September 2, 2022
It’s amazing how quickly time can fly when you are having fun.
Almost fifteen years ago I started working at DealNews as a Junior Developer. I was in my mid 20s, less than two years out of Auburn. I even remember it was mid November because I left my previous job on a
Wednesday, went to the Auburn-Georgia Game,
then started at DealNews the following Monday. It was just before Black Friday
even. I still even remember what that first day was like: I didn’t have SVN
access yet and I had to email my code to my boss!
To give you an idea of how long ago this was: when I was hired on at DealNews,
I announced it to my friends on my MySpace page and my LiveJournal blog.
Neither of which exist anymore.
Fifteen years is a long time in tech, where changing jobs rapidly is the
norm and staying in a position for three years can be seen as a serious
commitment to a company. But the only constant in the universe is change. Which
is why it is definitely very bittersweet for me to announce that I will be
leaving DealNews on September 16, 2022.
February 24, 2022
This is just sort of a stream of consciousness, so apologies if it doesn’t make
a lot of sense.
I still remember the first time I realized I was directly talking with someone
in another country. It was the mid 90s and I was a teenager, hooked on playing
MUDs. When most people in my high school could barely turn a computer on, I felt
like a wizard who knew about an entire secret world, and it was awesome. I was
playing, every day, with people from Scotland, Denmark, Italy, Australia, New
Zealand, and so many others I can’t even remember now.
And we talked. I learned so much about other cultures just by talking
directly to people. And I remember thinking, in my own young, idealistic naivete,
that if just everyone could be online, and could have these experiences, we
might actually achieve world peace in my lifetime. We could see that we are all
human bothers and sisters, separated only by artificially drawn borders. I
believed free information will result in the most educated population in human
history. And the Internet would bring the whole world a new age.
I look back on myself then and mourn the world that we could have had. Humans
apparently just aren’t ready for world peace and togetherness.
October 4, 2021
Some things are as reliable as clockwork. The moon and tides. Death and taxes.
Politicians lying. And out-of-touch Silicon Valley tech millionaires and
billionaires descending from their gold-plated PCB thrones to bestow upon us us,
the unwashed masses, their most brilliant wisdom and thoughts.
Today’s myopic missive is brought to you by Sam Altman, of Y-Combinator
fame. On Sunday, he opened up Twitter and blessed us with this thought in the
middle of an otherwise interesting thread:
March 30, 2020
There was a great article that was recently posted by the Harvard
Business Review that I think bears some very important consideration by
Stress is easy to identify, and we are all certainly stressed. The
predictability of our daily lives has been interrupted. Many of us have lost
jobs, faced furloughs or pay cuts. Our kids are home from school. We’re worried
about our families catching this disease, and ourselves as well. We’re all
stuck together in this purgatory of waiting for this crisis to play itself out
with no idea of what kind of world waits for us on the other side. We know that
this will end - all pandemics eventually do - but we’re going to emerge from our
shelters into a changed world.
My wife and I have spent the last couple of weekends cleaning out closets. It
kind of feels like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic at times, but it
also keeps my mind occupied for the most part and keeps it from going into
pretty dark places. And hey, my closet is now the cleanest it’s been since we
moved. But every so often my mind ends up going there anyways.
Such as from seeing a pile of T-shirts.
March 21, 2020
If you ask people over a certain age, they can always tell you where they were
when they found out about 9/11.
I was a sophomore at Auburn, and my first class that day was at like 1pm, so I
enjoyed the great collegiate tradition of sleeping in. Usually when I wake up
the first thing I do is check my email. It’s still the first thing I do. That
morning my inbox was full with messages on the fraternity mailing list, with
things like “pray, a lot of people are dying today.” I turned on the TV just
minutes before the first tower collapsed.
Stayed glued to the TV the rest of the day. News coverage was on every channel,
even Discovery Channel. Class was cancelled. I went and filled up my car in case
I needed to drive the 250 miles back home to Tennessee.
That evening I was in the SGA office in Foy Student Union folding thousands of
little yellow ribbons for a very hastily organized memorial service on Samford
lawn a few days later. We listened to President Bush’s speech on a small boombox
in the office.
I feel like I have been living that day over and over again for the last two
September 16, 2019
Welcome to the new, freshly redesigned robpeck.com!
It’s amazing how you can become used to a design. It becomes like a warm coat.
You love the predictability, you spent a lot of time getting the fonts right,
getting the layour right, and everything is just perfect. That was the case with
this site, that was pretty much exactly how it was way back when I migrated the
site from Wordpress to Jekyll in 2013.
To put that into perspective, my daughter was not even a year old yet. Barack
Obama was just one year into his second term, the iPhone 5S had just dropped a
month earlier, the first 4K TVs were shown off at CES. A long time has passed.
And then the years pass. New devices and browsers appear. New technologies
become available, and cruft builds up. In this case, a simple task of “I need to
add a box to the site so that people will quit trying to use the comments for
tech support and go to Github instead” became a full scale burn it down and
start again redesign.
So, aside from the new design, what else has changed?