Zee Spencer

Zee. Software Developer. Educator.

Zee is one of the more passionate developers I've worked with. His work is impeccable, as he takes the utmost care to craft it. Zee is great to work with--he is patient and explains things well. I thoroughly enjoyed pairing with him at Outpace, and felt he brought a needed quality of excellence to our team.

Jeff Langr Jeff Langr, Author of Agile Java and Modern C++ Programming with Test Driven Development

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My newsletter is a weekly-ish set of interesting links and a short essay. The essay may be about programming, design, technical leadership, or anything that strikes my fancy.

Not sure? Read the archive.

Migitating Anxiety On Software Teams

Software development is a creative pursuit. It takes intense focus and time away from the problem to for your subconscious to work. Both of these cognitive modes are easily affected by stress and anxiety.

Posted on December 7, 2014 - about , ,

Walking Desks - A Year in Review

For the past year, I've been doing most of my computing at a walking desk. Learn how to assemble your own walking office, as well as what habits to build and which tendencies to avoid.

Posted on November 30, 2014 - about

Getting Past Junior

Junior developers have a unique struggle. How can they know when they're "good enough" to be a non-junior developer? How can they move quickly from the novice or advanced beginner level and into competent?

Posted on June 27, 2014 - about , ,

The Chef's Tale

Once upon a time there was a Chef. This Chef was sought by all of the rulers in the land to cater their feasts. The Chef was ferried from castle to castle; delighting all for whom they cooked.

Posted on June 25, 2014 - about ,

Fear Not Your Ignorance

Ignorance is a blessing. An opportunity.
Ignorance is where possibilities are boundless.
Don't fear it. Embrace it.
Explore the unknown.

Posted on November 12, 2013 - about

Back to Codin'

The last 9 months have been some of the most amazing, fullfilling, enjoyable months I've ever had.

Posted on October 25, 2013 - about ,

Splitting codebases

As programmers, we split our code along what job those bits of code do for us. We pontificate about whether MVVM or MVC or another pattern is the appropriate way to build an app for the given language, environment, or problem domain.

Posted on June 2, 2013 - about ,

The Learn Startup

A long time ago, in an industry far far away, there were two competing production models: the assembly line and the master craftsmen.

Posted on May 13, 2013 - about ,

The Windsurfer

She chrouches, alert and ready.
Waves crash across the bow.
She clenches the mast tightly
She furrows up her brow.
Winds roar with fury
Waves whip to foam
All other beach-goers
Turn their faces home.

Posted on April 13, 2013 - about , ,

Introducing jekyll-cdn

I extracted my jekyll plugin for cache-busting from my blog into a gem, jekyll-cdn! The main feature is a set of Liquid filters for getting the right asset_path, stylesheet_path, and javascript_path for the environment you're building.

Posted on March 23, 2013 - about ,

Gertrude the Giraffe

I have a small menagerie I take wherever I go. One who has accompanied me since I was a child is Gertrude. Gertrude is a giraffe with a long, beautiful neck with spots which spell four words: Guess, Google, Grab, Go.

Posted on March 12, 2013 - about

Onward

Last year was fantastic. I started my own business, helped three startups get off the ground, learned a ton about working with distributed teams, and fell in love.

Posted on February 19, 2013 - about ,

Grind Young

I hear your heart beat from all that caffeine
Oh, what a shame there's not more in your bloodstream
So while you're here in my cafe
Let's make the most of the beans that we're gonna grind young

Posted on February 17, 2013 - about ,

Using Nil Effectively

We seem to use nils in place of a default return value in a function. Say you wanted to write a function that splits a string on its commas:

Posted on February 17, 2013 - about , ,

Now I Know That Love Is Blind

Now I know that love is blind
In the dark your smile shines.
My heart is stolen and I feel fine!
Why is organ harvesting a crime?

Posted on February 14, 2013 - about ,

Two Lumps of Clay

Two lumps of clay were bought by a potter and set on her windowsill to soften in the sun. The first was terrified of being prodded, poked, and shaped. "I don't want any part of this!" He said, "I'm a good piece of clay! I don't want to be a pot!" and he hardened himself in the noon day sun.

Posted on February 10, 2013 - about ,

Point Victor

There was a young lad named Rictor
Who gloated he was the Point Victor
But the cards he'd "completed"
Had bugs left untreated
And rejection befell poor young Rictor

Posted on February 10, 2013 - about , , ,

The Ruby & Symbol

& is a powerful ruby operator, when you use it as a unary operator it has two main use cases:

Posted on January 30, 2013 - about , ,

Build a Command Line Remote Pairing Setup

Over the past couple years I've done a bit of remote pairing. When I need a GUI everything is pretty straightforward: Join.me for screen/keyboard sharing and iPad with Skype or Google Hangout for video calls. This is pretty bandwidth intensive and can be slow, so I'd rather keep as much as I can in a terminal.

Posted on January 29, 2013 - about , ,

Thank You Heather, Steve, and Corey

Recently I saw a few highly critical tweets go by my stream about a package written by Heather Arthur. They were by Corey Haines and Steve Klabnik, a couple of my friends.

Posted on January 25, 2013 - about ,

Building Communities of Empowerment

Recently I sat in on a conversation between two people I respect. One declared empowerment is an individuals choice. We choose how to respond to situations and we can choose to remove ourselves from unacceptable situations.

Posted on January 13, 2013 - about ,

Keeping Space

While at Devbootcamp last week I was introduced to a new phrase by an instructor. I asked how intensely draining his job must be, and he remarked that his wife is amazingly good at "keeping space" for him. I didn't grasp what he meant, so I asked him to clarify.

Posted on December 12, 2012 - about ,

The Proud Ants

Once upon a time there was an ant colony. It wasn't a very big colony, but it had the best hunters, builders, and nurses for miles around. For many seasons, the colony prospered.

Posted on November 23, 2012 - about , ,

Why I Don't Use Aliases

The difference between an amateur and a professional is their capability to execute consistently in a variety of situations.

Posted on June 20, 2012 - about

When to Reject and Accept Work

No matter how well you define what should be done you will always wind up with work that isn't quite right. In these situations you have three courses of action: 1. Reject the work and provide feedback. 2. Accept the work and add new work items. 3. Accept the work and ignore its imperfections.

Posted on April 15, 2012 - about ,

Coding the Distance

Reluctantly Crouched at the command line, Keyboards clicking and clacking in time...

Posted on February 26, 2012 - about ,