I'm Kyle Keesling, an Indianapolis-based pixel pusher

The Walking Dead Game Season 2

The first season if this game was fantastic, and I highly recommend it, even if you aren’t particularly a fan of the TV show. These games are set in the same universe but follow an entirely seperate set of characters… with the occasional cameo :)

The Dirty Secret Behind the Salesforce $1M Hackathon

I know that if I put this much time and effort into something and the judges didn’t even launch my code, I’d be pretty upset, but anyone going into this thinking it was completely unbiased, and not a huge marketing ploy cooked up to benefit the host is just naive. On the other hand, it’s impossible to get the one true story in situations like these.

At any rate this is why I’m increasingly dismissive of any corporate “hackathon” competitions. They are rarely setup with the developers’ best interests in mind, but rather for some other type of self-serving agenda1.

  1. “I’m not lumping any type of charity/non-profit events in here, those clearly articulate who these projects benefit”

Creating a Repeating Footer w/ Prawn

I’ve been using Prawn for the past 3 years to generate PDFs in my Rails projects. It has a little bit of a learning curve up front but gives you much more power than just rendering out your web views as PDFs.

That said one problem I ran across was how to design/implement repeating footer. After a lot of digging I came up with the solution below:

If you are curious how you actually go about using this PDF in your project, you can refer to Ryan Bates’ always awesome Railscasts, episode #153.

On a side note, Ryan took the summer off and was originally going to come back in September, but then later announced he wasn’t ready to come back yet. While I can definitely understand burnout and needing some time away, I hope to see him back in action soon.

Mileage Log+

On the latest CMD+Space Myke interviews David Barnard of Contrast (formerly App Cubby). It’s an interesting discussion regarding some of the realities of what being an app developer is like, and sheds some light on what being on the top selling and grossing lists in the App Store really means. In addition to his thoughts of the App Store I also learned about one of his newest apps called Mileage Log+.

Mileage Log+ a handy little app that allows you to easily log and report on mileage you accrue for work purposes. I downloaded it last night and started to enter all of my weekly drives between Indy and Muncie. It’s a simple interface that allows you to quickly enter all necessary details, and even save certain trips as templates so you can quickly enter them again in the future. It also allows you to backup all of the app’s data to a Dropbox folder, making it simple to grab the data later without reaching for your phone.

Some people may scoff at the $9.99 price tag but think about this: after logging just one round trip for my work I’m able to write off enough money to buy the app five times over. The app essentially pays for itself!

If you log a lot of miles for work then I highly recommend picking it up, it’s worth well more than what it’s priced at.

Download (App Store Link)

Simple Jekyll Pagination

I didn’t really like the way Jekyll’s documentation went about building pagination links, mainly because it repeated the code necessary to render the button. That said I came up with the little snippet below that stores the proper URL using a Liquid capture tag then just plops it into the link, allowing you to only code your button once :)

Abstraction Languages

Abstraction languages (Jade, HAML, SASS, LESS, CoffeeScript) have been around for awhile but it seems that the idea has grown in popularity over the last year or two. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does raise an interesting question: Why ?

It’s at least partially due to the pace at which development and technology move versus the snail’s pace at which web standards move, but part of me worries that it could quickly become a situation where developers use it as a crutch.

On the other hand I do see some of its merits. I’m personally a fan of CSS and JavaScript abstraction since these areas can be cumbersome and repetitive, but HTML abstraction seems a bit moot.

Alton Brown Makes Bow Ties

It takes a particular attitude. In the South, that attitude is built into us. People tell me, ‘I don’t think I can wear a bow tie.’ You know how you wear a bow tie? You wear a bow tie.’

I know exactly what he’s talking about, but about 5 months ago I went to a wedding in South Carolina and decided what the hell, and wore one. Ever since then I’ve grown kinda fond of ‘em, and actually bought one of Alton’s. If you want want you can check em out at hook+ALBERT. You’d better hurry though, it’s a limited run and there’s only one style left.

Lenovo Hires Aston Kutcher as a Product Engineer

This partnership goes beyond traditional bounds by deeply integrating him into our organization as a product engineer,” said David Roman, chief marketing officer at Lenovo. “Ashton will help us break new ground by challenging assumptions, bringing new perspective and contributing his technical expertise to Yoga Tablet and other devices.

I get it, companies hire celebrities to promote their products all the time, but pretending that you’re hiring one to be a ground-breaking product engineer seems a bit asinine.

Hello World

So here’s my new site, not much to look at yet, but more to come soon. Enjoy!