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Benjamin Oakes

Photo of Ben Oakes

Hi, I'm Ben Oakes and this is my geek blog. Currently, I'm a Ruby/JavaScript Developer at Liaison. Previously, I was a Developer at Continuity and Hedgeye, a Research Assistant in the Early Social Cognition Lab at Yale University and a student at the University of Iowa. I also organize, ICRuby, OpenHack Iowa City, and previously organized NewHaven.rb. I have an amazing wife named Danielle Oakes.


Primarily, I consider myself a software developer. I’m interested in writing maintainable code where possible and quick hacks where necessary. I end up reading quite a bit about the craft of software development to improve my skills. (I’d recommend The Pragmatic Programmer if you’ve never read it. Code Complete is next on my list once I get my hands on a copy.)

Most of my experience fits into web development. (Basically, I’ve been doing web stuff since I was a kid.) My primary language is Ruby, but I’ve written a lot of SQL (and some PHP) too. I don’t really consider HTML and CSS programming, but I’m pretty knowledgeable about them as well. (I’m looking for a good excuse to learn C better, but I haven’t found a compelling reason yet. Ruby just makes so many things simple!) I did almost all of the HTML5 and CSS3 of this site, but it’s powered by WordPress.

I think face-to-face communities are important since too much activity surrounding programming only takes place online. In response to this, I made the Iowa City Ruby Group (with a lot of help from others in the community). I’m now working to revive NewHaven.rb, again with invaluable support from the community.

I’m into other things as well, but the above is what I’m expecting to blog the most about. I’m a big fan of typical geeky/nerdy stuff (such as computers, operating systems, video games, sci fi, etc.), but I’m also passionate about other things too (such as politics, writing, music, the saxophone, drawing, film, gardening, the environment, vegetarianism, cooking, Buddhism, philosophy, and more).

That’s me in a nutshell. Enjoy browsing around.

— Ben

Places I’ve worked

Online Presence

You can find me various places online:

Random online things

Things that didn’t fit in above:

Danielle’s stuff

Danielle is my great girlfriend (and friend). She has some webpages too:

Our stuff

We’ve done some stuff together online too: