Local Elections

Early voting is in full swing in my area and I had the ability to go over my lunch break yesterday and cast mine. This year was short and sweet with only the mayor and three city council races.

I know we all focus on the presidential elections but these local ones probably affect you directly more than national races ever will, and these typically have small turnouts. So your one vote could potentially carry more weight. It’s definitely worth your time to research the local candidates and make your voice heard.

Angry Email

I send a lot of emails through my various web properties. I’d say at least 200 to 300 thousand emails each month. With this many emails, the likelihood of me offending someone is pretty high, and when someone gets triggered, they sure let me know.

I’ve found that if they are from a different culture, they may not even be upset. I am just using the wrong words and phrases. To them, what they are saying is perfectly fine, but to me, it comes across as tactless and offensive.

Other times it’s just a misunderstanding, and very rarely is someone just straight up being a jerk. That does happen, though, and I always just hit “unsubscribe” in the email they are replying to and go on with my day.

Outside of those people, the way I handle these situations is to respond in good faith, thinking they meant well and are not intending to come across rude.  So far giving the benefit of the doubt hasn’t let me down.

Command + Q

As part of my normal routine, I check Twitter throughout the day and I like to see what my friends are sharing.  For the most part, it’s pretty mundane, lots of programmery topics, people sharing personal things, the usual.

But some days I’m just in a weird mood and will see a few tweets that just trigger me. Before I respond and write something I’ll regret I just quit the app and get back to work. Then when I come back later whatever annoyance I had is usually lost in the shuffle. Unless I’m using the official Twitter app which keeps wanting to show “top tweets”, then I remember to open Tweetbot.

I know stepping away is nothing new, but based on the replies I get, many of us struggle with just not replying. We love to tell people how wrong they are, and how they should feel bad for being so wrong.

 

Pros and Cons

My kids want a dog, it’s all they’ve been talking about for a few weeks now.  As a kid, they can’t understand what all is involved in having a pet.  I told them to make a pros and cons list on having a new pet, and the only con they came up with is a puppy will chew on things. Their perspective was so skewed to what they wanted they had tunnel vision. 

If we are not careful we can get this same tunnel vision when we really want something.  It could be anything from starting a new side project to releasing something open source, or a new car, or even just spending money on stuff when we shouldn’t be.  

Too often instead of thinking through everything, we jump in feet first and then quite literally pay for it later.  Where if we would just slow down, think through the unfavorable factors we’d save ourselves lots of heartaches. 

Meetup’s Hostile Pricing Changes

It’s been all over my Twitter feed today about Meetup announcing big changes to their pricing. The way they currently charge is the user group owner pays a monthly/yearly fee for using the Meetup service. For me, this was a reasonable way to do it, but today they announced some pretty big changes to this.

Your new subscription cost is only $2 per month, or $24 per year. That means you’ll be saving at least 80% annually on subscription fees. This will also distribute costs more evenly between organizers and members. Members will pay a $2 fee when they reserve a spot at your event.

Members having to pay just to reserve a spot for your event is the part that many people are having problems with, and for good reason. Oh, you can wave that fee, but then you are responsible for covering the $2 per reservation. Now I don’t know all the stats on user groups, but from all the people I’ve heard from that run them, it’s hard to get consistent members attending. Now, this adds another hurdle to getting them.

It’s about time for all the user groups to find another service and my friend, Dries Vints, just announced a new app he is launching called Eventy.

Some of the things that you’ll be able to do with Eventy: manage user group members, RSVP to events, prepare your conference talks, submit to CFPs. And much more.

I’m super excited to hear about this new app today and if you are running a user group, join the newsletter and find out when it officially launches. I have a feeling there is going to be a lot of people wanting to move from Meetup to Eventy.

Announcing Made In Production

Made In Production

I’ve always been a fan of developer swag. Everything from shirts, to hats, and everything else. Secretly I’ve had a dream to start a site to sell shirts with nerdy puns and geeky sayings, but the time never felt right.

That was until a few months ago when Phil Sturgeon announced he’d like to sell Made in Production, and Matt Stauffer and I jumped on the chance to get it, and we are now partners in this business.

All the old existing designs are still up on the site and we plan to leave those up for the foreseeable future but will eventually phase some of those out. If you see one you like, you should go ahead and get it now, and if you are a fan of Laravel News we have one for it available now.

Our next plans with the site are to get new designs created, work with some open-source brands, and to have even more inventory. If you have any ideas for unique shirts, be sure and let us know.

Buggerino Logos – Hacktinkerfest

My second Hacktinkerfest logo design is now complete, and I just sent off the pull request to Buggerino, which is a native app for Android/IOS that allows you to interact with your Bugsnag account. Here are some of the designs I came up with:

buggerino-before-after
Outline and Colored Options

Here is the larger version of the final colored options:

buggerino.png
Buggerino Logos

As you can see, I went with the bug theme, and Jordy, the creator of Buggerino, said he liked the green and/or blue moth ones the best because of the combination of code and the bug. I’m partial to the blue one too if I’m honest.

These where a lot of fun to create and I hope Jordy gets a lot of use out of it.  I went ahead and exported all of them and sent them to his project so he could use them any way he wants.