Have you ever licked up bird shit? Eaten cat food? Bobbed for apples out of the toilet? There are two Canadian documentarian-turned-comedians who have.

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The “best friends” form a natural comedic duo, as Spencer Rice likes to point out during interviews. Spencer is the anxiety-riddled “straight” man who’s frowning mug acts as a perfect foil for the crazed mad man that is Kenny Hotz, a man who’s as clever as he is shameless.

I’ve heard the couple explain the show’s appeal, and why it “works” by explaining Spencer (Spenny) Rice grew up as an only child, ignorant of the mischief…

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Consensus Algorithms

Proof of Work, Proof of Stake, Proof of Importance

Bitcoin uses a shit load of energy. Bitcoin’s energy footprint has surged along with it’s dramatic rise in popularity. With “mining” hubs popping up locations all over the world, the power needed to execute the complex algorithms within Bitcoin’s Proof of Work system take a tool on the grid.

Why you should care, how it works, and why it’s not Bitcoin.

You’ve probably heard a lot about blockchain lately. With Bitcoin’s recent surge in popularity, this new field of distributed cryptographic technology has exploded with companies and blockchains all competing for a piece of the pie.

Bitcoin uses blockchain technology to track transaction of digital currency in a distributed way. Ethereum is a product of that history. As developers started playing with the blockchain, they started to bend and wrap it for purposes other than a digital ledger of currency & transactions.

Ethereum is a product of those struggles: claiming the title of a “next generation” of blockchain. Initially proposed as…

These are the questions and considerations I use to pick a tech stack for that fits my client and my project.

I’m a developer. I have frameworks I like to use and opinions about ones I don’t. I struggled to break away from this myopic view of technology for a long time, but as I’ve been slowly introduced to working on larger project, with bigger teams and enormous companies, simply recommending what you like just seems silly.

You’re not going to convince anyone that your framework-de-jour is the best choice just because you’ve used it before, so how do you pick the right tech stack?

Assuming you’re building something for someone else, and not just a side project, you’re responsible for…

What work?

It’s not unusual to write a small “status update” email to a client or superior throughout the lifespan of a project. Usually once a day, or maybe 3x a week, I’ll drop my boss a line, just to convey progress, concerns, or blockers.

Then I stumbled on something. Occasionally, I’d write these updates when I felt a lull in the day, which meant the work I was writing about may not necessarily be 100% done, but I know I was getting there. …

How browsers render & style a page

I spent a handful of year building websites without knowing how exactly one is rendered. I’d hear things about “painting” and “layout,” but I never really felt like I needed to dive into it in order to do my job.

I was wrong (kind of).

Sure, you can get by having a passing knowledge of how browsers create the page, but understanding the details helps you step up your game. It helps you optimize performance, and make more informed decisions around how you develop.

For years, I wondered things like:

  • Does the size or complexity of your CSS really matter?

Blockchain and Bitcoin explained in a way your mom would understand

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Mercurial thoughts on the discipline of front end development

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How organizing a hackathon brought my team closer together and helped us explore.

We have to find the time to do cool stuff

We’re all busy. Sometimes, like, way too busy. I work in “professional services”, which means every hour I spend should, ideally, be billed to a client. Sure, there are administrative things that pop up, but by-and-large, if something isn’t tied to money coming in the door, it’s pushed aside. Gotta keep the lights on…

Our technological expertise is often our differentiator, yet it can be difficult to be the “expert” when we’re so busy delivering for our clients. We win because of our expertise, and while we’re busy building, then industry breezes past us.

So, when do we get to…

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So, you’re going to Iceland?

My wife and I spent seven days in Iceland last summer (late July, 2017). Seven days isn’t enough time to enjoy the entire island, so we limited our visit to the Golden Circle and the southern coastline.

June through August is the best time of the year for hiking and exploring nature while it’s green. The time of year also affords you a few extra hours of sunlight each day, which means you can cram more things in. I remember eating a late dinner after an evening hike and still seeing the glow from the freshly set sun around 10:30pm…

glen elkins

Front End developer. Consultant for Deloitte Digital. I make pockets of internet.

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