Recently, I discovered an interesting esoteric programming language: Piet. Programs written in this language look like abstract paintings and commands are defined by the color changes in the picture/program. That’s what gives you a lot of freedom to create nice looking and functional programs, which makes it a lot of fun. For example, the below picture is a fully functional Piet program.

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Piet Basics

Piet is an esoteric programming language, that is named after and inspired by the artist Piet Mondrian, who “is known for being one of the pioneers of 20th-century abstract art, as he changed his artistic direction from figurative painting to an increasingly abstract style, until he reached a point where his artistic vocabulary was reduced to simple geometric elements.”

Recently, I decided to hold a series of workshops about Java development at the CoderDojo Linz. As lots of kids and teens there enjoy playing Minecraft, it was a straightforward decision to choose Minecraft plugin development as the topic for these workshops. As I never played Minecraft before, I wanted to get to know the game first. My plan to play for 2 or 3 hours to learn the basics escalated rather quickly and I ended up in not being productive for a week. Well, probably I could have anticipated that. …

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Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash

Have you ever thought about joining a coding contest but then decided against it? If yes, this post will encourage you to take the challenge next time. At a coding contest or competition you are faced one big or various smaller problems (depending on the contest) which you have to solve within a given time. At most competitions you can register alone or in a team. I can highly recommend joining in a team as it’s just way more fun. …

Something big is coming up! In the next weeks and probably months I’ll be busy implementing Clubrizer. But wait, what is this actually? Clubrizer will be an application (to be precise, a Progressive Web App), that eases the communication within clubs or teams. Continue reading if you want to know more about this project.

About the App

As stated above, the main goal of Clubrizer is to ease communication within clubs or teams. It will be a small social platform where all members of a club or team can register. When registered, they get information about things going on in the club. Those things can be events and trainings that are happening, new forum posts, new records that have been done by club members or simply messages sent out by the head of the club. All of this happens highly interactive. People can respond to events, ask questions in the forum, comment on posts or enter their own records. …

I’m a big fan of communities, which is why I enjoy being part of them a lot. I have been active at a local Inline-Speedskating Club for more than 10 years now and just thought it would be time for helping at another community as well. This second community turned out to be the CoderDojo Linz, which does great work in my opinion. I teamed up with my friend Matthias, who was a mentor already, and got my feet wet very fast by doing a workshop about Android Development for kids together with him.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

I never did a workshop like this before and I have to admit that I was freaking nervous before it started. So I tried to prepare very nicely and listened to another session to learn about the basic structure of those events. …

In the last few days I had a great time unwrapping Tom’s Data Onion, which is a programming puzzle in a text file. On my journey to THE CORE I learned a few new things about bitwise operations and encryption algorithms. Further I took a look at scripting in Kotlin using the kotlin-main-kts artifact and kscript, which I enjoyed way more.

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Photo by Maria Hochgesang on Unsplash

WARNING! Spoiler Alert!

I highly recommend trying to solve the puzzle on your own before continuing reading this article. Progressing through the layers is a lot of fun and further it includes some nice learnings. …

As Amazon is blocking all outgoing traffic on port 25 (SMTP) sending mails via Mailgun won’t work. Therefore, I decided to send all mails to subscribers via Amazon Simple Email Service (SES). In this post you can read how I set everything up to make this working.

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Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

Why do I want to use Amazon Simple Email Service?

In the beginning I hosted my blog on DigitalOcean and used Mailgun to send emails to subscribers, as you can see in my previous post. But after some time I moved the blog to AWS and now it is running inside an EC2 instance. Unfortunately Amazon is blocking all outgoing SMTP traffic on EC2 instances, which means sending mails via Mailgun won’t work. …

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To style my Ghost blog I purchased the theme Nurui made by fueko, because I really like its style. Nevertheless there are some things I customized to make it even better. In the following I’ll show you which changes I made and how I did them.

Add a Table of Contents

As some posts are really long I decided to display a small Table of Contents (ToC) on top of (nearly) every post. This ToC should be there automatically and only be hidden, if the tag #no-toc is added to the post.

To add the ToC the theme itself had to be changed. Therefore the first step was to download and unzip the theme. …

When I saw the XKCD strip about Reaction Maps my first thought was how much fun it would be communicating like that with my friends. Well, you probably can guess the second thought now. It was about how great it would be to implement something that enables me to do so.

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Photo by Timo Wielink on Unsplash

Planning the App

The plan is to implement an application with the functionality shown in the below comic strip. So basically the end user can enter a phrase, which should be mapped to a route and displayed on a map.

In the following lines I’ll explain a bit more about how the app will be structured. Basically the frontend will be a very dumb client, while the backend holds all the logic and phrase to route mapping. …

In a few weeks my semester is over and therefore I’m going to finish my bachelor thesis about mobile VR soon. As I told you in the beginning I was to write a blog about mobile Apps for VR glasses, the goggles themselves and some other topics around mobile VR.

This blog was the first one I have written and I have to say, that it was really interesting. It was cool trying to get some information or news and share them to others over the internet. …


Katharina Sick

Creative and detail-oriented software developer. Advanced from mobile to backend development and now getting into full stack solutions.

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