Adventures: My First Lead Climb

Posted by on Jan 29, 2015 in Adventures | No Comments

I write primarily about work on this blog, but from time to time I recount fun adventures I’ve had outside the office.

Yesterday I wrote that I’m not really a “resolutions” person when it comes to new years, but I do think intentionally about what I want to accomplish and how I’m going to do it. Over the last few months I’ve mulled over learning a new skill and decided that I wanted to dig deeper into the world of rock climbing, a sport I’ve loved for a long time. Specifically, I’ve set out to learn “trad climbing,” or, “traditional rock climbing”. I won’t go into too much detail, but the short explanation is that traditional climbing requires you to place your own anchors as you climb (as opposed to clipping into existing anchors that have been bolted into the wall).

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Letters to the Company: What We Do and Why

Posted by on Jan 28, 2015 in Work | No Comments

I’ve been writing a whole lot over the last weeks, but most of it has been internal communication at The Iron Yard or personal reflection. I thought I’d start the 2015 blogging season with a letter I wrote to our company earlier this month about what we do and why.


I’m not a huge “resolutions” guy when it comes to New Years, but I’m always for stepping back to look what we’re doing and why. The first Weekly Education Thought of 2015, right after we’ve kicked off a huge number of classes across the country (many taught by new team members), is a great time to do just that.

I could write a tome, but I’m going to keep today’s post brief. Being able to articulate what you are doing and why quickly and simply helps keep the mission in the forefront of the mind.

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Merlin Mann on Company Culture and Why People Quit

Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in Work | No Comments

I’ve always loved this quote by Merlin Mann. He really cuts to the quick of what motivates us:

I want to do real things, to think about real stuff, for real people who need real things done, and I want to feel great about my environment when I do it. Not in a macramé, ‘let’s talk about our feelings’ way, but in a very muscular way of saying, ‘If I am going to spend 10 hours a day here, I need to like you guys a lot, and we need to have a culture that works.’

Money is the reason people say they leave a job, but culture is the reason that money became an issue, a lot of the time. If someone loves their job intensely and feels very keyed in to the culture of their work, they’ll find ways to make the money work a lot of the time, or at least longer than you would think.

—Merlin Mann

There Is No Auto-Pilot

Posted by on Dec 15, 2014 in Work | 2 Comments

Recently I wrote about life not being Ceteris Peribus—the fact that we really can’t control the variables in our lives. Here’s a snippet:

Essentially we believe that if we could make any certain variable (or variables) of our life or job constant, we’d be happier, richer, healthier, fill in the blank.

Ryan Carson, CEO of Treehouse, wrote a really good post that touched on the same theme, specifically in the context of change within a company.

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Why I Unsubscribed from Your Email List

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Nerdery, Work | No Comments

I recently I wrote about unsubscribing from a good friend’s email list and how “I’m too busy” is a cop-out excuse. That kick-started a post about how I consume the internet. I thought it would be interesting to publish the full email I sent to my friend when I responded.

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Why I Love What We Do at The Iron Yard

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Work | No Comments

To help someone accomplish significant change in their life is a true privilege. Seeing graduates from The Iron Yard land jobs and make fresh starts is one of the best parts of what I get to do every day. 

Learning a City: Walking Streets and Talking to Locals

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Adventures, Nerdery, Work | No Comments

Years ago I had the chance to travel in China with a long-time family friend. This gentleman is much older than me (30+ years) and has traveled the world extensively.

The best way to get to know a place is to walk the streets.

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Maine Sea

Posted by on Dec 6, 2014 in Adventures, Photos | No Comments

The second stop on our Northeastern tour found us in Acadia National Park. We stayed on both the Shoodic Peninsula and Mount Desert Island sides of the park and found the Schoodic area to be much quieter and less touristy.

I posted photos of Acadia’s mountains previously, but that was only half the story. Maritime heritage is the true treasure of Maine’s coastline. I recommend steering clear of Bar Harbor and retreating to active fishing towns like Bass Harbor, which we found to be quaint, full of history, and a great way to access offshore islands.

Fun fact: Bass Harbor was once haphazardly named McKinley, after President William McKinley. At the turn of the 20th century, federal officers asked what they should name the village’s newly built post office. Someone in their company told them to “name it after the president, for all we care.” And they did. The town carried the same name until citizens petitioned to have it changed in 1961.

2012-09-04 Vacation - Maine-Acadia - Day 1 08

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Redundant UI: Click Call to Make This Call

Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in Nerdery | No Comments

“Click Call to make this call.” 

I’m not a UI expert, but giving such self-evident instructions to the user seems either unnecessary or a bandaid for poor design. 

 

Maine Mountains

Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in Adventures, Photos | No Comments

The second stop on our Northeastern tour found us in Acadia National Park. We stayed on both the Shoodic Peninsula and Mount Desert Island sides of the park and found the Schoodic area to be much quieter and less touristy.

Fun fact: The highest point in Acadia, Cadillac Mountain, is named for Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, a French explorer. Along with leaving his namesake in Maine, he helped found the city of Detroit in the early 1700s. An automobile manufacturer honored the effort in 1902 by naming their firm “Cadillac” and using de La Mothe’s coat of arms as their logo.

Here are a few photos from the hills.

2012-09-07 Vacation - Maine-Acadia - Day 4 49

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