I’m all about that bag, ’bout that bag, no briefcase

What makes a good bag? Whether it’s a backpack, messenger, tote, satchel, purse, or whatever, there are some universal features we look for:

What the heck is this thing anyway?
What the heck is this thing anyway?
  • Look or Style
  • Size
  • Color
  • Comfort
  • Functionality
  • Durability

But each of these is really “in the eyes of the beholder” isn’t it? Choosing a bag that’s right for you really depends on your lifestyle, situation, needs, etc… For example, I’m a software professional, so I don’t go anywhere without my two notebooks (one computer, one paper), power brick, mouse, phone, at least one pair of headphones, wallet, keys, chap stick, dry erase markers, pens, flashlight, and pocket knife (more on these last two later). I’m a “light” traveler (once every couple of months), and I occasionally ride my bike to work when the weather permits. So I’m looking for a bag to organize my stuff, keep it protected, that’s comfortable to carry, and of course, makes me look good!

Here are the front runners and some of my thoughts. Click the image to go to the product page.

TLS Professional Weekender

eBags TLS Professional Weekender
         eBags TLS Professional Weekender

This bag is the ultimate in organization and functionality, however, I think it lacks a little in the style department. It’s called the “Professional” so obviously they’re trying to keep a low profile, but it could use some color, or at least some depth by using a more textured fabric. All in all, it tough to complain about its few faults, when it is superior in most categories.

OGIO Commuter

OGIO Commuter
                          OGIO Commuter

Modern… urban… cool! This bag looks great! Professional, just a tad “hipster”, but not too “crunchy”. It definitely wins in the style department for me. Looking inside there’s plenty of organization, good amount of  storage room and a separate laptop sleeve. Possible downside, everything except for the front bottom pocket is hidden under that big flap, hmmm… This bag may be at the top of my list currently, but the real question is could I pull off this look?

Osprey Spin 22                            

Osprey Spin 22
                       Osprey Spin 22

The Spin 22 is a “biking” bag. it has the contour, padding and straps to firmly hug you while on your commute. it has a pull out liner that protects the bag from the elements and has all kinds of cool features like a helmet clip, “blinky” light hook, and adjustable flap for those large load days. but I think it lacks a bit in organization with only a few pockets and limited organizing compartments. The style is not bad, modern, slim, and definitely says “cyclist”. The question I’m asking myself with this one is “do i ride enough to need comfort and safety over function and organization?”.

I need your help!

Which bag do you like best and why? Have you had experience with any of these bags or brands? If so, please share. Do you know of other bags or brands I should consider?

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The Beginning

So what’s this site all about?

This is my very own little piece of web “real estate”. And to be honest, this is only my second post, so I have no idea what it might turn into or where it’s headed. In general, as you could guess by the name, it will definitely include all things related to building software.

I do plan to post on build topics, such as continuous integration (CI), build tools, build engines, lean manufacturing, and such. Some posts will be idea driven, some will be lessons learned, and others will ask questions and hopefully I’ll get feedback from people like you!

Is it JUST about builds?

Definitely NOT! I don’t want to bore you to death with really technically, really specific details solely about build. I’m a computer geek, so I am drawn to new and innovative technologies, engineering and development practices, video games, superhero movies, IDEs and text editors, and cool desktop background!

What’s so special about thebuildninja?

What I think differentiates my ideas, perspectives, and opinions, is that I look at the world through my build goggles (okay,  they’re really just some glasses from Costco). Things that are REALLY important to me (and probably build engineers in general), are often not even considered by developers. And things that are REALLY important to developers may be less so for me.

So I hope to put a fresh spin on some of these things and maybe open your eyes a little to what happens AFTER you type “git push origin master”.

Hello world!

The infamous first program you ever wrote. seems fitting for my first blog post.

So why builds?

Hello and welcome! If you haven’t read the “About” page, I’m Spencer, and I like to build stuff. More specifically, I like to build software. Building software is not very glamorous, not always appreciated, and at times, can be rather aggravating. “Wait what, but you just said you like to do it?” That’s true, I do like it, a lot in fact. I find the combination of the physical, mental, and even sometimes emotional energy involved to be, fun, sort of, invigorating.

I enjoy the wide variety of verbs related to build: designing, developing, implementing, problem solving, planning, troubleshooting, debugging, firefighting, referee-ing, educating, learning, prototyping, playing, talking, walking, and the occasional handstand-ing, not necessarily in that order. And I find that almost every one of these is a really good skill to have in your everyday life. So the more I do these things at my job, the better I get at my life! Sweet!

And what’s with the “ninja”?

The build engineer, master, architect, guru, or whatever other adjective you choose to describe the guy, or gal, that does your build, is really a “behind the scenes” kind of job. They work in the shadows, silently destroying “problems”, before you even knew they existed. They are trained in the art of build-fu and tai-build-do, so when an issue does arise more publicly (build break), they attack with speed, agility and precision, resolving the issue and leaving the crowds in a daze.

“Who was that guy?”, “Does he even work for us?”, “How did he do that?”

The build ninja is an elite group. If you don’t know who we are, then we’re doing our job right!