And now for a bit of an announcement
Hey all, thanks for checking in!
After much soul searching, I have arrived to the following conclusion:
- Teaching folks about stuff is my jam.
In 2013, I organized a 1st year Computer Science student project. Instead of making them implement "control tower software" for a fictional airline, I decided to go for something real - the BitTorrent protocol.
It was significantly more involved than the previous years - but gee whiz mister did the students run away with it. We (the teacher assistant team) spent extra (sometimes unpaid) time and effort making sure everyone, even those who hadn't coded in their free time before, got something out of the project.
There were shortcuts to be taken (for those who struggled), and there were rabbit holes to dig, for the ones who really could not get enough.
And it was (mostly) a huge success. I had a ton of fun co-running it, and the student feedback was overwhelmingly positive. They got a taste of real-world, practical programming, super early on in their cursus - a rare thing!
Now that I've sufficiently pat myself on the back, here comes the announcement: I've decided that I want to do more teaching. I want to devote more time to it, cover more subjects, go deeper and find better ways to teach folks about them.
And that's why, starting today... you can support me on Patreon!.
You heard me right. If your heart so desires, you can now take some of your hard-earned money, and send it to me, monthly, for the express purpose of writing more stuff about things, mostly technical ones.
Now, if you've been following me for a while, you know my writing style and the kind of subjects I cover. If you don't, allow me:
I like to introduce folks gently to things related to compilers, protocols, data processing, compression, etc. I'll usually find a metaphor, or work my way back from a very specific quirk everybody knows about (but often don't know the cause of!). This is a very entertaining format - by far my favorite.
I also like, on occasion, to play with new technology. I've written about Rust (which is, all things considered, still relatively new), and I'll do it again! These pieces are more practical and immediately-useful. They focus on a single technique rather than giving an overview of a particular field.
So, the two main categories seem to be: curiosity, and practice.
I'm so very glad you asked!
I want all the articles I write to be available to everyone eventually. But I did set up a system that lets patrons (of tiers Silver and above) read articles in advance - as soon as they come out. The rest of the world gets to read them a week after.
I think it's a fair system, we'll see how well it works. It's a pretty cool technical set up too, maybe I'll blog about it!
Not all articles will be Patreon-exclusive. I reserve the right to blog about random stuff, and releasing them publicly without feeling beholden to my sponsors.
Well, there are several tiers! If you chip in $5 a month, you will IMMEDIATELY get rewarded with my eternal gratitude (one month at a time).
If you participate $10 a month (or more!) you will be able to Log in with Patreon to see exclusive articles in advance.
As it happens, there is one waiting for you right now! It's about Huffman codes, it is a 21-minute read, full of diagrams and graphs and even some Go code, and I think it may be my best article yet (even for the non-super-technically-inclined).
- Check out Huffman 101 now!
If you are quite literally flush with cash, you may contribute as much as $250 a month (this tier is mostly meant for small companies). This will buy you a short "message from our sponsors" in the next articles.
As a nice middle-ground, you can opt for the $50 tier, which comes not only with a Twitter shout-out (of your product, or yourself), but also my undivided attention for the time it takes to write one (1) article. That's right - you name a topic, I'll research and cover it.
(Note that the topic cannot be straight up advertising. It must be a learning topic of some kind. I also reserve the right to give up, if I can't find anything helpful to say about it).
What now? What now??? Well, now you have a choice to make. You can head over to https://www.patreon.com/fasterthanlime, and, after a few button clicks, secure my eternal gratitude (again, one month at a time), and advance access to A Very Gentle Introduction to the Basics of Compression, or you can wait.
And let me tell you, if you choose to wait, I will not judge you. But I'll tell you what else I will do. I won't wait. I will keep busy. I will keep writing article after article, tackling subject after subject, honing my writing and teaching skills until the point where it becomes too hard to ignore and you will, not reluctantly, but filled with a deep-seated joy that few people have outlived to tell the tale, start supporting my work as well.
And if not well that's cool too. We can still be Twitter friends.
I'll leave you to your choice, and until the next article - take care!