Software

Why I Cancelled Evernote

February 3, 2017

Evernote is a note service that allows synchronization across devices. The concept is incredibly useful – edit the same note from many different places. After 2 years of using Evernote, however, I’ve cancelled my subscription. There are a number of reasons that users were pushed away from Evernote, including a privacy policy SNAFU. The lessons learned from their lack of communication or proper wording are worthy of examination. My gripe arose when Evernote made a change to their subscription plans. Free users, once able…

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Entertainment

5 Things that Make Cooperative Games Fun

January 26, 2017

Recently, my roommate and I played through one of my favourite cooperative games of all time, Little Big Planet. While playing, we were wondering – what makes it such a strong multiplayer game? While there are a number of fun gameplay elements, the game is more fun with others than alone. We did some brainstorming and came up with 5 elements that make cooperative games fun. The Controls are Easy to Learn, but Hard to Master When you’re sitting around ready…

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Connecting

3 Ways to Meet Techies in Toronto

January 18, 2017

I love to meet techies in Toronto. Finding people with similar hobbies who we like makes us feel connected – like part of a community. Many people in Toronto take part, but it can be hard to get started. That’s why I decided to write up a few of the things that worked for me. They are attending meetups, attending classes and… well, just asking! Without any further ado, here’s the list! Attend a Meetup There are tons of great events in…

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Software

Why Don’t People Use Strong Passwords?

January 12, 2017

Chances are that you use lots of online services, each one asking you to create new passwords. If you’re like most people, you’re only going to have 1 or 2 that you remember. After all, there are a lot of different sites to log into! Why bother making a new one every time? Unfortunately, it’s time for a bit of a reality check – passwords are the bottom line of security. No matter how secure a service is, an attacker can easily access…

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Programming

Your First Programming Language

January 9, 2017

Recently, I responded to Business Insider’s shamelessly sponsored fluff piece on what your first programming language should be. Their recommended language is Python, because it’s simple and popular in the job market. While that’s true, it doesn’t mean that Python is what a new programmer should learn. I’ll explain why the advice is bad, how to actually pick a first programming language, and conclude with examples. Why the advice is bad First off – many people who get started with programming have no idea what to expect,…

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Software

Writing Good Technical Documentation

January 7, 2017

The time arrived to write technical documentation for our product, X Life. Our goal was to achieve the thoroughness of a wiki and the fun of Valve’s Handbook for New Employees. We used Google docs so we could work together at the same time, which proved to be a fun exercise! Building Good Documentation Most of what worked in our documentation came from discussing it beforehand. The developers split up and brainstormed what they would want to see if they were reading new the technical…

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Film

Arrival (2016) – Character Study Moving the Plot

January 3, 2017

The film Arrival, released late 2016, was what feels like the first good movie I’ve seen in theatres in recent memory. The plot follows linguistics professor Louise Banks as she is tasked with interpreting the language of aliens who touch down on Earth. Whereas we usually see establishing shots or what the protagonist sees, in Arrival, we mostly see Louise. News stations cover the alien crafts, but we are looking at her reactions. The aliens do an action and we see her watch.…

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Blogging

Making Decisions Around Blog Topics

December 27, 2016

Making decisions around what to write about can be a difficult task, especially if you’re writing without a specific purpose. That can be the difficulty with something like a blog. I had thought I would write about business, as I’m constantly learning new things that are worth sharing. But, that topic has been discussed more thoroughly by more experienced people. And the other things I want to talk about – mostly movies – wouldn’t really fit with that theme. Therefore, I’ve decided…

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Entrepreneurship leadership

Being Mindful of Feedback with Snowballs

December 7, 2016

It’s tough to be mindful of the feedback we give and receive. We’re humans, and humans are fallible – even mild feedback can seem harsh if it’s perceived to come from a place of hostility, or if we feel like we’re somehow threatened by the person giving it. However, feedback is inevitable, so it’s our duty as compassionate human beings to make sure that it’s taken and received as best as possible. The Snowball Imagine you’re standing at the top of a snowy hill holding a…

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Entrepreneurship

Leading Meetings

November 24, 2016

Leading meetings can be tough if you have a group of analytical minds around the table. People who like to process what they hear thoroughly can sometimes refrain from speaking until they’re totally ready. This can lead to a meeting dominated by a few vocal team members, which can dissuade others from adding their valuable input. This can be a problem when you need your whole team creatively thinking around solutions. Leading Meetings with Purpose Approaching every part of a meeting analytically and with purpose…

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