Twin Cities peeps: Interested in dinner or coffee?

Hot chocolate (in Naples, Italy)
Hot chocolate (in Naples, Italy)

I’ve been living and working in the Twin Cities as a summer intern for the super cool Kidblog folks (more on that later) and never got around to “officially” letting the world know. I’d hoped to catch up with some of the many friends, alum, etc., that live in this part of the world, and while some of that has happened, I now only have about 2.5 weeks left and realize how many connections I haven’t made. This is mostly because my job is cool and I really dig it (all of which is good), but I would like to connect with folks while I’m still here.

So, if you live in the area and would like to do coffee or dinner or something before I bug out, let me know! I probably respond best (at the moment) to e-mail (mcphee@morris.…) or Twitter (@NicMcPhee), but I’ll try to track my Facebook account as well.

Speaking of which, apologies to all my Facebook peeps. I really hate FB in a lot of ways and am happy to take any excuse to ignore it. The fun of work and other obligations meant I pretty much checked out of FB from late May until now, only to find that people’s lives have gone on without me! Wow. Thanks a ton for all the kind birthday wishes, etc., and sorry if you’ve been wondering why I’ve been ignoring you.

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I’m looking to do software development in the Cities this summer

I’m looking to do software development in the Cities this summer to enrich my teaching here at UMM. Any ideas or suggestions?

For years (over a decade) I’ve talked about spending a summer working in industry, primarily as a way of gaining some real-world experience in software development that I can use to enrich my teaching here at UMM. In my courses I bang on at great length about how teams work together to build software, but I don’t actually have a ton of personal experience of this kind of development. I’m not completely making it up; I’ve built a lot of software alone and in small groups, I talk to alums about their industrial experience, and I do a lot of reading. Still, it would be nice to actually spend a few months in that world to better ground and inform my teaching.

While our son was growing up, though, the idea of spending a summer away from my family really didn’t appeal. He’s now graduated from high school and is off in the world, so this has become a fairly realistic option. Consequently I’m talking to various friends, alums, and industry types in an effort to identify plausible opportunities.

I’m pretty flexible on this, but I’m definitely interested in doing development rather than R&D (the activity that my degrees and experience would tend to suggest). I’d probably prefer to be a member of an agile team rather than working primarily solo on a task. It would also be important that the job really just be a summer gig; my job here is more than enough to keep me busy, so I’m not looking for something that will bleed into the school year.

Anyone out there know of any opportunities that might make sense? Feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly (mcphee AT morris DOT umn DOT edu).

Many thanks!

P.S. In case you stumble here and have no idea who I am, a very brief synopsis: I’ve been programming since the late 70’s, and teaching computer science here at the University of Minnesota, Morris, since 1991. I have lots of experience with Java, also quite a lot of Ruby, Python, and Groovy. I’m useful with JavaScript and Grails, and have experience with Rails but it’s a little rusty. I was once quite competent at C and then C++, but haven’t used either in years. Most of my dissertation work (mid- to late- 80’s) was in Common LISP; more recently I’ve been teaching Scheme and Racket a lot, and also have some experience with Clojure, Erlang, and Haskell. I learn new languages, tools, and systems pretty quickly, as that is often required in my job. My primary research area has been evolutionary computation (EC), and I’ve led or assisted in the design and implementation of numerous EC systems over the years. I’m experienced in experimental design, data collection, and statistical analysis and data visualization. I’m an experienced writer and public speaker; my research is heavily cited and has won several best paper awards.

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