About Me

I’m George Mauer

This is my low effort blog. Mostly about software development. I regularly do presentations at various usergroups. I sometimes do them to my cat.


I am a software developer, speaker, teacher, writer, and comedian with an interest in the various techniques that can make software simple, extensible, and communicative. I am currently Director of Software Engineering at BlocPower, was previously a principal developer and Director over at findhelp, and CTO at the Operation Spark code school in New Orleans. Previously I worked in software consulting in all sorts of positions for over a decade. I mentor with Operation Code (unrelated), write, teach, and speak regularly on Javascript, C#, testing, interviewing, etc at conferences, usergroups, and to my cat (singular - the other one won’t listen to me).

Find me on Mastadon or try out the Disqus forms on my posts and let me know if they work. In general, it’s not very hard to find a way to contact me.

Talks I’ve Done / Do

Org Workflows for Developers

Emacs users all know org-mode is great but much of the discussion often focuses on the agendas, todo lists, and project planning. These are all valuable. yet rarely do we talk about workflows that do work, not just plan it. Inspired by literate programming ideas, this talk demonstrates a grab-bag of workflows developed over the years that are of use not only for planning, tracking, note keeping, and ops work, but in actual day-to-day enterprise software development.

Links to resources, Index, Q&A, and videos

Documentation, the README, and You

Slides with Notes

For how important we all say it is, we don’t talk about documentation much at all. In code, we have design patterns, frameworks, systems design, architecture, SOLID and dozens of omnipresent rules of thumb, but what about for technical writing? Let’s stop kicking the can down the road and get that conversation started.

@ Operation Spark, Front End Party

The Most Accessible Pizza Pie

Article, Slides with Notes

The tech world is abuzz with the final word rendered in the Dominos vs Robles web accessibility case. Anyone can be sued for ADA compliance violations now! No one knows what to do! It’s chaos! Reading the ruling brings things into sharper focus. We will go over what the ruling actually was, why it was issued, and what this means for us web developers. All from DEFINITELY NOT A LAWYER!

@ UI Arch Conf, Front End Party

TDD With No More Tears

Article, Sample Code Slides with Notes

Unit testing is hard to get right. Are you testing too much? Too little? How do you write tests that aren’t a waste of time? Isn’t testing supposed to enable refactoring? Then why do they seem to be in the way? What’s this BDD thing I keep hearing about? Do we need to learn yet another tool?

This talk goes into the philosophy behind unit testing in general and test-driven development in particular. Discuss how to keep things simple yet useful and showcase a strategy for writing tests that achieve our goals without wasting anybody’s time.

@ AgileShift Houston 2020, GDG New Orleans, Surge Dev Meeting, SQL Saturday Baton Rouge

Someone Asked Me To Talk About Open Source


A lecture prepared for Tulane communications students introducing them to the idea of open source software, how it works, its history, licensing structures, and major concerns of the time.

@ Tulane Communications

What’s the Deal With Javascript


A lecture and small workshop introducing Computer Science students to the what and why of Javascript.

@ Tulane Computer Science

React Context, Storybook, and Other Tips

Slides as a Storybook

The new React Context API is incredibly powerful and yet little understood. This talk explains how the concept is really just a form of the extremely-powerful but rarely-used technique of dynamic scoping, and the many powers and uses this enables. And it does all this in a Storybook!

@ Front End Party, Gnocode

CQRS, Lite and Otherwise


A popular buzzword, CQRS is often misunderstood and more often misused. Less of an architecture than a set of related techniques and an architectural flavor, it is an important and powerful technique to have in your arsenal. This talk discusses traditional CQRS, breaks it down to its essence, and discusses a lightweight alternative by which an application can be created without much of the overhead while maintaining a straightforward transition path to a fully CQRS style.

@ Gnocode, Baton Rouge .Net Usergroup, Sql Saturday Baton Rouge

History of the Web

Abbreviated version in a Podcast, More Conferency Slides, More Studenty Slides, Bibliography

In order to understand things at a deeper level, it often helps to understand why things are the way that they are. And the web is a weird place for a lot of weird reasons. This talk is a deep dive into the history of the development web, with plenty of stories, personalities, and original research. Understand the history of HTML, CSS, and Javascript, and use that understanding to predict where we might go in the future.

@ Jazzcon, Sql Saturday, Gnocode, Active 8, Technology Leadership Summit, Barcamp Nola, Opspark, Operation Code, Many various usergroups

There is No Front End

Less of a talk, more of a rant? There is no such thing as Front End or Back End Development as a job description. Skills? Sure, but not a job. Like I said, less a talk, more of a rant.

@ FrontEnd Party, WFH Conf

Slides Video

Personal Security on the Internet


Born out of a presentation to bootcampers on personal and web application security and why they are now on the front lines, this lightweight and well recieved talk covers such topics as proper password storage, password management, https, and basic device security.

@ Barcamp Nola, Several usergroups, Opspark

Tech Terms for Non-Technical Techies


Originally a presentation for salespeople, this talk covers a lot of the jargon frequently used by software developers, dbas, sysadmins, and other technical specialists, attempting to give the audience a high level understanding of exactly what all this stuff actually means.

@ Barcamp Nola, Internal meetings

I Can Hack Spreadsheets and So Can You

Article Slides

A presentation of my shocking discovery of CSV injection and the absurd degree to which it can cause affect nearly all applications and users.

@ Front End Party, NolaSec

Just Use HTML Forms Already

Published(!) Article Slides Code

In the age of the javascript framework, its worth to stop and ask - what was wrong with simple HTML forms? Sure there were reasons that we stopped using them, but do those reasons still hold? Covers this as well as some simple and natural alternatives to model binding, unidirectional data-flow, and javascript templating frameworks. Oh and also how the appraoches are not mutually exclusive and can be used with any of thos.

@ Baton Rouge Usergroup, Gnocode, Jazzcon

Gimgen - Deep Dive Into Javascript Generators

Code (with a full explanation) Demo Page Interactive Slides Talk video Npm Package

For whatever reason, I decided to go absurdly deep with javascript generators. Really Really deep. I’ve even created my own micro-library. In this talk we walk throught he concept of generators, how it relates to asynchronous programming, co-routines, and then demo the weird, thought-provoking, and useful(?) patterns enabled by a library like gimgen.

@ Front End Party, Jazzcon, Women Who Code Meetup

Interviewing Developers


I have personally conducted well over 120 interviews and set up the Surge interviewing process that has seen many more. This talk is about the philosophy of this humanizing process, why I believe it has worked absurdly well for us, and some of the great things that it enables.

@ Devnexus, NYC Code Camp, Barcamp Nola, Gnocode

CSS Only Tabs

Article Code Slides

As far as I’m aware, I have come up with the best appraoch of doing css-only tabs. Optional url-syncing, basic HTML, no hard coding anything in your css, and completely zero javascript. Really.

@ Barcamp Nola, Jazzcon, Front End Party

Be the Es6iest

Article Video

Remember when es6 was just around the corner? Well this talk was from then! And is actually still relevant as an opinionated live-coding tour through some of the best new features of javascript.

@ Houston Techfest, various usergroups

Automated Testing


A high level overview of the different types of testing, the why, and the how.

Teaching Programming


Lessons learned from several years teaching with the Operation Spark code camp.

Learn Reduce Already

Article Slides

Reduce, fold, aggregate. This is a simple yet effective workshop to drill students on how and why to use this insanely powerful technique.

What is Software Architecture Workshop


A workshop taking students through the basics of software architecture, distilling domain concepts into domain models and basic relational database design

Recursion Excursion


A workshop to ingrain into students the idea and usefulness of basic recursion in order to solve programming problems.

Javascript Looping Machine Workshop

Code and Instructions

Bouncing Box Workshop

Code and Instructions

A full workshop taking students and people interested in programming through building a very simple javascript game patterned on my own first experiments with programming.

I’m In Love With Sublime Text


Ok, I don’t use Sublime anymore. But I was a fan in its heyday.

Yes You Can (Use JS Modules With Crappy Code)

Code Article Slides

I wrote a microlibrary to help people transition their ugly, brownfield, using-globals-everywhere code to (eventually) using nicely factored javascript modules. At the very least its a thin veneer of sanity.

All of Javascript

Slides and Demos

An old talk covering all the (at the time) good parts of javascript.

All of jQuery


A conference talk to try and cover all of jQuery. In one hour.

Vanquishing Candyman


A talk and live-coding demo of how higher ordr function wrappers can make your code better and your life easier.

What, You Don’t Underscore Yet?


Mad dash through the many many useful functions of underscore.js

Synchronized Dev for Distributed Teams


How to use branching with Mercurial and other tools for all-remote distributed development.

You Can’t Dance the Lambda

Slides (Ugly, converted from Powerpoint)

One of my first talks that I toured with on the usefulness of that at-the-time kinda new C# feature - lambda functions!

The Great Stored Procedure Debate


Stored procedures - when to use them? Not use them? There was once a time when people needed a talking to about it.

CSS-Only Wheeeee