National Learn to Code Day 2016

Blatantly screen shot from

It’s National Learn to Code Day! Woo! Woo! Imma be leading a sold-out class on building a choose your own adventure game using HTML/CSS! So it’s sort of like a different approach to teaching basic HTML/CSS. I’m pretty curious how this approach will work!

I’ve been teaching web development for 3~ish years now, both with Ladies Learning Code and as a sessional instructor at a university and it still delights the crap out of me when I see that ‘a-ha’ moment on someone’s face when it all clicks and they understand the lesson!


National Learn to Code Day 2016

I am a PC Traitor

The other day I tweeted about ordering an iMac for work.

There are many practical reasons why I decided to replace my dying PC at work with an iMac:

  1. As I attend more and more developer conferences and camps I find I’m the odd one out because I develop on a PC. All those developers can’t be wrong, right? This isn’t the same as everyone jumping off of a bridge, right?
  2. Macs are built on UNIX. Web servers are, too. Seems like a no-brainer to me!
  3. I’m starting Ruby on Rails development and, apparently, Macs are superior to PCs for that.
  4. I haven’t used a Mac since the nineties and it’s about time I climb back up on that pony.

This morning a friend IM’d me to share her opinion of my switching teams:

Even the most dedicated PC enthusiast has to admit that Apple products can be nice. I’m not going to regret switching from PC to a Mac.

I am a PC Traitor

iPad cost breakdown

Yes, I’m a huge nerd and I prefer not to make a big purchase until I’ve sussed out how much it’s going to cost for EVERYTHING involved.

iPad Wi-Fi
Item Price Link
 iPad 16GB  $519 CAD
 iPad 32GB  $619 CAD
 iPad 64GB  $719 CAD
 Data plan  $0  wi-fi or
iPhone hotspot
iPad Wi-Fi + 4G
Item Price Link
 iPad 16GB  $649 CDN
 iPad 32GB  $749 CDN
 iPad 64GB  $849 CDN
 Data plan 100MB to 500MB is $20/month
iPad Accessories
Item Price Link
 Case  $69.99 CAD
 Stylus  $24.99 CAD
 Stylus brush  $39.00 USD
iPad Apps
Item Price Link
 AIM  Free iTunes
iPeriod  $1.99 USD iTunes
Fitocracy  Free iTunes
Calorie Counter  Free iTunes
Angry Birds Space  $0.99 USD iTunes
Tweetbot  $2.99 iTunes
Google Apps for iPad Free Google
Textastic  $9.99 USD iTunes
Draw Something  $1.99 USD iTunes
Sound drop  $1.99 USD iTunes
Art Rage  $4.99 USD iTunes
Kindle for iPad  Free iTunes
Keynote  $9.99 USD iTunes
Paper  Free iTunes

iPad: 32GB $619 CAD before tax
Okay, now that the dollars and cents are right in front of me I can see right off the bat I won’t be going for the Wi-Fi + 4G. I am usually within reach of a Wi-Fi network and if I really need to access the Internet etc. when I’m away from a Wi-Fi network I’ll be able to use my iPhone as a hotspot. (Of course, I currently use an Android but when it’s time to swap my phone I’m heavily leaning towards an iPhone.)

I store most of my files on anyways so I’m not too worried about having enough space on the iPad for files.

Accessories: $133.82
Okay, so maybe I don’t need a super fancy case and TWO different types of stylus but I’m planning on making this little iPad a real laptop alternative, especially for art, so I’d like them. If the price is too much, I could always downgrade or put off accessory purchases until I have more money.

Apps: $~35
Wow. Okay, so when I was researching apps I thought I was spending a small fortune but when it comes down to it, the apps are costing me less than $40!  Apps being that cheap means I don’t feel the need, at all, to skimp in this area.

Total: $787.82*
That’s about half of what I paid for my laptop and around the same price as what I paid for my net-book.  Down the line I may want to add a wireless keyboard for $~70 but I’d like to try it without, first.

So, am I going to go for an iPad? Eventually, yes, but my miser-heart will be happier if I can raise at least half of that money through selling stuff I no longer need/want, first.

Hope this breakdown is useful for somebody else! If you have anything to add, leave a comment! I’m curious how other people use their iPads and how useful they’ve proven to be for them! (Or, yanno, hit me up on twitter @tammalee )

*iPad with 4G $917.82 + $240 for one year of Data plan

iPad cost breakdown

Do dreams count as overtime?

I’m currently working on a web-based application that will be used to schedule and track cattle shipments. I’m trying to speed up delivery of this application by using the Yii PHP Framework but it’s only my second time developing in an MVC architecture so the learning curve is rather steep.

Last Friday I ran into a wall when developing a single form that saves data for two models. Pretty straightforward, right? I had thought so but there was SOMETHING preventing the second model’s data from saving. Recently I’d heard some good advice from @curtismchale about walking away when I get frustrated, so I did just that.

Then I went home.

All weekend that stupid code bounced around in my brain and last night I found myself dreaming about it. AUGH! There was no escape! I woke up feeling annoyed at myself for dreaming about work on what was supposed to be down time.

At work, I sat down at my desk and looked at the code I’d been working on, remembered my dream, and changed one line of code.

Bam! Everything works exactly as it should! *facepalm*

Does anyone else out there dream about code and find solutions while they sleep?

In other news: I have three new sketches up on my tumblr.

It’s my birthday this Friday, what sort of present should I ask for? I’m stumped!

Do dreams count as overtime?