Hi.

I'm Sean McBride, a military veteran turned Software Engineer.
I code with Honor, defend the Just, and pursue lofty undertakings on the Cutting Edge

You can connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter

Latest stories

SStill No Silver Bullet

10.05.20198 Min Read — In programming

In his classic software engineering essay, No Silver Bullet, Fred Brooks argues that software complexity can be broken into two types. The first is essential complexity emergent from the problem…

LLinux Containers are the new POSIX

09.24.20196 Min Read — In programming

Looking back at POSIX When it comes to software, standards are an important tool to protect against “lock-in.” Back in the day, this was accepted as common knowledge. Academics (ACM, IEEE), industry…

BBrutal Truthtelling about Burnout

07.09.20196 Min Read — In career

A burned out brick building It’s getting popular to discuss burnout, which is great! It’s a conversation we need to have to counteract the self-promotional hustleporn that over-emphasize unhealthy…

TThe Io Programming Language

06.25.201917 Min Read — In programming

I am not a long-time Io enthusiast. I'm just a polyglot developer backpacking across different language ecosystems with a sense of curiosity and the software equivalent of a Rick Steves' travel guide…

RReflections on Marcus Aurelius' Meditations

06.19.20197 Min Read — In philosophy

A bust of Marcus Aurelius Ancient Rome has always fascinated me. On the one hand, it created the most professional pre-modern military and conquered much of the known world. On the other hand, it…

MMissing Prelude to Rust Ownership

06.09.201913 Min Read — In programming

Recently, my friend Kait Moreno and I have started a YouTube video series to follow our progress as we go through The Rust Programming Language. If you haven't seen this yet, please consider clicking…

HHow I got here: Chapter 2

05.24.20194 Min Read — In Career

As I've gotten older and gained perspective on my life, I've concluded that many aspects of my personality and career have been broadly shaped by the era, location, and community of my childhood. In…

TThe Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL)

05.17.201923 Min Read — In programming

I am not a professional mainframe developer. I'm just a polyglot programmer backpacking across different language ecosystems with a sense of curiosity and the software equivalent of a Rick Steves…

TThe Ruby Programming Language

05.13.20199 Min Read — In programming

I am not a Rubyist. I'm just a polyglot developer backpacking across different language ecosystems with a sense of curiosity and the software equivalent of a Rick Steves' travel guide: Bruce A. Tate’s…

PProgramming Language Tourism

05.10.20191 Min Read — In programming

A key assumption behind my decision to go back to grad school was that I would be free to engage in passion projects and creative coding. Alas, phrases like "that does not sufficiently advance the…

SSharks, Strength, Simulacra, Sandcastles

05.09.20191 Min Read — In Poetry

Some species of sharks need to stay in motion to stay alive If oxygen-rich water is not flowing across their gills, they cannot breathe Thus it is for many species of software engineers If dopamine…

GGrad School Mad Libs

05.06.20191 Min Read — In Career

A 33-year-old __(A)__ walks into a computer science program and __(B)__ A: Programmer. Intellectual Lightweight. Impostor. F***. Wannabe. B: Embarrasses himself. Fails out. F***s it up. Makes the most…

HHQ2 at Crystal City

11.13.20183 Min Read — In Opinion

According to the WSJ, (HQ2)/2 is moving to Crystal City! For those of you not taking the GREs today, that means half of HQ2 is coming to the DMV and the other half is going to Long Island in Long…

GGoodbye Decipher!

10.24.20181 Min Read — In Opinion

All good things come to an end, and with Grey Matter Dashboard at 2.0, I've decided that it's now a appropriate time for me to pass the baton and move on from Decipher. It was an honor to be a part of…

OOperation Code DC - October 2018

10.23.20182 Min Read — In Operation Code

On Wednesday, October 17th, Operation Code DC gathered for our second meetup since the relaunch of our chapter. We were hosted by GE Aviation in downtown Washington, DC. The GE Aviation staff went…

OOperation Code DC - August 2018

08.29.20183 Min Read — In Operation Code

On August 28th, 2018, about 28 military, veterans, military spouses, and civilian allies gathered at Capitol Post to relaunch Operation Code's DC chapter. I think that's a pretty great turnout for a…

SSummary of ENIAC by Scott McCartney

07.29.20186 Min Read — In History

This past weekend, I finally made it through ENIAC: The Triumphs and Tragedies of the World's First Computer by Scott McCartney. After originally purchasing this book from Audible in 2012, I quickly…

HHow I got here: Chapter 1

04.09.20183 Min Read — In Career

As I've gotten older and gained perspective on my life, I've concluded that many aspects of my personality and career have been broadly shaped by the era, location, and community of my childhood. In…

BBiggest Blessings of 2017

01.01.20185 Min Read — In Career

After a decade of career compromises, I'm finally following my passions Ideally, when someone graduates from college, they should understand their interests and aspirations and map that to a career…

BBeginner Guide to WebVR on Daydream

12.24.20166 Min Read — In programming

Earlier today, I was pleased to discover that FedEx had shipped me an important package. No, this wasn't Christmas a week early (...or was it???). It was the brand-new Pixel phone and Daydream VR set…

SSilencing the Siren Song

12.15.20162 Min Read — In Career

Sirens Come this way, honored Odysseus... and stay your ship, so that you can listen here to our singing; for no one else has ever sailed past this place in his black ship until he has listened to the…

RRegular Expressions Reference

11.07.20167 Min Read — In Coding

Why this reference? After the first week of my junior phase at Fullstack Academy, it's clear to me that Regular Expressions is a concept that I need to master quickly. In the past, I've usually…

RRules to be Outsource-Proof

10.18.20163 Min Read — In Career

Yesterday, some of my colleagues in Operation Code's Slack channel were expressing some concerns about outsourcing and the impact that this might have on their careers. Given all of the election…

BBattle of the Somme Centennial

06.30.20162 Min Read — In History

One hundred years ago today, General Haig, commander of the British Expeditionary Force, a man known for strong Christian beliefs and eccentric spiritualism (supposedly he had spoken with Napoleon…

TTPP - Presidential by Nature

06.13.20151 Min Read — In Fun

T.P.P., how can I explain it I'll take it frame by frame it To have y'all all jumping, shouting, saying it T is for Trans, P is for Pacific, scratch your temple The last P, well that's not that simple…

PPrincess House Mysteries: Chapter 4

05.23.20152 Min Read — In History

First things first, there have been some setbacks with my Princess House Research. Nothing tragic, but a bit frustrating for me personally. Let me set the stage for you so that you can empathize…

PPrincess House Mysteries: Chapter 3

04.26.20152 Min Read — In History

In my last post, I discussed some of my initial thoughts about where my house was actually located between when it was built circa 1850 and when it was moved to the "Uptown" neighborhood of Alexandria…

PPrincess House Mysteries: Chapter 2

04.12.20153 Min Read — In History

In Chapter 1 of the Princess House Mysteries, I discovered that my new home at 1204 Princess Street wasn't built in 1920 like I had originally thought, but that it was built around 1850 and moved to…

PPrincess House Mysteries: Chapter 1

04.01.20154 Min Read — In History

Shortly before Christmas of 2014, my wife and I purchased a lovely townhouse in Alexandria City's Parker Gray Historic District. More specifically, we purchased a house on Princess Street, which my…

WWhat I learned from Wes Anderson‘s Rushmore

08.31.20143 Min Read — In Fun

It's hard to believe that I've gone sixteen years without seeing it, but thanks to HBO Go and this wonderful blog post, I just wrapped up watching Wes Anderson's first commercial success: Rushmore…

IIBM Surburban Commandos versus Tech MeetUps: FIGHT!

08.28.20143 Min Read — In Opinion

One of the largest impacts of the demographic shift from Baby Boomers to Gen Xers to Millennials has been the shift in preferences from the single-family homes, privacy, and quality of life offered by…

CChina Needs a Mainframe

05.27.20144 Min Read — In Mainframe

It's a tough time to be an US-based technology multinational in China. Sure, there's always been the risk of intellectual property theft and concerns about local copycat companies popping up overnight…

MMetLife Mainframe Internships

05.09.20143 Min Read — In Mainframe

With over 90 million customers in over 60 countries, MetLife is one of the world's largest insurance companies. They are also one of the best examples of a Fortune 500 company combining mainframe and…

II want my 360

04.09.20142 Min Read — In Mainframe

I want my 360 This post was originally hosted on the Millennial Mainframer blog

SSystem/360 at 50

04.09.20146 Min Read — In Mainframe

On April 7, 1964, Tom Watson Jr. stood at the front of a conference room in IBM's Poughkeepsie, NY research lab. Looking beyond the podium and out into the audience, Watson saw two hundred influential…

CCorporate Partnerships and Mainframe Skills

10.30.20134 Min Read — In Mainframe

In discussions on efforts to combat the impending mainframe skills shortage, programs such as the IBM Academic Initiative and the Master the Mainframe Contest typically play center stage. The…

WWhy Millennials should care about the zBC12

07.24.20135 Min Read — In Mainframe

So the mainframe blogosphere has already written up and down about the new zBC12 mainframe that IBM announced yesterday. Big woopdie do. So what that it’s harder, better, faster, stronger? Most…

WWhat would Jesus code?

07.13.20131 Min Read — In Career

Thanks to organizations such as Code for America, the techie community is increasingly starting to think about ways to leverage their engineering skills in volunteer public service projects. I…

SSólyom Fekete Family History Project

07.08.20133 Min Read — In History

Many of you know that I've had already had a handful of careers during my 27.5 years of life. Besides working in technology and serving in the Army, there was a brief period when I was a History PhD…

TTransition from Blogger to WordPress

07.05.20133 Min Read — In Personal

My personal blog has been relatively stale over the past few years. Partially that has had to do with being so busy working at IBM and completing my graduate studies at the Illinois Institute of…

BBlog is on like Donkey Kong

06.25.20131 Min Read — In Mainframe

I am often surprised by how quickly time can fly by. At the beginning of this year, I was an IBM System z Client Architect based out of Chicago. Despite the day-to-day stress of being in a demanding…

MMainframe Rap

02.08.20132 Min Read — In Mainframe

This post was originally hosted on the Millennial Mainframer blog

MMillennial Mainframers, You’re blessed!

04.06.20122 Min Read — In Mainframe

One of the more unique aspects of being a Millennial Mainframer is working on teams with coworkers far older than ourselves. While this generational gap impacts day-to-day life in a mainframe shop in…

MMainframe APIs

02.10.20123 Min Read — In Mainframe

In honor of our 1,000th hit, behold System Z's answer to Ruby on Rails: COBOL on Cogs! In all seriousness, the modern mainframe has come a long way towards embracing modern web technologies. Due to…

SSyracuse University's Mainframe Program

01.31.20122 Min Read — In Mainframe

Check out Roger Kay's Forbes article “Kids See A Future In Mainframes.” Much like our discussion of Marist College, Roger writes about Dave Dischiave’s efforts at Syracuse University to train up new…

LLow Cost Mainframe Training

01.29.20122 Min Read — In Mainframe

By the very nature of being young professionals in a specialized and mature technical community, most millennial mainframers face the constant challenge of skill acquisition and credentialing. While…

SSystem z. Not Your Dad's Mainframe

01.27.20122 Min Read — In Mainframe

It is commonly understood in the mainframe community that many tech folks today do not understand the difference between a mainframe and a cluster of distributed servers. This is highly ironic given…

zzEnterprise - Mainframe Hybrid Computing

11.20.201125 Min Read — In Mainframe

Despite derision as a dinosaur doomed to gradual extinction, a recent breakthrough in mainframe technology has the potential to transform the world of modern data centers. On July 22, 2010, IBM…

TThe Five Dwarves. Exploring non-Amazon IaaS Options

11.20.20114 Min Read — In Tech

With IBM moving towards Cloud Computing and the zEnterprise turning into a “Cloud-in-a-box,” it is increasingly important to track developments in the public infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) space…

EEvolution of x86 Hypervisors

09.20.20115 Min Read — In Tech

VMWare and Full Virtualization In the early days of distributed computing, many experts considered x86 virtualization near to impossible due to the complexity of the platform. In contrast to the…

SSaints Francis, Jude, and Watson

07.15.20112 Min Read — In Career

Praise to God for his many blessings! I have so much to be thankful for. Firstly, I was able to survive my 15 credit hour semester at IIT with a pretty respectable GPA and a published paper. My…

SStatus Report–25% to degree completion

03.08.20112 Min Read — In Career

It’s difficult to believe, but I am now working through Midterms week of my first of two semesters for my Masters of IT Management program. Glancing back at my blog, I see that my last post on…

BBack to School? Again?

12.13.20102 Min Read — In Career

As many of you know, I have been pretty hesitant to go back to school. It’s been nearly two years since I’ve had a traditional paycheck. This is not to imply that Georgetown University was not a lot…

GGovernment IT and Cloud Computing

12.12.20101 Min Read — In Career

The Chief Information Officer of the Federal Government recently released a new plant to shift the majority of government IT into the “cloud” in the near future. This means a decrease in local IT…

JJava and Robert Santos

12.10.20102 Min Read — In Career

In order to give myself a constructive project to work on, I’ve recently been teaching myself Java. According to the TIOBE index, this programming language is currently the most popular language…

RRite of Acceptance and Career Search Continued

12.06.20102 Min Read — In Career

This morning was my Rite of Acceptance into the Roman Catholic church. For those unfamiliar with the process, Wikipedia provides a reasonable explanation of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults…

CCareer Guide Madness

10.25.20101 Min Read — In Career

I am currently working through three career books. So You Majored in What? is more-or-less a guide for humanities majors trying to figure out how to make their interests and coursework (seem) relevant…

CCareer Search Ongoing

10.25.20101 Min Read — In Career

I thought that it would be a useful exercise to publish my thoughts as I work towards getting to know myself a bit better. I am a recently-married West Point graduate that was medically retired from…

OOn Duty, Honor, Country

04.24.20072 Min Read — In West Point

"What the Academy stands for has always been my guide throughout my military career, and to have approached the high ideals of duty, honor, and service to country that are the real spirit of West…

DDownright Motivated

11.10.20032 Min Read — In West Point

During Cadet Basic Training, I benefited greatly from the leadership of my cadre members. They stimulated my development in many ways. By far, it was my second detail Platoon Sergeant, Sergeant Mathis…

TThe Evolution of Armor

10.04.20035 Min Read — In West Point

I was always fascinated by my grandfather’s collection of model tanks. They are, by far, the most striking items in his office, clearly showing his pride as a retired armor officer. All of the models…

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