Ardiuno WiFi 8 digit counter on a bread board For this project, I wanted to build a device capable of displaying up to 8 digits on a seven segment display. Sounds easy, right? The catch is, I wanted to retrieve these digits from the Internet over WiFi.

I took this opportunity to try out the ever-popular Arduino platform. Arduino turned out to be a good choice for this project for several because it has:

  • an easy to use, Arduino compatible WiFi adapter (WiShield) put out by asynclabs
  • a library available for talking to the WiShield with examples included
  • a MAX7219 interface library
  • an onboard USB programmer and a software programmer that works on Ubuntu

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“To be honest, I was a little surprised it didn’t happen earlier,” was a common sentiment directed toward me as news spread that I was leaving the Fresno Bee. I had been carefully scanning job listings every day for at least a year and occasionally applying for one that seemed like a good fit. As time wore on, I become more and more aware of how lucky I was to have found the kind of job I did find in Fresno. I can count on one hand the number of Fresno-based job openings that piqued my interest over the course of a full year. None of them excited me enough to leave a perfectly good job at the Bee.

Strangely enough, my small effort in packaging uWSGI for Ubuntu was what prompted some communication with a RightScale employee who encouraged me to apply for a position. I almost didn’t because I’ve grown so attached to my friends and family in Fresno, but the reality of my situation was apparent. If I wanted an exciting job with lots of growth potential, I would have to move.

The Fresno Bee was a great employer. It had fostered the growth of my skills and talents, my supervisors had always been kind and flexible, but the time has come for me to either move on to pursue growth or settle down in Fresno. I think I’m too young to settle down.

RightScale provides me with a new set of opportunities to really push the limits of technology and I am very excited to start work tomorrow.

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