Read my latest article: 8 things I look for in a Ruby on Rails app (posted Thu, 06 Jul 2017 17:59:00 GMT)

On Apologies

Posted by Thu, 15 Feb 2007 22:01:00 GMT

Recently, Seth Godin posted a short blog post, titled, Apologies, ranked, which points out several ways of apologizing. When you work in a service industry, it becomes very important to develop good apology skills. Let’s be honest for a moment. Not everything works out for the best in every customer experience. Sometimes it’s their fault and many times… it’s our fault.

In response to Seth’s post, Marc Chung has written up a similar post that adapts this to software bugs, titled, Seth on Fixing Bugs.

It’s worth a read and definitely relates to the communication issues that we keep talking about within the Dialogue-Driven Development community and how that can translate to a healthy testing process with BDD.


Poke My Brain

Posted by Mon, 12 Feb 2007 07:42:00 GMT

I’m working on a few blog articles that I’ll be posting over the next few weeks. The other day, I got another email from someone that asked me if I would write about something that I mentioned briefly in a blog post. This got me thinking… perhaps there are things that you’d like me write something on? In general, I try to keep a broad range of topics that relate to Ruby/Rails circulating and I’m planning a major overhaul to my blog (switch to mephisto in the near future?) and working on more tutorials, especially as we near the release of my book as a O’Reilly Rough Cut… and when it finally makes it to print. :-)

If there is something that you’d like to learn more about (Rails, business, agile…), feel free to drop an email to

Go Ruby Go!

Posted by Thu, 08 Dec 2005 01:52:00 GMT

DHH wrote that Tim O’Reilly wrote on O’Reilly Radar, Ruby Book Sales Surpass Python.

While I was looking at the data, though, I noticed something perhaps more newsworthy: in the same period, Ruby book sales surpassed Python book sales for the first time. Python is up 20% vs. the same period last year, but Ruby is up 1552%! (Perl is down 3%.)


Programming Rails

Posted by Thu, 29 Sep 2005 03:45:00 GMT

After receiving numerous emails about when my book would be released… I have finally taken a few minutes to put together a web site for my book. You can sign up on the book mailing list to be notified when there are announcements regarding my book, Programming Rails

It’s not finished yet… but at least this way I will be able to keep track of all of you who are interested. :-)

Working in Portland coffee shops and cafes reviews, part 1

Posted by Thu, 21 Jul 2005 21:10:00 GMT

Since I have found myself sitting in cafes and coffee shops a lot, I thought that I would give a quick and dirty review of a few that I frequent.

Costellos Travel Caffe – My first trip here was to meet Rael Dornfest of O’Reilly for lunch. I had a vegan tomato soup that day and have been in love with that place since. Free wifi + good food = Costellos. They have a nice, short menu, with soups, sandwiches, and salads. In regards to the coffee, they have the best soy mochas out of this list of cafes. You can also enjoy a good foreign beer or glass of wine. They always run videos on the 2 large widescreens on the walls, of photographs and videos from different places around the world. It’s usually soundtracked to some instrumental music… for example, the last time I was in there, I heard Sigur Ros and Lemon Jelly while video showed. It’s a pretty cool place and I need to thank Rael for inviting me there. :-)

My only problem with working there is that it does attract a lot of traffic and finding a good seat isn’t always realistic. You can get lucky… but finding a spot with a power outlet isn’t always guaranteed…infact, you’d best charge up before getting there… as I’d be the guy in the corner with the plug in use already. ;-)

Urban Grind (NE) – This is my morning-to-noon place. They do serve food, but I haven’t actually tried their sandwiches or soups yet. I enjoy their coffee and go here the most. The place is in a big warehouse and it has many tables that are perfect for working at. My girlfriend often comes with me and we sit side by side on our laptops and have enough space to spread out a bit. Free wifi as well and tons of extension cords for people to plug in. There is more of a regulars atmosphere there. The same people show up each day and it’s very calm. My only wish is that they stayed open later than 4 PM. The one in NW has later hours, but that would require me to drive or bus to the other corner of town. I also prefer the laid back nature of NE/SE in contrast to the NW area. Music typically heard include, bjork, interpol… just to name a few. I usually have my headphones on anyways.

Fireside Coffee Lodge – Located in SE Portland, this is the farthest regular spot that I go to. Why would I go so far? They are open 24 hours. Yep, 24 hours of free wifi and coffee… how can you pass that up? When and if I get the urge to work at 2 AM, I can head there and have a good and quiet time. It has several outlets for juicing your laptop and has some tastey coffee drinks. (might I suggest the Almond Joy…) I have been going there for several years with PDXLUG, which is where we hold our monthly meetings. The seats aren’t as comfortable and the tables aren’t either.. but that doesn’t matter when you need that 3:15 AM coding fix and you want to get out of the house for a bit. I spent a lot of time there this last spring when my girlfriend was finishing up here semester in college doing homework. Music doesn’t really play here too often and if so, it’s usually one of the girls at the counter playing NPR.

Redwing Coffee & Baking – Honestly, sitting here.. this is my first time here. What provoked this entry was that I felt that someone should provide a quick and dirty list of places in Portland to work on. So maybe I will work on a site for that in the future and such… as opposed to just how good the food/coffee is… how easy is it to spend 6+ hours in it? Laptop batteries don’t last that long.. and as there seems to be only one power outlet..and I got lucky to snag it. So, I don’t know if this place is ideal for working more than a few hours in. They are currently playing Neil Young… and I’d guess that older stuff like Young, Dylan, and maybe some other 60s/70s stuff would be common here. It’s quite warm in here too as they are baking food in the back. It makes for a nice smell, but when it’s 90~ degrees F outside, it doesn’t cool you down much. They’re open to 8 PM and look like they have a good menu for vegetarians, (like me).

UPDATE: They have free iced tea refills… that’s great!

On a side note, it just started to sprinkle. My day just got a little better. :-)

So, there is my list of a few common places that I go to. I will post more in the near future, but thought that I would start off with the last 4 places that I have been to. I intend on trying more and will continue working on this list.

back to writing… and to my hummus plate.

Portlanders… do you have any places to suggest for working at? I’d like to continue my search for the perfect away-from-the-office cafe.

The Passion of the Rails

Posted by Fri, 15 Jul 2005 19:50:00 GMT

I haven’t been able to post much the past few weeks. I finding myself sitting at wifi friendly coffee shops around Portland the past few weeks. I’ve been keeping busy with working on the book. :-)

If you’re in Portland and happen to find yourself bored during the day… come look for me in the cafes. I find myslf working at Urban Grind (NE) usually in the mornings.. at least 3 days a week now. The office has been a bit hot (especially in the afternoon)... and the coffee shop has better coffee.

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