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 …


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 …


Sat 24 September 2022

Green Party of Canada Membership Test

Posted by Stuart Spence in Blog   

What's more important to you: climate science or social justice?

Canadian politics is better when all parties are strong. How can the Green Party of Canada (GPC) recover its legitimacy and relevancy? Here I describe a simple and likely controversial membership test. I can't think of any other way forward …


Wed 29 June 2022

Public and Private Sector IT

Posted by Stuart Spence in Blog   

I often see these questions online:

"What are the differences between private and public sector IT?"

"What makes you stay in government IT?"

"Aren't government IT workers underpaid?"

This page is my list of the best things about public sector IT.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are my own, and …


Sat 05 March 2022

Training Video Philosophy

Posted by Stuart Spence in Blog   

Most training videos are really bad. This is troublesome to me because I must constantly re-explain my philosophies and processes to colleagues or volunteers. This page aims to help.

Over the years I've made over a hundred training videos for public servants, high school and university students, workshops, and the …


Sat 17 April 2021

Oh, Stallman

Posted by Stuart Spence in Blog   

Richard Stallman may be a legend in the world of software, but he also has decades of history promoting a toxic environment in software communities. Due to this, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) has been pressured to kick out Stallman from the board of directors, which they did, though he …