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Hi - I'm Clinton, and I'm the CTO of Momentum Learning in Durham, NC. I've previously worked with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, The Iron Yard, and RTI International, among others. My big passions are my kids and making the world of programming a more welcoming and diverse place.

Find out what I'm up to right now.

Just watched Tig Notaro’s new special and she does a really funny bit about the Indigo Girls and it reminded me of my first and best concert experience.

There wasn’t a lot of access to great music as a rural Southern kid. The local rock station, 102.9 KISS FM, was real heavy on Def Leppard and Guns ‘n’ Roses. Me and a few kids traded tapes that we recorded of music we found, and when the Indigo Girls hit, it was huge. Note that I had never met an out gay person in my life, nor even been informed that they existed. (Seriously, I can’t believe this was true, but I didn’t know about gay people until I was 15.)

I got my youngest aunt and uncle, who were pretty hip and lived near Atlanta so they knew who the Indigo Girls were, to take me to see them at the Fox Theatre, which is the most beautiful theatre. I’ve only been there once 26 years ago and I still think about its ceiling.

We got there and there was an opening band, also something I didn’t know about. The opening band was a punk band called Lay Quiet Awhile. Their lead singer, Danielle Howle, was amazing. She sang and shrieked and stage dove into the crowd and my mind was blown to shreds. This was the first punk music I’d heard and it slayed. I became an opening band man that night.

And then the Indigo Girls played and it was as amazing as you might imagine. Besides seeing the best show I’ve ever seen, I remember three things from that night. I found out about gay people. I’m still thankful that I found out there instead of at church. I remember that while I was in the men’s room at a urinal, a group of women ran into it declaring they were “liberating it for their use” and I was beyond terrified. And I remember this guy sitting right in front of me who kept trying to make out with his girlfriend and getting shut down so hard.

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The :target pseudo-class

I just learned about the :target pseudo-class in CSS and it is pretty amazing. It targets the element with an id equal to the URL’s fragment (the hash part at the end.) This can be used with plain old links to create features that would normally require JavaScript. This CodePen shows a hamburger menu implemented with it. The way this works is brilliant. The hamburger icon is a link to #main-menu. Read more...

Development Practices

I am hungry and itching for my first immersive class with Momentum to start. We have a great program put together that is going to change people’s careers and their lives. One of the pieces of the program I’m most excited about is called “Development Practices.” In putting together our new curriculum, I spent a lot of time thinking about what’s missing from code school curricula. I realized that in the past, I’ve taught people to code, but the harder part is teaching them to be developers. Read more...

Why I love teaching people to code

When I was a kid, I dreamed of being a teacher. I didn’t think I’d end up teaching people to code. I wanted to be a high school English teacher. I learned to program, though, and that career was too lucrative to derail. Fortunately, I found my way back to teaching, first through being an instructor and academic director at The Iron Yard, and now through co-founding Momentum. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. Read more...

Christian podcasts

One of the most fun and unexpected parts of hopping on the Jesus train has been finding podcasts. Here are my favorites: Unbelievable? This is the most serious podcast I listen to. The host, Justin, brings people with different perspectives together, often a Christian and an atheist, but not exclusively, and has them debate about a topic. It is British, so it is very civilized. I often find myself agreeing with the non-believer in the episode, but it’s all very kind. Read more...
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