I would like to welcome myself back to my little corner of the Web. Many reasons kept me away from these pages since October 2013 but a scarcity of topics was never among them. I did, in fact, write several drafts and short snippets I simply never saw as "done". Still, by now they're as finished as they'll ever be and there's no point nursing them further. Besides, new fascinating topics abound. One way or another, I hope to keep things decidedly more lively.
Articles tagged with "meta"
So I've successfully landed a contract with a major IT services provider in Vienna. Given that my search was not nearly as thorough and deliberate as I'd hoped, I'm pretty happy with the outcome. The interview was smooth and the team seem to know what they're doing. Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating so we'll see how things go. I'm writing this on a commuter train, eager to start my first day.
30 June 2013 marked the conclusion of a successful co-operation between myself and an important client. My involvement in the project had lasted almost 6 years and I felt it was time to move on. Having handed over my responsibilities, I'm enjoying a three-month hiatus and plan to start another engagement in October.
What's on offer
I believe I have good analytical and problem-solving skills. I appreciate the complexities of requirement gathering and the value of customer feedback. I always consider the usability impacts of my design decisions. I understand that IT is not a cure-all and that true solutions to many problems are actually non-technical.
I'm keenly aware of the social nature and the inherent uncertainties of software development. I crave good craftsmanship and wish there were more of it in our industry. I recognize the importance of great tools and take time to learn them properly. I'm always willing to reconsider my opinions but I'm also capable of defending them - always in a friendly and civil manner.
What I'm looking for
I hope to join a team of developers who care about the quality of their output. I like a developer culture with emphasis on knowledge sharing, learning and improvement. That implies open and constructive communication. Agile practices are a plus as long as they're implemented consequently.
I'd love to work on stuff that matters. I'm especially interested in renewable energy, smart grid and energy efficiency, but also medical software, education or any other world-changing area I haven't thought of. Having said that, any software is worth working on as long as it improves the lives of its users or their customers.
I'm largely geographically constrained to Europe (ideally somewhere around Vienna) but a really great offer might tempt me overseas. I'm keen to try teleworking - huge open-source projects come from dispersed teams so it's got to be feasible. Hybrid models are also an option (3 weeks at home, 1 week on-site etc.).
If you're interested
Do write me a quick note - coding 'at' journey 'dot' sk.
(Please note that in May 2013 the blog ha migrated to Pelican.)
This blog is powered by the Blojsom blog engine, installed and managed by myself on my own server. Blojsom is a nice piece of work but its documentation pages seem to be down at the moment, so I had to poke around a bit while setting it up. I've compiled a quick FAQ based on that experience:
- Is Blojsom suitable for me? If you're familiar with Java-based web technologies and you want to host a blog, Blojsom is probably your best choice. Just drop the .war file into Tomcat's webapps/, deploy, tweak an XML file, restart and you're done. If you have no idea what the previous sentence is about, Blojsom is definitely not suitable for you.
- How do I configure Blojsom? Low-level settings can be set in WEB-INF/web.xml and WEB-INF/classes/*.xml. There are only two things you really need to set, both of them in WEB-INF/classes/blojsom-helper-beans-include.xml. The first is database location. Look for "jdbc:hsqldb:mem" and replace "mem" with the desired path (like "/home/joe/databases/blog" where "/home/joe/databases" is an existing writable directory and "blog" is an arbitrary database name). Blojsom will create database files during the next start-up. By default, Blojsom also destroys its database upon shutdown (the default settings are meant for initial testing). To prevent that from happening, look for "hbm2ddl.auto" and on the same line, change "create-drop" to just "create".
- When I start Blojsom and go to its URL I see no blog, only something about a "meta refresh". What's up with that? A single Blojsom installation can run multiple blogs at once, hence it has no central home page. Instead, each blog gets its own page. The default blog is called "default" and its URL under Blojsom is /blog/default/, i.e. instead of http://server/blojsom/ you should go to http://server/blojsom/blog/default/. How to automatically bring visitors from /blojsom to /blojsom/blog/default is a topic beyond the scope of this FAQ.
- How do I log into Blojsom? Blojsom's default theme has no Log in link. To get to a blog's login page, simply append "?flavor=admin" to the blog's URL. The pre-set admin account is "blojsom" (password "blojsom"). Once logged in, you can configure accounts under Weblog Settings > Users.
- How do I change my blog's theme? Themes are simply collections of files in subdirectories under WEB-INF/themes. A few are pre-installed; you can choose among them under Plugins > Configure > Theme Switcher plugin. Keep in mind that while logged in, you see the blog's "admin" flavor but themes are applied to the "html" flavor by default.
- I hate all of the bundled themes, how do I add my own?
Oh come on, the "autumn" theme is pretty good ;-) Anyway, your best bet is to copy an existing theme into a new directory and tweak the files until you're satisfied. One caveat: Blojsom doesn't actually use the files under WEB-INF/themes when rendering a blog. Instead, whenever you choose a theme in the admin page, its files are copied into resources/
and that's where Blojsom looks when rendering. So each time you want to see the changes you've made under WEB-INF/themes/myCoolTheme you have to choose "myCoolTheme" in the admin page. You could, of course, edit files under resources/ directly but you would risk losing your changes at the next theme switch.
I am a software developer. My work involves a great deal of communication, much of it in writing. Sometimes it takes a lot of time and effort to get the message just right. I started this blog to practice my writing. I hope to evolve a fluid, consistent process for expressing my thoughts. This page has been made public as I hope a genuine audience, however small, may help me achieve that goal. I will do my best to return the favor in the most appropriate currency: interesting and maybe even useful prose.