Stuart Spence Blog

Computer scientist and educator. Creator of ChessCraft. Senior computer scientist at Environment Canada.

Fri 16 February 2024

MA in Education Technology at Concordia

Posted by Stuart Spence in Blog   

Every so often someone asks me what I thought about the master's program in education technology (instructional design) at Concordia University in Montreal. If that's you, you've come to the right place.

Overall I'm happy I enrolled. However the master's was just an outlet for my own self-drive and did …


Mon 23 October 2023

New Role at ECCC

Posted by Stuart Spence in Blog   

Today I'm excited to say I'm moving to a new team! They build AI prototypes in the cloud for Environment Canada (ECCC). On paper this is like a dream job! On this page I'll go over key details, the job description, and highlights.

Key Details

  • One year assignment starting November …


Fri 07 July 2023

Better Hiring in Government

Posted by Stuart Spence in Blog   

When I help with government hiring I often give the same suggestions to hiring teams. So I wrote this page as a starting point. I focus on IT hiring but this also applies generally. If these points resonate with you, I'd love to help you with your hiring.

Important note …


Sat 27 May 2023

Goodbye MongoDB

Posted by Stuart Spence in ChessCraft   

After years of strange problems and bad performance with MongoDB, this week I successfully migrated to PostgreSQL. This took lots of preparations, went smoothly, and is performing great, so I thought I'd write about it. Writing here is cathartic. Also, others might find it useful.


Look what …


Fri 09 December 2022

ECCC and ChatGPT

Posted by Stuart Spence in Blog   

The free ChatGPT AI gave excellent or perfect answers to all my real ECCC interview questions: code writing and soft skills.

This post is written for public servants that need to know about the latest AI tool called ChatGPT. We should all understand what kind of text and interview answers …


Tue 22 November 2022

My First Union Event

Posted by Stuart Spence in Blog   

The views expressed here are my own, and do not express the views of my employer or my union.

Here's my experience attending my union's annual general meeting. I felt some empowerment but mostly outrage and boredom.

Clearly my union is sclerotic and archaic. We gathered to vote and share …