Thoughts on two months of pairing

Previous to joining Pivotal Labs, I didn’t do a whole lot of pair programming.

Hoo boy.

It’s been a little over two months since I started, and the number of hours I’ve spent solo programming since then would all fit in one workday. I’ve had some surprising realizations – about myself, my style, and my […]

SCALE 8x Slides Posted

Yesterday I did a talk at SCALE 8x called “Moving the Needle: How SF Ruby Got to 18%.” Broadly, the topic was how to get more women into a technical community. I talked about how, specifically, we took the SF Ruby monthly meetups from 2% women to 18% women over the past year.

Short version: […]

LARubyConf Slides Posted

Just finished my LA Ruby Conf talk on teaching Ruby to kids. Here are a few further resources:


The First 2010 Ruby Outreach Workshop


…is now open for registration. Last year Sarah Allen and I did three workshops for women and this year we’re going for four. So, if you’d like to learn Rails and can come BOTH Friday, February 26th in the evening AND Saturday, February 27th during the day, go sign up! There are […]

New job

I haven’t had time to finish part 2 of the SQL vs. Relational Model cage match. Instead, I’ve been working on convincing the guys at Pivotal Labs to hire me, and it seems to have finally worked! I start February 1st.

I can’t even tell you how thrilled I am. I try to choose […]

Cage match: SQL vs the Relational Model (part 1)

The relational model underlies all modern relational databases, and it is a thing of beauty.

It defines relations (tables), attributes (columns), tuples (rows), and a whole relational algebra that spells out in detail what you can and cannot do to them. It is logically consistent, and in an odd way almost fractal in the way […]

Travails with readline

Applies to: Ruby 1.8.7, compiled from source, on OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

I’ve been working on a side project that deals with Japanese text in Ruby. I installed rtranslate, a gem that gives me programmatic access to Google Translate. I wanted to try it out in irb.

>> require ‘rtranslate’ => true

So far […]


In 2009, over 200 women and girls (and some men!) learned to program in Ruby at my workshops in San Francisco. We’re planning another outreach workshop in the new year, a few weeks after She’s Geeky. Stay tuned for details.

In 2009, I co-founded a nonprofit, and lost my corporate job.

In 2009, my […]

Is Agile Too Slow?

You’re Asking The Wrong Question.

I’m in Hawaii for the Aloha on Rails conference. The last session on Monday was a panel moderated by l4rk that included Obie Fernandez, Pat Maddox, Blake Mizerany, and Tammer Saleh. The topic: “Is Agile Too Slow?”

Ostensibly we were there to talk about whether there were any circumstances under […]

It’s official…

…I’m looking for a new job.

I’d love to find a job where I could write complex, interesting Ruby and/or Rails code four days a week, and work on growing the Ruby community (via the RailsBridge workshops, hackfests, and other new stuff!) one day a week.

I and the rest of the organizers of […]