Multipass VMs on macOS

I'm in the process of developing a demo for my students.  I need to show them how we'll do Docker based deployments in the cloud, and I wanted to quickly create a small cluster of VMs on my M1 MacBook Pro.  I debated doing it in AWS, but decided that…

GPT and Pouring Language Through Shape

I've spent the past few months building programs with GPT-3.  It's amazing and it's forcing me to rethink so much about how I write code or approach problems.  I was first inspired to try using it after reading Simon's great post about how to get started. Since then I have…

Teaching, Winter 2023

Tomorrow I'm starting the Winter 2023 term.  I thought I'd give a brief update on what I'm teaching, and my plans.This term I'm teaching WEB222 (intro to web programming), CCP555 (cloud computing for programmers using AWS), and OSD700/DPS11 (open source project).The web and cloud courses are going…

Planning Starchart

Over the last few weeks, I've been doing some work to plan a new open source project called Starchart.  The idea behind it is to solve a problem that a lot of us teaching programming have, namely, to make it easy and cheap (read "free!") for students to create custom…

Building an Understanding

Recently I've been working with some students as they debug their programs and reflecting on their approaches.  Most thrash wildly when something doesn't work, sure that if they just do this-one-thing, or that, everything will work!  They cast madly about for the magical StackOverflow- or Google-incantation that will put their…

On the value of small contributions

My open source students are beginning Hacktoberfest this week and already the DMs are coming in with a familiar question: "Is this issue big enough? Is this too simple?" I understand the question, since I explicitly ask that students work in real open source projects, avoiding those repos…

Learning to live with failure

This week I've been talking with a number of students in my cloud computing course who all have a similar bug.  They are making network requests to a REST API endpoint, and instead of getting back the expected JSON result, they get an error about the JSON parser not being…

HTTP Testing with Hurl in node.js

The JavaScript ecosystem has been benefiting lately from pieces of its dev tooling being (re)written in Rust.  Projects like swc, Parcel 2 and parcel-css, deno, dprint and others have brought us tremendous performance improvements with tasks like bundling, formatting, etc.  Recently, my favourite Rust-based, HTTP testing tool gained the…

Teaching AWS and Cloud Computing for Programmers

I'm beginning another term today, and the majority of what I'm teaching this time is Cloud Computing using AWS.  I spent a good part of 2021 researching and developing this course, and taught it for the first time during the winter semester.  Now that I've arrived at the "teach it…

Shipping Telescope 2.8.x

"The more I practice, the better I will become" --Thanh Van"Send a PR up and then lets start collaborating" --Tim Roberts"whether you're a student or not, there's always something to learn" --Abdul GuledNearly a month since my previous Telescope update, I'm back with another story to tell, this…