Tokyo readers -- I am once again visiting your fine city this week, and thought it'd be fun to try for another Tokyo/TDWTF meetup. Earlier this year, we got together at an izakaya for nomihoudai:
As you may have noticed, the site looks quite a bit different! As I mentioned back in March, it's been almost seven years since the look and feel of The Daily WTF has been updated, and I was getting pretty tired of the "2003ish" vibe the site had.
You guys gave some fantastic feedback to help guide the new design, and in July I shared a preview look. After some more feedback - both on the GitHub issue tracker and the forums - we put on the finishing touches and launched the site this evening.
Clevelanders*! Mark and Remy will be visiting my hometown this Friday (Sept 12), and we thought it'd be a opportune time to hold a Cleveland TDWTF get-together.
If you'll be in the area, please drop me a line and we'll figure out the specifics. There's an especially good chance I'll remember to bring swag this time!
Part of what brought me into writing and editing for The Daily WTF was my love of telling stories. I’ve had a very successful career working inside of corporate IT shops, and a huge part of that success comes from my ability to take a complex technical topic and explain it simply. To do that, I fall back on the same storytelling techniques that I use here.
A lot of real-world WTFs could be avoided through better communication, and while I hate the idea of losing out on more fodder for the site, it’s my duty as an IT drone to try and stamp out WTFs.
A little while back, I posted a user survey and asked for some general comments -- thanks to everyone who replied and shared their thoughts. I was hoping to share the survey results sooner, but I got a bit caught up in that Release! Kickstarter project.
In addition to some basic demographics questions, the survey asked some questions about a site redesign:
TLDR; We made a game! It's called Release!, and it's currently on Kickstarter.
It's been a long while since the look and feel of The Daily WTF has been updated. The last update was a little over six years ago when MySpace was still king, Twitter was a silly new fad, and the iPhone was but a few months old. We expiremented with a new look on the OMGWTF2 Contest Mini-site, and got some pretty positive feedback.
In an effort not to pull a Slashdot (or worse, the rename that shall not be named) , we wanted to ask you, the reader, what you think about an updated look and feel. So, even if you really don't have an opinion, please take a few moments to fill out the reader survey.
Now, if you haven't started on an entry then I suggest that you get a move on. Remember - we aren't interested in an "epic win" level of quality ...we want your greatest EPIC FAIL. Your entry doesn't have to be the grandest affair - and there are runner-up prizes available too - so the solution you cook up at the last minute might steal the show!
We know what you're thinking - summer is approaching making it the perfect time of year for a programming contest!
It's been a long time since we last did this, but we at The Daily WTF are excited to announce the Olympiad of Misguided Geeks at The Daily WTF Part 2 (or OMGWTF2 for short).
I'll be heading to England next week to talk about DevOps and Cloud Stuffs.
Who's up for a pub nite? I'm thinking somewhere in London on Friday, May 24 and/or Saturday May 25. If you're up for getting together for some dinner and drinks, please drop me a line and we'll figure something out. And hey, first round's on me!
I know I've been a bit quiet on the writing front lately (big things happening at the day job and all), but I wanted to let you know about a couple upcoming events I'll be at. It's always fun to meet-up and give away these TDWTF mugs.
On February 27, I'll be speaking at the ConFoo web technology conference, which is being held up in Montreal, Canada. There's a tonne of sessions and a whole lotte of local and international speakers. Here's the talk I'll be giving.
Think Before You Code
A few months back, Alex and the rest of the Daily WTF staff hosted a meetup in Pittsburgh. Alex is going to swing through Pittsburgh again this week, so we'd love to have another chance to meet the readers who can make it out.
Once again, we'll target Downtown, this time starting at the Diamond Market and Grill in Market Square, and depending on the mood, turn it into a downtown Pittsburgh pub-crawl.
I'll be in a few places in Europe these next two weeks, and would love to meet up with anyone who's available.
I feel bad for not mentioning Øredev earlier (so you might actually be able to plan attending), but it's a world-class software developing conference with great speakers including Billy Hollis, Lisa Crispin, and Brian Foote. And, for some reason, I made the list and will be giving a talk on Ugly Code
I'll be hanging out in New England next week doing all sorts of BuildMaster client things, but I'll also be giving a couple database-related talks at some local SQL Server events. If you're in the area, feel free to stop on by -- both events are free.
36,321 tables, one row each, one database. A stored procedure with 1,752 parameters. A DBA convinced that storing everything in the entire database typed as VARBINARY will definitely improve performance. All of these are true stories, and the sad fact is that many SQL Server professionals can relate to them -- even if they won't admit it in public.
Can you string words together and form a sentence? Can you string statements together and form a class definition? Can you sometimes be funny? Can you do all three at the same time?
We're looking for people with good writing skills and an IT background who are ready and willing to polish reader submissions into funny, entertaining, and memorable stories. We need you to be able to take true-to-life stories from the IT trenches, spot the most absurd bits of them, and explain the entire thing in a way that makes our readers laugh, or at least kinda grin, a little. You'll be expected to meet deadlines and communicate your availability to us. We're flexible, and we're looking for people who can commit to between 1-4 articles a month.
Last September, our good friends and long-time sponsor New Relic helped us put on the infamous Free TDWTF Mug Day. The feedback from everyone was overwhelmingly positive: not only did they get to try out a pretty cool application performance monitoring service, but they got one of the coveted TDWTF mugs.
Well as you may have gathered from the title, we're at it again. After years of stalling, we’re finally putting out some new The Daily WTF T-shirts. And even better, you can get one of these limited-print T-shirts without even having to pull out your wallet.
Yes, I suppose The Real WTF™ is a conference named St. Louis Days of .NET, but like most curiosities there's a good reason. What used to be a single day (and an aptly named) event turned into three days of sessions, networking, and all sorts of other exciting things for .NET developers. And it's at a casino, which means I'll be raking it in with my Perch Roulette Strategy, in addition to doing a talk or two.
Speaking of which, here's the talks I'll be giving…
Ugly Code: Beauty is in The Eye of the Beholder
When I mentioned that I'd be attending SODEC in Tokyo last year, I was surprised that someone actually took me up on the offer for some beers. Actually, about a dozen of you did, and a small group of us went out to Shibuya (you know, this place) and we all had an absolute blast.
Last year's Code PaLOUsa (held in downtown Louisville) was a blast, and it was great to meet up with some of you guys who were able make it out. I'm definitely excited about Code PaLOUsa 2012; there's a lot of great speakers, and it's right in the heart of bourbon country.
It's said that without evil there can be no good and that without darkness, there can be no light. Is the same true of ugly and beautiful code? Maybe... but that's certainly not a question I'll be answering in this talk. Instead, we'll talk about ugly code, where it comes from, how to avoid it, and how to rid your codebase of it. And of course, I'll share some of my favorite anti-examples from The Daily WTF.
A little while back, our friends at Microsoft bought the elusive The Daily WTF mugs for a whole bunch of readers. Unfortunately, many of you missed out — especially those who lived outside of the United States. But the good news is that our friends at New Relic are bringing back Free TDWTF Mug Day, and this time it's for everyone around the world!
I was a little distraught when I looked at my calendar today and realized that devLink – an awesome community conference in Chattanooga, TN – is next week. That meant that, once again, I was a little late in helping promote a great community conference. So late, in fact, that registration had been closed.
Fortunately, John Kellar (the main guy behind the devLink) re-opened registration just for The Daily WTF readers. I realize it's short notice, but you should really consider attending. There's a great speaker lineup, a bunch of sessions, two great events (Bring Your Own Code Live and a Baseball game), and a lot of fun to be had in Chattanooga!
I suspect this announcement will be even less relevant than the Detroit-centric announcement for Penguicon 2011... but here goes. For three of you that are reading The Daily WTF in Japan, I'll be headed out your way to attend SODEC from May 11-13.
Although this will be my first trip to Japan, I can assure you that won't be that gaijin guy. I am, after all, an expert in international language (i.e., raising my voice and SPEEEAAAKING VEEERRRYY SLLOOWWLY). Either way, I'll be chronicling my journey on Twitter (@apapadimoulis), along with a near-endless amount of pointless banter.
As I mentioned a few weeks back, I'll be headed to Notacon 8 a little later this week. If you're going, drop me a line and we'll grab a drink or something. And if you can't make it, not to worry - there's another event right around the corner. It's called Penguicon, and it's being held in Troy, Michigan from April 29 - May 1.
Penguicon is a unique blend of open source software and science fiction. When I first heard about it, I gave a Teal'c/Tuvok-esque eyebrow raise, and then realized, hmph... I guess there is a bit of an overlap. But it's a whole lot more than just that, as the events page shows. Take for example, this video from Penguicon 4 where Rob Landley (one of the co-founders) threw a bowl of liquid nitrogen into the hotel swimming pool.
As you may have noticed, I am a big fan of souvenirs, trinkets, and tchotchkes. And I know I'm not alone. Whenever I go to a conference, at least half of my fellow attendees join me in the pursuit for as much free stuff as possible.
Of course, it doesn't matter that I already have enough logoed pens and pads to write the entire contents of Wikipedia, twice over. Or that I have enough tee-shirts to wear a new one every day for the rest of my life (and that's assuming I live to be a hundred and fifty). No, this epic quest for swag is about something different. Something grander... and perhaps, even primal.
I got some great feedback about Code PaLOUsa; everyone seemed to have a great time, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet up with some of you. So, along the same vein, the next community conference I'm headed to is Notacon. It's held in my home town of Cleveland, Ohio, and runs April 14-17.
Notacon ("not a con[ference]") is indeed a conference, but not of the typical variety: it's a community event driven by submitted presentations and projects. I realize that's not a very thourough description, but Notacon is a hard event to quantify. There are a handful of speakers and bunch of events including Anything But Ethernet and the PixelJam demoparty.
Mark your calendars for March 4th and 5th. There's a brand new by-developers/for-developers conference called Code PaLOUsa. Inspired by the instantaneously-sold-out CodeMash (including the non-profit part), Code PaLOUsa is in downtown Louisville, KY at the Seelbach Hotel.
At the day job, I spend the majority of my time working on BuildMaster. While I certainly find it more exciting than the Big Boring Business App at Mega Financial Co, the structure is similar: there are a number of modules, different teams are responsible for different modules, and about the only change in scenery is working on a different module.
Though I wouldn’t call it boring, working on the same thing day-in and day-out can sometimes drag a bit. Even with an ample supply of Single Malt Scotch. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one feeling this, so we started a new company initiative: let developers work on projects that fall outside of their normal job description.