kahunacohen real life, real ideas.

Why I'm Riding Fixed

10 July 2015 Not all trendy things are worthy of scorn. Some things are hot because they’re simply good. Think microbrews, Arabica coffee and Amazon Prime. read more >

The spoked wheel

9 June 2015 The old saying “Familiarity breeds contempt” is often true. Once you really know the object of your desire it often loses its spell over you. I can’t say this is the case with the spoked wheel. The more I understand it, the more it amazes me with the way it ingeniously solves the difficult problem of balancing light weight, resiliency and strength. read more >

Deflaking flaky tests

27 May 2015 Flaky automated tests are a real drag. You might say they’re worse than no tests at all. That being said, you can take measures to eradicate them. read more >

A different mind

5 February 2015 J was recently diagnosed with high-functioning autism (Aspergers). We always knew he had a different kind of mind. From day one, he was a very fussy baby and always looked a bit nervous. When my wife signed up for a “mommy and me” class at age one, he already was avoiding social interaction with other kids and wouldn’t participate in the activities. read more >

Adding dynamic data to my Jekyll blog

7 January 2015 This blog is powered by Jekyll. I’ve blogged about it before. I like the simplicity of Jekyll, and I like being able to plug in to the Unix pipeline to get things done. Of course, Jekyll’s not for everyone. It caters to more technical folk who like to tinker. If you want to get a sophisticated blog up and running as quickly as possible Wordpress is probably a better choice. But something keeps drawing me to Jekyll. read more >

Installing Jekyll with RVM

10 December 2014 A lot’s been written about Jekyll, but coming from a Python background and knowing virtually nothing about the Ruby ecosystem, I had no idea how to do Ruby virtual environments and install Ruby dependencies. I suppose I’ll learn more about that as I need to. In the meantime, I just wanted to get up-and-running with Jekyll and be able to build my environment from my website’s Github repo. read more >

A new web-testing paradigm: Robot Framework & Page Objects

3 December 2014 Though I am not a QA engineer, a year ago frishberg, hellmanj and I took it upon ourselves to help NCBI’s QA department replace their dying automated web testing framework, IBM’s Rational Functional Tester (RFT). The process introduced some innovative new tools that we released open-source, but perhaps more importantly, it introduced new practices to our QA group. In this post I’ll discuss our experiences with developing our own testing framework and our experience integrating some programming-best-practices to our QA group. read more >

Sacks vs. Dawkins

10 November 2014 Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi of England, came to visit Kemp Mill Synagogue this past Shabbat as a visiting scholar. I’ve never heard him speak, but had read his book The Great Partnership, about religion’s relationship with science. read more >

Blogging again

6 November 2014 Here I am blogging again after several short-lived attempts. I mostly stopped because I got tired of keeping up with updates to blog engines/content management systems like Drupal. It just wasn’t fun, so I didn’t continue. read more >