I haven't blogged on this website in well over a year. In fact, in 12 years of writing on this site I've only published 599 posts. That's on average 50 posts a year. I think I've figured out why it has been so hard for me to add content and posts to this site in the way I had hoped. I was focusing more on getting posts perfect than on getting the basics covered and published.

In order to get back to writing more content more frequently I'm trying something new. I've created a new website with a new approach to the process of writing and publishing content. If you've enjoyed any of the posts on this site over the last 12 years I hope you'll take a few minutes to check out my new engineering notebook website at You can read all about this change and the tools I used to create the new website by reading this post.

While I'm not abandoning this website or taking any of the posts down, I plan to write all new posts over on the notebook website. I sincerely hope you'll check it out. Thank you so much for reading the content I've posted here and providing me with feedback over the years. I greatly appreciate it.


Things We Believe In

Posted by Aaron West at 4:27 PM in Dataium, Personal

During the last two months I've been reflecting on characteristics and beliefs of our engineering team at Dataium. I wanted to come up with a few key things which, when communicated to others, would describe some of what makes us "tick." Sort of an elevator pitch to a potential new hire or a way to describe some of our philosophy toward technology and business. The resulting list below isn't exhaustive but is a few of the things I picked out to share. These are things most engineering teams should aspire to in my opinion.

Things we believe in:

  1. making mistakes and learning from them
  2. ..but trying to do it right the first time
  3. short projects (30 days is a long project)
  4. what we've built is never good enough (for us or our customers)
  5. there's no task too small or menial
  6. tracking our time
  7. tracking our successes and not just failures
  8. logging everything
  9. the technology we currently use isn't necessarily what we should be using tomorrow
  10. open source software is generally "better" than closed source
  11. we can build our systems and write our code better than anyone else (such as outsource partners)
  12. being a generalist is infinitely better than being a specialist
  13. trying new things and new approaches often
  14. our team can accomplish anything


Photo of a large crack

Through my career working in technology I've become accustomed to hearing certain phrases from programming and engineering folks. These phrases may seem rather harmless on the surface but I've seen how they can tear others down and create a divide between technology staff and others in the workplace. I've heard these phrases hundreds if not thousands of times, so much so that I cringe each time I hear them. After the break are some of these phrases and ideas on what you can say instead.

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Best Hello World Ever!

Posted by Aaron West at 4:28 PM in Personal

Even the best Hello World programs have nothing on this version. Everyone, meet Sam West. Right now he's in China but we hope to bring him home before Christmas.


Happy Pi Day 2012!

Posted by Aaron West at 9:12 AM in Personal

Help Save the Children from Kony

Posted by Aaron West at 8:38 AM in Personal

The following video was shared with me last night. It was a bit gut wrenching, horrific, and immensely sad all at the same time. I've seen similar videos like this before but rarely has a group of people stepped up and actually done something about it. I was impressed and felt challenged. So I'm getting involved. Please take 30 minutes to watch this video and if you're moved as I was get involved too. It doesn't require much time, effort, or money and your help would make a big difference.



Photo of Sam Hill mountain bike shoes

I'm a platform pedal kind of guy except for a short stint riding my brothers Cannondale racing bike during my high school days. Clip-in pedals have always scared me for some reason and wearing clip-in shoes isn't my style nor are they very versatile. Given I've been riding hard core MTB for a year now I decided to invest in a set of platform pedals and new mountain bike specific shoes.

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I drove to Columbia (south of Nashville) yesterday to participate in a Trek demo day. This is where biking enthusiasts can test ride the latest Trek bikes in the woods and on the street.

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New Business Card!

Posted by Aaron West at 2:27 PM in Dataium, Personal

We redesigned our business cards at Dataium and the new ones came in today. It's embarrassing how long it took us to decide on a design and I bet people wonder why when they see the result. We wanted to go the super simple and clean route and the final result is quite nice even if anticlimatic.


For the past few months I've been planning on writing a post about the services that make this site possible. I've read these sorts of posts on other sites and they seem very marketing heavy. They're often titled "sponsor post" or something equivalent. This post is different. I'm genuinely a fan (and customer) of all of these services and in most cases I pay for them monthly. After the break I discuss each service/app I rely on to power this site. I put each service within category blocks such as: the server, the app, backups, uptime, etc.

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Android guy on skateboard

I've been an Apple iPhone user since the first version was released in 2007. I upgraded to an iPhone 3GS when it was released and I've been immensely happy with the device for three years. But that's all about to change as I'm switching to Android.

I ordered an HTC Incredible nearly a month ago and have been patiently awaiting its arrival. With the Droid X announcement I decided to cancel my Incredible order and wait a little bit longer for a device with a 4.3 inch screen. While I continue to wait for July 15 - the date the Droid X becomes available on Verizon - I want to talk about why I'm switching to Android.

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House Flood Update - 5/6/2010

Posted by Aaron West at 10:22 PM in Personal

Hey everyone, here's a video where I talk about the last two days in our flooding saga.


House Flood Update

Posted by Aaron West at 10:04 PM in Personal


Rework by 37signals Hits Stores

Posted by Aaron West at 12:01 PM in Books, Personal

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, founders of 37signals, had their new book Rework hit stores today. I heard about this book several months ago and setup an OmniFocus reminder to notify me of its release. I've already sent a sample of the book to my Kindle and will be digging into the text a little later today.

If given a choice between investing in someone who has read REWORK or has an MBA, I'm investing in REWORK every time. A must read for every entrepreneur.

Mark Cuban, co-founder HDNet, owner of the Dallas Mavericks


Welcome to My New Site!

Posted by Aaron West at 11:24 AM in ColdFusion, Personal, Site News, Blogging

Two weeks ago today I brought live bringing all my content from and to a brand new, consolidated interface on a new domain. Before I talk about my new site and what I like about it, I want to give a (somewhat) brief overview describing my sites evolution over the last 8 years. Keep reading after the break.

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