I spent a chunk of 2016 making a web application for myself and other nervous air passengers called BumpySkies. You can plug an upcoming flight into it and it tells you when you can expect to hit turbulence and how bad it’ll be. Still kinda scary, but at least it’ll surprise you less.
I wanna tell you about how I made it, because I had to exercise my skills at social engineering — the good kind! — at least as much as software engineering. BumpySkies came about through finding in myself an uncharacteristic willingness to approach complete strangers, asking them politely for access to tools or data, and feeling surprised at how well it worked, time and again.
Jason McIntosh is a freelance software engineer, game-design consultant, and writer. He lives variously in and around New England. His homepage is at jmac.org, and he blogs regularly at fogknife.com.