Why I work as hard as I do

I have a bit of a high-maintenance client.  He’s a nice guy and everything, but one of those people who’s a bit too A.D.D. for their own good… you know, always running a mile minute, talks in broken sentences across numerous emails and texts that I later have to piece together, requiring a fair amount of telepathy on my end to figure out what he really wants me to do.

Sometimes he asks me questions by email which cannot be answered in less than two sentences… and I just know that anything I write beyond 2-3 sentences will never be read by this guy.

Well, recently he asked me a question (I think because he’s angling to start some new tech start-up or app or something, and wants to test my interest), and I ended up putting an unexpected amount of time and passion into my reply.  I guess the question hit a chord in me.

Continue reading Why I work as hard as I do

Review: Cloud A – Canadian Cloud Server Hosting

Recently I had to setup a web server for a client using Canadian cloud hosting provider Cloud A.  This was my first time using them, so for anyone else who may be considering Cloud A, I thought I’d share my experience with them so far. (Overall, it’s good…)

Continue reading Review: Cloud A – Canadian Cloud Server Hosting

How To Backup Your Entire Server or VPS While It’s Running Using Linux Hot Copy

I run a few cloud servers at Linode and Digital Ocean which host stuff for clients.  Although I have automated backups in place to backup my clients’ data, I always worry about some catastrophic situation where the entire server goes down and, God forbid, needs to be re-built from scratch.

While places like Digital Ocean advertise you can spin up a new Linux server in a matter of seconds — and no doubt you can — what they don’t tell you is how long it takes to configure that server for real-world use. Depending on how many packages, libraries, and other software you need to install, and all the configuration that goes along with it, you could be looking at 2, 3, or even several hours to rebuild a server.  To many of my clients that kind of downtime would be absolutely detrimental (and not too good for my business, either).

Continue reading How To Backup Your Entire Server or VPS While It’s Running Using Linux Hot Copy

Review: X-Team developer hiring process (hint: it sucks)

Continuing on the theme of how job hunting sucks, here’s another example of exactly what I’m talking about: X-Team International.

No, I’d never heard of them before either.

I found X Team through this job posting on Authentic Jobs.  It sounded like a good fit, so I applied, including a brief message why I thought I’d be a good fit.  Like you do.

Continue reading Review: X-Team developer hiring process (hint: it sucks)

Review: Toptal hiring process

I did it!  I successfully passed the grueling Toptal hiring process, and am now a Toptal-er.  The process of making it into the top 3%, however, definitely wasn’t easy.

There are already a bunch of blog posts out there about different people’s experiences (good or bad) with the Toptal hiring process.  Not surprisingly those that passed tend to have really good reviews of it, and those who failed… well, not so much.  I’d like to add my voice to the chorus in as balanced a tone as I can.

Continue reading Review: Toptal hiring process

Job hunting sucks – here’s a great example why

A few months ago, I decided I’d had enough of my 19-year-old CTO-of-a-boss chewing me out for not adding enough line breaks in my code, and for not being “verbooose” enough (rhymed with “caboose” the way he said it) in my commit descriptions.  Yeah.  So I embarked on the only other thing worse than working for a 19-year-old spoiled twat — job hunting.

Continue reading Job hunting sucks – here’s a great example why

Welcome to my new blog

Hi, I’m PROGRAMMER BEAR.  I like fishing, long walks in the forest, and computer programming.

I’m a web developer by day, so I’ll be talking about topics ranging from web technologies to more technical programming things, general work/life issues, and anything else that seems interesting to me.

Hopefully something I say here will someday prove useful to somebody.  That’s nice to think about anyway.