Alexey Zagalsky

Software Developer, Researcher, Hacker.

about me

I'm a Ph.D. candidate under the guidance of Margaret-Anne Storey at the University of Victoria and a member of the CHISEL group. I focus on software engineering, studying the interplay between developers, tools, their activities, and how it affects collaboration and communication. My current research aims to form a theory of knowledge in software engineering. I'm also interested in early-stage startups.
During summer of 2016, I've visited the Software Engineering Research Group (SERG) at Delft University of Technology.

For additional information, please see the activities, awards, and publications pages.

Getting Started With Node.js

The Node.js project and its community have undergone major changes in recent years, among which is the forking of the project (and perhaps the community itself). This situation causes confusion for newcomers, who find themselves with compatibility issues and difficulties in setting up a working and up-to-date environment.

In this post, I show how to get the recent version of Node.js on a Linux OS in an easy way.

written in nodejs, scripts Read on →

Embracing Participatory Culture in Education

"It's always about timing. If it's too soon, no one understands. If it's too late, everyone's forgotten."

Anna Wintour

GitHub is on the brink of growing from a platform for software projects, and into a mainstream collaboration platform for other domains as well. An unexpected area where GitHub’s collaborative workflow holds the potential to bring groundbreaking changes is education and learning. In fact, educators have already begun to use GitHub to support teaching and learning. In some cases using it to replace certain aspects of the traditional learning management systems (e.g., Blackboard, Moodle), while in other cases gaining new benefits and capabilities.

written in education, github, learning, social media Read on →

Command Line Fun

I recently discovered a superb podcast on startups (in Hebrew). And, I wanted to download the episodes, so that I can listen to it when I commute to work. The podcast homepage has a page for each episode, with a download link at the bottom.

However, instead of downloading each episode manually, I decided to find an easier way, with the use of the command line. And to make it more interesting, I wanted to accomplish this with a single command line.

wget -q -O - "$@" | grep -o "http://.*.mp3" | xargs wget

The first part brings the content, in quiet mode, to allow piping into grep. The second part extracts the episode file names and paths, in my case they are all mp3 files. And the last part downloads all the files. I used the RSS feed instead of the podcast homepage as a way to have all the content in a single file.

I wonder, can this be done with a single wget command?

BTW, a useful tool for experimenting with regular expressions is RegExr.

written in command line, hacks, scripts

5 Tips for Successfully Meeting People at Academic Conferences

As a Ph.D. student, I have the opportunity to attend many cool conferences and co-located events (e.g., ICSE, CSCW, ICSME). However, beyond visiting beautiful places around the world (Switzerland, India, Canada, and Italy soon), I really enjoy meeting and connecting with people. In my experience, most people I’ve met at conferences were really great, super nice, and were very happy to talk to me, even though they didn’t actually know me or had any immediate outcome in mind. In this post I provide pointers—especially intended for new grad students—for meeting people at conferences.

written in conferences, grad students, networking Read on →