9 min read

May 2024 Bakery

May 2024 Bakery

Half baked

Some written thoughts, but not enough for their own post

Once a month I visit xfinity.com to pay my internet bill. Once a month I am struck by Xfinity's inattention to craft. Links are broken. UX flows do not make any sense.

I click on "Go to billing" which takes me to /billing. I get a loading modal.

When this loading modal resolves, I get skeleton screen billing page. Why the backend query to fetch my outstanding bill requires two different loading screens to unsuccessfully obfuscate how non-performant it is I cannot say.

I click "Make a payment" and I'm asked for my password again. I then am re-routed to payments.xfinity.com/new where nothing loads.

Alternatively, I can also load up /bill-pay and click the "Pay your bill" button. This page has different branding and ui components than /billing so I wonder if it is an elaborate phishing attempt. This takes me back to payments.xfinity.com/new and then quickly redirects me to enter my password.

I guess paying through the website is down on a weekday during business hours?

I'll try the mobile app. Opening the app, I'm prompted to enter my password. I'm met with a series of loading modals that are not fooling anyone into thinking that this app is performant.

I can pay my current bill or my current bill and next month's bill. I click the pay button and realize that I have inadvertently elected to pay both. No going back now - there is some loading happening.

About three hours later I got a text from Xfinity thanking me for my payment. Very helpful.

Overall I'm struck by the sites slow performance, how none of the buttons do what I want, and how nothing is located where I expect it to be.

Can you imagine making making it this frustrating for your customers to give you their money? But, Xfinity, which is really just a Comcast rebrand that fools no one, has a monopoly. This is the only high speed service I can get. Elected officials, would any of you care to win my vote forever?

You might say, why don't you just enroll in autopay and save yourself the trouble? If they evidenced even a modicum of capability to not completely f*ck this up I might consider it, but they do not. Obviously trusting this company to charge my credit card automatically is a recipe for a kafka-esque nightmare when the day comes to cancel.

And then I remember when I interviewed for a developer position at Xfinity in 2017. They had a cool office in downtown Denver that gave every impression of a normal startup environment. But, every person I spoke with privately talked about how terrible the codebase was, how low the pay was, and how their direct managers were inept. The interview process wasn't so much of a process as a series of conversations where people seemed surprised I wanted to work at Xfinity.

Quarter baked

A sentence or two and a piece of content.

I raced a post-kid PR at the 10k distance at Bolder Boulder. This race has phenomenal logistics and wonderful vibes. It's a hilly course so it's hard to dial in the effort and pace. We'll see if I make this my spring A race next year.

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I've republished some of my favorite blog posts from my time as a student at Turing. These posts were on an older blog that is no longer publicly available.

Turing School of Software Design: Module 1, Week 3
This post originally published on July 14, 2016 is reposted from my original blog for reference. “Fall down seven times, get up eight,” is a Japanese saying related to students at the Turing School of Software Design by Heroku developer, Jonan Scheffler, in a lunch and learn session on July
All your battleship are belong to us
Turing School of Software Design: Module 1, Week 4 This post originally published on July 21, 2016 is reposted from my original blog for reference. Week 3 of module 1 of the Turing School of Software Design is in the books and the challenge was to code a playable version
Module 1 Retrospective
This post originally published on August 4, 2016 is reposted from my original blog for reference. Today I complete the first of four six-week Modules at the Turing School for Software Design. At the one-quarter mark it is worth taking stock of progress and reflecting on my goals and expectations.
My experience at the Turing School of Software & Design
This post originally published on January 12, 2017 is reposted from my original blog for reference. At the end of June 2016 I enrolled in the Turing School of Software Design. My goal was to pivot from the world of k-12 education, which had been my career for the past
From Code School Grad to Engineer
I have spent the last nine months transitioning from the K-12 education space to the tech world. The ride was challenging so I want to outline some of the steps I took to help me make the transition from code school graduate to engineer. This post originally published on March

I got to attend a happy hour celebrating the Ibotta IPO and saw many treasured friends and colleagues.

I'm interested in getting the Forest Stronghold lego set. I love the Lego castle theme so much. I might need to finally pull the trigger on the Lion Knights' Castle.

Forest Stronghold from BrickLink

I've been listening to the entire backlog of If Books Could Kill and enjoying it.

‎If Books Could Kill on Apple Podcasts
‎Society & Culture · 2024

I paced the four hour group at the Colfax marathon. Note to self, make sure you have the total run time Garmin data field somewhere on your watch next time.

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Two-part quarter baked: First Pierre Piscitelli breaks down Kieth Jarrett's ostinato, which is a perpetually repeating rhythmic, chordal, or melodic pattern. Second, Kieth Jarret improvises with ostinato.

When he hits he hits.

Paranoia and desperation in the AI gold rush
I’ve never seen so much paranoia in technology about missing out on The Next Big Thing as with AI. Companies seem less excited about the prospects than they are petrified that its going to kill them. Maybe that fear is justified, maybe it’s not, but what’s incontestable is the kind of desperation it’s leading to. Case in point: Slack.…

I'm pretty much aligned with DHH here.

System tests have failed
When we introduced a default setup for system tests in Rails 5.1 back in 2016, I had high hopes. In theory, system tests, which drive a headless browser through your actual interface, offer greater confidence that the entire machine is working as it ought. And because it runs in a black-box fashion, it should be more resilient to imple…

My kids and I built MOC - 31120 - Castle in the Forest by MIJbricks. Highly recommend.

Computerphile discussing recent paper that suggests that image categorization improvements from training on larger data sets may be on a logarithmic curve. In other words for every doubling of the training data, you only get 1 incremental improvement.

A non-hyped take on the state of AI as well as some of the draw backs by tech critic, Molly White.

AI isn’t useless. But is it worth it?
AI can be kind of useful, but I’m not sure that a “kind of useful” tool justifies the harm.

The internal communication guide at Basecamp. I'm a proponent of writing more, chatting and meeting less.

The 37signals Guide to Internal Communication
The how, where, why, and when we communicate. Long form asynchronous? Real-time chat? In-person? Video? Verbal? Written? Via email? In Basecamp? How do we keep everyone in the loop without everyone getting tangled in everyone else’s business? It’s all in here.

A post from a year ago, but incredible clarity on why the internet seems to be getting worse.

The ‘Enshittification’ of TikTok
Or how, exactly, platforms die.

Someone wants to use what I work on.


Naked links.

These emails — which I encourage you to look up — tell a dramatic story about how Google’s finance and advertising teams, led by Raghavan with the blessing of CEO Sundar Pichai, actively worked to make Google worse to make the company more money. This is what I mean when I talk about the Rot Economy — the illogical, product-destroying mindset that turns the products you love into torturous, frustrating quasi-tools that require you to fight the company’s intentions to get the service you want.
The Man Who Killed Google Search
Wanna listen to this story instead? Check out this week’s Better Offline podcast, “The Man That Destroyed Google Search,” available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and anywhere else you get your podcasts. This is the story of how Google Search died, and the people responsible for killing it. The story begins