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Andrew Fader

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The simplest thing that could possibly work in Tetris

At Pivotal we practice a form of Agile software development descended from the original Extreme Programming (XP) created by Kent Beck et al. XP codifies many of our core practices including pair programming, test-driven development, iteration planning, and stand-up. XP also has a very strong emphasis on flat hierarchies and frequent communication.

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Field Trip Chronicles: Pivotal NYC Hardware Hacking Club

Pivotal NYC's resident solder-happy Arduino-slingers (Pivotal Labs Labs, if you will) took a field trip today to Hack Manhattan, a hacker space, garden, and science laboratory on 14th street near our office. Hack Manhattan has, among other useful tools, a CNC mill, lathe, plotter, and several 3D printers in various stages of assembly. Members and friendly visitors are free to use the tools provided they know how, and may attend classes on various topics.

A joint venture between followers of the collective hacker ethos espoused by Brooklyn space NYC.Resistor, and a team of vigilante biologists, Hack Manhattan also boasts a rooftop garden complete with a solar-powered hydrolysis device and a chest of lively bees. Click through to a brief photo tour of our trip.

NYC Standup 7/18/2012


  •, obj) vs { block }, obj) will duplicate the object, whereas with a block will call the block n times, resulting in different objects.

NYC Standup 8/24/2011: iTerm Time Machine

Interesting Things

  • Ben discovered that Cmd+Opt+B is a magical time machine for iTerm, complete with a scroll bar for traveling back and forth in the buffer. He was quick to point out that this feature, cool as it is, will not actually send the user back in time.

NYC Standup 8/23/2011: Alias_attribute, AWS memcache, Syck

Interesting Things

  • Ian and Ben pointed out that alias_attribute, a little-known Rails helper, can be used to alias a method for an ActiveRecord attribute. Alias_method will not work for this purpose.
  • JT informed us that Amazon Web Services has debuted a new memcache tool known as ElastiCache.
  • Micah added that Google has announced an open source version of the Chromium browser for Android.

Ask for Help

  • Nick was having problems with installing Lobot, a Pivotal gem to automate the creation of continuous integration (CI) instances. He was getting an error pertaining to syck parsing of a gemspec. Lee had seen this bug before, which relates to the strictness of YAML parsing in Syck versus Psych.

NYC Standup 8/22/2011: GroupMe Acquisition, RVM 1.7

Interesting Things

  • GroupMe was acquired by Skype. Congratulations GroupMe!
  • RVM 1.7 came out last week, with some big changes. The execution of the .rvmrc file in your project after a cd into the directory no longer happens by default.


  • NYC.rb hackfest Tuesday
  • Node.js meetup Wednesday