Driving & Coding... but not at the same time

Coded Moose Warning SignOver the last two weeks I’ve done a bit of traveling. I drove to Dallas three times in a weeks time. Now, for most people in the MetroPlex that is a daily occurrence. In my case however, I have lived in Fort Worth for two years and had not been to Dallas. My first trip was to attend the Dallas Open Source Group. I found this group several months again through Meetup.com but had not been free on a Saturday to attend.

I got up early that Saturday and bought me a large coffee to get me ready for the trip. I found my way there without too much trouble. We met at Atlanta Bread Company. The management doesn’t mind the group meeting there and they have free Wi-Fi. There were about 10 of us with a range of experience and vocations, but we each had an interest in using open source software and seeing its adoption increase.

We discussed the body of software available on Windows. We would get distracted and chase rabbits but it was a fun hunting experience. Afterwards a few of us went to have BBQ and continued our conversation. It was during this trip that I was introduced to Nerdbooks.com.

Tuesday evening found me leaving Arlington for another Meetup group, DallasPHP. This group is a collection of programmers, managers and owners involved in the use of PHP & MySQL. The meeting was held at the Yahoo! offices in Richardson. Jason Ragsdale, a Yahoo! employee, gave a presentation on scalability and optimization.

This presentation was beneficial because several of the concepts I could implement immediately. I am a decent programmer but being self-taught I do not know all the best practices. I have been programming in PHP for close to four years but I have barely scratched the surface.

Finally, last Saturday, the DallasPHP group had a Q&A session at Nerdbooks. It was a smaller group and this allowed us to bring up coding problems or questions and get advice and feedback. Being my second time to Nerdbooks I couldn’t help but buy something. I picked The PHP Anthology and High Performance MySQL.

It occurred to me later that I had engaged in two activities that I really enjoy. I like pulling out a map, locating some obscure or interesting place and then figuring out how to get there. I also revel in programming. Coding at its simplest is stringing logic statements together to accomplish a task. The fun is piecing those logic blocks together to complete the puzzle. “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”