Notebook

Analyzing a Fantasy

Some of the folks here at Infinity Interactive are avid players of fantasy sports, and this year, they convinced me to join their Fantasy Football league. Two months into the season, what started as a casual game has turned into a trip through a data analytics wonderland as well as what will hopefully be a recurring series of posts here looking at various aspects of the data analysis that I've been doing.

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Women, Technology & Grace

GHC 2015 -- Houston Texas
Grace Hopper Celebration 2015

Just the break I needed ... attending the Grace Hopper Celebration seemed like the perfect place to get inspired

Oh man, was I ever ready for a break. I had spent the last thirty years trying to figure out what to be when I grew up. And now, here I was ... with a chance to be what I wanted to be. I'd always wanted to be a mouse in an IT guy's shirt pocket, watching and learning and doing cool stuff with technology. (Notice my reference to "an IT guy," we'll come back to that later.) Well, I AM that IT girl. Now what the heck do I do?

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A Dashboard for My Apartment

I originally bought my iPad back when tablets were becoming a fad. I had expected to use it for everything from reading ebooks to playing elaborate new games. But no, it has been sitting idle, collecting dust, for years. Even the promise of a shared, coffee-table web browser has fallen flat. Whenever there's a task to be done, I instead reach for my laptop or my phone. After all, as phones get larger and more capable, and laptops get lighter and extend their battery life, the sweet spot that tablets offer gets squeezed out from both above and below. So for the past year or so, my usage has been limited to ordering food online with friends, passing the iPad down the couch. But now I've finally figured out the perfect job for it. I've mounted it right next to my front door. My previously-unused iPad now serves as a dashboard and control panel for my apartment.

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Theremin Fountain with C# and the Arduino Uno

My Project Idea

I want to create a fountain that can entertain guests. Namely, I want to be able to control the flow of the fountain with my hand. Recently, at our last summit, Jay Hannah introduced me to the Leap Motion, which is basically a Kinect for the hands. A little research introduced me to Arduino, an open source solution for programming microcontrollers.

The fountain will be built using base electrical components. The actual physical basins for the water may be taken from an existing fountain, but I plan on making that decision later. This post details my initial goals for the project, as well as the first steps I took towards a side-project, and the coding hurdles I had to overcome to complete the side-project.

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Work - Live - WOD

Editor's Note: The picture below, and this article in general, may seem like unusual content to find on the blog of a technical company like Infinity Interactive, but one of our goals here is to give you a full picture of Infinity and our employees, and we think this article by Paul Zolnierczyk, a member of our .NET/Java team, has some important things to say.

Before I joined Infinity Interactive, I worked in typical IT work environments. I can go on about how much better the water cooler talk is over in our '#General' IRC channel but that can be saved for another post. What I'd like to talk about is how working at Infinity Interactive allows me to live my life and truly achieve a healthy work/life balance.

Here I am with my wife doing Crossfit Workout 14.4

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Code Hard and Dive Young

Editor's note: Infinity's Notebook isn't just about our technical prowess. We also showcase some of the amazing things our team members do away from the keyboard. This week, one of our .NET developers, Alex Sparkman, writes about scuba diving in Las Vegas immediately after our company summit.

Planning

Weeks before our annual company retreat to Las Vegas, Jay and I discovered that we both hold "Open Water" scuba diving certificates. We jumped on a thirty minute Skype call and decided to dive Lake Mead. We chartered a dive boat for the Monday morning everyone else was flying home.

Planning was needed, because diving is risky.

  • Tiny air spaces in the sinuses can fail to equalize, damaging the ear drums.
  • Nitrogen can bubble out of tissue causing muscle and nerve damage.
  • Debris can catch on a diver's equipment and trap them.
  • Overexertion can cause panic.
  • Thermoclines can cool divers into hypothermic states on otherwise warm days.
  • Poor or changing visibility conditions can leave a diver stranded.
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Fear and Coding in Las Vegas

Infinity Interactive

I joined Infinity a little over two years ago. Came from a much more traditional corporate culture. A culture contained in traditional brick-and-mortar buildings. You could stop by a coworker᾿s cube and bump into folks in the lunchroom. Infinity has no brick-and-mortar home. We᾿re a distributed workforce with our ~25 people spread out all across the US. Each of us works from our home. Our water cooler is an IRC channel called #general.

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Why do we exist?

Infinity Interactive

Why do we exist? I’m not speaking on a molecular level, nor am I talking about the human race’s larger role in the universe, but rather something simpler, but of equal importance to me.. and you.

Why does Infinity exist?

For our clients? Yes… and no.
To make money? Yes again, for our families and ourselves… but also no.
Fame? No… but we’ve managed to make quite a name for ourselves along the way.

Our purpose, our reason for being, is to create an amazing place to work for people who love technology.

Even in today’s world, where so much of our productivity is driven by technology, most larger (and older) organizations tend to view the contributions of their technology staff as secondary to that of traditional front-line roles. Technologists are often last to the table, their recommendations muted, their failures trumpeted and their time undervalued.

In our company, we cherish our technologists for their creativity, their passion, their dedication and their commitment. We understand what motivates technologists and are adept at cultivating their collective talents into a cohesive team.

It’s important that you understand our motivation.
We are here because we love working together and want a culture that very few can provide.
You’re just lucky enough to benefit from a team of highly motivated, brilliant, kick-ass problem solvers.

Our team is united in purpose, but our interests outside of bits and bytes range from driving around the country with a laptop and a paintbrush, learning Japanese for fun, backpacking the Appalachian Trail and turning a popcorn maker into a gourmet coffee roaster. We decided to create this blog and have everyone on our team contribute so that you could get to know some of our amazing people.

Stay tuned for a peek inside the mind of the geek.

Regards,
Jeremy Shao

We solve problems with technology. What can we solve for you?

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