How do I become a polyglot?

This is a question that persists in my mind.

Even more so while I define my career as a digital producer.  Conversely I have identified some goals that could make me better at making digital products; and “How do I become a polyglot or full-stack?” is usually at the top of that heap.

Being a programming polyglot or full-stack developer means being able to work and understand any and all programming languages due to one’s profound knowledge of programming as a whole. In a nut shell, this ability creates an almost flat curve for learning or using new or unknown programming language types.

Learning more programming languages, apart from the web stuff, and staying current of usage trends within these languages keeps me mindful of technology’s constant evolution. Introspectively, this is the rabbit to the hound of my life.

As part of my 2014 motto, Write, Run, Code; I have been prioritizing my ideas on how I could reach this level of learnedness.

In this organizational exerceise I have come across two articles that are proving very helpful to me. One article compiles a diverse selection of online courses and training mediums and it’s not exclusive to programming. Regardless of the list expanding outside of computer science and programming, I value it because of how it provides a holistic view on all online learning opportunities.

The other article is a synthesis of suggestions from what seem to be trained professionals who have insight on which language first timers should learn. I appreciate the summarizations of the languages in this list and the opinions shared by the community through out the article and in the comments of the post.

Anyhow I leave these two gems for your reading pleasure and if anyone has any sites or suggested reading for programming, please let me know, cheers!

05. January 2014 by Carlos S. Aquino
Categories: Digital Production | Leave a comment

Write, Run, Code

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As I stepped out of the shower this morning, after scrubbing the lingering residue of 2013 off of me, I asked myself, “What do I want 2014 to be full of?”

Overall I consider myself be fortunate, since I have a loving family and I love what I do for money. So from a personal and professional perspective I feel like I’m good.

Well,”good” I guess is subjective and probably not really accurate. I know I am not alone in feeling that family, on all levels: immediate or distant, blood or relation, are complex waters to navigate – wife, kids, mom, dad, sisters and brothers can be overwhelming at times. Also as a digital producer, never stop learning is a job requirement and critical for adapting to the ceaseless shifting of technology.

But for the sake of brevity and this post, I love my fam and pimping pixels, and I couldn’t ask for more from them (although I could, I won’t, right now…)

So back to my post-lavation thoughts, “what do I want 2014 to be full of?”

So short of making an new year’s resolution – I am instead focusing on a new year’s motto and my 2014 motto is going to be the same as this blog post: Write, Run, Code.

By “Write”, I want to write more and make a better effort at documenting what I am doing, more professionally than personally, but we’ll see how that goes. As such I live to create digital projects, whether its  a standard website or a social network or a mobile app, if it connects to the Internet I can probably help build it. Under this auspice I encounter vanguard technology and methodologies to realize outrageous feats of the Internet.  Also as a 20 year netizen I feel like I am not doing my part by not memorializing more of these findings and sharing them for posterity.

“Run” implies exactly that, get my legs moving, heart rate up and sweat as fast as I can – it’s a sight.

And by “Code” I want to make an even more concerted effort on learning more about all types of programming languages and frameworks. This means more engaging more PHP and JavaScript as well as C#, Java and other Object-Oriented Programming languages that will make me better at all the things I do.

So there it is, that’s the motto for 2014: Write, Run, Code.

01. January 2014 by Carlos S. Aquino
Categories: Stuff | 1 comment

When a fire starts to burn!

08. June 2013 by Carlos S. Aquino
Categories: Arts Lover, Music | Leave a comment

5 HTML5 Javascript APIs to keep an eye on

Here is a great article that details what is making HTML5 so damn sexy.

This article defines five HTML5 Javascript API’s that open up a web browsers mobile capabilities.

Overall these functions speak directly to HTML5 mobile game development and give developers more tools to make a gaming environment that is OS-agnostic .

These API’s focus on providing relevant handset data to the browser to create a more immersive engagement and give developers more data points to play with.

  • Battery Status
  • Gamepad
  • Device Orientation
  • Geolocation
  • Page visibility

As the mobile web continues to grow we will see more and more API’s looking to make a browser be more than a just browser.

If anyone has a chance to implement these API’s I would love to hear any feedback on performance, cheers!

03. June 2013 by Carlos S. Aquino
Categories: Digital, Game Dev, Video Games, Web Dev | Leave a comment

NY Latino Tech Beginnings

#NYTLM

#NYTLM

Wednesday night I went to the first NY Latino Tech Meetup (NYTLM). Honestly, I feel that this meetup’s creation was long over due; and I say this with 2+ years of being in the NYC meetup scene and with 50+ meetups attended in this time. From this you can probably deduce that I like to network and I ♥ Meetup.com.

Anyhow, last night was enjoyable because I got to meet w/ a lot of NEW, like-minded individuals that all had in common a love for tech, living close to NYC and being hispanic. And as peculiar as it may sound, since we live in a metropolis with almost 3.5 million hispanics, this does not happen everyday.

Why not? Good question and I wish I had an answer but what I can tell you is that last night this trend bucked, since a group of twelve professionals, eleven caballeros and one dama, met and discussed with each other a varying spectrum of topics. Our conversations ranged from personal interests to professional goals, idealistic desires, social precepts and everything else; although for the most part  the theme was wanting to know more about tech, our personal experiences with tech and tech’s impact on our heritages.

Even the topic of why this group hadn’t been created earlier came up and we all looked at each other wondering why hadn’t the categories of Tech, which is one of meetup.com’s biggest segments and Latino/Hispanic, another formidable onsite demographic, had not intersected. In any case we can thank <a href=”https://twitter.com/ricooyola” target=”_blank”>Rico Oyola</a> and <a href=”https://twitter.com/noneck” target=”_blank”>Noel Hidalgo</a> for their inspiration and effort to make this happen and organizing this meetup.

Also as a side note, the hosting space ThoughtWorks are impeccable examples of giving back and making a difference. As with so many gems that this magical city has to offer, finding gracious companies and organizations that provide space to startup groups and grassroot movements are paragons of the tech industry. Moreover ThoughtWorks define themselves as “a community of passionate individuals whose purpose is to revolutionize software design, creation and delivery, while advocating for positive social change“.  Man… I can dig it and look forward to seeing how I can participate in their outlook – providing a positive social and productive solution using technology – on second thought, I don’t dig it; I Love It. Additionally interacting with their onsite team was nothing less than pleasant, so kudos to them and for all their magic.

Another aspect of last night’s meetup that I really enjoyed was the observation from a late-coming member that we were moving past the standard ‘meet-up’ format to becoming a ‘do-up’ since we began had a considerable list of Haves & Wants that included homework for us to reconvene on. My understanding of our goals thus far are to create an identity for NYLTM and begin brainstorming on what we could potentially build together as team. Hopefully ideas for both are probably on simmer across everyone’s minds, I know its been renting out space in my head.

So much so, that reflecting on the group’s composition and between everyone’s skillsets, I believe this group has the necessary resources to startup a tech company. There was a nice smattering of production skills (i.e. programming and app development) and key business components  (i.e PM’ing, sales, outreach) to make a well balanced team – a couple designers and some product/marketing peeps and I get the impression that we could be off to the races. Although from my perspective, the races is us against time and coming up with an idea or project that would be supported unanimously and less about making a product or dolla-dolla-bills-ya’ll. Sincerely even the effort of trying to capture this kind of synchronicity blows my mind and makes me feel like this could be the beginning of another great adventure.

Anyway I am excited and will begin to contribute my expertise through interpretive dance and WordPress – so I look forward to posting the NYTLM websites once it’s ready for the world. It’s always exciting to start a new project and I can’t wait to see what comes out of this one.

08. March 2013 by Carlos S. Aquino
Categories: Meetups, Technophile | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Video Game Madness

This week has been video game madness for me and I wish that meant what it once did, which was a mind-numbing set of days spent playing a new release of a title or console or both to the point of near collapse. Those days are long gone and I somewhat hope to see my children go through it, although on second thought… that seems like fodder for another post.

HTML5 Game Development

Anyhow my foray into this digital wilderness is due to some interests in a side project, the Ouya, that is soon to be released for mass consumption. As such I invested in a developers console with my business partner and this has been the impetus for us to  explore the video game development world.

Serendipitously, I came across the following meetups HTML5 Games and  New York Game Makers and after attending the maiden voyages of both groups, they have both proven insightful for what I am getting myself into. Overall, I look forward to seeing how the HTML5 meetup develops and I am real excited how NY Game Makers has set out.

NY Game Makers is run by Jesse Freeman who I met at the HTML5 meetup and signed up for his group pretty shortly after connecting with him there. He is a Microsoft Windows 8 Game Development Evangelist so he seems to have some serious street cred; he sort of wrote the book on HTML5 Game Development or rather a book on it (see pic).

In any case after going to his meetup this Saturday morning, his instruction has already helped me turn a corner on my perspective in game development. As I was getting ready to leave my home before the meetup, I asked myself “What kind of game do I want to build?”, “Why would I want to build this?”, since I know the labor of love these types of projects can become.

So as luck would have it, between some guided direction from Jesse and further reflecting I came up on some ideas that I think have legs. And these ideas seem to resonante and answer the questions I proposed to myself earlier – I’d like to build something fun, like what got me into gaming, so this means some early 8-bit style, pre-nintendo, arcade games, and as for the why? – to prove that I can.

Another cool find from these adventures, is the One Game A Month challenge, basically a community that aims to make one game a month, albeit it doesn’t seem like there are going to be any blockbusters in this mix, but who knows what gems are already there. Whatever the case may be, at least this is spurring future hardcore game devs to keep working on their ideas and hopefully letting practice make perfect.

Regardless I look forward to what these meetups bring and I will do my best to see my game idea into fruition.

 

17. February 2013 by Carlos S. Aquino
Categories: Digital Production, Game Dev | Tags: | 2 comments

Why I love this city, technology and what I do.

Last Thursday night I went to two different meetups – Code Crew and The Product Group.

Apart from meeting on the same night and obviously having Meetup.com in common, these two groups are thematically completely different, and although each has distinct goals, they both seem to exist in order to explore the human experience with respect to technology and the impact that this technology has on us as individuals as well as that specific group’s collective interests.

Also both meetups took place in midtown NYC, which by default establishes a diverse composition of people for these get-togethers; mix these ingredients with beer and pizza, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for some awesome sauce that evening.

To say the least I totally enjoyed both reunions for all of these reasons and helped determine the name of this post.

It was Code Crew’s maiden voyage so the air at the Empire Heartland Brewery seemed crispy and beer kept conversations lubricated and fluid, this general atmosphere made tails wag all the quicker.

I had great time chewing the fat with people who dig ruby, drupal, and some looking to check out python and several well versed tech-heads who were looking for a nerdy good time. In all honesty, quite fulfilling.

Overall it seems like this group will offer several options or paths to choose from, hopefully like some kind of bro-gramming madlibs, and with any luck, the like-mindedness I observed at this first meeting will translate into some fun projects.

In any case here is the Code Crew blog that is helping us get our ducks in order and I am terribly grateful for Jamal in putting this together.

My next date was The Product Group (TPG) and anyway you cut it, it is an ideal representation for any meetup: 200+ people, a huge conference room in a 42nd St. media company that rhymes with Sticker-load-neon, seating for 200+ people, pizza, stimulating topics of conversation in rapid-fire succession, and a consumate master of ceremonies, Jeremy Horn.

TPG’s meetup style is primarily focused around a product panel represented by the respective stakeholders as they discuss their situation – whatever it may be. This week’s panel was hosted by Advisoray.com who are in the business of helping startups by leveraging vetted professional networks who offer a variety of services and advice relevant to the startup space.

I was running a little late from Code Crew so I got there right before Advisoray started presenting. After their introduction that detailed their background, challenges and subsequent pivot they segued into opening the conversation to the group.  The room then became abuzz with 20-30 odd product people actively analyzing, evaluating, questioning, and intoning critiques, followed by the occasional head nod or elbow to their neighbor from the audience, validating the suggestion.

Listening to the various POV’s bouncing around the room was invigorating, like when your heart is pounding after a run, except this was caused by pure thoughts competing for psuedo-merit at the product-management track meet playing out in my head; good times.  Upon reflection, this is one of those times where it was totally worth being a fly on the wall, soaking in the rampant creativity, pragmatism, experience, and willingness to share that I witnessed.

The contrast between the wide-eyed, sophomoric excitement I noticed at Code Crew and the razor-sharp, surgically wielded expertise from TPG, compounded by their respective proximity in space and time, inspires me to no end.  Additionally this doesn’t even include how I feel about the learning that occurs at these gatherings, which is a major driving force behind my participation.

I acknowledge that since I work in the digital space here in NYC it gives me purpose to attend and participate in these events. Also I feel like I have something to offer to both groups, so this motivates me all the more.

Anyhow I look forward to seeing where these experiences take me, and I cross my fingers, hoping for when these paths may meet.

10. February 2013 by Carlos S. Aquino
Categories: Digital Production, Social Media, Technophile | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Mailbox app – the suspense is making me cray

I am loving how this app is gradually releasing their product and keeping me aware of the finiteness of when I get it.

20130209-121719.jpg

I love everything about apps, I guess that’s why I am in the business of making them, and I can appreciate admire a company who knows how to wield gamification, quality control and marketing all in one fail swoop.

I am definitely learning as much as I can from this experience.

09. February 2013 by Carlos S. Aquino
Categories: Apps, Digital, Digital Production, Technophile | Tags: | Leave a comment

Fun Switcher – (Really; a switch for fun)

So surfing the interwebs I came across this gem, the Fun Switcher.

web based sound board

Basically this site allows you to cue up sounds bites, play them on loop and gives you a variety of different choices to pick from.

Also to turn on/off each sound bite is a light switch and once on loop a big red stop button appears, skeuomorphism at its finest.

Links allow you to share out across the webs, so if you can inject them anywhere, my personal favorite – IM chat.

Here are some personal faves:
Horror Laugh
Beverly Hills Cop
Bite My Shiny Metal Ass
Ha, GAAAY!

Anyhow I hope you enjoy them as much as I do, cheers!

03. February 2013 by Carlos S. Aquino
Categories: Digital, Technophile, WTF | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Eames House Blocks

Never to early to start teaching children good aesthetics and appreciation for design.

 

 

Eames House Blocks.

25. January 2013 by Carlos S. Aquino
Categories: Pater Familias | Leave a comment

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