Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

Seattle Public Library – Tu Negocio

I have had the pleasure of working with the Seattle Public Library in previous events like Startup Weekend EDU to promote entrepreneurship in the community, but this was the first time I was speaking in spanish to the community. It was very interesting to see how the community has adopted social media with great success to their advantage but lacked an actual presence online since building a website was considered to be “technically challenging”. We talked about ways to prove a market need before spending too much time or capital and some quick tools to make their life simpler. I very much enjoyed this event and hope to participate in future ones.

My experience at Seattle CodeCamp 2015

Last week I had the chance to speak at the Seattle CodeCamp 2015. It truly gets better each year; the quality of speakers and the support from the community. For those interested, I gave two talks, one I had done previously and a new one.

Talk 1: Introduction to Jenkins

Honestly, the first talk had a rocky start, my fault for not noticing that my demo laptop had HDMI instead of VGA. After that we were able to dig into Continuous Integration  and how Jenkins plays a key role on distributed development teams. The key takeaway for the group was to use nodes (slaves) to distribute workloads and also to be able to test in different operating systems/browsers, etc.

Talk 2: Slack for mere mortals

This was the first time I talked about Slack and my personal experience within small and large groups. Being in the DevOps track the bulk of the questions and examples were geared towards ChatOps and the concept of bringing work to the conversations you are already having.

I am very impressed by the organizing team and the large number of volunteers, they totally made this event seamless for speakers and attendees. Thanks.

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Introduction to jenkins for the .net developer at @netda

Today I had a chance to share with a group of .NET developers some of the features of Jenkins and how continuous integration fits in today’s software development world. We talked about some of the options on source control, plugins, workflow, jobs and master/slave node architecture. Here are the slides for those interested.

Hope those who attended @netda enjoyed it. Feel free to share with me your experiences with Jenkins.

Neat tool to visualize your site’s attention hot-spots and visual clarity

I recently ran into EyeQuant a neat tool to visualize how cluttered a website is. Here is an example of the attention map with my own blog:

Attention Map

Attention Map


In addition to attention maps you can visualize how you scale in terms of clarity.


Visual Clarity

Visual Clarity


I had previously seen a post (somewhere) that detailed how the same analysis could be applied to resumes and other important documents. It is a little sad to see how even after this concept has been drilled into most of our minds, cluttered design and ad-ridden websites are so prevalent.

A blank canvas for your browser… and another nifty hack

Sometimes it’s the little things that make us productive (i.e. new browser tabs). I use many browsers and get teased regularly for having a hundred tabs open and hogging the memory of my pc, but amid all those tabs, and God forbid plugins you installed in your browser, there is a disconnect between the new tab page for each. You could call it visual clutter and disuniformity… or you could call it boring, whatever floats your boat.

If you use Chrome you will probably see something like this (FYI I had a theme installed at the time of the screenshot so yours might look “cloudy”) :

Chrome New Tab

Chrome New Tab

It has the small icons for recently visited pages and another search bar.

If you use Firefox you might get something like this:

Firefox New Tab

Firefox New Tab

It just has the recently visited pages but those icons are huge.

If you want something more productive and simple I recommend this little hack; paste this into your address bar and press enter:

data:text/html, <html contenteditable>

Peaceful isn’t it?

Did you notice it? Or were you just angrily looking at a white screen? Well if you clicked on the screen and started typing you would see that this white space is now editable! What this means is that this whole screen is now a fully equipped HTML notepad for you to write on.

This means you can copy and paste text and it will retain it’s hyperlinks and formatting; so maybe we can call this the poorman’s HTML editor too as all you have to do is then save the page and you have an actual HTML page you can host.

Advanced Tip:
If you want to take it to the next level, you can make this hack your default “New Tab” behavior. Follow this article to add an extension to Chrome or Firefox (sorry IE Users) and make this your new setting.

Have Fun 🙂

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A year of Blogging 2013 Review

Crunchy numbers

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,700 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

In 2013, there were 27 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 85 posts. There were 10pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 4 MB. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was March 20th with 109 views. The most popular post that day was iPhone/iPad Simulator for Visual Studio at NashDotNet.

How did they find you?

Some visitors came searching, mostly for visual studio 2012 iphone simulator, abe diaz, and visual studio 2012 iphone emulator.

Where did they come from?

Most visitors came from The United States. The United Kingdom & India were not far behind.

Who were they?

Your most commented on post in 2013 was This is one way to never miss a sale – AT&T Developer Program Blogs

See you in 2014

Thanks to WordPress for the stats!

Please LinkedIn give this little app some love.

CardMunch from LinkedIn


I recently saw an article in Lifehacker about clever ways to use your phone’s camera. I saw it mentioned CamCard and while this is a good app I really like CardMunch much better. I like that I can snap a picture and throw away the paper. I love that i can send an invitation to connect via LinkedIn from the app too.

Now, what I don’t like is how it feels like LinkedIn has abandoned this little app to the ether. I’m officially begging for some updates like:

  • Saving the pictures to a local folder in the camera roll automatically.
  • Emailing the info and pictures to yourself or others.
  • Emailing the info as a vcf.
  • Decreasing the amount of time it takes to submit and recognize a card. (This has been a sore point for me).
  • Better management and searchability of Notes.
  • Etc…

These and many other reasons made me write this and unofficially reach out to LinkedIn for some feedback.

What other apps do you all use for Business Card Management and Networking? Leave a comment.

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A Year of #Travel Visualized

This is the only reason I link my TripIt account to all my travel reservations. The ability to go back and use that data in any way, shape or form I want is very freeing. I remembered last year seeing this visualization and decided to spend a full year logging all flights and hotels inside of TripIt. This is the outcome of that journey:

2013's Travel Summary

2013’s Travel Summary

I wish it was in miles but this is all I got for now. As you can see I got that that SEA-ATL flight down to a science.

Distance flown by air segment

Distance flown by air segment

If it wasn’t for this chart I would have forgotten I stepped in Denver and Dallas this year too.

Number of air segments by airport

Number of air segments by airport

I think you can easily tell which frequent flyer program i like the most 🙂 I wish I would have made it to Platinum at Delta but I guess it wasn’t meant to be this year. I do have to give props to the people manning the social accounts for @delta and @DeltaAssist they have responded to my tweets very quickly and helped me book alternate flights when needed.

Airlines I travelled on

Airlines I travelled on

Well that’s it for now, see you all Up in the Air next year 😉

PS: Build your very own chart like this thanks to @gem_ray at

A flood of love, grief and crowdfunding

On December 4, 2013 life tragically changed for Caran Johnson commonly known as @scancouver by her followers. She had the unfortunate experience to live tweet her husband’s death on a car accident. I won’t go into detail as the media has already done that (and more) but what I made me pull the trigger on this post was what happened independently behind the scenes.

As many rushed to twitter to post horrible comments on the topic others started, shared and funded a campaign to fund the funeral arrangements of Caran’s husband in HOURS. No, it didn’t go viral, heck it was almost buried along the other tweets but still over 400 supporters participated. The goal was reached in hours and in fact it was over funded which was nice to see. This truly speaks to the power of community and the tribe leaders out there. 

Some Background info into the campaign: With sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo charging close to 5% in fees I was pleasantly surprised to hear of a $0 fee website for this type of campaigns. YouCaring was the place where the actual campaign (seen here) was hosted. I assume taxes still apply but the money should certainly help this family. Props to Marissa for spearheading this and my feelings go out to the Johnson family.
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My Woot Off Bag of Crap IFTTT Recipe Keeps Trending Up!

Get an Alert when Woot publishes a Bag of Crap

Get an Alert when Woot publishes a Bag of Crap

I recently wrote an article for the AT&T Developer Program that included a way to get SMS alerts using the AT&T API and the Woot Sale RSS. Using this as inspiration I created an IFTTT Recipe to do the same and share with the world. To my surprise it gained popularity and made it to the trending recipes. Try it out and share it if you can also 😉

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