— Jose Gonzalez


What if policy makers worked like entrepreneurs and engineers? Sometimes, public policy initiatives are very difficult to replicate due to the lack of management best practices, freely available data  and code. For one moment imagine working on a project or designing a public policy that would:

  • Management best practices:
    • Let people know on what are you working at every time
    • Less generals and more soldiers: have a lean management structure with the least herarchical levels possible
    • Avoid information silos
    • Manage requirements and not activities
  • Other best practices:
  • Have a version control system: ability to track who added what and seamlessly roll back to previous versions
  • Automated testing of assumptions
  • Simple deployment: run this script and see the results
  • Code reviews: public repos on github with everything needed to replicate the project and add more contributors to it
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” The difference between an A team and an A+ team is the difference between a million in revenue and a billion in revenue. ”

Excellent interview with Paul English, co-founder of Kayak. My favorite parts:

  • When asked “Why do you start companies”, Paul has one of the best answers I’ve ever heard: I start companies because it gives me an opportunity to create teams.
  • The difference between an A team and an A+ team is the difference between a million in revenue and a billion in revenue.
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Command Line Terminal

Source: Coursera | Startup Engineering

In the past I’ve struggled to install python modules and updates with the terminal on Mac. Recently, I started to use the terminal to connect to AWS and found it quite powerful, although there is certainly a learning curve. Perhaps, one of the best ways to master its use is by learning it the hard way. Check this website that also includes quite powerful training on Python and other languages. Learn to code the hard way: the command line.

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Answer: Facebook 45% of world wide web users went to it yesterday.. and it gets about 5% more than google.


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After struggling for a while to highlight Python code without having to install a package or taking screenshots I found this awesome tool:     Online syntax highlighting for “Python”. It is also very useful to highlight code that is freely available in the web. Hope to see R extensions soon.

Another option for WordPress.com is to use the this wrapper. As an example check this Python code to calculate the mean center and deviational ellipses in ArcGIS. The only problem is with the indenting for the loop it has some trouble recognizing the format.

#Calculate the mean center and deviational ellipse for several variables programatically
#Author Jose Gonzalez
import arcpy
from arcpy import env
from datetime import datetime

# Set environment settings
env.workspace = "U:/advGIS/Lab9/Lab9.gdb/Layers"
print "Working"
print datetime.now()
# Local variables:
inFeatures = "master2006cut"
# Process: Select
arcpy.Select_analysis(inFeatures, "Penninsula", ""ENTIDAD" = 4 OR "ENTIDAD" =23 OR "ENTIDAD" =31")
# Process: Mean Center
arcpy.MeanCenter_stats(inFeatures, i + "_MeanCenter", i, "", "")

# Process: Directional Distribution (Standard Deviational Ellipse)
arcpy.DirectionalDistribution_stats(inFeatures, i + "_DevEllipse", "1_STANDARD_DEVIATION", i, "")

print inFeatures
print datetime.now()
except Exception, e:
# If an error occurred, print line number and error message
import traceback, sys
tb = sys.exc_info()[2]
print "Line %i" % tb.tb_lineno
print e.message

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I am facing the challenge as a “professional economist” to develop a new website for www.persianasypersianas.com. When looking for different platforms I found the traditional HTML websites builders as Adobe Dreamwaver versus the open source ones as Word Press and Joomla. Now the trick is to forecast which platform will last more time and wich one is easier to use as a nonprofessional web developer.

Until this moment, word press is wining the contest, nevertheless its special hosting requirements (Hosting with PHP5x and MySQL5x) maybe a big drawback.

Stay tune for the results

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