Talks, Appearances, Guest Articles, References, and Accomplishments
Hi, I'm David Colgan! I started Less Boring with the hope of building a life with less drudgery and more excitement. Early on I realized that making my job less boring was one of the best ways to make my life less boring, as most 9-5 jobs take up most of the day's time and energy.
I was inspired by Paul Graham's ideas on startups, being captivated by the stories posted on Hacker News about founders full of excitement and passion.
But having tried it for myself, I found it difficult to replicate their success. I had to get over my own insecurities, bad time management, lacking business skills, and interpersonal skills. Freelancing was the key.
I've done a few things around the internet and sometimes in person.
I love giving talks and would love to to speak at your meetup or conference. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My talks are usually heavily visual and fast paced, and my favorite topic is the intersection of business and tech since a developer who understands both has superpowers!
Effectively Running Unit Tests with Vim-Test
Vim Chicago, June 29, 2018
An interactive demonstration of how to greatly speed up your unit test workflow using the wonderful plugin Vim-Test. I still use this plugin to run my own tests.
Interviewed for CIO on IT Risk Management
Article source, April 25, 2018
Cool writer friend Bruce Harpham interviewed me for his article on managing IT risk, published on cio.com. Did you know that having good backups is important and not necessarily without gotchas to consider?
Why Django is (Still) a Good Choice for Building Your SaaS Startup
Talk at Indianapolis Python, February 13, 2018
A talk about the tradeoffs involved when choosing a web framework for a SaaS startup, and why it might not make the most sense to choose something shiny and new compared to the battle-tested and mature Django framework. Django is the tool I chose early-on in my career to build webapps due to it's power, stability, and maturity.
Newer frameworks can be powerful, but for many use cases choosing a less mature framework will be an unnecessary business liability.
A Brief History of Vim
Vim Chicago, January 16, 2018
Due to having fewer signups than needed to fill the full time, I gave a 20 minute talk at this edition of the VimChi Lightning Talks. I spoke about the history of Vim, from all the back in the days of Vi to Bram Moolenaar's Vim to the recently forked NeoVim.
Since I was out of town, they agreed to let me give this talk remotely over Zoom!
Big Idea Pitch Contest Entry: Backups for IT Companies
Pitch contest entry, November 6, 2017
I entered the Muncie Indiana Innovation Connector's pitch contest with an idea for a business doing backups for software companies. You can see my pitch in this video:
October 26, 2017
Entering and Exiting Insert Mode with Style
Talk at Vim Chicago, October 17, 2017
Given at a lightning talks night, I gave a very specific talk about the
O keys, as well as some advice on how to learn Vim gradually and incorporate these keys without being overwhelmed. Also I think I averaged about 10 slides a minute in this talk. Gotta go fast!
Talk at Indianapolis React, April 24, 2017
The early days of React were kinda chaotic. A talk about how to not get caught up in all the shiny new toys of webdev and choose tools that will be effective for your project, along with a brief history of the internet for good measure to explain how we got to the current web dev landscape.
My Client Gave Me Data in A Word Doc! Cleaning Up Messy Text With Vim
Vim Chicago, June 21, 2016
I gave an interactive demo on some Vim wizardry I've used to effectively munge data from an unusable format (Word) to shove it into a database. Highly useful in a freelancing context.
Vim and Ergonomics
Talk at Vim Chicago, March 15, 2016
A brief lightning talk about how to make the already pretty ergonomic Vim editor even more ergonomic by moving keys normally hit by the pinky finger to the thumb.
Slides Meetup page
Code experiment, 2015 - 2016
Look What I Made Weekend
Community Organizer, 2013 - 2015
A game jam of sorts that allowed submissions of creativity of all kinds, including games, art, writing, physical creations, and cooking. The community was primarily from my livestream on Twitch.TV.
I along with a few contributors built the contest site from scratch using Django.
Site source code
A Hand-Wired MIPS CPU in a Simulator
Undergrad project, January 26, 2011
My most technically complicated undergrad project in probably most most favorite class: Computer Architecture. Throughout the semester we built a complete MIPS architecture CPU in VHDL that would actually run in a simulator. Theoretically we could take this spec and print out a physical chip that would work.
Included in the Git repo is a single-cycle version and a pipelined version.
A Rockband-Playing Robot
Undergrad project, May 16, 2010
The final project for my undergrad computer vision class, my group and I successfully created a real life actual robot that played the rhythm video game Rockband by literally watching the TV with a webcam and pressing the buttons on the guitar controller with solenoids.
We processed the webcam's input using OpenCV in real time to determine when the buttons should be pressed. Then we sent that data to an Arduino connected to solenoids assembled with a hand-wired breadboard circuit, a battery, and a janky wooden frame thing.
We learned just enough actual electrical engineering to make the physical part work. This was one of my proudest moments in college, as our professor literally told us we couldn't do it and we managed to impress him. Chalk one up for the Less Boring philosophy!
As you can see in the video, we were pretty tired having pulled an all-nighter, but it was worth it to complete something that cool.