Tag Archives: growstuff

A couple of interviews

I’ve recently been interviewed by a couple of different blogs, and thought I should link them here: The Ada Initiative blog interviewed me about Growstuff, pair programming, and social justice. They’re having a fundraising campaign to support their work with women in open technology and culture, by the way, and if you care about those things you should definitely donate. Maciej from Pinboard interviewed me for the Pinboard blog, also about Growstuff, which (as you may recall) he funded to the tune of $37 back Continue reading →

Start your commit message with a verb

I’ve been pair programming with a lot of different people, with a variety of skill levels, on Growstuff over the last year. One thing I’ve noticed is that some people freeze up when it comes to writing a commit message. They type “git commit” and then sit there for a minute going “uhhhh”. I understand this. It’s hard to convert maybe an hour’s hard work in code into a short sentence of English. How do you compress such complex ideas? How do you even make Continue reading →

The problem with doing one thing well

You’ve probably heard the tech startup aphorism “do one thing well”, or a variant on it. “Don’t try to do too many things”. “Focus.” Whatever. I’m not very good at following it, as is pretty apparent from what I’m working on. Growstuff has several things it’s trying to do (crops database, garden journal, seed sharing, community building), all interlinked. Every so often someone points me at a website that does just one thing of the set of things we’re trying to do. For instance, the Continue reading →

And a third thing:

3) I’ve been sitting on this for a little while, but it’s been announced now, so: I’ll be keynoting Open Source Bridge in Portland, Oregon (USA) in June. I know a bunch of my people will be there and I can’t wait to see you all. If you have never been to Open Source Bridge before, it’s one my my favourite conferences, bridging (get it!) software and social responsibility in a way that you don’t see many other places. I’m pretty sure I’ll be talking Continue reading →

So hey, two things:

1) Growstuff is live. Go check it out. It’s what we’re calling a “soft launch” and we’re still building features at a cracking rate, but it’s there and it works and we want people to try it out. (What’s Growstuff? Haven’t you been paying attention? It’s a social website for vegie gardeners. It’s an open source project. It’s an app platform AND a dessert topping.) 2) The Disreputable Order of Hopperites, a Melbourne gathering of geeky/technical women, is having its second meeting next Monday. It’s Continue reading →

Why Growstuff is Open Source

This was originally posted on the new Growstuff blog, which I set up the other day. I also set up a fortnightly newsletter, to which you should subscribe if you want to keep up with what’s happening with Growstuff as we count down to our public launch, in (eep!) about 2-and-a-bit months. My background is in open source software, and I’ve been using and producing it for almost twenty years. Sometimes it’s easy to live in the open source bubble, and fail to notice that Continue reading →

Hurrah, I’m $37 richer!

Just a quick post to note that Growstuff (my open source project for food gardeners) was selected as one of the winners of Pinboard’s satirical startup incubator program. I get $37 in funding, woohoo! While the $37 won’t pay for much of anything — that’s the point, after all — I’m looking forward to Maciej’s advice and help with getting our name out there, and to getting to know the other winners. I’m pleased to see another food startup on the list (home baked goods Continue reading →

Global Shifts conference

Tomorrow I’m off to Global Shifts, a three day social enterprise conference being hosted at RMIT. I’m very glad someone happened to mention it to me last week, just in time for me to register. I’ve started describing Growstuff, in appropriate circles, as a social enterprise. Lots of people don’t know what the term means, so I’ll just quickly define it: a social enterprise is a business which hopes to achieve a social good, but does so through its business practices rather than the fundraising/donations Continue reading →

Importing data is hard: a rant about integrating open data projects

A few times on the Growstuff mailing list or IRC channel, someone’s excitedly suggested that we should import data from another CC-licensed data set. Each time, I say, “Trust me, that’s pretty complicated,” but I’ve never actually sat down and explained the full gory details of why. The following is something I wrote up for our wiki so that I could point people at it next time the subject comes up. I thought it might be interesting to a wider audience, too, so that’s why Continue reading →

The joys of jobseeking

Technically, for most the last year or so since leaving Google, I’ve been unemployed. I didn’t receive unemployment benefits, though, because I didn’t really need it and because the paperwork overhead seemed higher than I was prepared to deal with. (Plus of course the periods when I was studying or overseas.) But now I’m working on Growstuff and I’d like to get onto the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme, which offers small business training and mentoring and some small amount of funding for a year while Continue reading →