Tom Reitz

Tom Reitz (7)

Tom Reitz is a lead developer and architect specializing in political data. He writes about technology, culture, and life.

StackOverflow Developer Survey 2019 Results

I love StackOverflow - I use it almost every day, usually multiple times each day. So I was excited when they recently released their annual Developer Survey results for 2019. I find this report very interesting because one of my current roles is lead developer. Some interesting hightlights from the report include:Javascript (including Node.js) is the most commonly-used programming language; Python is one of the fastest-growing programming languages.MySQL and PostgreSQL are the…

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Book Review: The Best Place to Work

A few weeks ago, I was reading Ron Friedman's The Best Place to Work at a clinic when my doctor walked in and quipped "I see you are reading a work of fiction." This admittedly amusing comment reflects the fact that many people don't enjoy their work, their colleagues, or their workplace. Although it's improved slightly in the last few years, Gallup consistently reports abysmal workforce engagement figures. Only one third of U.S.

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Book Review: Weapons of Math Destruction

I recently read Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O'Niel, after seeing it recommended several times. The book is an easy read and a thought-provoking exploration of the ethical implications of big data algorithms. O'Neil argues that opaque predictive algorithms can codify bias, racism, and inequality into automated systems. Through numerous examples in educational, financial, and judicial systems, she illustrates how the humans who design algorithms can unintentinally imbue them with their…

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On Gerrymandering

According to the U.S. Constitution, congressional districts are supposed to provide proportional representation. Practically speaking, that means that districts should be contiguous, contain roughly the same number of inhabitants, and (based on the Voting Rights Act of 1965) roughly the same racial makeup. State legislative districts are also drawn to similar standards. State Legislatures redraw district boundaries every 10 years (after the census) to relect population changes. But due to the partisan…

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Rest in Peace, Bishop Morlino

Today I had the honor of attending the funeral of Bishop Robert Morlino, the fourth bishop of Madison. Bishop Morlino died on November 24th, 2018, following a cardiac event during planned medical testing. He was 71 years old. Bishop Morlino became bishop of Madison in 2003, when I was just 16 years old. I first got to know him when I traveled the diocese recording his homilies for radio. Later, when…

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