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Teaching, Learning: Where Start-Ups and the Classroom Align

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Teaching, Learning: Where Start-Ups and the Classroom Align

I started working in my first classroom eight weeks after graduating from college. I was completely unprepared. Three years later, I started at a small educational technology start up. I felt like I was starting from scratch -- and in many ways, definitely was -- but calling on teaching experience helped not only inform my role, but keep me grounded in the people we seek to support, day in and day out.

 

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ChromiumOS: The Whirlwind Tour

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ChromiumOS: The Whirlwind Tour

I started working with Neverware’s CloudReady team over a year ago, and along the way I’ve been surprised by many technical aspects of the operating system CloudReady is based on, ChromiumOS. Most of these things are easy enough to learn about via Google, but until I joined Neverware I just didn’t know much at all about Chromebooks and their operating system.

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"Just Use Jython"

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"Just Use Jython"

The first product I worked on was originally called GridApp: it was an application that helped enterprise customers manage their database infrastructure, which in most cases was widely-distributed and required the use of complex clustering software. I liked the name GridApp: at the very least, it was self-documenting.

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Optimizing for Enlightenment

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Optimizing for Enlightenment

To say I have an obsession with historical figures is an understatement (let me put it this way: I actually have a favorite Pope that predates the 20th Century.  It's Leo X, BTW).  One character I enjoy in particular is the philosopher-king (ok, technically emperor, but king sounds better) Marcus Aurelius.  My favorite trait of Aurelius' is that during his lifetime he would write messages to himself that he would later review with the hopes of re-actualizing those comments.  This concept is called Hypomnemata and is a tenant of Stoic philosophy, to which Aurelius was an adherent.  Aurelius' memorandums were eventually rediscovered, and became known as his "Meditations".

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"Sir, I was wondering, did you catch the professional football contest on television last night?"

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"Sir, I was wondering, did you catch the professional football contest on television last night?"

Growing up in Queens, New York has given me countless memories. Whether those memories had to do with playing music, watching Patrick Ewing, or just playing in the courtyard with the other kids in my building, it all led to something positive (except for the 1999 NBA Finals). In fact, I remember the massive blackout during the summer of 2003 resulted in all the kids I knew within a two block radius of my building playing a giant game of dodgeball.

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Technobabble: An MS Paint Adventure

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Technobabble: An MS Paint Adventure

The value of tech support is not only helping fix computers, but also the manner in which support agents can portray exactly what went wrong. Sometimes, problems are simple to fix (“Sir, can you double check that your ethernet cable is plugged in?”), but other situations are more complicated. In these cases, while the solution may be more challenging to find, it's up to customer support to provide a seamless and positive experience, immaterial of the specific issue.

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Pizza Town used to be about the music

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Pizza Town used to be about the music

Nearby our office lies a (perhaps only temporarily) closed pizza shop named "New Pizza Town 2".  I walked past this pizza location while mulling over the history of one particular corner of one of the codebases we work with, and why no one had bothered to reimplement it.  I took a moment to reflect upon New Pizza Town 2 and could easily imagine an original "Pizza Town".  I wondered what went so wrong with the great dream of a town made of pizza that it had to be reformed into New Pizza Town.  Perhaps it had been pitched as "Pizza Town, done right".  Maybe New Pizza Town was necessary.  Maybe internally within that particular pizza zip code everyone was on the same page about this.

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