Ben Crowder / Blog

Blog: #work

Happy to announce that today I started a new job at Planet (as a full stack engineer with a frontend focus).

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A couple quick updates:

Today was my last day at Cedar (formerly OODA Health before the acquisition), and on Monday I start a new job at Hologram.

I’m finally getting around to writing Cast, the new backend engine for this site. The plan is to go full static and deploy via Render. Also planning to move my personal apps over. While I’m still probably a couple months away from having everything migrated, I’m so, so looking forward to not maintaining a personal server anymore. (It’s fun, sure, and I’ve learned a lot, but it’s stressful — yesterday’s Let’s Encrypt root certificate expiration bit me thanks to an old OpenSSL version, for example — and it’s no longer something I want to spend time on for personal projects.)

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My last day at BYU was this past Friday. It’s still a bit surreal — for a very long time I thought I would retire there — but moving on was the right thing, and this was the right time. (The new job, should you be curious, is a software engineering position at OODA Health, and my first day is this very day. I’m looking forward to it.)

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After twelve years at the library, I’ve realized it’s time for a change and have started looking for another job. Doing this during a global pandemic is a little daunting, but it feels like the right time.

As part of this, I’m experimenting with what I’m calling a more humane resume. It’s basically a short list of relevant data points, with room to explain a little more about what I do and what I’m looking for. My hope is that it makes it easier for potential employers to see whether I’d be a good fit.

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Yesterday I found out that one of my coworkers (not on my direct team, but in my division) passed away from Covid on Friday. She’s the first person I actually know who has died from it. Unsettling and surreal and very sad.

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Years ago when I was the lead web designer for the BYU library, I developed the (seriously unprofessional) habit of hiding easter eggs on the site. There are still some left, though I don’t know how much longer they’ll stick around as things get updated and refactored. For posterity’s sake, then, here are a couple of the eggs:


If you type the Konami code in the home page search box (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a — no start button needed), you get dropped into a very simple avoid-everything worm game:


It keeps track of your score using the browser’s local storage.


If you type supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. (with the period) quickly enough into that same search box, you get dropped into a very rough draft, totally unfinished text adventure game:


There are a handful of rooms and one or two puzzles, I believe. The bottom floor is full of monsters.

I kept meaning to expand the game into something formidable and awe-inspiring (at one point I was even thinking about turning it into an old-school MUD), but I clearly never got around to it.

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