In the Wake of This Election

Today the world feels like a darker and dimmer place, and it seems like the actions we take for progress are fruitless. To bring light back, here are the things I did that I know will help, however small the steps. The way I live my life is a more powerful force than my ballot. When it feels like we are ineffectual and ignored, we can start where we are, use what we have, do what we can.

1. Support Civil Liberties Online and Off

Donald Trump hasn’t said anything about technology or privacy. It’s impossible to know what his agenda will be regarding our lives online and the security of our data and communications.

What we do know is that he aggressively pursues and prosecutes dissenters. He disregards freedom of expression in favor of demonizing and silencing those who disagree. So since I happen to be a dissenter, this is of particular concern.

My first contributions today were to the ACLU and the EFF. The ACLU is monitoring Trump to make sure that he doesn’t act on any of his unconstitutional plans. They have promised to litigate if he tries to move forward with any executive overreach. And since he doesn’t seem to know what is within his purview as president, I’m sure that will happen soon. Here’s a list of some of his proposals which violate constitutional law.

“According to our analysis, Trump’s proposals taken together would violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendments to the Constitution.

EFF is “leading the fight against NSA’s illegal mass surveillance program”. Illegal government surveillance has expanded under Obama, and Trump will inherit that massive spying apparatus. The work of the EFF is more important than ever.

“The coming four years will feature fights that are far more urgent than the future of the internet: fights over women’s right to choose; over racist police-shootings and mass incarceration; over mass deportations and concentration camps; over gender bias and homophobia; over access to human necessities from food to shelter to health care.”
-Cory Doctorow

2. Do What I Can

I scheduled a workshop to talk about online privacy with my staff at the office. This is the email I wrote them:

“In light of recent political events, I find myself thinking strategically about how to ensure my online privacy. I spent some time today getting my communications and online activity in order. It occurred to me that some of you might also be interested in how best to protect yourself and ensure the privacy of your online activity and communication. I’ll be doing a short workshop on Wednesday morning next week on 1) the level of privacy of your communications here, and 2) what you can do to protect your private communications and activity as well.”

It’s important to take steps to educate those around us and help where we can. I am reaching out to those around me to help, letting people of color and those marginalized know that I stand with them. And using any skill sets or knowledge I have to make things better, even a little bit.

3. Protest

I stand for caring, kindness, openness, human rights, understanding, and acceptance. Most importantly, I stand with the oppressed against the oppressor.

Today, I am motivated to live my life in protest to the values that won today. I protest ignorance. I protest cruelty and I protest fear.

I want to live a life that openly rebukes the doctrine of fear and hate, and today I am ever firmer in my resolve to love and care and fight for my brothers and sisters.

Ruby in Hollywood + General Assembly

Wonderful world of ReactJS

Last night, Ruby in Hollywood held a special event in conjunction with the General Assembly Alumni Guild.

We had a great mix of aspiring and current Rubyists, along with a good representation of General Assembly Grads from Cohort 9.

We kicked off the evening with pizza and beer, and some good conversation.

Using Docker in Production for Fun and Profit

Rob Wilkinson

Next up, Rob Wilkinson, CTO of gave a fantastic presentation about using Docker. He explained that it’s a great way to manage deployment of apps as a team. He walked us through deployment, management, and setting up a Dockerfile.

Everybody Get Flexy!

Rouzbeh Sarrafieh

Rouzbeh repped front-end devs with a well-paced introduction to Flexbox. He showed us all of the benefits flexbox affords without relying on css frameworks.

HTTP in Rubyland

Shannon Skipper

Then Shannon Skipper, Lead Engineer at The Industry, took the stage. He walked us through the difference between various rack webservers and made a convincing argument for using Roda for a ruby framework that is quick, light, and handles requests efficiently.

React + Rails

Stephanie Wilkinson

Lastly, yours truly rounded out the evening with a talk on Reactjs, specifically, how to integrate it into a Rails app.

IPM for Week Three

Date: 14 July 2014
Author: Stephanie

IPM for Week Three

On Monday, Pat, Stephanie, Wale, Josh, Rob, and Jalil met with Pivots Mike and Ryan for our Week Three IPM. We planned out what stories would get done this week, along with a short recap of highs and lows from last week.

While reviewing last week, a few issues came to light. On the positive side, we were excited to have new team members, great coaching, and happy to be making progress. On the negative side, there were some questions about mobbing chaos, vim customization, and clarity of direction from the Pivots.

Pat’s idea was to create a vanilla .vimrc that we can add to our virtual box. That way whenever we are using our virtual machine, we’ll all have the same vim configuration.


Another idea was to create a mobbing manual. In our early discussion, we laid out some roles, rules and values for our mobbing experience. Later in the night, with the Pivots, we tweaked it with some new ideas. Read our Manual of Mob.

Then we moved on to the next story in our PivotalTracker, which was creating an acceptance environment. We had been battling a heroku postgres error on Thursday night that hadn’t got resolved. The error was preventing us from pushing to Heroku. We installed psql on our Ubuntu vagrantbox, which cleared up the error and allowed us to push. We clicked “finish” on that story.

Rob and Jen at Whiteboard

The last thing we worked on was researching ripl, a REPL. There is a lot we don’t know about the ripl app, and we created four stories related to researching how it works and what it can do. The week before, we had run ripl’s tests, which passed, but we need to make sure it will work for our project.