SkilStak News

News for and about the SkilStak community and company. Please check frequently.

Monday, May 27, 2019 - 10:53:51AM

After reviewing the SouthEast Linux Fest schedule (and seeing the t-shirt) I no longer plan on attending but encourage anyone wishing to attend to go. I feel my time and energy will simply be better spent keeping regular sessions and doing development instead.

Monday, May 27, 2019 - 10:53:51AM

I have learned that Google is marking my (and many other people’s) mail as “spam” in what may be a deliberate attempt to force people to think they are at risk of using anything but Gmail. If so, this is straight out of the evil 90s Microsoft playbook. This is to remind everyone to get off of Gmail as soon as possible and use an ethical and secure email service such at ProtonMail, the fastest growing real email service provided. I cannot be responsible for anyone not receiving my emails because they choose to use an inferior email service.

Thursday, May 23, 2019 - 10:04:05AM

I’m separating the idea of VIP into a Priority rank and a Mastery Metric that will be based on points awarded for time spent in specific learning activities organized at a high-level by the category and at a lower-level by specific skill, knowledge, and ability classifications. Priority will be based on most of what VIP was previously but without the Hours and Entropy scores, which will be a part of the new Mastery Metric.

The Mastery Metric is a further step toward realizing my original goal of a SkilStak app that provides a tangible insight into the quality and amount of learning mastery you’ve accrued, not unlike if you combined a fitness tracking app and device but for your mind and tech skills.

💬 By the way, if anyone out there wants to help or to make such a thing and take all the credit I’m fine with that so long as it exists. Such a thing currently does not exist.

Thursday, May 16, 2019 - 9:45:25PM

It’s official. No new pairings, no exceptions. If you have a pairing now, this is your opportunity to make it work, because if it doesn’t, it ends. I now believe it was a definite mistake to ever allow or encourage it.

Monday, May 13, 2019 - 8:49:44AM

Just a reminder email is the only way to contact me. Anyone with the previous phone number can delete it from your contacts.

Monday, May 6, 2019 - 8:06:34PM

Removed the Years Here from VIP score after realizing it was simply unfair to give short timers higher priority just because they are leaving sooner. This was particularly unfair when some are just attending for one week. This means those with seniority will always have a lead over those who don’t all things being equal otherwise.

Sunday, May 5, 2019 - 12:29:36PM

I’ve added an Entropy penalty for every week of non-attendance no matter what — including closures, allowed push-outs, and breaks. Read more about it on the VIP page. This means those taking a Summer break off entirely from SkilStak will incur a 360 point Entropy penalty.

I didn’t make this law, the Universe did. I’m just applying data science and capturing it objectively to keep things fair.

One member who comes all Summer and forgoes other activities to work super hard on mastering their skills should not be given the same priority as someone else who blew off the Summer to do other stuff — no matter how amazing that other stuff was.

If you are having a hard time accepting this, just think of your membership at SkilStak as being on a sports team — that builds your mind (instead of destroying it). If you don’t train for four months you can’t expect to maintain your same place on that team. It’s exactly the same thing.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 5:56:53PM

Given the number of people taking and preparing for tests and out of town for graduations during the month of May I’ve decided to take the hit and add May to June, July, and August as No-Worries Push-Outs Summer months. Have fun out there and study hard!

Monday, April 22, 2019 - 8:30:14PM

Looks like we have a renewed lease for the foreseeable future!

Saturday, April 9, 2019 - 10:15:41AM

On April 8th, 2019 Scott Misenheimer from the Town of Davidson Code Enforcement Division left a polite Notice of Violation on our van reminding us that the town forbids vehicles parked for the purposes of advertising.

“No More Van Parking on Street”

The letter states that “[we] are allowed to park the vehicle at [our] residence, but it cannot be parked of [his spelling] the street as an advertisement.”

I called and left a message explaining that while advertising is certainly a benefit of having what is essentially our school bus wrapped it was never the primary intent.

Do We Really Need It?

This got my wife and I to discussing it and realizing we really don’t need the wrap. It has been fun having it, but frankly we are sick of it (and I’m sure a lot of others are also 🤪).

A Van Unwrapped

So long-story-short, we have scheduled to have the wrap removed. [It cost $400 in case anyone is wondering.]

This will allow us to continue to park the van near our home. The closest, safest parking near our home is in front of the park. This will allow us to keep the driveway clear for drop-offs and such.

We have been meaning to use the van for many other personal things anyway – including taking batteries to the dump (they don’t allow “company vehicles” to do that), porting my wife’s pottery around (she uses the van more than I), adventure cycling support, camping, and van-life excursions.

The van will still be available for field trips to conferences and such. I am making a large door magnet that we can add for such special events.

Importance of Solo Sessions

This incident has also brought out the importance of solo mentored sessions. I am seriously considering requiring all pairs to arrive and leave in the same vehicle going forward. If this becomes official policy I will post it on the policy page and notify everyone in person who is affected. I have already broken up a session with three in it (which was already a rare exception).