AJ Dyrbye

Web Developer and Digital Humanist

A few short thoughts on returning from Las Vegas

So my partner and I just returned from a trip to Las Vegas. We spent three nights there in the company of some good friends, ones we don’t get to see very often at all.

This was my first time visiting the city. It both was and wasn’t as I expected, and I’m still processing where the balance of things I enjoyed falls in relation to the things I really didn’t. Continue reading

One Year of Ladies Learning Code

This last January, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and start volunteering with Ladies Learning Code. My first session as a mentor was in February, and I’ve now mentored at five over the last year.

It’s been one of the highlights of my year. I’ve got to know some incredible people in the community, worked with some truly fantastic students, and had the pleasure of watching numerous people reach that lightbulb moment. It’s amazing getting someone past the point of ‘what have I gotten myself into’ and over to feeling confident in their capabilities. Continue reading

An Ode to WordPress

At my current position, I work primarily in Joomla. In fact, I’d never worked in Joomla before this job.

It was a bit of a shock to the system, to put it mildly.

Though I’ve grown to appreciate many things about it as a CMS, such as the module system it uses for adding content, the more familiar I get with it, the more things drive me up the wall. But this post isn’t about Joomla. Continue reading

A Metaphor

One of the constants I’ve found working in a tech field is the regular need to explain tech concepts. It’s often surprising who stumbles on what concepts, and I’ve become sufficiently immersed that it’s become easy to forget what even counts as a genuinely basic concept.

Take hosting a website as an example. I was recently reminded just how arcane the whole system of domains and servers and web files appears to those outside of that realm, as I stumbled through explaining the interrelationships to someone.

At time like these, it’s helpful to have a ready metaphor to put it all into a more familiar context. This one is a few weeks too late, but would have been handy for explaining the whole system of web hosting. It goes like this: Continue reading

November, NaNoWriMo, and something a bit different

The last two years, I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo. For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is an annual challenge to write 50,000 words of fiction over the month of November.

I managed to finish it both years, albeit on the last day and working against a string of days mid-month with zero word counts (annual trips to visit friends out of town, not lack of motivation, I swear). Both times, it was a fantastic experience. I’m proud of it, even if the writing itself is of wildly variable quality. Continue reading

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