Using GitHub as your coding resume

If you are a software engineer and you don’t know about GitHub, you should.  You are probably already be on LinkedIn, but what better way to describe your software than to show it on GitHub.  I can’t imagine a better way for a prospective employer to pre-qualify a software engineer than to view some of their code.  This is assuming that the code you have is owned by you or will not violate any legal issues if you share it.

Here is what you need to do:

1. Get a free account at GitHub, install and configure it to your specifications.  One thing to keep in mind is that you want your username to be as close to your real name as possible.

Below are a couple of useful configuration options entered via the terminal.

git config --get
git config --get

These should be the same as what you used to create an account at GitHub.  If you don’t get anything back do the following:

git config --global "John Doe"
git config --global ""

If you want to exclude files, type in:

git config --global core.excludesfile ~/.gitignore_global


echo '.excluded file/' >> ~/.gitignore_global

for each file you want excluded.

Rather than push all of your files, the following will just push the branch you are currently working on:

git config --global push.default current

2. Confirm your account.  In the terminal type:

pbcopy < ~/.ssh/

Go to Click Add SSH key, put ‘Laptop’ in Title, then Paste in the Key box.  Verify the SSH Key settings by typing the following into the terminal:

ssh -T

Once confirmed, type:

git init

to initialize the git program on your system

3. Create a new repository for your code at GitHub.  Just to the right of your username, you should see a “+” symbol.  Click on it and chose “New Repository”.  You should name it after an existing directory where you have the code that you want the world to see and click “Public” and the “Create Repository” button.  GitHub then makes it as easy as possible by giving you a couple of options for code to paste into your terminal and run.  Reload the browser and bingo, your code is now on the web!

4.  If you need to make changes to your code, once you are done with your changes, in the terminal, run:

git status

to see that the file has been changed and can be staged.

git add 'filename'

to stage the file

git commit

to commit the file to be pushed to GitHub.

git push

to push the file to GitHub.  You can check the website to see that your changes made it.

If you happened to be on GitHub’s website and you wanted to make a change to your code, you could do it there also.  Once finished saving your changes, back in the terminal, you could type:

git pull

to update the file on your laptop from GitHub’s website.

5. Make sure your GitHub profile link is on LinkedIn and on your resume. Prospective employers may be able to stumble onto your GitHub account using google, but why not just give them the link?


Book Review – Training for the New Alpinism: A Manual for the Climber as Athlete

I decided to pick up Training for the New Alpinism: A Manual for the Climber as Athlete because I had never seen a book on this topic that attempted to cover so many bases.  I had always wondered if my regime of weights and cardio was not enough or too much for weekend warrior mountaineering. This book has a little something for everyone – planning cardio and weight training, nutrition, stories, altitude strategies and the science behind all of it.  To plan my workouts, I translated the book into an excel workbook so that the only two inputs I needed were maximum heart rate and an estimate for number of hours trained in the prior year.  I thought I found an error in the book and contacted the authors.  They were both expedient, informative and thorough with their responses.  It turns out that I was interpreting a graph correctly, but didn’t think that the distribution of time made sense given my training level versus an uber-athlete.  They also told me that the book wasn’t meant to be so formulaic.  I’ll cut to the chase and say that I highly recommend this book.

Overall content and organization. This book is really well organized and has many real world examples and stories not just of the author, but a who’s who of mountaineering.  Even though it is hard to relate to the endeavours described in the stories because they are out of reach for the average athlete, they are still inspiring.  All of the exercises are well explained and the pictures are helpful.  It is always helpful when all references are noted but when further exploration of sources is encouraged, you really know this isn’t just another workout book.

Quality of the workout program.  The overall basic premise is to increase your yield, regardless of what stage you are in and regardless of it is cardio or weight training, by building up and then tapering to recovery for the next stage which will be progressively harder.  It is designed with a big peak attempt in mind at the end of the program.  You can plan your training regime for that big peak a year in advance with this book.

Cardio workouts are based on time working out in different heart rate zones.  It isn’t just go all out for x number of minutes.  For example, here are my zones broken out by beats per minute:

<97 = Recovery Zone

97 – 132 = Zone 1

132 – 140 = Zone 2

140 – 158 = Zone 3

158 – 167 = Zone 4

>167 = Zone 5

Weight training is more exercises done with body weight than traditional weightlifting exercises and they are not done until failure since gaining muscle mass is not an objective.  To give you an idea of how organized the program is, here is one sample week of workouts:

Monday       AM – OFF, PM – Strength

Tuesday       AM – Zone 1, PM – Zone 1

Wednesday AM – Zone 2, PM – Zone 1

Thursday     AM – OFF, PM – Strength

Friday          AM – OFF, PM – OFF

Saturday      AM – Zone 1, PM – OFF

Sunday         AM – Long Zone 1, PM – OFF

In this week, Zone 1 and Strength workouts are 32 minutes long, Zone 2 is 70 minutes and Long Zone 1 is 88 minutes.

The cardio workouts won’t work unless you can monitor your heart rate, so you are going to have some way to monitor it.  I use the Suunto Ambit2 Sapphire (with HR monitor) watch.

One thing that is repeated throughout the book is to avoid overtraining.  I had never heard of the concept of “recovery workouts”, but they are part of the program and definitely help you feel better.

Results.  The weight training circuits were far more challenging than I expected them to be.  I never had organized cardio before in anyway except 2-3 times a week.  Varying the intensity and times helps a ton with monotony, but with the overall goal of increasing yield.  I will not be attempting a major climb this year so I will not be able to see the entire program put into effect.  However, the few local peaks I did were not much of a problem.  The biggest difference I noticed was that there was not an extended recovery period.  Overall, I really like the all encompassing approach to planning covered in this book.

I think this book would be useful to the weekend warrior mountaineer, serious alpinist, workout gurus, professional trainers and coaches and anyone who likes the subject.  There is really something for everyone in this book and you will learn something useful no matter what your background.


Dead Startups

In the spirit of Megan McArdle’s book The Upside of Down whose message is that failure is what makes success possible, here is an analysis of dead startups from 2010-2013 by CB Insights.

The main takeaways from CB Insights:
-In each year since 2010, 70% of all dead tech companies have been in the internet sector.

-55% of failed startups raised $1M or less, and almost 70% companies died having raised less than $5M overall.

-While the dead companies on our list raised $11.3M on average, the median funding raised which is a better measure in this case was $1.3M.

-The average company dies ~20 months from its last funding round in the absence of additional funding or acquirers.

Since we don’t know the reason why these failures occurred, we can at least take away the importance of the startup to continually be in the mode of raising money. The next interesting issue to consider is the likelihood of follow up financing. Based this analysisfrom Red Point, the probability peaks at 9 months since the previous raise regardless of round, size or industry.

Risk Off – Crapping Out On Orizaba


In December, I failed to summit Pico de Orizaba, the highest point in Mexico and third highest point in North America.  I made it to about 17,800 feet while its peak was just beyond me at about 18,400 feet.  I knew I was physically close, but the only thing that kept me going from about 16,000 feet was my willpower.  Whether I was at the onset of a chest cold or had a mild case of hypoxia or it just was not my day, my body started to tell me to stop long before my mind did.  After I descended down to 16,500 feet to wait for the rest of the team to summit and return down, I checked my pulse oximeter and it read 70%.  That means at 17,800 feet it had to be under 70%.  Earlier in the day at our 14,000 foot basecamp, my reading was a more normal 92%.

Sure, summiting would have been nice since it was the goal, but I decided to cut my losses.  It is psychologically very difficult to cut any kind of losses.  Instead of selling investments when they go down 10%, most people hang on to see what happens even if that means eventually getting wiped out. 

Minimizing losses is just as important as maximizing gains because it keeps you in the game.

When it comes to climbing peaks, the losses you are trying to minimize are injury and death.  Orizaba is not known to be a technical nor deadly mountain by any stretch, but a 25 year old American fell to his death just a few weeks after my friend and I were down there.

The only things that were going through my mind when I decided to turn around were that I was slowing down the team, it was not a good spot to stop because that part of the glacier would have been shaded and too cold for too long and that I could be a potential risk for the team higher up.  It was the only time I have ever turned around for something non-weather related.  The mountain is still there if I decide to attempt it again.

Open the Flood Gates: CleanTech Financing Just Changed Forever

Solar City filed to do the industry’s first securitization a few days ago.  This is huge news for anyone in the solar space with positive consequences for all other non-solar energy producers.  Gone are the days of one-off financing, Solar City and Wall Street just made solar an institutional bond product.

Mega Trends – China Version

1. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the world’s most profitable lender, and its four largest rivals expunged in the first six months 22.1 billion yuan ($3.65 billion) of debt that couldn’t be collected, up from 7.65 billion yuan a year earlier, filings showed. (BBG)

2. Gold supply/demand figures are notoriously opaque and since there aren’t quarterly earnings calls for gold, who knows about the real numbers.  However, if the numbers are to be believed:  China has become the world’s largest producer @ 400 tonnes per year and is continuing to buy producers; 2,600 tonnes will be delivered to China by the end of the year (1,730 through August annualized) and the rest of the world produces 2,260 tonnes.

3.  China holds roughly $2 trillion in dollar denominated debt and 3.7 trillion in USD reserves (PNC).

4.  China has made it know that it would prefer to shift from an export based to domestic based demand economy.  Next month’s Third Plenum of the Central Committee of the 18th Chinese Communist Party Congress should show how willing the leadership is to commit to that strategy (CBR).

5.  China has taken over the top spot (from the US) as the world’s largest oil importer (EIA). Oil contracts have been historically dollar denominated but that has slowly given way to eurodollar and given this turn of events, contracts denominated in yuan might overtake dollar denominated ones.

China has been trying to shift its economy to be driven by domestic demand rather than through exports to the debt addicted U.S. consumer.  However, they have potential over inflation problems due to this strategy.  It will be interesting to see how they balance the shift while slowly moving away from the dollar and U.S. Treasuries.  A short term recession might be a good thing for China if it can depeg the yuan while it is weak allowing them to sell dollars and bonds.

Rental Kharma and the Structure Sensor – 2 cool tools for residential and commercial real estate

1)  Even though the main idea of Rental Kharma is as a credit building tool, since one of the data points is lease termination, it could be used as a lead generation tool for the client whose lease is up or the space that is now available.

2)  Occipital’s Structure Sensor is a device that attaches to your Ipad or tablet and lets you scan any space in 3D.  At a bare minimum, you could put away the tape measure, but you could also use it for virtual tours or quick estimates of remodelling projects.