Steve Grunwell

Open-source contributor, speaker, and coffee snob

Category: Community

I just launched the Engineering @ Growella blog

As you may be aware, I joined a Cincinnati-based startup, Growella, as their Director of Technology in mid-November. Since joining, I’ve been hard at work building our site (which is slated to launch within the next few weeks), building our hosting infrastructure, and generally being the point-person for all things technological at the company.

I’m already learning a lot in my new role, and I wanted an outlet to be able to share those things. I’m also very fortunate that the rest of the company embraces open source software, so I wanted a place (besides this blog) to share what Growella has been working on, the problems we’ve been solving, and any releases of new software.

With all of that in mind, I’m proud to announce that about an hour ago we launched the Engineering @ Growella blog.

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A street in Cuba, full of people and vibrant colors

Software for the Greater Good: Apretaste Brings the Internet to Cuba

During SunshinePHP, I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with Salvi Pascual of Miami non-profit Apretaste. Besides talking about the delicious desserts at the speakers’ dinner, Salvi and I chatted about the current state of internet connectivity outside of the United States. I hadn’t realized it before, but barely 90 miles from where we sat there lives a population where nearly three quarters of the people have no internet connectivity, and of those that do less than 4% have access to anything beyond email.

Imagine if you were living in 2016 with little-to-no access to the internet. No social media. No news from the outside world. No cat videos on YouTube.

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Movember 2: Electric Boogaloo

This year I’ll be participating in my second-ever Movember to raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues. You may recall I was the Captain of Buckeye Interactive’s grow team in 2013, and this year I’m helping lead the charge for 10up’s MoTeam!
For the uninitiated, Movember is an annual fundraiser wherein men – starting clean-shaven – grow mustaches over the month of November to raise awareness for men’s health issues. Along the way, we raise money to help fund research for prostate and testicular cancers and support programs promoting strong mental health and physical fitness.

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A wall filled with cans of spam.

Spam Warning: Search Engine Registration

I promise I’m not turning this blog into a list of all the spam I get, but registering that domain for the non-profit my Grandma helped start has opened my eyes to all sorts of shady services preying on first-time registrants. Here’s another example I received just this morning, warning me to “Complete Search Engine Registration” for my domain.

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A wall filled with cans of spam.

Spam Warning: New Domain Registrations

Recently I registered a domain name on behalf of a non-profit organization my Grandmother has been involved with over the last decade. I used the organization for all of the registrant contact information except for the email address (which I didn’t have), so I set it to a specific account on my own domain.

Within an hour of registering the domain name, that inbox started receiving a steady stream of emails congratulating me on registering and offering web design, development, and SEO services.

At first I assumed this was just someone desperate for business who thought to watch public registries for new domains; annoying, but not dangerous. As more and more emails came in, I realized this isn’t just spam but a good phishing (e.g. pretend to be a legitimate company in order to steal your money) scheme as well.

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Recap: CodeMash 2015

Last week I attended CodeMash 2015, my third time attending the conference. Held at the lush Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Sandusky, Ohio, CodeMash brings together some of the brightest minds in Ruby, .NET, and JavaScript for two days (plus a pair of optional “pre-compiler” workshop days before the main conference) of code, networking, and (eventual exhaustion).

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Looking out from the Smithsonian Natural Science museum on a foggy day

Reflections on php[world] 2014

I just got back last night from the inaugural php[world] conference in Washington, D.C., put on by the team at php[architect], and thought I’d share some of my thoughts and experiences:

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Avoiding Swearing for Men’s Health

Sadly, I’m not participating in Movember this year. It’s for rather selfish reasons, admittedly (I’m speaking at php[world] in Washington, D.C. this week, which is the largest speaking engagement of my career, and don’t want to be mid-‘stache during the conference), buthat doesn’t mean I don’t want to be involved with Movember. As I won’t be shaving off the beard for some mustache fun this month, I’d like to propose this alternative:

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Hear me on the WP Decoded podcast!

Nathan Driver and Brian Retterer were nice enough to invite Phil Hoyt and I on the inaugural WP Decoded podcast, where we talked WordPress 4.0, WordCamp Columbus, and why “WordPress 101” sessions at WordCamps are a lot like Freshman Orientation.

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Growing a Mustache for Men’s Health

This November I’ll be participating in Movember with my co-workers at Buckeye Interactive. Movember is a 30-day event where men grow mustaches in order to raise awareness of and money for men’s health issues, namely prostate and testicular cancers – you can think of it kind of like a 5k cancer run but on men’s upper-lips.

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Be excellent to each other.