Mar 16, 2020

6 min read

About Me

I could listen to you all night

Wouldn’t you know the one assignment I put off till the last minute is to talk about everybody in the whole wide world’s favorite subject: me.

It’s because I got caught up playing with the sexy tmdb API and got a little carried away:

Fun for the Whole Family!

I was learning a nifty technique for managing API “fetch” calls called “infinite scrolling.” That’s going to be the topic of a future article, but to put it short, it’s the way sites like reddit, hulu, and facebook all seem to just keep adding more and more content as you scroll down the screen.

Turns out it’s also super-simple to implement. So I’ve got that going for me.

I call it everybody’s favorite subject, but if you go up to someone and ask them point-blank to talk about their self they will usually just freeze up and go mute.

Throw a couple of beers into that same person and see what happens.

I learned to stop being “that guy” at one of those interview-prep courses that people take while trying to get a jerb. They still haven’t paid off yet, and the lady at the career center told me they’re mostly just to keep people distracted from their situation.

That was a bummer to hear, but I’ve been hearing it my whole life.

“Here, take this course — you’ll get a jerb! Sign up for our conference — you’ll get a jerb! Buy this book — you’ll get a jerb!”

Which, ironically, is why I came to Austin Coding Academy in the first place.

I’ve been coding for over 40 years. My first “computer” was a Timex Sinclair ZX-81. It had 2k of RAM, no storage, and a membrane keypad.

Me and this kid had some fun times together growing up

I’ve written software to solve Rubik’s Cube, play piano, teach math, manage a factory, and lots and lots of games. I ran bulletin board systems (BBSes) in the 80’s, I wrote that Rubik’s Cube game in the 90’s, built websites in the 00’s, wrote production management software in the 10’s, and now here we are in the 20’s and I’m leveling up with the newest paradigms.

So if you’re so experienced, then why don’t you already have a jerb?

I already told you how long I’ve been doing this, so it doesn’t take a mathematical renaissance-man to interpolate about how old I must be. Try putting “1966” on your job application and see how many callbacks you get.

For a generation that advocates “inclusion” so loudly, one particular area where they really seem to drop the ball is when it comes to age.

That’s why I came to ACA, mostly to catch up with techniques and tools that I may have missed, but to connect and network with the people who can see past a silly thing like gray hair and wisdom to the valuable asset that lurks inside.

Which I’ve been getting a lot of. People think that just because I’ve been programming for so long that there’s nothing they can teach me, but that’s pure ign’ance. I’m an intellectual vampire. I will take every single little piece of knowledge you have and add it to my own collection.

So far I’ve already become familiar with the whole “git” system of version-controlling, node, VS-Code, ES-6, CSS3 and HTML5. All of these are areas in which I was either starting to fall behind, in the process of missing, or had missed altogether.

SO I’m definitely getting my (rich uncle’s) money’s worth out of this class.

And like the guy said in the interview training class, “When an employer asks you to talk about yourself — do that. He’ll tell you when to stop.”

I never touched a musical instrument until I was 46 years old, but now I play rock and roll piano. I had a dream about a piano one night, so I went and got a $25 flea-market keyboard and Piano for Dummies. Then I moved on to Music Theory for Dummies and then the whole Hal Leonard musical genres series. I can play rock, reggae, country, and bluegrass, with some jazz, and I still haven’t got the hang of funk yet.

I can play the saxophone. I loves me some zombie movies. As far as TV goes, I’m a huge fan of Community, Rick & Morty, Happy Endings (best show evar), The Mick, Don’t Trust the B* in Apartment 23 (now that James van der Beek has gotten out from under his own shadow from DC, he’s hilarious).

I like reading pulp-fiction detective novels; Robert B. Parker, Elmore Leonard, Lee Child, and the likes. I also enjoy reading programming technical manuals, ever since Mapping the C-64.

I like making memes. I almost have a million karma on reddit from my memes. Some days, I can make 40,000 people laugh without ever leaving my chair. I started out with purely demotivational posters (it’s a thing) then moved into the more mainstream meme culture.

8,000 people laughed at this joke

The kind of games I like are racing games (but I only like them from bumper-cam perspective) and quest games (FFVII, Jak & Daxter, Ratchet & Clank — like that). I only play puzzle games on the bus. I’m still a huge fan of PS2, and there’s a store over on South Lamar that still specializes in PS2 games, so I’m not alone!

For fun I like to explore libraries and museums. I’ve been to most of Austin’s public libraries and a couple of museums (Museum of the Weird, Texas Memorial Museum).

In the TMI department, I’m actually one of Austin’s 1833 homeless people. When I first moved here a year ago I stayed in the Salvation Army for a couple of months, then the VA let me have a room in one of their “transitional” houses while I look for employment and a place of my own.

That’s the “rich uncle” I was talking about earlier.

So I would definitely like to find a spot for me in one of Austin’s javascript labs, preferably working on something fun. I’ve also used .NET extensively, php, and even Pascal and Fortran a while back.

ACA has an 89% placement rate plus scads of connections, I’ve got the goods, and so between us we ought to be able to make somebody pretty happy here pretty quick. I’m just waiting for the right person to “call my bluff.” It’s happened once before at the factory I was telling you about, and that worked out great for everybody involved.

Henry Kaiser

My goal at Austin Coding Academy is “to look as good on your resume as you’re going to look on mine.” That’s why I only turn in the bare maximum for every assignment, treat all the assignments like I’m being paid a hundred-grand a year to do them, and keep them all in a portfolio for potential employers to peruse.