Tuesday, September 23, 2014

100 year glasses

My parents crack me up. Anytime there's an argument, or concern about something they like to use the phrase
Don't worry about it if it won't matter in 100 years

I always kinda brushed it off, and found it was useful to tell to others who were upset but not for yourself.

I was thinking about it just now and realized what if we started looking at things with 100 year glasses.

What would change, what things would matter?

I agree with Elon Musk (and I'm sure plenty of others) that becoming a multiplanetary race is a good thing.

I agree reducing our reliance on oil is a good thing (however I feel that reducing our need on energy in general is a good idea).

I agree finding a way to diagnose and resolve health issues without the need of doctors from your own home is necessary.

If resolving transportation issues is a need we as a people can and should solve it.

We should focus on furthering the human race more than helping a company making 100 billion dollars.

How can we still maintain a level of our fellow man while automating the unnecessary things? (some kind of robot to cook healthy meals for us in our own home)

If we can imagine it, and focus on it. We can build it.

Not everything should come at a cost.

What can you imagine we need built 100 years in the future with the will of our people?

Automated Email Form Part 1

I'm kinda going to do this backwards, so hang with me a bit. First I'll talk about what my problem was that Zapier solved, and then show off the code that was in use.

So I have this nifty thing on my website (onaclovtech.com) that asks people to put in their email address. It then stores to Firebase. This is great except for one slight problem. I have to go check periodically if anyone added their email address.

If you actually do this it works well, however I don't always remember to (I really wasn't actually expecting any emails added for a while). Sorry to the 3 people who I discovered in fact DID use my form.

Ok, so I rambled for a bit, but really what I wanted to tell you was a way to solve your problem. Introducing Zapier. Zapier takes tasks and connects them together (very similar to IFTTT if you've ever played with it). I setup a Zap (what it's called when you connect two things together) to check when new child is added to an object in Firebase.

When a new child is added it emails me with the contacts email, and "new email submitted" in the subject line. This helps me keep on top of "new" visitors that want to chat.

 Head on over to Zapier if you're interested in automating this kind of stuff.
I made a template if you use it you'll get some extra tasks I believe.
 Heres the link: http://zpr.io/G6ri

 NOTE: By signing up with Zapier through one of my links I'll get some bonus tasks (A. La. Dropbox style), if you do sign up and want to see whatever other ones are around check this link out: https://zapier.com/rewards/ You've been warned :)

Stay tuned for part two!

UPDATE: Part 2 is Live here --> Automated Email Form Part 2

Monday, September 22, 2014

Question Everything

Always ask why. Don't take "this is the way we've always done it" as the answer.

Take charge of your destiny. If something doesn't make sense. Don't just ask why, question everything about it.

Right now I'm working on the side trying to simplify our build process.

"Why do we need these buttons" ... "because we need to make all these variations of selections"
(After looking a little closer, the variations we selected happened pretty consistently, so guess what? a few checkboxes replace a bunch of radio buttons and other selections).

"Why do we let them select this data" .... "Because they might want to select something else"
(rarely if ever has anyone ever selected anything else)

Keeping on doing the same things because that's the way we've always done them, doesn't make your job easier, it makes it harder. We're software engineers it's in our blood to make complicated things simple and simple things complicated.

Good luck and godspeed!