How Often Are We Tracked Online?

over 2 years ago

The majority of my career has been spent building software for marketers to track you online. More often than not, it’s so that we can know everything about you to sell a product to you as effectively as possible.

For the past few months I've been using Ghostery, a Google Chrome extension that identifies third-party trackers, and I noticed the extent at which sites use tracking companies to measure everything about my visit. Things like who I am, my last visit, my computer, where I’m located, and much more are distributed via many, many tracker URLs (Huffington Post has over 160, as I’ll show) to different companies to store and analyze my...

Foobar with Google: Peculiar Balance

over 2 years ago

There has been recent buzz about a Google recruiting method called Foobar. Supposedly if you search enough programming-related issues like "python mutex lock," your account is flagged and you're offered to play a game with a series of programming challenges. If you do well, people claim you're invited for an interview.

Well, I wasn't offered to play this game. Thankfully, my friend was, and he shared one of challenges below:

Peculiar...

Valet, an Internal Communication Tool

almost 3 years ago

I'm not very good at internal communication. As a product manager, this should be one of my strong suits: refine technical issues into clear points and spread these to sales, marketing, and service teams.

It's not that I'm incapable of doing this, it's that I just don't enjoy it very much. I also find that this can become an area that demands the greatest time, as opposed to working directly on making the product better.

Once the startup company I was working at was acquired by Oracle, this problem became pronounced. If you’ve worked at a large company before, you quickly realize a portion of your success is tied to your ability to communicate through...

Coderbyte Scraping and Solutions

almost 3 years ago

I wrote a quick Node app to scrape submitted challenges from Coderbyte and to save them locally. Find it here: https://github.com/rparang/scrape_coderbyte

If you've spent time on challenges through the browser and realized it may be nice to have these saved for other purposes, this may be helpful.

Keep it mind, since this scrapes the site by parsing the returned HTML and doesn't use a dedicated Coderbyte API, it may not be stable.

See here for the solutions to the challenges in Javascript (pulled using the Scrape Coderbyte...

Coderbyte Challenge: Bracket Matcher

almost 3 years ago

Recently I've been attempting the programming challenges on Coderbyte. Coderbyte is a site that has a handful of questions that allots points given how 1) fast you complete the challenge and 2) how correct your answer is.

Once you solve a challenge correctly, it shows you solutions from other users, which might be its most addicting part. Typically I'll either scoff at someone's approach or look at their answer in amazement.

For one challenge though, I wasn't sure.

The challenge is:

Have the function BracketMatcher(str) take the str parameter being passed and return 1 if the brackets are correctly matched and each one is accounted...

Paint Hip Hop

almost 3 years ago Paint Hip Hop is a hip hop music app. It was the first application I built and was influential in terms of my experience with web development and my confidence in front of code.

I’m telling you, I'm as cold as windows down in the winter
And I be riding rims if my tires any thinner
Airport stunting, flying charters overseas
Full of Dom Perignon and the water for the D's
A user shares a song which builds playlists for those who follow that user. It uses a basic Twitter follow model.

Popular tracks earn users rep points (check the shades). Rep points...

Building Old School Kool

almost 3 years ago Old School Kool is a collection of beautiful photos from the past. The images come from Reddit's Old School Cool subreddit, a community described as "a pictorial and video celebration of history's coolest kids, everything from beatniks to bikers, mods to rude boys, hippies to ravers. And everything in between."

I built Old School Kool after running into an app that claimed to have a perfect image layout: an attempt at using 100% of the browser’s viewport to display a series of images without cropping or modifying their proportions.

It's common among popular photo applications like...