Advocating for Android: A Conversation with Google's Reto Meier

interview tech

November 2015

Reto Meier is an Android Developer Advocate at Google, inspiring and supporting the Android developer community with training and resources. I sat down with him to talk about his own journey into code, why he chose to focus his career on Android, and where he sees the ecosystem going in the next several years.

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Geoanalysis in Google Sheets with Custom Functions and the Google Maps API

tutorials tech hacks

October 2015

Here’s the scenario. You’re an independent clothing designer, thinking of opening a pop-up shop in Brooklyn. You know you’ve made a number of sales in Brooklyn in the last year, but want to do some quick geographic analysis to get a visual on the neighborhood distribution to help you figure out where you should open up shop.

Our goal: To take a list of customer addresses and create a pie chart illustrating the distribution of neighborhoods.

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Use Slack, Google Apps Script, and Google Sheets to automate your stand-ups

tutorials tech hacks

September 2015

If you’re working for a small- to mid-sized company that was founded in the last 10 years, chances are you’re using Google Apps everyday for mail, spreadsheets, documents, and, well… maybe your entire job. In this tutorial, we’re going to use Google Apps Script, a powerful JavaScript-based programming language built right into all of your Google Apps. Chances are, you may not even realize how much power is available to you – you can create custom add-ons for your company, connect to outside services, and add new formulas to your spreadsheets. We can even do crazy things like send a Gmail from a custom menu in Google Sheets, or create a new Google Doc whenever someone submits a Google Form.

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Ethereum and the Decentralized Web

tech

August 2015

When you send a message or check your news feed on your Facebook app, almost everything is routed through centralized servers. Your Instagram photos. Your email. Even your Snapchat messages (they say they're deleted... but are you really sure?) While most of us don't understand how all of this works, it's hard to miss the fact that centralized systems have major flaws, despite (or even because of) their growing complexity. The NSA can intercept your private user data from Google by tapping into their centralized network. Hackers can reveal millions of people's identities and online choices by hacking in through Ashley Madison's VPN. Apple iMessage goes down when Apple's servers go down. And 56 million credit cards can be stolen from one national retailer's servers, because, well...they were on a server.

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A Beginner's Guide to Bitcoin and the Blockchain

tech

August 2015

In today’s world, digital transactions are everywhere. Whether we’re adding credit to a metro card, buying a burrito, making a payment on a student loan, or renting a bike, we store, spend, and exchange currency for goods and services every day. Every time we swipe a debit card, a lot goes on behind the scenes — big banks verify our identity through a pin number, and then check their records to make sure we have money to spend.

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My top 5 albums of 2014

music

January 2015

In this post, I share my personal top 5 albums of the year and a brief synopsis of each.

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Bulk Download of Full-Size Flickr Photos

tech hacks

March 2014

Sitting here in NYC at General Assembly HQ, trying to gather all the info and best practices I can. I’m really happy to be working with GA to launch educational programs in DC that I really believe are going to help so many people chart a new path towards doing work they love.

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To my brothers

personal

August 2013

Yesterday, I wrote this to my brothers, aged 11 and 16. I hope they look back and thank me someday. — To P and B: I don’t want either of you to ever tell me that I never told you this. Learn to code. It takes a lot of perseverance to get over the hump to figure out how to get started, but you will never regret learning to build web apps, computer programs, etc. You will have endless amounts of flexibility if you know how to code. Don’t like your job? Quit and find a freelance coding project and work from home. I started coding when I was 10 but my biggest professional regret is not having focused on the skill more throughout high school and college. Sports were fun, music was very rewarding, an engineering degree gave me a piece of paper that companies like *** respect, but if you can code you can go and do whatever you want. Also buy a 3D printer.

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Musings post-Africa

personal career

July 2013

I’ve been home from Africa for about a week now, but only made it back to L.A. a couple days ago. I took a few days in Florida to sleep, hang out with my parents, brothers, and grandparents, and just all around make the time zone shift less jarring (7 hours is better than 10 hours)… anyways. The trip was awesome. I met so many amazing people and had 10 days to get out of the daily grind and think about my future. I’ll write more about the entrepreneurs I met and details of my trip later, but the biggest thing I came away with was this: As I met with smart kids building companies and apps across the world in Africa, I realized where my passion lies… I’m an entrepreneur, straight up. I can’t get around it. I started my first company when I was 10 years old and that was the coolest thing ever. When I got started getting “real jobs”, I worked for a tiny organization, then a mid-sized company, and now a massive global consultancy. And it’s been a good ride; I’m happy for my time in corporate America. My time in consulting has taught me a lot of things - for example, to be successful you need to find your niche, network until you get where you want to be, work your ass off, and build your own career (‘cuz it ain’t gonna build itself).

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