Thoughts on Peers 2018

I am lucky enough at work to be able to choose a conference every year to attend for professional development. This year, the five of us iOS developers decided we wanted to find a conference that would give us a slightly different perspective than we usually get, and one that we could all attend together. After hearing Peers mentioned both on Core Intuition and Release Notes, a couple of the only tech podcasts to survive my latest purge, I proposed that we all head to Austin.

To be honest, we did not expect the content to be completely relevant for us. We recognized that Peers is primarily a web and business conference, and we all work as iOS developers at a large enterprise company. But since we are all involved with our company’s efforts to expand our business and start new ventures, we want to keep in touch with the startup and independent developer culture and try to embody some of that inside of our company.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that nearly all of the content was exceptionally helpful and relevant for us. From the beginning of the conference, we knew that it was going to be a different experience. Jess D’Amico greeted us as we came in, and exclaimed, β€œAre you the group from O.C. Tanner?” We found a very warm welcome in this community and enjoyed ourselves tremendously.

The conference was extremely impactful to me on a personal level. On the first day, we participated in the business workshop, which consisted mainly of introductions and breakout sessions. The conversation of which I was part focused on discovering what is next in our careers. It was deeply personal and refreshingly open and honest. As we talked, someone asked if this was my first Peers. When I confirmed, he told me that this kind of conversation is the essence of Peers, and if I want to, I will find many more similar discussions throughout my time at the conference.

As I flew home, I took some time to write in my journal, and finally came to understand some of the things that I heard on that first day. A career is made up of so many moving pieces, and it can be a real challenge to line them all up properly. I still have a lot to think through and process as a result of Peers, but I am so grateful for the emotions and thoughts it stirred up. This is a kind and generous community that pushed and provoked me to think outside of my previous mental ruts, and I look forward to learning from and participating in it in the years to come.

I love that micro.blog is so open that @hartlco can launch Icro, a really nice app for it. I’m looking forward to having two apps logged in to two separate accounts.

Moving my blog to bsn.design

My blog at bsn.io has been a great experience. I set it up a few years ago to be a Jekyll blog and hosted it on GitHub Pages. I loved the flexibility this gave me, along with the performance of a static site. Over time, I figured out how to run it almost all from my iOS devices.

One of the downsides of this setup was the temptation to tinker. Because it was all in my control, I spent many hours tweaking things to get it just how I want on that particular day. Being a bit of a designer and developer, I have the curse of perma-tweaking that I have to resist. I finally decided that my time and energy were better directed elsewhere.

I have instead gone all in on Micro.blog. I have long posted my content there, and have published microposts on my blog. Manton Reece has done a phenomenal job at building up the community and infrastructure of Micro.blog so that it is both a blog hosting platform as well as a social network, and I am now going to use both.

My new sites:

Micro.blog handles:

My content will be cross-posted to Twitter with matching usernames, so if people prefer to find or engage with content there, I will continue to have a presence. But moving forward, I will be posting everything to one of my own sites first. Each of my sites has a JSON/RSS feed where you can subscribe if you want. Hopefully this makes it easy for people to choose the content that interests them most and follow or engage it with it easily.

The vision of Micro.blog resonates strongly with me, and I am excited to fully participate in that community. Here’s to many more great years of sharing knowledge and creating meaningful interactions!

Automating Scripture Quotes

Part of being a Mormon is regularly speaking or teaching in church. The official Gospel Library app makes it really simple to find resources to use in those talks and lessons. I like to have all of my content in markdown, which makes creating and referencing the content easy. But getting the quotes into markdown is not always easy. This morning, I created a few Workflow recipes to simplify the process.

The first workflow allows you to select any text in the Gospel Library app and extracts the web link and converts it. The link start as something like this:

[www.lds.org/scripture...](https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/130?lang=eng)

The workflow converts the link from a web link to a link that will open the Gospel Library app directly to the content. The converted link looks like this:

gospellibrary://content/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/130?lang=eng

Download convert link workflow

The second workflow builds on the first in some important ways. One of the most important pieces is grabbing the title and creating a formatted markdown link.

The other important piece is grabbing the verses and inserting them in the link if needed. As you might notice above, a link from Gospel Library will be to the chapter of scripture, but not the verses. One note here: if you are grabbing a link to content that does not have chapter and verses, the link will not be changed.

The markdown link looks like this:

[Doctrine and Covenants 130:18-19](gospellibrary://content/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/130.18-19?lang=eng)

Download markdown link workflow

Extracting the entire quote

The final piece is getting out the actual text of the quote. This last workflow uses the previous two in order to capture a formatted markdown quote. The output looks like this:

> 18 Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.
>
> 19 And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.
>
> [Doctrine and Covenants 130:18-19](gospellibrary://content/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/130.18-19?lang=eng)

Download markdown quote workflow

All three workflows have to be downloaded and installed in order to get the final quote. When they are, it is just one touch to take selected text and get a nicely formatted quote.

18 Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.

19 And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.

Doctrine and Covenants 130:18-19