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Zach Saucier's thoughts

  • Developer chatroom etiquette

    I’ve been part of some web developer chatrooms for ~4 years now. In order to help newcomers quickly get used to them, here are some etiquette tips:

    • Keep the number of messages you post to a minimum. No one wants to read 10 separate messages that should have been one message. It fills up the chatroom and makes less content in total visible.
    • If you’re requesting help, be very concise and clear, generally keeping the question of your scope very limited. This is true in all mediums, but especially true for chat. It is better for everyone, including yourself, to do so.
    • Don’t update people every time you’re leaving or apologize for not responding immediately. There are exceptions, but in general people don’t expect immediate replies all of the time. Be patient when expecting others to answer and don’t flood the chat with, “be back in 2 minutes” type of comments.
    • Chatrooms operate in UGT (Universal Greeting Time). Or better yet, no time at all. Don’t create a bunch of noise about the time of day when someone includes it in a message of theirs.
    • Use chatroom features appropriately when they are available. If your chatroom platform supports threading, use it. If it supports editing old messages, use that for corrections and simple additions instead of creating new messages. If it has a bot, don’t abuse it by using it too much or posting content irrelevant to the chat. If it supports “pinging” people, don’t do it unless you really need to.
  • Lessons learned from a dining hall

    About business

    • Efficiency > exact precision for most things
    • Good interaction between co-workers is one of the most important things for employee retainment and satisfaction
    • Good interaction with clients is what is memorable to clients and makes employees stand out
    • Good product is necessary for client retention
    • Options (including availability) gets a bigger client base
    • There’s always a place for a good employee
    • It’s better to have (reasonably) too much than not enough
    • People get way more upset about unexpected loss than expected loss
    • Special events bring in some traffic but don’t affect long term growth very much
    • Focus on what your company is good at, including specific products
    • Clients hate things they see as necessary being taken away but will get over it if the product is still good
    • Making things look pretty is not of much concern, though it does play a factor
    • Group buy in helps immensely

    About life

    • Meet people where they’re at
    • People love and bond over food
    • Be open minded at all times
    • People can be alone while being surrounded by people
    • It’s good, fun, and profitable to meet random people at times
    • Everyone has their own story and is awesome in some ways
    • Most everyone likes to have a good conversation
    • Diversity in choices is necessary to prevent burnout
    • There are times for big groups and times for small ones
    • Nothing beats a good home cooked meal
  • So you want to learn web development?

    I’ve had several friends come to me seeking advice for how to get started programming for the web. Most haven’t given too much thought to the idea, but are intrigued by code or websites and want to learn more. If you’re in that position or somewhere similar, this post is for you.

    What follows is a collection of recommendations that I have for a person starting out. I’ll keep updating it as time goes on. If you feel like it’s missing something or have a question, don’t hesitate to contact me at!

  • Creating an animated desktop background using a webpage

    I love life. Relatedly, I love change (when it comes in appropriate ways), customization, and interacting with stuff. That’s a big reason why I really enjoy the work that I do, creating new and unique ways for people to interact with each other and with the content I am providing.

    On a seemingly different note, I have warm memories of the screensavers from when I was kid. The brick 3D maze, the pipes, and the rainbow colored shape that kept morphing into a new shapes entranced (distracted) me as a ~7 year old in school.

    Also, ever since I got into animating, I’ve wanted to include the things I make into more areas of my life. One area that has come into my mind several times was my desktop background.

  • A brief introduction to electronic music

    If you want to follow along with the music without opening all of the pages, I created a YouTube playlist for this post that includes all but the first 3 songs.

    I love music. Especially music that varies throughout the song (not all verses and choruses are the same), layered (multiple instruments are playing harmoniously), unique, the quality of the instruments (including singers) is high, and music that gives off an emotion or feeling (generally energetic and happy is my favorite). Regardless of the genre or creator of the song, if a song has these characteristics it’s likely that I will really enjoy it.

    The genre that I’ve listened to that most often has these characteristics is electronic music. I was introduced to it as a kid by an older friend and I’ve been an avid listener for about 10 years now. Today I hope to help you better understand why I fell in love with the gigantic, diverse genre that is electronic music.