Personal sized Projects

Rails Project

For the rails assessment I built a simple project logging CMS. This is a tool for crafty people who have various types of projects to catalog. Users can select the materials involved in a project or add one if it’s not already listed.

I thought it needed an image uploader and decided on CarrierWave with most of its functionality disabled. I opted for CarrierWave over PaperClip because the documentation was thorough and be could scaled up.

I added Google sign in for the Omniauth requirement, which gave me a few headaches along the way. Google recently changed the design of their developer console, so it took me longer than it should have to find where to add the redirect uri. Once I got that added, Google OAuth2 threw a Faraday SSL error. Luckily, this is a well documented error  and I found a fix (I ended up disabling certificate verification for localhost).

Here is a clickthrough:

I would have liked to add a materials catalogue or projects comments to it but I’ve already spent a lot of time on rails. Although it’s been fun, I’m anxious to start the next section to continue on the full stack track. Over and out. 

Kombucha fabric experiment: day 19

kombucha fabricI checked in on the kombucha growth today. It’s like opening a slimy present.

It’s at about 1/4″ inch thickness now. I want to get it to about 1/2″ before I hose off and dry it.

The insides of the tubs are covered in condensation. I guess I should drill more holes or cover them with cloth instead to let them breathe.

The new SCOBY is growing around the original, circular one. I’m not sure I like or dislike this yet and I’m not sure how to avoid it. Add more tea to the brew??

SCOBY close-up

We’ve had a few hot stretches of 90°+ days so far this summer but last week was rainy and cool and probably slowed down the brew. I’ll dump in more sweet tea and stick them outside to bake in the next heat wave.

ACT-W Portland

Back in May, I attended the ACT-W conference. It stands for a Conference to Advance the Careers of Tech Women, which “supports, empowers, and educates women in technology while creating a sense of belonging and community.” True to its mission, ACT-W is by far the most inclusive conference I’ve attended.

It’s no secret that gender bias exist in the tech industry. There has been a host of media attention paid to the topic within the last few years. I can relate my own anecdotal experience where I was compensated less for the same role, put on “busy” type work, and been the recipient of offhand comments like, “you don’t look like a developer”. Combined, over time this type of treatment slowly wears spirits down. It’s easy to see why many women abandon the field.

That’s why ACT-W is so important, particularly here in Portland where it’s supposedly the worst place in the US for women in tech. Meeting other women in the industry and hearing their experiences inspires me to keep at it. If nothing else it was nice being around others that can relate to the problems with the so called brogrammer work culture (ugh, just that typing that word makes me cringe). I’ve attended twice and come back from it feeling renewed and hopeful both times.

The highlight for me this year was an Arduino LED lantern workshop. We soldered RGB LED lights to an Adafruit trinket board and customized the bulb display through a bit of Arduino code. It was my first time working with a soldering iron and was a little nervous about screwing up. Turns out I had nothing to worry about. It was a nice change of pace to make something for the physical world versus a web application.

Here’s my light cycle in action:

If you’re a woman in tech or considering a STEM career, check out ACT-W in your city. You won’t regret it.