Avi Flax

Looks like dockless bike sharing is coming to White Plains — very cool!

Video of my recent talk on specifying other people’s data with clojure.spec

Two weeks ago I spoke at the Bay Area Clojure User Group SF Meetup (hosted by my employer, Funding Circle).

At the time I called the talk Large nested JSON with spec, a comedy of errors but next time I give it I think I’ll call it something like Specifying Other People’s Data with Spec: an Experience Report.

Despite a few errors in the slides and a few minor technical problems the talk went fairly well. I had pretty good engagement from the attendees and quite positive feedback afterwards.

And now thanks to some of my excellent co-workers, a video of the talk has been posted!

Here’s a still frame from the video:


Current status: writing a 900+ word bizchat DM reply… 🙄

#paragraphs_over_fragments #downwithbizchat

“At scale, all problems become people problems” — Baishampayan Ghose

From the slides:

At scale, all problems become people problems.

From the transcript:

Software is just incidental, if you really think about it. It’s bridging a gap between two populations of human beings. That definitely or obviously cannot be the main focus. If your problems are people problems, the solutions are not technical solutions, they’re also people solutions. You solve them with people.

Baishampayan Ghose in _Revenge of the Pragmatists _ at Clojure Sync 2018


Feature Request I Just Sent to GitHub for their API

Hi, I’m writing some scripts to help my company manage our large set of repos, and one thing we’d like to be able to do is to disallow forking of repos via the API. I tried searching for this capability pretty thoroughly, and as far as I can tell, it isn’t present in either the V3 nor V4 APIs.

So, this is my feature request: please add this capability to either or both the V3 and/or the V4 APIs.

To be clear, I’m referring to the setting on the repo settings page labeled “Allow forking” — I’d like the ability to toggle this setting on and off.

Thank you! Avi

I was digging around in my bag and… well if anyone at #WriteTheDocs needs a pen, I might be able to help out with that!

I facilitated my first unconference session yesterday and it was excellent!

My mind is expanding here at #WriteTheDocs; it’s a wonderful conference and community!

Just learned of the Stickers Standard via Heidi Waterhouse (@wiredferret) in her excellent lightning talk on “Tech Sticker Ethnography” at #WriteTheDocs and now my laptop looks like a mess to my newly-educated eye — but honestly, I’m not even mad, that’s amazing!

Note to self: next time I’ll be on a long work trip, I should consider bringing a laptop stand (such as the Roost) and a bluetooth keyboard and trackpad.

The ergonomics of “bare” laptops are just awful, especially for tall folk like myself.

Looks like I’ll be speaking at the Bay Area Clojure User Group SF Meetup tomorrow evening! I’ll be winging a hopefully short talk entitled “Large nested JSON with spec, a comedy of errors” — I might even pull it off!

It can be really hard for a mostly on-site company to integrate and support “remote” team members but I’m having an excellent experience in the Product Engineering group at Funding Circle.

Visiting the office and being greeted by hugs, though — that’s next level! 😊

My first impressions of Cucumber in Ruby:

  • 👍 plain-text feature files
  • 👎 step definition API — state is verbose, a hassle, and not nearly as elegant as in rspec-given

After reading up on it a bit, I’m excited to watch Mary and the Witch’s Flower with the kid!

I see someone on this flight is watching Blade Runner 2049 on the little headrest screen and this makes me sad. On a proper screen with a proper audio setup, this film is an incredibly immersive experience.

Humanity has lots of dragons sitting on mountaintops, devouring people, waiting for a change in the world’s perspective or technology or culture to meet its doom.

Jason Kottke’s comments on CGP Grey’s animated version of philosopher Nick Bostrom’s The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant

Because history is the soap opera that hurts, the kabuki with real knives.

New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson

West coast friends: I’ll be in SF next week (visiting my closest Funding Circle office) and Portland over the weekend (and part of the following week) for the Write The Docs conference! Let’s hang out!

Also: join me at the Tech Solidarity event on Tuesday night in SF!

I’m at The Lead Developer conference in NYC and I’m loving it.

I’m also being reminded constantly that I still despise the usage of “individual contributor” to describe people who are not managers. The best work is usually done in collaboration with others!


A feedback message I just sent to TD Bank on their apps

I’ve been quite satisfied with your apps for many years now. I’ve seen fairly steady incremental improvements over time with only a few missteps. Currently, there’s one thing that’s bugging me about both your iOS apps and your Web app: all the marketing. It gets in my way and it bothers me. I’m already your customer, and I use these apps; they are tools. Please cut back on all the marketing in the apps. It will make them better, more usable tools.

Funding Circle is hiring Software Engineers, Data Engineers, Account Managers, and many other roles in San Francisco, Portland, Denver, London, Berlin, and Amsterdam!

If you apply, please tell them I sent you!