Nothing you can do impresses me.

The Unlikely Coder

A lot of press lately has been addressing the downsides of coder culture — for example, A. facebook / google / twitter’s latest press releases revealing that less than 20% their technical workforce is female; B. Tim Evko’s discussion on battling constant community pressure toward Information Overload; and C. a recent rant on the “If I have to explain this, you’re too stupid” mentality.  These issues add up to a proliferation of barriers toward so-called “newbs” — people who want to enter the coding community.

girl computer drawing “Hey new coder! I like your enthusiasm. (Nothing you can do impresses me.)”

Coders have hiring power and  with it the ability to admit new code community members on their own terms.  Often, although there are thousands of companies with code teams, those somewhat arbitrary terms can be eerily similar: “Would I want to have beers and shoot nerf guns with this person?” (one cause of “A”), “Is this person…

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Welcome to Baga

Size Forty One

Welcome to Baga
where nightmares live
and dreams go to die
I had heard the men talk in low tones about what they did to Chibok
and how the nation stood still for a day and moved on

Mama never thought they would come
we have soldiers here, she would brag
oh but you see, they did
last night while men slept, they crept in on us 
plundered our lands and set our homes on fire

It burned so beautifully that it reminded me of the fireworks last Christmas 
mama and papa were taken away in that van
perhaps they will be back tomorrow 

my shoes were left behind
the ones mama bought me for school
but my life is worth more
and so I ran through the forest until I came to a temporary place of solace
where a million other children dwelt

Every night since Baga
I wake…

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Designer Builds Cute Little 3D-Printed Robots, You Know For Kids

TechCrunch

Meet Charlie and Billy, the most adorable little robots in all the land.

Billy, the first iteration, is a combination of 3D-printed parts, an Arduino Leonardo, and dual DC motors to form a hexapod robot. Billy is controlled through a simple joystick app on the phone, and can handle various types of terrain based on his build.

Charlie is the second prototype, and is much smaller and smarter. Charlie is able to walk upside down in case he ever tips over, and is able to traverse slopes as steep as 45 degrees. He can even climb over objects as tall as he is.

Both Billy and Charlie were created by Jonathan Spitz, a mechanical engineer getting his PhD at the Technion Institute of Technology in Israel.

Billy is comprised of 20 parts, while Charlie requires 38 different parts, and takes considerably longer to assemble.

“I used a smaller Arduino…

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Former Google Ventures General Partner Wesley Chan Joins Felicis Ventures As Managing Director

TechCrunch

Team-Photo-003

One of the earliest members of both Google and Google Ventures has found a new home. Today Wesley Chan is announcing that he has joined fellow Google alum Aydin Senkut at Felicis Ventures, where he will serve as managing director of the early-stage investment firm.

Over a dozen years, Chan has distinguished himself both as a savvy product guy and a smart startup investor. He was instrumental in building a couple of key products to expand Google’s business beyond search, while also helping to launch the company’s venture firm.

In the early part of his career at Google, Chan founded Google Analytics and led the acquisitions of Urchin Software and MeasureMap, which became the backbone for the service. Later he led Google’s launch of its Google Voice service, which was buoyed through acquisitions of assets such as GrandCentral and Gizmo.

In 2009 Chan turned his attention to the investing…

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Google Launches Classroom Mobile Apps For Android And iOS

TechCrunch

Google’s Classroom education initiative launched just about half a year ago, but it’s been a web-based affair until now. Today marks the release of Classroom apps for iOS and Android, however, which should help build on the existing 30 million assignments that have been submitted via the platform since its debut. The Classroom mobile app lets students take photos and attach them to their assignments directly, share images, PDFs and more from other apps to Classroom, and provides offline caching so that they can work without a connection.

The native apps are a big step for Classroom, since the use of mobile devices in actual classrooms is on the rise. The web-based version still acts as a great hub for tracking everything at once, especially given the introduction of a new Teacher Assignments Page for the web-based version of Classroom, but mobile clients will help drive greater engagement and…

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Google To Launch Project Ara Market Pilot In Puerto Rico Later This Year

TechCrunch

project ara paul eremenko

Today Google announced that it will launch its modular smartphone, known as Project Ara, with a limited market pilot in the US territory of Puerto Rico later this year.

In a session at the Project Ara Module Developers Conference at Google’s campus in Mountain View, Project Ara Director Paul Eremenko laid out the logic for a limited release outside of the tech haven of the Bay Area.

Eremenko described the Puerto Rican mobile user base as diverse, with entry-level phones matching the high-end 1:1 in terms of sales. They’re also mobile-first, with 75% of Internet access taking place via mobile devices. It’s also still within FCC jurisdiction, meaning it can still work out the regulatory approach to building and marketing the device while working within a more manageable market.

Google has also partnered with all 11 schools in the University of Puerto Rico system to bring together Google’s Advanced Technology…

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