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Building A Twitter Bot in Python

My first encounter with Twitter bots happened last year via Python and involved my building a bot that would receive tweets with a specific hashtag and photo attached, apply an instagram-like filter to it, and retweet the user with the new photo. It was a fun first pass at getting my hands dirty with Twitter’s streaming API (which of all it’s API’s might actually be the least obvious one to use… I thought I was struggling because #n00b, etc. but a number of more experienced coders have since reassured me that it’s not just me. Wee!) For my second pass at bot-building things went a little differently. Firstly, when it came to deciding on the botiness of the bot itself, I opted for language processing over image processing. This was for no other reason than I’ve been looking for an excuse to build something with ELIZA, one of the earliest known natural…

Mr. Robot, Secret Dating Profiles, and Network Security with Lesley Carhart

When I first reached out to interview Lesley, I knew nothing about network security. I’d seen Mr. Robot, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and a slew of cheesy 90’s hacker films. I figured that had to be some truth to what hackers do being played on screen. After a network has been identified as hacked into by the people who monitor it, or by a government agency, Lesley leads a team of people to figure out how the network was broken into, what was stolen, what other devices might be compromised. And then she reports everything the hackers did while they touched those systems. We also talked about a blog post she had written called “The Top 9 ways I Found Your ‘Secret’ Dating Profile”, how to handle twitter trolls (LORD HELP ME), and how to find free, open source tools for getting into network security. { Episode Links…

35 Projects You Can Add to GitHub to Show Off Your Dev Skills

I first discovered GitHub when I was going to MeetUps in the Loop, trying to figure out what a “real” developer did. I kept hearing from professional developers that companies would see their work on GitHub, and reach out to them with job opportunities. As someone without a college degree who disliked putting together resumes, I thought “This is for me.” I figured if I added projects to my GitHub, I could find a job as a “real” developer. I think it worked 🙂 It’s no secret that hiring managers, recruiters, and developers look to GitHub when looking for talent. It’s a way for them to look at your work, and see how you might fit on their team. Many companies are getting rid of resumes altogether or leaving the request for a resume until the end of the interview process. It makes sense; why look at a piece of…

From Space to Software with Nicole Vagt

{ Episode 29 } Why would someone leave the NASA of Europe to move to Spain, and teach themselves how to code? Today I interviewed Nicole Vagt, a self-taught software engineer who used to work for the European Space Agency.  Nicole and her partner decided to leave their 9 to 5 jobs so they could focus on growing their skills in the tech space.  For Nicole, this meant teaching herself Rails, and all of the technologies needed to support her new app, Mundolore. She’s also freelancing while she builds her app. What I asked Nicole: How did you learn to code? What languages did you start with? Why did you think a location switch would be useful to your learning process? How did you go from being a space scientist to software engineer? How do you focus in on your freelance business? How do you find clients? What is your…

Getting Kids Into Tech and Speaking at Conferences with Catt Small

{ Episode 25 } “Fashion and makeup and all these things that are pushed toward young women: that’s a big space where they could be learning more about programming and coding.” ~ Catt Small What we talked about in this episode: Her e-book “How to Become a Public Speaker in 1 Year” How speaking at tech conferences has helped her career The games she uses to teach kids how to code How her love for fashion inspired her to learn how to code in her pre-teen years What inspired her to start learning to code at a young age What makes her decide to apply to speak at a conference What makes her decide to skip a conference { we should all be doing this } How to tailor your talk to the right conference { Episode Links } Catt on Twitter, a game she uses to teach kids to…

5 Tools Every Developer Needs to Remote Pair

When I landed my first remote job, I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew that I wanted to mix work with travel. Why work in my apartment in Chicago when I could work from a co-working space in Barcelona, or Bucharest? As long as I had access to wifi and coffee, how hard could it be? From a technical standpoint, I knew I needed to figure out how was I going to log in to work every day and be successful. The company I had just accepted an offer from had a pair programming policy: they did it a lot. Would I be as productive as I was working in an office? And what tools would I use to ensure my success as the newbie on the team? To get answers to my tech questions, and some travel ones too, I decided to start a podcast.…

5 Ways to Become a Strong Junior Developer

“What language should I learn?” “Should I figure out how to write tests?” “What programming book should I buy?” ​ These are questions that used to appear in my inbox and Twitter mentions on a daily basis. I used to respond with a series of follow-up questions like “why do you want to learn?” or “what do you want to build?” The answers varied, but the result is typically the same. The person who reached out would say thank you and occasionally update me with their process. My inbox was getting difficult to keep up with, so I started inviting people to chat with me on Slack.  { BTW if you need an invite, sign up for our newsletter, or msg me on Instagram } Slack made it easier to answer questions in bulk at my convenience.  It also meant that fewer questions were being asked.  People could hop into channels…