Interesting Job Advertisement

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A recent job opening advert (from Aardvark, for a Front-End Web Developers) goes:

Required Skills: * Fluency in HTML and CSS * Experience taking mockups and turning them into standards-compliant HTML/CSS * Expertise in achieving cross-browser compatibility in IE, Firefox, and Safari * Experience in implementing grid-based layouts in HTML/CSS * Experience in an agile development environment

Pluses: * Interest in user experience design and graphic design * Experience in Javascript and Ruby on Rails * History of side projects and interest in social media, browsers, and mobile web * Obsession with new technologies and open source tools * Experimental, user focused, and iterative * Previous startup experience

I felt the Pluses section was very interesting, specially (you kinda see the others on Rails related job boards anyway): * History of side projects and interest in social media, browsers, and mobile web * Obsession with new technologies and open source tools

Shows how today’s start-ups value people who are really interested in what they do (and not just in for the money). An encouraging view of the world indeed – now I just have to get on it and get those much needed Plusses into my skills bag :)

Note to my employers, friends, well wishers and anyone else interested: This does not mean I am looking for a job! I love the job I have right now and am just happy to see the importance of “passion” in the world’s view of an ideal employee increasing!

Rails Guides on My Kindle DX!!! (or Any Webpage for That Matter)

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I got a Amazon Kindle DX for a birthday gift! Thanks Ujwala!

And so far I am loving it. It’s better to read on compared to Kindle 1 (which, BTW, Ujwala had gifted to me last year) – and the native PDF support (and the search-anywhere) is awesome! The experimental browser that comes with the DX is much much improved compared to Kindle 1st Gen.

So I was reading more about Rails Routing in the rails-guides. And while I was in the bus today morning I wanted to read that on the Kindle (coz it is a pleasure to read on it). So I fired up the guides page on the experimental browser – it works, but reading a PDF or a Kindle-formatted book is so much better.

So I got this simple idea. Print the web page as a PDF and e-mail it to your Kindle. Here’s what I did:

  1. Go to the site
  2. Print – (PDF format “saved to file” instead of sending it to a printer). I was on Linux – Mac also has the “Print to PDF/PS support by default, for Windows you’ll need to get CutePDF installed)
  3. e-mail it to your Kindle address (I also uploaded it to my dropbox – so I can get it later on) and you are done!

(BTW, dropbox is an amazing thing – if you use multiple computers/OS, you have to try this thing. If you are going to try it out (for free), help me out – use my Dropbox referral link)

So there you go – another easy way to get web-content for free on your Kindle. Go on enjoy the book now.


#songsincode (Twitter Geek Fun)

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This blog is about twitter hastags. To learn more about twitter hashtags, go here.

So #songsincode has been ruling the twitter trends for a day now. Didn’t follow it? No worries – here’s a recent blog with some good (early) ones.

Basically, it was the most fun I have had reading hashtags. Today, after lunch I took a plunge too :)

Original tweet here:

(you.breath + you.move).each { i.missing(you) }

Original tweet here:

while ( time(you.reverse) < = 1.minute )
  i = you.steps_behind(2)

Oh don’t tell me I was so bad you could not even guess the songs (Every Breath You Take and Two Steps Behind).

Guarded Logging in Ruby?

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Assuming you know about “guarded logging”, a Java logging best practise. If not, get an overview in this IBM article or in this blog.

Basically it is the practice of checking if a particular log message will indeed be outputted to the log (based on the severity level) before calling the log statement. This is a performance improvement. Here’s a Java example:

So I heard from one of my colleagues that Ruby’s logging performance can also be improved the same way, by putting the message in a block (instead of just passing it as an string arg to the method):

See various ways to log a message at the ruby-docs (search for “How to log a message” in that page). I looked into the source-code and, just like in Java, the first thing that is done is to check the severity and return (true) if the severity is higher than the message’s. So like in Java, it should not have any effect (except creating the strings etc.).

Just to test it out, I wrote a benchmark test:

Here’s what I noticed:

Final takeaway: it really does not make that big a difference and keeping it simple (with a string-arg) should work. If you are worried about performance, this probably is not a trick that will give you a big bang for the buck.

Photos: Hamilton Viewpoint Park and Alki Beach, West Seattle

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On a photo uploading spree today.

The first album consists photos from Hamilton Park and Alki Beach, a beautiful area in West Seattle. Because of it’s location, you get great views of Seattle and the Harbor from here, specially great in the evening.

Hamilton Viewpoint Park: See details here and the Seattle gov parks page.

The full album (only 26 pics – easy to click through and to add comments too) is on my smugmug site:

Here are a few excerpts:* [![macbook][4]][4] * [![Seattle downtown basking in the evening glory][5]][5] * [![Downtown Seattle Closeup][6]][6] * [![Pinkish sunset over Mt Rainier][7]][7] * [![a couple getting married][8]][8] * [![A state ferry with the Space Needle and Cascade mountains in the backdrop][9]][9] * [![another shot with the mountains and the needle][10]][10] * [![On the way to Death Valley][11]][11] * [![On the way to Death Valley][12]][12] * [![Badwater Basin][13]][13] * [![Bad Water Basin][14]][14] * [![Red Rock Canyon][15]][15] * [![Vegas Strip][16]][16] * [![Fabulous Las Vegas][17]][17] * [![Fabulous Las Vegas][18]][18] * [![Around US][19]][19] * [![Red Rock Canyon][20]][20] * [![Red Rock Canyon][21]][21] * [![Red Rock Canyon][22]][22] * [![ARCL Summer 2008 3rd Place Trophy (Eagles)][23]][23] * [![Arnab Deka][24]][24] * [![Arnab][25]][25]