Featured on techcareertips.com

Tavis Hudson is a Tech Headhunter who first recruited me in 2005 to work for Magenic. Over the years we have kept in contact and run into each other at a few events here and there. Recently, Tavis contacted me about doing an over the phone interview (as in journalism not recruiting) for his blog.

In the first of a series of blog posts he is authoring called “Prodigy Developers” he did a write up based on the conversation we had. I’ll try not to let that title go to my head but thanks for the vote of confidence Tavis.

One of the things he touches on in his post is something that I’d like to elaborate on a little more. This is something I consciously say to myself from time to time:

One thing that I have learned in college and in my career so far is that there are lots of people who are smarter than me. I mean downright geniuses. I am not a genius. I am constantly awed by these people and their mathematical abilities or their ability to grasp incredibly complex topics or the speed with which they are able to get to conclusions. This is not my strong point even though I am not an idiot by any means. Yet somehow, in a field generally regarded as primarily mathematical, I seem to thrive. It’s not to say that intelligence is overrated but I think that passion and dedication are, perhaps, underrated.

Sometimes I like to say that I’m an artist who can’t paint. I know that sounds corny but what I’m trying to say is just that I have to rely more on my creative side than my intellectual side when programming. I’m more of a right brainer than a left brainer, if that makes sense. Maybe more people than I realize would be able to associate with this notion but I feel like this is what has helped me more than anything, not that it’s more important but maybe that it’s rare.

Sorry, enough self congratulation and introspection. Head on over and read Prodigy Developers – Justin Chase, by Tavis Hudson.

D-Day 2008 at Surly Brewery

This Saturday I headed out to the Surly Brewery in Brooklyn Center for D-Day. D-Day is the one day a year that you can buy bottles of Surly Darkness. Darkness is one of the best beers I’ve ever had and waiting a whole year just to get to taste it again certainly makes it extra special.

We arrived at 8am and waited in line, freezing our butts off, for 4 hours before the gates opened to let us in. The first 700 people were guaranteed to get their maximum of 6 bottles of darkness for $17 for one, or $100 for 6. Here are some pictures.
12 Bottles of Darkness
Darkness Label up Close

Double Wax Dipped Tops

Darkness and tulips on my keggerator

Appearance in CoDe Magazine

If you haven’t already taken a look at the Nov / Dec 2008 issue of CoDe magazine I would highly recommend it 😉 On my last gig at Magenic I had the pleasure of working for Rocky Lhotka, Sergey Barskiy and Nermin Dibek on CSLA Light. Along the way we managed to crank out an article for CoDe Magazine related to the work we were doing. Here is a link to the article online, Using CSLA .NET for Silverlight to Build Line-of-Business Applications.

I got a copy of this magazine at the last Twin Cities Code Camp and didn’t even know that I was a co-author of one of the articles in it! It wasn’t until the following monday that a coworker of mine pointed out to me that I was in the magazine and he only knew because he recognized my picture. That was pretty funny.

Now that I’m famous if anyone wants me to autograph their copy of CoDe magazine just let me know!

Rockband and Homebrew Aftermath

So it turned out that my homebrew was undrinkable. It seems it had sat too long and suffered from a mild infection so I had to dump it out. Fortunately we had Surly Bender to the rescue! After thinking about it a little bit I headed out to Midwest Supplies and picked up some equipment to upgrade my keggerator to be compatible with both American Standard and Kornelius kegs. This is a pretty nice upgrade!


Actually there was on piece that didn’t quite work right so I have a little bit more work to go. The piece was a splitter that turned out to be a one-way splitter. It turns out that you can’t combine the flow with this splitter, you can only split it. So I had to do a temporary splice directly from the tap to the keg, but I will probably go back and get something like this 3/8” Stainless Steel Barbed “T” instead and save my self $30 in the process.
The beer was delicious and the food was good and we had some good friends come over and had some fun. There were a few people who I was hoping would show up but couldn’t for various reasons (you know who you are) so that was a little unfortunate. Otherwise we ended up playing Rockband until 3am (much to the dismay of my upstairs neighbors I’m sure) and then I had to kick people out so I could crash.
One last thing, I couldn’t resist going out and buying Scene It since I knew so many people were coming over. We played it in impromptu teams and it turns out that it is hard as hell. Don’t plan on buying this game for your kids because I’d be shocked if they knew half of the answers, it is really intended for the truly discriminating movie buff.  That aside it was pretty fun, we were a little perplexed by the big button controllers since the ‘X’ on them didn’t light up when you pressed it like regular xbox 360 controllers but it turns out that they are not truly blue tooth enabled controllers, they communicate via IR with a reciever that goes ontop of your TV. I don’t know why they went that rout… probably just being cheap. However I am looking forward to the next version of XNA which I heard will have drivers to allow you to use these controllers for your games.

Rockband and Homebrew

I just recieved my Rock Band gift from Magenic for being apart of the Magenic Technology Council, today. I think it’s time to keg my beer and have a Rock Band and Homebrew party finally!

If you’ve got nothing better to do and you live in the twin cities area send me an email and I’ll let you know how to get to my place!

By the way the beer is a ESB, so if you are of the American macro brew persuasian you might want to bring your own. I will probably try to pick up a case of something lighter but you never know.