Is an Online Presence Mandatory? Part 3: Societal Consequences

Posted on Nov 3, 2016 in Nerdery | No Comments

Since writing about varying opinions on social media and ownership of online content, I’ve been musing about ‘online presence’ as a concept in general. Last night I mentioned to a friend that in 10 years (or less), it’s very likely that some of the basic web development skills we teach at The Iron Yard to help people launch careers in software development will be either an expectation for most knowledge workers’ jobs, automated in some way, or, more likely, a combination of both.

This topic is a complex one without singular answers, but I thought I’d share a few thoughts that have been rolling around in my mind as of late. You can see a list of the posts in the series on this page. Here’s Part 3:

Societal consequences

In the first two posts of this series, I discussed the social and professional consequences of not having an online presence. Beyond our personal and work lives, though, many signs point to an online presence being a part of the way people function in modern society.

This topic is way above my pay grade, so I’ll lean heavily on people who have carefully studied the impact of technology on society.

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Is an Online Presence Mandatory? Part 2: Professional Consequences

Posted on Oct 27, 2016 in Nerdery, Work | No Comments

Since writing about varying opinions on social media and ownership of online content, I’ve been musing about ‘online presence’ as a concept in general. Last night I mentioned to a friend that in 10 years (or less), it’s very likely that some of the basic web development skills we teach at The Iron Yard to help people launch careers in software development will be either an expectation for most knowledge workers’ jobs, automated in some way, or, more likely, a combination of both.

This topic is a complex one without singular answers, but I thought I’d share a few thoughts that have been rolling around in my mind as of late.You can find links to all of the posts in the series on this page. Here’s Part 2:

Professional consequences

Take a moment and think about this question: is it possible to be a successful professional in today’s world without an online presence?

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Is an Online Presence Mandatory? Part 1: Social Consequences

Posted on Oct 20, 2016 in Life, Nerdery | No Comments

Since writing about varying opinions on social media and ownership of online content, I’ve been musing about ‘online presence’ as a concept in general. Last night I mentioned to a friend that in 10 years (or less), it’s very likely that some of the basic web development skills we teach at The Iron Yard to help people launch careers in software development will be either an expectation for most knowledge workers’ jobs, automated in some way, or, more likely, a combination of both.

This topic is a complex one without singular answers, but I thought I’d share a few thoughts that have been rolling around in my mind as of late. You can find links to all of the posts in the series on this page. Here’s Part 1:

Social consequences

I’ve written before that “the interesting characteristic of many of our [online] tools…is that there are very real social (and sometimes business) consequences for people who don’t engage in them.”

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A Good Reminder that Startups Fail (and Thoughts on Infrastructure)

Posted on Sep 30, 2016 in Work | No Comments

During a stage of significant growth at The Iron Yard, several executives had a conversation about how to quell what had become the insanity of our heavy travel and meeting schedules. The CEO asked me to test out a virtual assistant that could spend a few hours a week booking transportation and wrangling calendars. After a bit of research, I decided to try a service called Zirtual.

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The Difficulty of Technology as a Cure-all

Posted on Sep 22, 2016 in Nerdery | No Comments

The world I live in is steeped in technology. I don’t consider myself a true early adopter, but even still, in the last few months I’ve used modern technology to diagnose an issue with my car, find a mountain biking trail, have clothing sent to my home, exchange money, navigate to new destinations and more—much of which happened on a computer the size of a wallet. The latest version of Apples mobile operating system comes standard with a tool to control smart homes.

Because these modern tools have become standard operating procedure in my life, it can be easy to fall into the mindset that technology is the ultimate problem-solver. If there’s friction, surely some smart software or combination of software and hardware can smooth things out, right?

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Maciej Cegłowski on the Danger of Data

Posted on Sep 13, 2016 in Nerdery | No Comments

I wrote recently about thoughts that have been swirling in my head about data and privacy in the world we live in today. Being back in the swing of things full time at work, I’ve been reminded more than ever that, in many ways, data is power.

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Quick Takes: More Productivity Snake Oil

Posted on Sep 8, 2016 in Productivity, Quick Takes | No Comments

Yesterday I Tweeted about my blog post on what productivity snake-oil looks like. One of my good friends pointed me towards a great interview with a very successful blogger (Maria Popova of Brain Pickings), by a very successful personality (Tim Ferris).

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Productivity Hacking: What Snake-oil Looks Like

This is the sixteenth post in a series on productivity. This article adds to content from a workshop I led at The Makers Summit.


I took a few minutes this week to cull through a backlog of blog post ideas and found a few screenshots of what I call ‘productivity snake-oil.’

I’ve written at length about the fact that finding new productivity to use is counter to productivity, but recognizing snake-oil ‘in the wild’ is helpful because, well, companies are spending lots of money to convince you their product is a balm for your to-do-list pains.

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A Few Photos of Clouds

Posted on Aug 30, 2016 in Photos | No Comments

It’s been quite a while since I picked up my camera. I used to be an avid photographer, but the backlog of photos to process became so oppressive that I lost motivation to shoot when faced with the idea of adding more to the pile. Leading up to a recent addition to our family, though, I spent a few months chipping away at thousands and thousands of photos, knowing that there was a huge amount of pending demand from mothers-in-law for cute baby pictures.

It’s been fun to take pictures again. Just the other night I went out onto our porch and the clouds were a stunning contrast of color. I grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots, then tinkered around with a few different edits in Lightroom (a program I’m still learning). If, for some reason, you’d like the full-res versions (for a desktop background, etc.), you can download the full-res photos in a .zip file.

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Personal Update: I’m a Dad

Posted on Aug 30, 2016 in Life | No Comments

I don’t often post personal life updates, but I thought that producing offspring was a noteworthy event.

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