- RT @martinfowler: We should not be using the techniques of addiction to hook users onto our tech products
http://t.co/MhzoKu31pS @thisruns… 09:03:25, 2015-06-17
- Great turnout for #libertyJS at @ImpactHubPhilly – I’m headed to the Ember session! http://t.co/Mx14xVzYjW 09:21:58, 2015-06-20
- Best slide of the day at #LibertyJS in @kacphl’s talk – the reality of writing apps for multiple devices http://t.co/nUAvcAgnSm 15:41:02, 2015-06-20
- RT @bgantick: Big thanks to the organizers, volunteers, sponsors, and speakers at #LibertyJS It gets better every year! 19:37:24, 2015-06-20
- RT @msdevUK: Honest dev exam (via @imgur) #programmerhumor http://t.co/kLe5TvNrv8 13:01:25, 2015-06-21
- @bozoskeleton Nice work! in reply to bozoskeleton 13:02:02, 2015-06-21
- Today is the day! We’re looking forward to Boston, but we will miss you, Philly! http://t.co/ajkqvy9ecP 10:14:41, 2015-06-22
- Last meal in Philly – going out in style at @TheYanako in Manayunk http://t.co/QC0WzGnplY 22:17:30, 2015-06-22
- @TheYanako We did – thanks. Some of the best sushi in Philly! in reply to TheYanako 18:27:33, 2015-06-23
After several weeks of multiple sessions sorting through 12 years of accumulated stuff, giving away old doors, filing cabinets, and a ton of other junk, selling a steam cleaner, a skate ramp, and about a dozen other things, packing about 150 boxes worth of things, eatings too many meals consisting of hamburgers or pizza, moving a bird’s nest out of my ladders, handling complications with the movers, throwing a farewell BBQ for ourselves, and taking a long drive in a car jam packed with stuff, I think the most intense phase of our move is over.
Movers came on Monday to our house in Havertown and hauled away all our belongings, except for the car full of stuff we’ll use to live for the next couple weeks. It took them most of the day, and right up until they took the last box, I kept finding things to pack. Some things you get so used to seeing, you forget they’re not part of the house (like the nice brass hooks we put on the back of Eidan’s door); others are revealed as furniture is moved (Eidan’s seemingly endless collections of rubber balls and nerf bullets, and Kai’s …yamaka?). When I did my final walk through to make sure the movers didn’t forget anything, all I found was a lone but very hard to overlook Commodore 64 monitor sitting in the middle of the basement floor. Can’t leave that behind! (yes, I still have my C64, and it still works, thank you – it’s one of the few things I haven’t shed over the years).
We borrowed air mattresses from the neighbors so we could stay the night. Then we loaded up the car yesterday morning, gave a neighbor an unopened half gallon of milk from the fridge, and said our goodbyes. But we split up and headed in opposite directions – Maria went to DC for the day to a symposium (related to her new job). So the drive to Boston was just me and the boys, which worked out fine, because there was no room in the car for Maria anyway!
We’re staying in a Suffolk University student apartment for the next couple of weeks. The location is fantastic – we’re a block from Boston Common, just off Tremont St. We got in late yesterday, so I haven’t had a chance to explore yet, but we’re surrounded by restaurants and plenty of things to do. The apartment is a suite with 2 bathrooms, 3 dorm rooms (with 3 beds each) and a shared kitchen. We have it all to ourselves, so there’s more than enough room. I told Kai he might live in a place like this in college – he wasn’t impressed, but it’s nicer than the dorms I lived in.
After 2 weeks here, we’ll move to our new house, in Winchester, which is a suburb northwest of Boston. Our closing is July 7. We spent several weeks this Spring scouring the real estate listings online, to figure out where we wanted to live. Winchester has good schools, and they’re near the house – Kai can almost literally roll out of bed into the high school parking lot. Maria can get to Suffolk with just a short ride on the commuter rail. It’s a 3 bedroom house with a partially finished basement.
Maria made a trip to Boston about six weeks ago for work, and made an offer on the house, which the sellers accepted. I made a trip on Amtrak a couple weeks later to see it for myself. Overall the process is going fine, but we’ve had some nerve-wracking moments. The brand new vinyl siding on the house was installed incorrectly (it was bubbling and buckling), and after some negotiation, the sellers have agreed to replace it. The paperwork process for the loan is endless. The level of scrutiny is unlike anything we’ve been through before, I think because of all the new financial regulations – we’ve provided literally hundreds of documents. I talk with the mortgage broker so I often, I feel like he’s my new best friend.
It’s a house that’s “flipped” – the sellers bought it 6 months ago and renovated it, so I’m pleased to report that, unlike our last 2 homes, I won’t be dedicating a significant chunk of my life to fixing up this one. I enjoy the work, but my big project right now is trying to start my business!
- RT @mfeathers: It's the future http://t.co/ndtFSrRkuZ 06:07:01, 2015-06-10
- Hysterical https://t.co/xzmaerfDTs 06:16:51, 2015-06-10
- Excellent article on what to look for when hiring a software contractor, and common misconceptions https://t.co/jl7GVagM71 22:11:11, 2015-06-10
- @Jtsternberg @WordCampPhilly Yes! in reply to Jtsternberg 21:50:18, 2015-06-11
- @Jtsternberg @WordCampPhilly Yessir, then I’m moving to Boston next week! in reply to Jtsternberg 21:54:19, 2015-06-11
- @wells_jake @gaffney226 Congratulations! in reply to wells_jake 22:00:14, 2015-06-11
- Fukuoka, we miss you https://t.co/fVHSL61zFn 07:12:06, 2015-06-12
- An excellent illustration of the dangers of micromanaging your team https://t.co/vFgwoEcPFD 07:14:57, 2015-06-12
- RT @AcademicsSay: "A PhD student is someone who forgoes current income in order to forgo future income." – @realscientists via @GothamKnowl… 07:16:18, 2015-06-12
- RT @PromptWorks: Good luck @jearvon with your talk at #qconnyc this afternoon! We know it'll be awesome! 07:53:10, 2015-06-12
- RT @jbrains: Your Daily Scrum might still be killing your team. Click http://t.co/cIaCoNCABO to find out. 12:38:13, 2015-06-12
- .@davidjbland @kelleykoehler Stick to core values & don’t let overpriced consultants turn your Agile experience into http://t.co/vUjlCGuvCo in reply to davidjbland 14:44:49, 2015-06-12
- @speno …and where are you? in reply to speno 09:13:51, 2015-06-13
- I’m filling in at the last minute at #wcphilly today. 11:05 in the dev track: Agile contracting and time & materials contracts 09:43:20, 2015-06-13
- Hold the presses. I’m not speaking at #wcphilly after all. The scheduled speaker showed up in reply to mtoppa 09:47:05, 2015-06-13
- @daljo628 @WordCampPhilly I forgot they switched rooms. Another speaker was MIA, but he just showed up in reply to daljo628 09:48:21, 2015-06-13
- RT @kev097: “The most dangerous phrase in any organization is ‘that’s the way it’s always been done.’” – @aaronjorbin #wcphilly 13:23:04, 2015-06-13
- RT @ramiabraham: Browser sec vulnerabilities always get the coolest names; @nacin on https. #wcphilly http://t.co/I0ICRYzetR 14:03:32, 2015-06-13
- @ericandrewlewis Are you here? in reply to ericandrewlewis 14:17:44, 2015-06-13
- RT @Jtsternberg: Getting pretty excited to talk about being a "designeveloper"! I'm up at 4:15 in the designer room. Coming??!! #WCPhilly 15:13:26, 2015-06-13
- It was the best WordCamp I've been to yet, and it was great to meet you @salcode https://t.co/Tiyg0ZfVy2 05:50:03, 2015-06-14
- Yikes! "They have yet to see a large-scale value stream with less than 90% non-productive work." https://t.co/89V5U8fYdG 10:27:48, 2015-06-15
- RT @mgyura: "You know what I mean, I want my site 'Poka Yoke'd up'" -new client.
I guess we've arrived. .@pokayokedesign .@mtoppa 21:54:41, 2015-06-04
- RT @webdevstudios: A little bit of WDS history and a lot of wisdom from @williamsba: Hiring Employee #1 – From Freelancer to Agency http://… 17:32:34, 2015-06-05
- @mattmcmanus @ignu Good luck Len! in reply to mattmcmanus 17:34:33, 2015-06-05
- @suthecoder Sounds like the class is just a container for spaghetti code. Maybe take a small step, and extract a small class? If possible… in reply to suthecoder 17:41:27, 2015-06-05
- Eidan's pitching tonight! http://t.co/IvyvyUGTfD 18:28:48, 2015-06-05
- Wanderers – something tells me @mattmcmanus will like this http://t.co/viI3zUW0WP 19:08:24, 2015-06-05
- Great @TechReview article explains in layman's terms how different programming languages shape developers' thinking http://t.co/73aRR4R3xK 12:00:57, 2015-06-06
- @Toppa Looks like you're not using your account. Any chance I can have it? 16:24:15, 2015-06-06
- @liberty_js @pamasaur Does my ticket include a time machine, so I can attend all 4 morning workshops? in reply to liberty_js 17:49:25, 2015-06-07
- @danvacanti I enjoyed your Agile Philly talk last week. Thanks for coming out. Are you slides online? 09:06:08, 2015-06-09
- Anyone remember http://t.co/lwk2uJnmGE, and Web 2.0? 10:25:21, 2015-05-27
- “No” is a perfectly acceptable answer to my last tweet 10:28:10, 2015-05-27
- .@ContentRocks @WaySolutions Sounds like you’ve made a Kanban board, which is great! http://t.co/LvDHYRflGB in reply to ContentRocks 13:14:31, 2015-05-28
- RT @Norsebysw: Latin abbreviations > 2015 English:
e.g. = like,
i.e. = you know,
etc. = or whatever,
et al. = or whoever,
cf. = check out,… 13:17:44, 2015-05-28
- RT @arkh4m: Best explanation of Promises I've ever found http://t.co/NmArDn5c1K 06:14:38, 2015-05-29
- @Jtsternberg @WPSessions Nice work! in reply to Jtsternberg 11:55:03, 2015-05-29
- At 3 on a Friday seeing
really makes my brain hurt. Please be kind to the programmer after you. 14:08:58, 2015-05-29
- RT @slicknet: I get a little nostalgic when I see /cgi-bin/ in a URL. 22:05:19, 2015-05-30
- Wow – an excellent analysis of the many circumstances where the Lean Start-Up approach can hurt more than help. https://t.co/kpnNkjbd8v 10:02:10, 2015-06-02
- New @pokayokedesign post: taking on testing Cybersource transactions, using my Cybersourcery Testing gem for Rails http://t.co/VG08lYVXKT 15:24:39, 2015-06-02
- RT @estherderby: "Ppl construe estimates as promises….. and treat them as guarantees. Failed predictions fan blame. Trust & openness suff… 12:26:54, 2015-05-20
- Conrad & the Steam Plant: a wonderful vignette about the Pratt Institute’s 78 year old chief engineer https://t.co/mR9XAozF0H 19:18:44, 2015-05-21
- RT @williamsba: Why you should go to WordCampPhilly 2015 http://t.co/wqGBRXh6tu via @technicallyPHL 19:44:16, 2015-05-21
- RT @SimonJGuilfoyle: Sound familiar, anyone?
This 'new' insight is almost 2,000 years old…
- RT @bphogan: I like this. In fact I may have my 1st semester students read this.
- I’ve finally had a chance to do some blogging again! New post on our upcoming move to Boston: New town, new jobs http://t.co/EBi3UyysQo 13:39:04, 2015-05-24
- @mgyura Congratulations! in reply to mgyura 21:52:52, 2015-05-24
- RT @timwis: Very thought provoking article about the ethical responsibility for software engineers http://t.co/zHpSMshhgC 21:55:09, 2015-05-24
- @apgwoz I’m guessing that’s birthday cake – happy birthday! in reply to apgwoz 22:02:48, 2015-05-24
- @mertonium Thanks! in reply to mertonium 05:45:54, 2015-05-25
- RT @changelog: New show! #156: Modern #WordPress using Bedrock and Sage with Ben Word (@retlehs) and Scott Walkinshaw (@swalkinshaw) http:/… 06:15:37, 2015-05-25
- RT @tottinge: As you're about to add a comment, ask yourself, 'How can I improve the code so that this comment isn't needed?' — Steve McCo… 20:29:41, 2015-05-25
- @semanticwill @jbrains I like the idea, but "Solutioning the Countermeasure”? Corporate mumbo-jumbo language is part of the problem already in reply to semanticwill 21:54:16, 2015-05-25
- @semanticwill @jbrains I understand the role of countermeasures. “Solutioning” is corporate mumbo-jumbo. “Solving" is a perfectly good verb. in reply to semanticwill 22:03:26, 2015-05-25
- @jbrains @semanticwill Agreed – I didn’t want to pile on 😉 Perhaps “determining”? Schedule looks good – will try to be there. in reply to jbrains 05:08:13, 2015-05-26
- At @sc_philly watching @jearvon lay down some git wisdom http://t.co/gAPOlhVFSC 17:45:11, 2015-05-26
- Learning happiness tweaks from @chadoh, complete with an exploding demo, at @sc_philly 😉 http://t.co/L7jdx7bYNu 18:10:18, 2015-05-26
- Yes! RT @justincampbell: "Instead of code comments, consider refactoring" – @csojinb at @sc_philly http://t.co/5jxXp3rvDQ 18:16:10, 2015-05-26
- Great tips for giving great presentations, from @sarah_eliz_gray at @sc_philly http://t.co/Ih2ucFT3ma 18:45:15, 2015-05-26
- RT @justincampbell: "Hot sauce and regular expressions" @sarah_eliz_gray at @sc_philly
I don't know what that means but I'll remember it h… 18:59:07, 2015-05-26
- Learning keys to personal productivity from @mattmcmanus at @sc_philly http://t.co/F42Z8tw5Qp 19:05:18, 2015-05-26
- RT @johannarothman: RT @hjarche: Managing without soul, by @Mintzberg141 http://t.co/rYCPFL8OrZ We have let the sociopaths take over http:/… 19:41:25, 2015-05-26
- Code as inventory: imagine a “code base where every line of code disappears exactly 3 months after it is written." https://t.co/3vR9aB6UHY 21:58:52, 2015-05-26
Last month I posted a quick tweet about Maria’s new job: she’ll be Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Suffolk University. All the details are in this press release from Suffolk. This is a great opportunity for her, and we’re looking forward to the move to Boston. We weren’t sure how the boys would react, but they’re looking forward to being closer to RI, where my family is. They’ve always enjoyed visiting Newport for the holidays in the winter, and going to the beach with their cousins in the summer. Now it’ll be easy for us to visit more often.
She starts July 1, so we’re gearing up for the move. Our house here in Havertown was on the market for about a month, and we accepted an offer last weekend. I haven’t been blogging, as I’ve been scrambling to wrap up the many home improvement projects I started over the years, but never quite finished. Just like when we left California 12 years ago, now that we finally have the house the way we want it, it’s time to go 😉 (and yes, I’ve been blogging for that long – that link goes to my very first post).
For finding a new place to live, we explored some neighborhoods in the suburbs of Boston over the Easter holiday, and we’ve been talking with people we know in the area. We’re looking in Hingham, on the south shore, as well as towns to the west (Lexington, Needham, and others). We have a temporary place to stay for July and August, so our goal is to get settled somewhere by the time the boys need to start school in the Fall.
For a while last month I was doing a lot of job interviews over the phone. I knew the tech industry was big in Boston, but I was still surprised to find just how many job opportunities there are. There’s been a debate recently about whether the US has a shortage of tech workers. At least in Boston, it seems to me that there is.
I cut my job search short after talking with my friend Michael Gyura. We’ve decided to go into business together, doing web application development as consultants. After being in the field for almost 20 years, I’m ready to take the plunge, working independently. Also, I can work from home, which will provide flexibility for keeping up with the boys’ schedules, since Maria will have more of a 9-5 routine with her new job.
We have a bare-bones web site up, which we’ll be improving soon: the business is called Poka Yoke Design (the .design TLD became available just two weeks ago – perfect timing for us). “Poka yoke” (po-ka yo-kay) is a Japanese term meaning “mistake proof.” The idea is to design something that is so straightforward and intuitive to use, you don’t even have to think about it. I’ll have plenty more to say about Poka Yoke Design over the next couple months!
I’ll leave you with some more pictures of the house. We had movers come before we listed the house, to put a lot of our stuff in storage, so that’s why some of the rooms look mostly bare. I’m especially proud of the wood flooring in the sunroom. I installed it myself, and I salvaged it from a house that was going to be demolished in California, about 15 years ago. We used most of it in our old house in California, but we had some left, so we took it with us to Pennsylvania when we moved. It’s quarter-sawn, old-growth California white oak with tiger striping. Wood like this hasn’t been available for probably 100 years.
- .@bonniea @semanticwill DevOps is the 2015 equivalent of a Webmaster in 1998 (when I was one), minus expectations for graphic design skills in reply to bonniea 20:22:47, 2015-05-13
- RT @WordCampNash: #Agile contracting? Yes, please! Join us at #wordcamp tomorrow. #nashville #wordpress http://t.co/xLGPVJHs23 15:41:22, 2015-05-15
- Arrived PHL to BNA. I'm looking forward to @WordCampNash tomorrow! #wcn15 16:01:50, 2015-05-15
- RT @ContentRocks: Great seeing familiar people and meeting new ones at @WordCampNash speaker dinner: 1/3 @belanger @mtoppa , folks from @at… 06:48:56, 2015-05-16
- RT @ryan: "We're having a problem sending email."
"What's the problem?"
"We can't send mail more than 500 miles," he explained.
http://t.co… 07:45:11, 2015-05-16
- @bshumaker @WordCampNash thanks! in reply to bshumaker 07:52:46, 2015-05-16
- Come to my #wcn15 talk today on Agile Contracting! Why? Because I have slides like this #wcn15AgileContracts http://t.co/asLLPC67Y7 09:10:15, 2015-05-16
- RT @pokayokedesign: Way to go, @mtoppa! #wcn15 http://t.co/M7uh8FDaY0 12:53:50, 2015-05-16
- RT @iamdereklong: A fantastic talk by @mtoppa on Agile Contracting. Good to hear I've been on the right path and look forward to refining m… 12:54:01, 2015-05-16
- RT @d_nelle: @mtoppa laying down some serious wisdom: "Adapting to change decreases risk" #wcn15AgileContracts 12:54:12, 2015-05-16
- RT @d_nelle: incremental vs. iterative approach to a project… iterative allows you to work with clients as teammates ❤️ #wcn15 http://t.co/… 12:54:19, 2015-05-16
- RT @ashleyreign: #agile and #wordpress with @mtoppa the best of two great worlds #wcn15 12:54:40, 2015-05-16
- RT @Grady_Booch: A wonderfully geeky AI Easter egg found in Ex Machina http://t.co/bYAyQlwo0K 13:05:24, 2015-05-16
- Hey #wcn15, slides for my Agile Contracting talk are up. It was a lot of fun. Thanks everyone! http://t.co/1u16AMkGsx #wcn15AgileContracts 13:50:09, 2015-05-16
- Thanks @complikatyed for getting back to @iamdereklong. Video of my Clean Code talk is on http://t.co/FTKcao5k2L http://t.co/TYEoc40qxf in reply to iamdereklong 13:52:59, 2015-05-16
- RT @jhagel: Most people don’t schedule work. They schedule interruptions that prevent work from happening – toxicity of calendars http://t.… 14:18:00, 2015-05-16
- RT @complikatyed: Great session this morning at #wcn15 by @mtoppa on Agile Contracting. Also loving his slides from #wcn14 on Clean Code f… 14:28:45, 2015-05-16
- RT @ContentRocks: Am thinking #agile works for certain content projects also – thanks @mtoppa @pokayokedesign #wcn15 #writing 23:37:50, 2015-05-16
- @HirokiIkuta I'm in Nashville, Tennessee in reply to HirokiIkuta 23:39:01, 2015-05-16
- Launching Poka Yoke Design at WordCample Nashville, and 10 tips to keep your code clean http://t.co/iw0zOWAXvq #wcn15 @pokayokedesign 09:08:45, 2015-05-17
- RT @mjumbewu: Chattanooga's Gig: how one city's super-fast internet is driving a tech boom http://t.co/MPY1w2Soco 21:43:53, 2015-05-06
- RT @bengarvey: "Your issue backlog was created by an inferior version of your team" http://t.co/95FSK9lDwZ my 10 lessons from Lean Product … 08:46:29, 2015-05-07
- RT @CatWarr: 'Incurious congratulator of the past' is a beautifully amusing description of David Brooks. http://t.co/X3Lz4GehLQ 21:32:26, 2015-05-10
- RT @newsycombinator: Code Review Best Practices http://t.co/BVCGQPBGtX 21:36:19, 2015-05-10
- RT @wonderchook: Congrats! You have an all male panel! http://t.co/xzZZdJFxju 05:46:51, 2015-05-11