Profile

Cover photo
Joe Gibbs Politz
Works at Swarthmore College
Attends Brown University
Lives in Philadelphia, PA
105,821 views
AboutPostsPhotosYouTubeReviews

Stream

Joe Gibbs Politz

Shared publicly  - 
 
Didn't know about CampusBird until today.  They did Swarthmore's campus map and it's pretty awesome:

http://www.swarthmore.edu/campusmap/?destination=mertz#!ce/8859?ct/8859?m/92427

The illustrations are good enough that zooming in helps identify buildings way better than satellite view does.
1
Add a comment...

Joe Gibbs Politz

Shared publicly  - 
 
I knew Fishtown was hipster when I moved here. Little did I know the phoneless, tableless pizza place up the street serves the best pizza in America.
Philadelphia’s Pizzeria Beddia is a seatless joint with two employees and no phone. It also happens to serve the best pizza in America. (Yep, we said it.) Andrew Knowlton delves deep into the obsessive mind and magical dough of owner Joe Beddia.
2
1
Hilmar Hoffmann's profile photo
Add a comment...

Joe Gibbs Politz

Shared publicly  - 
 
I am absolutely fantastic at walking around the block.  I can react reasonably to any situation that comes up, and adapt to obstacles on the sidewalk or changes in the route.  I've mastered it.

For example, I can see a crossing guard wearing neon green and integrate that experience into my walk with little emotional turmoil.  I even have attention to spare for other details, like my dog's sudden attempt to flee from the green monster.

Today I got the treat under Ada's nose quick enough that she turned back around and walked by the monster all by herself.  Even better, she found out that the monster was (surprise!) yet another friendly human who wanted to pet her.  This is a big step in her around-the-block-walking development; she'll get there yet.

#dogtraining
2
Add a comment...

Joe Gibbs Politz

Shared publicly  - 
 
Shameless plug for the newest album featuring my sister, +Sarah Politz​, on trombone playing jazz in a cathedral.
2
Hilmar Hoffmann's profile photo
 
Wow!
Add a comment...

Joe Gibbs Politz

Shared publicly  - 
 
The point about incoherent intermediate states is really interesting. It resonates well with the awkward feeling when I return to normal mode in vim without having completed an edit, which I can often avoid.

The usual culprit is when I'm removing the wrapping around a callback in JS, and have to delete the top line and the closing }) separately.
 
Scrubbing really makes a lot of sense in a live programming environment. With typing alone, to go from 1 to 2, you have to delete the 1 and add the 2, but this obviously is not very smooth, and you have a pointless error state in between the two edits. Going from 10 to 11 also isn't ideal since you go from "10" to "1" to "11", which isn't very coherent. Even going from true to false is problematic and you can't observe quickly the effects of flipping a booling back and forth. 

Scrubbing solves all of that, and it is really no wonder why it is included in most live programming environments. In the same way that code completion is commonly misunderstood, it has nothing to do with "saving on typing" and everything to do with smooth coherent changes during a live programming sessions. 
1
Joe Gibbs Politz's profile photoMike Stay's profile photo
3 comments
 
Oh, that.  I've yet to find the slider bar useful, but I think that treating the text of a program more as merely a representation of an underlying "code object" makes refactoring much easier.  
Add a comment...

Joe Gibbs Politz

Shared publicly  - 
 
I love the Google Drive API, but sometimes things like this just seem to happen, sometimes temporarily, with little explanation or announcement. Resharing for visibility in case others know what's up.
 
Since ~2 hours the 
service.files().copy(id, targetFile).execute();
method does not work anymore.
I am trying to copy a file from a public folder (public on the web) on drive to the drive of the authenticated user.
I used to work fine, but now it simply does nothing and returns null instead of the created file.
1
Joe Gibbs Politz's profile photo
Add a comment...

Joe Gibbs Politz

Shared publicly  - 
 
Ridiculously productive, as always. All will be fun books for modern fantasy lovers, I'm sure, though if you are, you've probably read some Sanderson and know that already.
 
Calamity is Done!


I have finished the second draft of Calamity, the third and final book of the Reckoners trilogy. As I’ve said before, my second draft of a story is the one where I do “bug fixing.” Essentially, I read through again and tweak any problems I know the book has, trying to make it readable by my editor. I often do a polish and trim during or after this. (In this case, the book was clean enough that I did it during, doing about a 5% cut along the way to tighten the language.)

So, huzzah! The book, and the series, is a wrap. I’ll probably end up doing one to two more drafts on this book after alpha readers (my family, writing group, editor, and agent) and then beta readers (who are carefully selected by my assistant Peter) have a look at it.

But for now, my Reckoners plate has been cleared. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) someone just shoved another full plate at me: Mistborn, Shadows of Self. It’s time for the editorial and beta reader edits for that book, which is due into Tor in its (mostly) final form June 15th. So, there’s no rest for me this time around, despite wanting to someday have a chance to play Bloodborne. (Mmm...Dark Souls games...)

Anyway, as you can see from the progress bars on my website, I'm already halfway through the Mistborn revision, so I may finish ahead of schedule. June 15th or earlier, then, will mark my official start of work on Stormlight Three. I know a lot of you are waiting for this, and I’m eager to get to it. Things will go better if I get this Mistborn revision done first, however, since we’re not far away from that one actually getting released.

Thanks, as always, for your support and patience. I realize many of you would rather I just stick to one project—but time has proven to me that my writing is stronger if I keep a variety of stories moving through my brain. The books that you personally love are made stronger by me dividing my time.

Anticipated work and release dates of future books are:

• Shadows of Self (Mistborn Era Two, Book Two)
Set for October 6th and up for preorder now! Working on final revisions currently.

• The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn Era Two, Book Three)
Set for January 26th and up for preorder now! The final revision notes not yet back from the editor. Will probably be due in two or three months. (So I’ll need to take a break from Stormlight when they arrive.)

• Calamity (the final book of the Reckoners)
Spring 2016 sometime. The date isn’t set yet; we’re talking with Random House about this right now. The book just got sent in, and editorial revisions will likely be due late this summer. My goal will probably be to do them during the same break where I do Bands of Mourning revisions.

• Alcatraz vs. the Dark Talent (The Evil Librarians Book Five)
Summer 2016 sometime. Note that currently the plan is to rerelease all four of the previous books during the winter/spring with brand new art (and, at last, ebooks). Yay!

• Stormlight 3 (No official title yet, though I’ve bandied about many different ones, including Stones Unhallowed) 
Christmas 2016. My next project, starting work in June. Anticipated writing time: 8–10 months, plus interruptions for drafting other books. Follow along on the progress bar on my website.

There you go! As I’ve said before, my goal is generally to do two books a year—one large epic and one smaller teen novel. However, last year, instead of doing a large epic I did two shorter Mistborn novels. (Along with one tiny book, in Evil Librarians 5. Amusingly all three of these books added together are only around two-thirds the length of a Stormlight novel.)

Hopefully I’m not releasing too much. I don’t want you folks to get tired of me. One side effect of the way I approached last year is that I currently don’t have any novellas in the pipeline, which saddens me, as Perfect State, Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, Legion: Skin Deep, and Sixth of the Dusk have all had very good receptions over the last year. So, I’ve been wondering if—while writing Stormlight 3—it might be good for me to squeeze in a novella-length story about one of the side characters, then release it next spring as a teaser. We’ll see.

As for what I’ll do when Stormlight 3 is finished...well, that’s too far off to judge. My eyes are solidly on Stormlight at this point, and it’s going to dominate my life for the better part of a year. Once it’s done, we’ll see. My next book could be Rithmatist 2, or it could be the final Wax and Wayne book, or it could be a new teen project to follow up the Reckoners. All three are things I’ll consider doing in the break between Stormlight 3 and 4.

But man...I don’t even want to think about Book Four right now. Book Three is looming large, and it’s almost time to settle in and get to work.

For now, I hope you enjoy the Mistborn books and Calamity as they are released. Thanks again for your support!

Brandon Sanderson
May 2016
1
Add a comment...

Joe Gibbs Politz

Shared publicly  - 
 
"As live feedback, scrubbing is water hosing while keyboard editing is archery."
 
I recently wrote an essay on live programming that is under submission for FpW (this is done in pure HTML, with some added content, if you saw the previous one):

http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/smcdirm/apx/index.html

Please don't re-share on any other social sites (e.g. hackernews, reddit).
Live programming provides live feedback about how code executes while it is being edited. Unfortunately, live programming and similar efforts are still not very well understood with many attempts limited to demo-ware, fancier LISP-like REPLs, or Smalltalk-like fix-and-continue IDEs, ...
1
Add a comment...

Joe Gibbs Politz

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
Despite this article's title, it's about more than just women of color in technology: it's about recruiting and retaining people from underrepresented groups across the board. And that's something extremely important to the success of any technology company.

Why? There are three major reasons.

(1) Diverse groups avoid stupid product mistakes. This is in literally every sense of the word "diverse:" if you have people from different groups in your team, they'll notice – and you'll prioritize – problems that you never would have spotted otherwise. If your system doesn't work for the deaf and someone on your team is deaf, or if it requires hitting tiny affordances all the time and you have someone with a motion disability, you're never going to ship it that way, and that means more users. If your system has a price structure, or a branding, or a visual style that would never appeal to users outside of Silicon Valley, you'll catch that if people on your team are from a very different world. If women experience a different kind of abuse on your system than men do, then you'll build entirely different protections into your system if there are women in the room when you're making the design decisions.

The key point is that these are just examples: nobody can predict what an extra set of eyeballs, especially different eyeballs, will catch. The one thing that's reliable is that each set of eyeballs – not just working grunt jobs, but in the core decision-making process – means you don't make a mistake that shuts out a bunch of potential customers.

(2) Diversity interrupts groupthink. It's really easy for a room full of similar people to start to talk in similar ways. Not only do you not make the right decisions, you don't even realize there are decisions that you're implicitly making. More different eyes prevent that.

(3) You get to hire the best people. People who haven't been in this game very long think "Recruit minorities? You mean lower the bar!" People who have played this for a while hear that and think "Sucker."

The thing about structural racism/sexism/etc. is that a lot of people from the various underrepresented groups don't have the "traditional signifiers" of being good. They won't have gone to the top-tier schools, or they won't have any contacts, or their job history will be so-so. What you quickly learn in engineering, though, is that these signifiers are simply signals that you use when trying to find good people – and overall, as signals, they kind of suck. Terribly.

I've lost count of how many people I've interviewed who came from top-tier schools and had a glowing résumé and couldn't think an independent thought or design a system on their own to save their lives. Top-tier schools don't provide a systematically better education in CS; often, CS departments are so mathematically inclined that students that don't actively go the extra mile come out with a degree in theory and no ability to code. They used to claim that they were "filtering out the best of the best," but in practice, they do a lot of that filtering starting from "people with enough contacts to get in." 

Job histories are sometimes useful, sometimes not, especially in an era where so many people end up unable to find a job for months or years at a stretch anyway. 

References are great, but they're only a positive signal: the lack of references tells you nothing.

And the important thing is, that unless you're a tiny company hiring a temp, or hiring a senior specialist, you shouldn't be hiring for experience: you should be hiring for brains. You can teach CS; you can't teach smart.

What this means is that among these "underrepresented groups," there are a bunch of smart people out there who, lacking these traditional signifiers, aren't getting the right job offers. And that means smart people that you can hire. Lots of them. All you have to do is hire them and treat them with respect.

(As a side note: I attended GHC, the biggest annual conference for women in CS last year, for recruiting purposes. The quality of people looking for jobs there was insane compared to any other CS event.)


But.... if you want to hire and retain these people, you have to make an active effort. This open letter has a bunch of specific suggestions in it which I personally think are all individually excellent: I endorse these ideas wholeheartedly.

(NB: It also makes several statements about how various companies do things. I have it on good authority that several of these statements are incorrect, but I have no personal knowledge either way and so am neither affirming nor negating that part. My endorsement of this letter is about all of the courses of action it favors, which I think are excellent ideas; on the rest, I have no opinion)

I will add: In my groups, people of all genders, races, and backgrounds are not only welcome but actively desired. This is the case now and will continue to be the case in every team I run in the future.

Thanks to +Erica Joy for pointing me at this great letter.

[DISCLAIMER: I am writing this post in my personal capacity and am not speaking on behalf of Google. I make no assertions as to the truth or falsity of any of the claims of fact made within the letter, nor of any conclusions of law. Those of you who have been in the field for a while know why I have to state this, too]
1
Add a comment...

Joe Gibbs Politz

Shared publicly  - 
 
I wonder why this bug report is flagged this way. The combination of "Log on" and "Google Drive" maybe?
1
Nate Foster's profile photo
 
Or the presence of "Ben Lerner"?
Add a comment...

Joe Gibbs Politz

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
This visualization of deaths in World War II is super well done. I had no idea the sheer number of Russians that died, that column just keeps going and going...and going. https://vimeo.com/128373915
1
Add a comment...

Joe Gibbs Politz

Shared publicly  - 
 
Just taking a moment to note that modern development is amazing: I'm just finishing up a configuration where Travis CI will, on each push to Github, copy a built Pyret compiler to Amazon S3 (but only if all the tests pass).  That built file is part of an automatic deployment where Github pushes trigger new versions of a Heroku server to start up.  None of this is considered especially heroic or out of the ordinary.  These services are awesome.

On another note, (how) do students learn to do this?  I think that munging config files and chaining along these scripts is actually one of my most useful skills, but it's entirely self-taught.
1
Kartik Singhal's profile photo
 
I had a similar kind of epiphany after setting up automatic deployment for my static website: http://techglider.in/status/2015/03/16/testing-automatic-deployment-with-wercker/ 

I agree about the learning part. Most of the scripting/automation skills that I learnt came by tinkering with machines on a need basis. No school teaches these, but perhaps some skills are better learnt by experience.
Add a comment...
Work
Occupation
Teacher, Hacker, Writer, etc.
Employment
  • Swarthmore College
    Visiting Instructor, 2015 - present
  • Brown University
    Grad Student, 2009 - 2014
  • Google
    Intern, 2012 - 2012
  • Google
    Intern, 2011 - 2011
  • Fujitsu
    Intern, 2010 - 2010
  • assistments.org
    Tech Lead, 2008 - 2009
  • Friendly's
    Comestibles Preparator, 2003 - 2008
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Philadelphia, PA
Previously
Providence, RI - Mountain View, CA - Worcester, MA - San Jose, Costa Rica - Atlanta, GA - Holden, MA
Links
Contributor to
Education
  • Brown University
    Computer Science, 2009 - present
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute
    Computer Science, 2005 - 2009
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Public - 2 weeks ago
reviewed 2 weeks ago
This is now Pittsburgh Paints, not a hardware store.
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
2 reviews
Map
Map
Map