Do Not Feed the Online Trolls

I used to have a music gear forum. The biggest effort and pain was to shut down bullies and trolls.

I had my share of bullying in high school. I still remember what it feels to be punched.

Most of the problems of high schools in the US and many other countries are because of bullies.

Now these bullies like to be online.



The 3 Behaviors of a Troll

1. Trolls Like To Start Fights

Trolls ask questions like:

  • Rails (or Ruby) doesn’t scale
  • The startup scence in (your city) sucks
  • There is no talent in (your city)

If you know the answer for a question then why ask?

Sometimes people ask questions without doing some research:

  • Looking for a technical cofounder

You will get bullied.

I see a lot of this naive behavior in Stackoverflow and Quora. People ask questions that have been asked hundreds of times.

I had the same at the music gear forum:

  • What’s the best amp for a gig.

Very broad question. It has been asked a hundred times. Trolls will come out to attack.

  • What’s better Ampeg or Marshall?

Also a broad question. The attack of the trolls.

Trolls like to ask questions for the sake of starting a fight.

Then they disappear. They don’t reply to comments.

2. Trolls Like To Be Anonymous

Trolls can be anybody.

It can be you.

It can be a programmer, a lawyer, a student.

It can be a wantrepreneur, an entrepreneur or a startup founder.

If you want to be in a fight and you don’t want anybody to know. Then you become.


This doesn’t mean you can use your freedom of speech for bullying.

I write articles and sometimes people comment.

Some comments are decent conversation.

Some are bullying.

I could reply.

But this would encourage the trolls to keep on bullying.

They live off this.

They cannot wait for the next article to bully and troll.

3. Trolls Are Feisty

If you reply to a bully’s comment.

They come back again, and again, and again.

They won’t stop.

They will come back stronger.

They will curse you.

They will attack you.

Do not give fuel to the trolls.

Do not reply to a troll.

If you see a comment from a troll. You can delete, block it, spam it or just leave it there.

Trolls will attempt to anger you.

They will upvote their comment with other anonymous accounts, so they show up on top.

You must defuse this.

Online trolls can be as bad or worse than offline bullies

I still remember a bully in high school that punched me in the stomach.

Now he is an anti-bully advocate.

If you are a troll you can change too!

Do Not Hire Me as a Ruby on Rails Developer

Do not hire me as a Ruby developer.

Or as a Rails developer.

Or as a Rails developer with Python skills.

I get a lot of Linkedin emails.

Please stop them.

I dislike keyword recruiters.


The truth is.

I am not a full time developer.

I have said this many times.

I don’t write code all day.

I don’t write tests.

I don’t refactor.

I don’t spend hours fixing CSS code.

I don’t spend all morning reviewing pull requests.

I don’t spend all afternoon writing scripts for Nginx.

Or patching a server.

Or writing algorithms for the business models.

Or messing with databases.

Or more refactoring.

Or complaining about agile and the never ending un TDD’ed world.

Or about code with no tests.

I don’t do that.

Instead I.

Spend my free time.

Reading the K&R ANSI C book.

Writing for loops of binary examples.

Thinking about how the traffic lights operate in a city and wondering about an algorithm using binary numbers to improve the flow of traffic.

Or deep researching chmod.

Or improving my Vim skills.

Or improving my typing.

I also spend my limited.

And very limited free time on.

Learning how to learn.


Learning how to teach.

Just a few and not a lot of people spend time doing this.

They face the firehose of information.

And they drown.

The worst is that.

They don’t know they are drowning.

They take shortcuts.

They copy/paste.

I despise this behavior.

I enjoy my limited as a coder.

I find it relaxing.

Some people find other ways.

Such as.

Watching TV or

Doing sports or

Playing ping pong or

Doing joga.

No I don’t.

I relax, on my free time and the most relaxing and joyful thing to do is.

Reading how to setup an Nginx server with Phusion Passenger.

I didn’t go to CS school.

Although I did engineering.

Endless nights building and testing circuits.

This was pre-arduino.

When circuits was not the “cool” thing to do.

I don’t do circuits anymore.

Unless I want to build an envelope filter to play funk on my bass.



Do not hire me as a ruby on rails developer.

Cause I am a hobbyst.

And I like that.

3 More Reasons Why They Unfollow You on Twitter

Here are 3 reasons why they unfollow you on twitter. That post is almost a year old.

A lot of lessons learned.

And here are

3 more reasons why they unfollow you on twitter

1. You use Twitter as your personal El Cheapo Psychiatrist

You use Twitter to vent…

Your frustrations.

Your hates.

Your loves.

Your love of hates.

Your hate of loves.

Your work.

Your daily.

Your routine.

Your school.

Your folks.

Your family.

Your partner.

Your favorite (fill in the lines)

Your dislike of (fill in the lines)

Groupon stock.

The Bitcoin rollercoaster market value.

Marissa Mayer.

The latest acquihire, acquisition, inquisition.

You vent about everything.

People will unfollow you.

2. They misunderstand your tweet

Today you tweet you hate the Miami Heat. They lost.

Tomorrow you tweet you love the Miami Heat. They win.

They unfollow you.

They didn’t like you hated the Miami Heat.

They didn’t like you talked about the Miami Heat/

They don’t like basketball.

They understood you like heat.

They understood you are heat.

They understood you hate meat.

They understood you hate Miami.

They like the opposite team. Whatever that is. I don’t follow basketball so I don’t have a clue.

They read you like the Mami Heat. They corrected you that it is Miami and not Mami. Although you wrote it correctly. They were wrong. They were reading from their phones, probably while driving.

They favorited your tweet. You didn’t like that. So you unfollow them. Changed your mind 5 minutes later. Followed them back. They unfollowed you. They didn’t notice that you followed them back. They don’t follow you back again.

They unfollow you because they are tired of hearing about the Miami Heat and their superstar. That tall dude. I forgot his name.

They unfollow you because you don’t have a clue about basketball. Like they are unfollowing me at this exact moment.

3. They Just Unfollow You

You had a few chats with them online.

They replied to your tweets.

They favorite some.

They replied to a few more.

You have never met these people offline.

But you thought you had a connection…get it? a connection.

One day they unfollow you.

You know this because you signed up for the unfollowme report.

You question yourself and twitter life.


What did I do?

Was I annoying?

When was I annoying? Which of the last (few) hundred tweets. Let me see. Scroll down, down, down more. I don’t know which one. Was it because I put a picture of my food? Because of a typo? Because it’s 80F here and 20F there and I made fun of that. They are on the 20F side? Was that it? No it wasn’t? It’s 70F there? Which tweet made it? Which?

You met them offline.

They seemed nice.

You connected.

You made a collision. (Brad Feld can you sponsor this line?)

You followed each other on twitter.

Virtual fist bumps with the explosion and the sound less effect. Kaboom. Although more like Kapoosh.

They RT.

They replied.

They favorited.

Then one day.

They unfollow you.

There is nothing you can do about it.

You could.


Hey, why did you unfollow me?

They might say.

Sorry. It was this automated software. Bla bla.

Don’t believe this.

Yet. They don’t follow back.

Even if they follow back.

Don’t care

They might say.


They don’t reply back.

Reply with this. And exactly this:


The reality of Twitter

Take it with a grain of salt.

Which means.

Take something lightly.

Don’t make a big fuzz about it.

It’s not a life changer.

Cultivate your connections with collisions.


Face to face interactions.

Brad Feld you owe me big time. Next time I use the word collisions in this context I will send you a bill

Music for Coding or Not

People ask me often what type of music I listen to while coding or computering.


This reminded me of that article by codinghorror about music not to code by.

I am a music fan.

When coworking in Chicago I always wore DJ headphones.

Studio headphones

The top 10 albums I listened to while coding:

1. The Fragile by NIN

This album is awesome

2. Master of Puppets by Metallica

I know how to play all these songs on the bass

3. Bossanova by Pixies

If you don't like this you are insane

4. Jar of Flies by AIC

Nutshell inspired me to learn music

5. Siamese Dream by Smashing Pumpkins

I test headphones by listening to Cherub Rock

6. One Life Stand by Hot Chip

100.times while looping in Chicago

7. Around the Fur by Deftones


8. Iowa by Slipknot

No code Left Behind

9. 8:30 by Weather Report

Took me 6 months to learn Slang

10. Far Beyond Driven by Pantera

I bought this just for the parental advisory

Not a typo.

You read correctly.

Listened to.

Listened to, because listening to this music while coding…

Is an efficiency wreck.

The moment you start humming a song.

You lose focus.

Your brain needs to be thinking about solving that problem.

And not thinking about the tune.

Or about singing.

The top 3 albums I listen to while coding

1. None

I put on my noise cancelling headphones.

And I listen to.


I googled nothing and I got a black screen

The noise cancelling works so well.

That I can hear my brain.

And nothing else.

2. Nature sounds

Like a river

Not the beach or it will put you to sleep

Sounds of the city.

Street noise.

3. Chopin

In particular these songs into a for loop

  • Waltz No 1. in D-Flat major
  • Preludes, Op 28 No 2 in A minor
  • Nocturne No 20 in C sharp minor

20.times do Chopin

Being a Spotify DJ


You put a song.


Then put another song.


This is an efficiency crazy train wreck.

Crazy train coding wreck

Don’t do that.

Touch Type Increases Your Productivity

Touch type is very important.

Before touch type I was not as efficient as I wanted.

After learning touch type my efficiency increased exponentially.

Touch Type makes you super Human

Before Touch Type

I typed with 2 fingers.

I typed fast but with 2 fingers.

The downside is constantly looking at the keyboard.

You make a lot of typos not looking at the screen.

When you get a typo and you hit delete you get stuck in the delete/type loop.

Nobody criticized my 2-finger typing.


I experienced pair programming.

Sitting in front of the computer sharing a keyboard with somebody else.

He knew touch type.

He flew through a problem.

It was my time to type.

I got lost paying attention to class and trying to type at the same time.

I typed fast with 2 fingers.

But my lab partner typed 20 times faster than me.

He tells me I NEED to learn touch type or I will have a hard time following.

After Touch Type

It took me 2 months of every day practice.




I used the Z-type game.

Very effective

I played the Z-type game for 30 minutes every other day for 2 months.

My life changed.

My Screen Is An Extension of my Brain

Everything on my screen is an extension of my brain.

You only realize this when you touch type.

Your mind becomes crystal clear.


You are reading your mind on your screen.

All the time.

Efficiency 20x

I touch type everything.

My emails.

My word.

My excel.

My code.

Touch typing right now.

I make less mistakes.

If I made 10 mistakes before.

Now I make 1.

I encourage everybody I know to touch type.

It changes the way you communicate.

It makes you focused.

I Struggle Sometimes

Home row is your best friend.

Everything above and below.

Are strange territories.

But you must keep practicing

I can never type 6 without looking down.

I struggle with - and =. I am glad words don’t have a lot of z and x.

Square and curly brackets are not my best friends.

My pinky finger doesn’t have much muscle.

I like typing walls |. Strange.

@ not so bad.

Geek Alert

I remapped the Caps with Control (on the Mac)


Someone else’s laptop

But I try.

To make myself better.


With the Z type

And with code