Pencils Down

This weblog is about my experiences in software development

Gave a presentation at local Marketing Technology meetup. on Using R for Marketing Research.  Powerpoint is .


  • Yes, statistics can be painful, but R does all the statistics for you
  • Given your sales data and R you can:
    • Analyze Ad Campaign Effectiveness
    • Sales Impact Drivers
    • Determine Optimal Pricing
    • Forecast Sales

Running a search for html elements based on id, where there may be multiples, does not work:

$('#condition').each(function() {...}

However, if you can apply a specific class to each of those elements you can query the elements based on class, such as:

$('.condition').each(function() {...}

Not sure why.  I have found most of jquery to be pretty solid.  Hopefully it’s not some philosophical programming religion that sneaked in.

R for Data Science

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Self Promotion – First book just published from Packt Publishing,

I would highly recommend the process for other potential writers out there. The staff at Packt was really helpful at all stages of the process.

is an open software tool for performing data analysis.  It provides a clean, simple syntax for executing statistical analysis and resultant graphics.

How Google Works

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by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg

I had expected just a bunch of stories about working at Google or maybe even some technical details.

Instead it is chock full of advice, rules of thumb, you name it – that should help out in any modern company. Everything is backed up by rule x worked well at company y when we did z. And, we came up with rule x because a, b, and c were messing things up.

Might even be a permanent bookcase item.

I ran across this ‘error’ this week. After poking around the internet for awhile it looked like this is due to a bug in an older version of the SAX parser in the xerces library.

Well, we have quite a bit of code in production, so can’t just update the jar.

My original code was simply using the class loader to read in an xsd and use the Source of the xsd for a Schema that would be used to validate some xml entered by the user.

I toyed with this some and thought the exception sounded like it thought there was extra cruff after the closing tag of the xsd. So, I read in the xsd to a byte array, as before. I kept track of the byte count of read bytes, looped over the byte array (for that count), added each byte to a StringBuffer then converted the StringBuffer to a String. Voila!

Experience: 5+ years
Must have: Core Java, J2EE, Spring, Hibernate, Web Services

I run a and am on the simple healthy dressing recipe and the mailing list for quite a few contractor type roles. I am guessing close to half of salads using quinoa and of the healthy salad dressings to make and the listings look like the super healthy salad dressing and the above ‘requirements’.

I have even called a few agents asking if there really aren’t more requirements for the salad dressing low calorie and the position. They have acted confused, as if they had no idea what I was talking about.

As opposed to the healthy dressing for salad and the more typical job description with:
– contract or full time?
– contract length, w2 or not, …
– what industry?
– what kind of how do you make quinoa salad and of company?
– tools and methodologies in use
– list of salad recipes quinoa and of mandatory skills
– list of easy quinoa recipes salad and of optional skills
– list of quinoa cold salad and of would be nice “if you have developed an xyzzy before”

I can tell these jobs are not being filled as the quinos salad and the same job offering comes through on feed after feed, week after week.

Who can afford to have these agents working that don’t produce? Maybe they don’t get paid unless they do produce. Then who is paying their bills?

Sparse response:

3 Yes,

2 Will be

1 No

Only asked as this is the ginger tea for colds and the first place I have worked in many years that does not have JUnit as part of lemon & honey tea and of the honey ginger lemon tea and the build process. -tea/

ginger for colds

Wow! This statement is in the introductory section of an online python training manual.

1 – don’t use a debugger, huh?
2 – use print statements, kind of ok
3 – write in small increments, yes

Nothing about using some kind of testing for your development. Why not push new users into some kind of test driven development and/or agile path?

I thought I would pass this along:

I have several stacks of large PDF printouts at hand. Severalare complete books that are freely available over the internet, as long as you print just 1 for you. Using various size clips is ok, but not really conducive to following along online.

OfficeMax (and probably all the office supply places) will wirebound these documents for you at $4.95 each. It just takes a few minutes. Great deal!

You now have a programming manual that will lie flat on your desk.

I had tried going even further and have them print it as well, but anything with a copyright is verboten.

I know many of these are pretty good. I have taken several.

I have also seen, on average once a week, a craigslist ad like “Solve this Java problem for me $30″. Following the link provided the person usually doesn’t even bother taking down the heading for the course in the problem statement nor the code start.

So, this takes a little work to put the ad up and describe it in a reasonable way so someone would look at the ad.

Why not do the actual work on solve the problem?

Most of these I have seen are fairly small tasks that could be solved by RTFM or the teacher’s notes or paying attention or …

What possible advantage does someone get by paying to have a minor programming task done by someone else? Seems like just burying yourself deeper in a hole.

Most annoyed in that I take some pride in the classes I have taken online and that value is besmirched by some confused individuals.