Archive for the ‘About Me’ Category.

Hello Paypal Here. Goodbye Square Up.

PayPal-HereI love my new Surface Pro 3. When I go to a conference, I want my Surface Pro 3 to be used as the Cash Registers. Alas, Square Up doesn’t support the Surface Pro 3. But guess what? Paypal Here, a direct competitor to Square Up does support the Surface Pro 3. My Paypal Here card reader is on its way.

I accepted, begrudgingly, the fact that you didn’t work with my Windows 7 laptop when I first got Square Up. But that was more than two years ago. There are 300 million windows devices out there. Why would you ignore that market share?

Thank you for being a good card reader. I enjoyed your server. I liked it. However, you haven’t kept up with the industry. The Surface Pro 3, as well as other similar 3rd party hybrid tablet/laptops, is turning iPads and Android tablets into paperweights. You’ll be fine without me. Hopefully you update your software soon before you lose more accounts than mine. Once I am up and working with PayPal Here, I doubt I will make the effort to come back.

So I tell you goodbye Square. And hello PayPal Here!

Get PayPal Here from the Windows Store.

Note: This isn’t an ad. I wasn’t paid to make this post. I am however, frustrated with Square Up for not providing an App for my Surface Pro 3.

Fiction.js (or making fun of javascript library names)

JavaScript libraries have some pretty awesome names. Unless you want to know what that library actually does that is. But hey, these names are great for inspiring fiction. As many of you know, I write fiction on the side. So here comes some fiction.js your way:

He straightened his backbone.js and tightened his angular.js jaw. Then he ate a banana.js while wearing a Bazinga.js shirt. He rubbed the handlbars.js of his mustache.js. His shotgun.js was ready.js. He looked at the badass.js woman at his right.js. Jasmine.js had long.js auburn hair and a glow.js to her face. Her figure.js was a sight to behold.js–definitely a knockout.js. She sipped a cappucino.js. Kinetic.js magic.js was her forte.js. That and fire.js. She lifted her free hand.js and an ember.js of light.js illuminated.js her palm.

Evil.js was coming. Raphaël.js and Jasmine.js were ready.js!

I broke 2000 points on Stack Overflow

Check out my StackOverflow profile.

I broke 2000 points.

How a software developer can learn communication?

Here is how a software developer can learn to communicate with their coworkers and avoid being extrovert.

How a software engineer can learn to improve communication

Above is an image so you can pin it.

Below is code so you can copy it.

namespace Communication
    public class Improve
        public void ImproveCommunication(bool INeedToTalkToAPersonAboutWork, bool IKnowAboutThisPersonOrTheirFamily)
            if (INeedToTalkToAPersonAboutWork)
                Knowledge newKnowledgeAboutPerson;
                if (IKnowAboutThisPersonOrTheirFamily)
                    newKnowledgeAboutPerson = Listen();
                    newKnowledgeAboutPerson = Listen();



        public void DoCommentOnSomethingIAlreadyKnowAboutThisPersonOrTheirFamily()

        public void AskFindOutQuestion()

        public Knowledge Listen()
            return new Knowledge();

        public void StoreInMemoryDatabase(Knowledge newKnowledge)

        public void TalkToPersonAboutWork()

    public class Knowledge

Say YES to Education but say NO to large debt (part1)

Recently, I have seen articles discussing the idea of “saying no to college”.

Education is extremely important! Notice, I didn’t say college was extremely important I said education. UnSchool is not exactly off base. They are saying to get educated, but they are saying to do it without college. However, college degrees are the standard today for proof of education, and that should not be overlooked.

Some of the arguments for UnCollege and not valid. For example, here is one of the quotes:

“You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for a buck fifty in late charges at the public library.”
– Will Hunting

OK. So I am total agreement with this statement assuming you were foolish enough to spend $150K on a college degree. Do NOT spend that much on a degree unless you are going to be something like a specialized surgeon or unless it doesn’t change the number of zeros in your (or your daddy’s) bank account.

I am not, however, in perfect agreement with UnCollege. My recommendation is to acquire education and do it in a way that provides “Proof of Education.”

Person Experience: I have a bachelor’s degree and I am almost done with my Masters of Computer Science. How much debt have I incurred from my bachelors and my Masters? $0. Now that doesn’t mean I never had a loan for education. I took out a $4k loan for a certification course. My certification was my first Proof of Education.

Proof of Education

Proof of Education is proof that you have learning or experience that can help you be successful in a role. Proof of Education is extremely important.

The most common and well-known and most accepted form of proof of education is a High School Diploma followed closely by a Bachelors degree. Another well-known proof of education but not necessarily considered such is your driver’s license.

Here is a list of the common forms of Proof of Education. These end with a nice certificate from an accredited institution.

  1. High School Diploma or GED
  2. Bachelors Degree
  3. Masters Degree
  4. Doctorate or Ph.d.

These are not the only ways to obtain Proof of Education. There are other ways however, the “proof” part is often harder to come by as it is not always a nice signed piece of paper from an accredited instituation.

  1. Job Experience
  2. Apprenticeship
  3. Certifications in your field
  4. Non-profit work and projects
  5. Life experiences

How do you prove Job Experience? Job experience is not too hard to prove, especially if the company is still around and their HR can confirm your employment and title. If the company you worked for disappears, how can you prove you worked there? Well, pay statements, references (keep in contact with previous managers and co-workers which is very easy these days).

Why is a degree the most important Proof of Education?

Often in many companies and government organizations a degree is required. If the most qualified individual doesn’t not have a degree, they are likely not to even get an interview because they don’t pass the filter.

Personal Experience: Even there is a possibility for an exception to be made, it often isn’t. I interviewed for a government job that required a Degree in Computer Science. I was qualified. My undergraduate degree was in English because I could already write code. This company wanted a WPF developer (which is my forte) and were willing to pay 110K a year, but my undergraduate degree was in English. They couldn’t make the exception despite my experience and I lost out on a great high paying job.

Personal Experience: My father’s degree is in Psychology. He worked a great job in the oil field for twenty years. Then he passed some Appraisal certifications and became an appraiser of houses. It seemed he may never use his degree. During the housing crash, around 2009, he had the opportunity to teach seminary to supplement his income. Teaching required a degree. He would have lost that opportunity without a degree.

Why may a degree not be for you?

Here are some examples of why a degree may not be for you:

  1. You may never use it. I know many people who end up working in the oil field or as a mechanic or various other positions that don’t require a degree an they never use it.
  2. It may not be worth the money. A degree in English from Yale when you plan to be a technical writer is probably not going to provide any bang for your buck. A degree from your local community college in english or even just some technical writing courses and experience would probably result in similar salaries, so save yourself some money.
  3. You want to be an entrepeneur. You just have the bug and want to work for yourself. Take some business courses somewhere, and get your business started, and stay away from college. Just be aware that most business owners fail many times and put in 80 hours a week while failing. However, once you succeed, you could end up making six figures and possibly more. It is higher risk but higher reward.
  4. You just can’t sit still and concentrate in a classroom environment and fail anytime you try. If this is you, you know who you are. Find another way to get educated and make sure to grab some Proof of Education along the way.
  5. You already have a marketable skill.

Personal Experience: I have a brother-in-law who doesn’t have a degree. His father was a surveyor and he started working with him at a young age and had years of experience already and a marketable skill already. He got a few certifications and has a great job. He may never need a degree. However, he is only in his thirties so who knows if he will wish for a degree sometime in his career.

Continued in How to get a degree and stay out of debt? (Part 2)

How to get a degree and stay out of debt? (Part 2)

Continued from Say YES to Education but say NO to large debt (part1)

Pay as you go. Get a company to reimburse your for education. This is easier said than done. It takes work, but it is doable. I know because I did it for certifications and for my Bachelors degree, and I am doing it now for my Masters.

Step 1 – Choose your career field

In what field do you want to work in:

  • IT
  • Software Developement
  • Business Intelligence Analysis
  • Sales
  • Dental
  • Medical or Health
  • Home Improvement (plumbing, electrical, etc…)
  • Mechanic
  • Other…

Step 2 – Research entry-level proofs of education in the field

Take any field of employment and search the internet for it along with basic words such as “certification” or “certificate” or “apprenticeship”. For example: Developer Certification, Medical Career Certification, Dental Apprenticeship. You will probably find some nice and cheap ways into your field.

Step 3 – Start on the quickest proof of education to obtain

There are a lot of certifications that come after a one week course. There are a lot of jobs where you can be an apprentice and learn while your work.

Example: Sometimes, there are no solutions to be faster, only solutions to be cheaper. Think of becoming a General Contractor for example. You can work framing houses for four years and study to be a general contractor on the side. Four years experience is a requirement. Sure you don’t make much money your first four years, but you won’t gather 150K of college debt and at the end of four years, you will have experience and a General Contractor’s license, which is proof of education.

Step 4 – Get an entry-level job with a company that has education reimbursement

Find all the companies in your field you can work at. Apply at all of them for entry-level positions. Make sure to let them know about your “proof of experience”. Volunteer at them if you have to until you get hired. Try to choose one that has tuition reimbursement in your field.

Note: Be smart. If a company will pay you $15 an hour with tuition reimbursement, that is not as good as a company paying $25 and hour without tuition reimbursement. Who cares if you pay for the tuition or the company if you aren’t going into debt and you are getting good experience.

Personal Experience: You may have to start with any job, even one outside your field. I needed to get a $4K loan to get my first certifications. In 1999, I needed to make $9 and hour in order to get a 4K loan to get some computer training and a computer certification. I got a job as a grunt on a crew that framed houses even though I wanted to be either in IT or in Software Development. I got up to $9 an hour framing houses, got the loan, and took a 12 week course evening course for a certification called an MCSE. I came out of the course with only one of the five exams past: a single certification, which started me out as an MCP. With that one certification, I got a job making $14.42 an hour at a company called Convergys that pays tuition reimbursement.

Step 5 – Take two classes a semester while working

Working full-time is tough. Going to school full-time while working full-time is even tougher. I recommend part-time. Let your career and your degree grow together.  Create a spreadsheet of every class you need to graduate.

Important Personal Experience! Get accepted for your major. Get commitment from the college about graduation requirements. Too many people fail to take time to get accepted in their major and then the requirements change and they feel like they have to additional requirements. Usually, if you get accepted and work with a counselor, you can graduate without taking extra credit hours because of a change in curriculum.

Personal Experience: Your company may have limits to education reimbursement. Mine did. I could only reimburse $3500 a year, so I could only take about 15-18 credits a year. I found this was beneficial anyway. I took two calls in fall, two class in the winter, and one in the spring/summer. Night classes catered to working adults. They seemed easier because I already had knowledge from work. I was able to get work credit. Sometimes when taking a class in my field, I was able to do projects for my classes that coincided with work projects. It took me six years to get my degree but when it was done, I was completely out of debt and had years of work experience behind me so I wasn’t ever just a new college grad. I graduated at age 27. I started work and college at age 21 because I spent two years on a religious mission to the Dominican Republic from age 19-21. (Oh yeah, I speak fluent spanish. My proof of experience, living two years in the Dominican Republic.)


If you start this process when turn eighteen, you will have a college degree and, assuming it took you the first year or two to get in your field, four or five years of experience.

Look at this comparison chart:

4 years of college 2 years Job 6 years working and Degree
Education Debt $80k to $150K $0-$5k
Montly debt payment $400 to $1500 $0-$50
Years to pay off 10 to 20 (already two years in) 1 year
Experience/Salary level 1-2 years 4-6 years
Degree Yes Yes
Certifications No (but they could) Yes
Partying time at school Plenty A little

I think you can see why UnCollege exists. However, I think the focus should neither be “College” or “UnCollege” the focus should be to get Proof of Education without going into debt.

I just broke 1000 points on StackOverflow

Ok, this may be a total geek thing to celebrate, but I just broke over 1000 reputation points on Stack Overflow.

I thought I would celebrate by sharing this geekiness of mine with everyone.

Can a mother somehow either influence the DNA or influence changes in addition to the DNA of their offspring?

So when my son Aiden was in my wife’s womb, my wife had a growth on her ear. It may have been a fungus, I don’t know, but it was just a little bump. Well, Aiden was born and wouldn’t you know he has a skin tag in the exact same spot.

Shout coincidence all you want, coincidence just doesn’t cut it for me. Somehow, this change in my wife was passed down to my son. I can’t prove it, but how likely is it that my wife had a growth in the exact same place on the exact same ear as my son’s ear tag? If I apply Occam’s Razor, I have to be honest, it is more likely that the fetus took after the mother than it was two random natural occurrences happened in the exact same place on the exact same ear.

Could the theory of slow evolution over time be slightly off. Maybe it still takes generations, but it is way faster than previously believed. If my son was able to make this small evolution, based on the mother, perhaps other changes that occur in the mother are passed down to their children.

So what is my theory? My theory is that a mother can somehow either influence the DNA or influence changes in addition to the DNA of their offspring.

If this theory is true, think about how the scientific view of evolution would change?

Of course, I am just a software developer, what do I know? Maybe it was just some random fluke.

Hello, Caradigm! Goodbye, LANDesk!

Friday was my last day as an employee at LANDesk. After more than seven years, it was emotionally painful to leave. I have lots of friends and co-workers who I trust and respect that I’ll likely see once a year if ever again.

While on one side change can be sad, on the other it can be extremely exciting!

I have accepted a new position as a Lead Software Developer and start one week from today. My new company will be called Caradigm. GE Healthcare and Microsoft are coming together to form this company and each will own 50% of it. Click the image below to read more about it.


This is going to be a fun time working for a new IT healthcare solution.

I’m starting a Masters in Computer Science with an Android and a Computer Security course

Utah State Online Masters of Computer ScienceFor those who don’t know already, I am preparing to start a Masters in Computer science. Yes, it is crazy…I am an now a USU aggie.

I can take four classes before I have to be officially accepted, and my first two classes are Android Development and Computer Security.  Both are great classes.

I don’t get to use MonoDroid from my Android class, so yes, I will be writing code in Java using Eclipse (gasp!).  By the way, I already know Java and I have used Eclipse plenty, even though I work in C#, every class in school I have taken had me code in Java and I have coded for Salesforce, which uses Eclipse and is Java-like.

My security class is to be written in C++ on an open source platform, so I will be putting my computer back into dual-boot with PC-BSD.  I may try MonoDevelop’s IDE for my C++ tasks or maybe KDevelop, or I may just go command line.

So expect a few java/Android posts and some C++ posts that are related to security.  However, I still work in C# and I still like BSD, so expect those posts too.

Three days without internet access

So this weekend my wife’s side of the family took a trip to Bear Lake, where we stayed at “a cabin” (a 6000+ square foot home near the lake). It is tough to ask for a better place to reside while on a trip to a lake. It is only a quarter-mile from the dock, so getting on and off the water is easy to do and possible to do multiple times a day.

However in the later hours of the night as I sat and relaxed my sore shoulders (from wake-boarding and yes I can wake board, do 180’s and cross the wake…maybe a little jump…OK, I barely get air if I am lucky going over the wake but it is fun). Anyway, I desperately missed having the one thing that I have been seldom without since 1999: The Internet.

That is right…there was no internet.  Sure, this is partly my fault as I don’t have an internet capable phone yet (normally I have wi-fi everywhere I go so I haven’t had the need yet).

However, life before the internet was possible so it had to be possible now right! Sure it is. I might be lame but I wanted to brush up on a few C# topics while I relaxed in just before bed. I did have a C# book.  Sure it is a PDF book but it was actually on my computer, not on the internet so I pulled the chapters and read them.  It wasn’t quite the same as seeing a dozen Google links to different blogs explaining the concepts in different ways, but it was still worth-while.

I did have a few hundred email to go through when I got back…I will probably be contacting my internet provider about the option to have an Air card.

Overall, the trip was quite enjoyable and as you can tell from this post…I am back in front of the internet.