working on my research project! But no one knew what the Hyperloop was yet and it was just fun to imagine and do a little napkin math for a semi-practical application. No regrets.

The Cavity Model of Software Development. Every now and then I have an idea that I struggle to explain clearly. This is probably one of those… or it’s a terrible idea. I’m fine with either. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Projects Over the Years

These are not thrilling posts, but they document the kind of things that pop into my head and occasionally make it into code.

Swisstime, a tool to help with time profiling in Python. Kind of like “println” debugging, but for profiling.

Wheeler, a programming language project which is still ongoing (for almost 10 years now) and might be for the rest of my life. RIP my other side projects.
(The language has evolved a lot since that early post but it is still very similar to what I described. Look for a new version in the next 6-180 months!)

Virtlib, a community technical lending library, which amazingly got strangers to actually lend books to each other, but mostly aided and abetted my perma-borrowing two or three books from my fellow Portland geeks.

Snippetology, allowing Django to do some CMS tricks.

Twimmetry, just a terrible, terrible hypothesis that Twitter user “realness” hinges on ratios of following/followed. At least the Twitter API was fun to play with (when I wasn’t crying). which I thought was funny and I guess it kind of anticipated the “post-truth” era. I took it down because I was sure someone was going to sue me or die or both.

Odds n Ends

I’ve written a lot more. Not everything is a gem, but there are some useful thoughts about various things like managing expectations, conquering hard problems, and the importance of persevering.

That’s the intro. Please feel free to reach out via email or twitter, or pull request. See my main page for details.

Thank you for taking the time to visit my site and read this far. It is greatly appreciated.

Matt Youell
Portland, Oregon
October 2018