NOTE: This was written and published on December 3, 2020. I’ve since started and posted about my next adventure, along with a little on how I chose it, here.

Today is my last day with The Home Depot.

Those are words I never thought I’d write. One, because I never thought I’d join Home Depot, or any large enterprise organization. Two, even after I did, I refused to admit it. …

My favorite books for exploring home cooking while waiting out COVID-19

It’s a new world, and in addition to Zooming and Webexing and watching way too much Netflix, a lot of people I know are experimenting with cooking at home for the first time during the Coronavirus-induced stay at home situation. Some are taking online classes, while others are playing on their own and looking for guidance.

I have a reputation as a decent home cook, and several friends have reached out for advice on how to get going themselves. After ad hoc’ing a few responses, I figured I might just get it all down, my story of how I taught…

Adapted from Reading Between The Wines by Terry Theise. All quotes from this source.

The Nine Aspects Of Flavor That Matter

according to Terry Theise, wine importer and writer


“For me it is the first of first principles. Flavor should be clear.”

For me this is the most profound of the nine aspects. It’s the simplest thing and yet it’s so simple that it’s elusive… it’s like an instruction for reading a book that says Observe the cover, then open the book. As Theise continues: “This is so obvious that no one considers it, but it is not self-evident.”

Assessing clarity requires a clean palate and attention.


Many larger public companies have formal intern programs. This post is primarily aimed at my fellow technology leaders working at a growing startup or tech org, or to a branch of a larger org that doesn’t have a program.

Note: If you’re here because you’re looking for an internship yourself, you might be interested in my insights into the software developer internship interview.

I’ve personally been involved with or have run intern programs in almost every tech org I’ve been in, from five-person shops to my current group of ~50 engineers.

If you’re thinking about setting up an intern program…

Five thoughts on interviewing for a software engineering internship as a Computer Science student or recent code academy graduate, from the perspective of an Engineering Manager who’s just wrapped up hiring a 2019 internship class.

1. This might be the toughest tech job to land in your career

The funnel is wide at the top and narrow at the bottom for a software development internship. Check this out:

Over 15,000 total candidates applied for a software developer internship at Home Depot this year across 8 nationwide campuses.

Less than 250 were accepted.

That’s a 1.66% hire rate per applicant.

Contrast that with a Senior or Lead req I might have open that will…

Note: this post in its present state is a placeholder for a later transcription of my talk at the 2018 ML4All machine learning conference in Portland, OR. It contains references to material, code and image credits related to my talk. Ultimately, it represents one technologist’s (my) fumblings towards an understanding of how to apply machine learning, and a collection of breadcrumbs aimed at helping other technologists make a similar exploration.

my framework for applying machine learning to a problem

General Reference links Amazing study on the long-term effects of attending preschool… <soapbox>why is federal funding for preschool so low??? </soapbox>

Wine-specific links

For the annual vintage scores for Cote de Nuits…

“So my friend tells me you do programming…could you build a site like YouTube?”

This is the big opportunity that my friend told me about, the phone call that I needed to drop everything for and take.


I get this call once or twice a year. Or it’s an email. Or someone sees me coding in a coffee shop and says Hello. If you’re an experienced engineer or architect with a decent network of business types in or around a startup community, I would imagine you do too.

The answer to the question, by the way, is Yes.


Visualizing startup deals in the Portland OR Metro Area to understand how investment in the area is changing and how we compare to the rest of the PNW.

Of note: CrunchBase was our primary data source for this study. At some point we’d love to incorporate data from AngelList and other sources. See notes at the bottom for thoughts on completeness / accuracy of the data

We have a startup scene here in Portland.

This isn’t news to anyone who lives and works here. …

Jon Oropeza

Software engineer and team leader by experience, startup and business nerd by nature. PDX.

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