Skip to Content

What's this noise?

Ryan McKern wants to waste some of your time

Posted on 3 mins read

Look how hungry I am I am a JSON Artisan with opinions, and I have worked in/adjacent to the Software Industry since the original DotCom bubble collapsed. I have survived the AS/400, Solaris on SPARC and Intel, “Enterprise Java”, Ruby on Rails, and curl|bash installers. I ran batch jobs for the cable company, built web infra­structure for an engi­neering software company that sponsors some NPR programming, and “engineered” some releases of popular configuration management software. I also give you your socks if you’re a Monitorama attendee!

A short summary of work history and idiosyncrasies

Besides release engineering and systems administration, I also worked for a hardcore record label and its merchan­dising arm, a handful of someone else’s failed dot-com startups (like everyone else in the late ‘90s), and a kosher bakery. I really miss that bakery. Seri­ously. Best boss I’ve ever had.

On the side, I once ran an inde­pendent web hosting business called Webslum with my cohort Matt Miller. Then we turned corporate, mort­gaging our integrity for some of The Good Life™, and shut it down in the face of a consol­i­dating and tumul­tuous market we couldn’t afford to play ball in anymore. In this capacity, I’ve been the go-to admin for web comics, web comic blogs, two lawyers, two prize-winning writers (one of them a Pulitzer!), and even-more failed start-ups. Most of them will even admit it if you ask them about it.

Packaging is the Worst Way to Distribute Software, Except for Everything Else
Given in Seattle at URES West 2014, enjoy 45 minutes wherein I clown on alternatives to package management and make a compelling case for package management tools being the least worst way to ship software to your customers.
You Can’t Build a Team in The Thunderdome
This time around I brayed at some kind folks in Boston during LISA16 about how bad the hiring and interviewing process is in the tech industry. I told some stories about some bad interviews I’ve given, talked about some survey results I put together, and went WAY over on time.
Bash 101: What Are Dotfiles?
Donut.js was kind enough to let me fumble through using a new presentation tool for the first time, live with their very patient, very friendly audience. Thrill to a mostly-working web-based terminal being used to awkwardly explain some novice-level Bash concepts with no rehersal and no regard for the amount of time alotted!

Here’s some of the more inter­esting, helpful, or polar­izing things I’ve written

Who is Ryan McKern
There’s another, much more accom­plished Ryan McKern out there, and this is a list of things he’s done. I like to think of him as my guitar-shredding brother from another (distantly related) mother. The list is outdated, but if you’re looking for the Ryan McKern who can grow a beard, he’s your guy.
I am not an engineer (je né suis pas un ingénieur)
Some words about why I think calling me, or anyone else who doesn’t have a steel pinky ring an engineer is silly.
NNTP readers on OS X are built from failure
Pretty much exactly what it promises on the label: I tried to use a bunch of different NNTP readers back in 2009, and I completely hated every single one of them. Half of the companies and products listed don’t even exit anymore. Probably because their software was bullshit.