Starting a new work day can be a difficult start up process. It’s similar to working out a difficult problem in your head and then a coworker distracts you. You will, of course, lose your place and begin again working out the difficult problem. When you start a new work day, you have to figure out where you left off.

Programmer Interrupted

I have found that the first few hours of the day 6-8am or 9-11pm are my most productive. It’s not that I fail to get stuff done from 8-5, but then you have the distraction of everything else. After you’ve finished helping fellow employees, attended various meetings, and talked about the previous days baseball game you’ve only had a chance to get a few hours of “actual” work done. I put actual in quotes because those things are important, but they’re not the tasks that you check off in your project management app. The things that prove to management that you’re bringing value.

In order to start your day off right I recommend the following at the end of the previous day:

  • Clean up your work area at the end of day. You can keep clutter going throughout the day, but put it back where it belongs when the day ends
  • Close all your open apps on your computer.
  • Write down everything you accomplished.
  • Write down exactly what you want to accomplish the next day. Include helpful notes to yourself if you’ll be continuing a task from the previous day. This is extremely helpful for programming related tasks.

Take time at the end of today to make tomorrow better.

Supernova Pop

January 17, 2014 — Leave a comment

At the SPARC Hackathon 2013 this year Jason Rikard and I created Supernova Pop. This hackathon is based around a given theme and 16 hours to create something in the mobile space. Our theme was space, so naturally we made a space game. After the 16 hours was up, we had probably worked on the app for 10 hours each after accounting for sleep, lunch, breakfast, and zoning out. It should be noted that neither of us have made a game before and neither of us develop for the iPhone as our day job.

We placed in the top 10 out of 30 teams and that allowed us to present our game in front of the other teams + attendees. At the time, the app was mostly how it is now with no sound, no ads, no gamecenter, no multiplier, and some other visual improvements. Our goal was to create a fully functioning game; many hackathon groups create apps that are just illusions or simple proofs-of-concept.

Check the app out and let us know what you think! Also, if you’re a developer, I highly recommend you sign up for the SPARC Hackathon 2014.

This is really an overview of my transition from osx to windows. The yoga plays a big role.Lenova Yoga 13

Let me give you a quick recap of my computing history over the last 5 years. I grew up with windows like most people. It was all I knew. and I had no problems with it. When I was a sophomore in college a friend bought an iMac. He pulled up iChat and started video chatting with someone else who had an iMac. This changed my life. I could not believe how easy it was to use. How nice and simple the computer looked. How nice and simple the OS looked. I had to join this cult.

It should be noted that this was before I knew much about anything related to software development. I had taken a C++ class in high school, but that was it. At the time I wanted to be a middle school math teacher. Quick rant: it’s unfortunate how public schools handle teacher salaries. We need more math teachers in middle/high school who communicate clearly and have perspective. If you enjoy math, chances are good you could have a good career as a mechanical engineer or software developer. The difference in salary is unbelievable. End rant.

Fast forward 2 years. I now have an iMac and a macbook pro. I’m slowly becoming an apple snob. Over the next few years I will acquire an ipad, macbook air, iphone, ipod touch, ipod nano, blah, blah, etc, etc. At this time, I’ve started working as a web developer with Clemson University. *nix is the best environment to be in for web development. Rails, LAMP, django, whatever. Apache/nginx/mysql/postgres are the tech to build your next web app around, and it’s best to mimic your production environment in development as much as possible. This is impossible to do with wamp or xampp. You could load up a VM with virtualbox or vmware fusion and match production exactly, but here’s the problem: the software development community has practically fully embraced osx. There are so many great apps out there to help with development. Everyone is making CLI apps to help make websites faster and more dependable. The windows development community is not dead or anything. It’s just not the same. It’s boring and expensive, basically.

I started a new job with Dew Learning earlier this year. Dew is building some of its apps on the .NET platform, specifically mvc. I could either run windows 8 in bootcamp/vm or purchase a new non-apple laptop. I decided to give a windows laptop a chance. End of my little OS history

photoEnter the Lenovo Yoga 13 IdeaPad Ultrabook 13.3″ Touch-Screen Convertible Laptop. This computer is a great computer for web development and windows 8 is not half bad either. Let me get my complaints out of the way first. I have three.

  1. The fan never seems to stop. It’s usually not that loud, but it’s humming away.
  2. I bought the 128gig SSD. 128gig is not enough.
  3. The keyboard is not backlit. This is actually pretty annoying.

Other than those negatives, I would recommend this computer to anyone willing to go over $1K for a laptop. The computer boots up in <15 seconds consistently. The battery lasts a reasonable 6-7.5 hours. It looks great. The touch screen is fine. I wouldn’t purchase the laptop for its tablet mode, but it is fun to poke stuff every now and then.

Lenova Yoga 13

Starcraft 2 is my current game of choice. It is capable of playing the game, but you’ll be defaulted to the lowest settings and you should stay there. Don’t purchase this computer to play games.

I’ll post a part 2 about the windows applications I’m using for web development soon.

UPDATE Aug. 21, 2013

I have since upgraded the memory to an 8gig stick and bought another ssd drive that is 256gigs. I noticed a few days ago that there are 2 spots for an ssd! Which is awesome. My first ssd is 128gigs and that is too small after installing windows, office 2013, visual studio, etc. This computer performs very well now. My biggest complaint is that there is no backlit keyboard, but that is minor. I still give this laptop two thumbs up.


Not sure how you ended up here, but I’m glad you’re here. If you need to contact me, the best way is via email

Onto the purpose of this website. Everyone who creates things for a living needs to have their own website. Everyone. The website needs to be the authoritative source on what you want the internet to know about you and your business. And remember: you’re not a business man. You’re a business, man.


I have not had a centralized location to share my amazing opinions or announce projects such as in my whole internet history. I end that today. The basic purpose of this website is to get my personality and technical strengths across to future bosses, partners, friends, and clients. This website exists to give those internet stalking me an all-you-can-eat buffet. I’d rather have you flipping through this website, then all my photos on facebook. I’ll save you the trouble and show you the most embarrassing photo of myself that’s made it to the internet. You’re welcome.

When someone adds me on linkedin or twitter, one of the first things I do is google their name. I want to see if they have a website I can click through to learn more. I want to know if they like wake surfing as much as me. I want to know how they feel about taking pictures of themselves or their coffee. I want to figure out if I could learn something from this person.

I’ve been a hypocrite. I’ve expected this from everyone else but myself. It’s hard to keep up with a blog/website, so I’ve put it off. I don’t hold anything against you if you don’t have the time to post random articles on the internet. I’ve been there. Let’s do this together.