Building a product on nights and weekends

May 28, 2021 • ⌘ Permalink

Like most software developers I’ve spent countless hours, outside of work, on side projects. Also like most software developers, I have nothing to show for it. I’ve mostly blamed myself - “I don’t have enough discipline” is a common phrase echoing in my head. That very well may be true but that certainly isn’t the entire story. I’ve spent the past few years getting out of my apartment: making friends, traveling, moving, falling in love, etc.

David Axelrod interviews Jen Psaki

May 12, 2021 • ⌘ Permalink

In his podcast, The Axe Files with David Axelrod, David Axelrod interviews Jen Psaki, the current White House Press Secretary. I thought it was a fascinating look into the life of a Press Secretary, both inside and outside the White House. I particularly enjoyed her thoughts on how she has a meaningful relationship with her kids despite her crazy life (~55 minutes in). From the episode’s show notes: Press Secretary Jen Psaki didn’t envision herself returning to the White House after serving as Communications Director under President Obama, but when President Joe Biden asked her to join his team, she agreed.

On leaving NYC

May 3, 2021 • ⌘ Permalink

Last weekend, after nearly 4 years, I left New York City. I moved to New York because I was running away from a life I didn’t want. I was burnt-out at work, I was depressed, and I felt alone. On a whim, I decided to leave my friends and family and move to a city where I knew no-one and, in fact, had never even visited. Thankfully, moving to New York was the best decision of my life.

My last post to HEY World

April 28, 2021 • ⌘ Permalink

Recent policy changes announced at Basecamp, the makers of HEY, have caused me to reconsider how I use HEY. For many years I’ve been a big fan of Basecamp. If you ask my friends to describe my dream job in one word, they’d all say “Basecamp”. Basecamp proudly and publicly stood for something and their principles aligned with my principles, or so I thought. In the past few days there have been a flood of stories from current and past employees of Basecamp that paint a different picture than what Jason or David would have the public to believe.

How I build and host static websites

April 22, 2021 • ⌘ Permalink

I love building websites! I’m not talking about web apps that are more common on the internet these days, whether they be single-page React apps or server-side rendered Ruby on Rails apps. I’m talking about good, old fashioned websites. Websites that are simple and accessible. Websites that you don’t have to fight with and also have a small footprint. There are lots of approaches to building sites like these, and here’s mine.

How to think about CSS font-display

April 14, 2021 • ⌘ Permalink

Web font performance is often overlooked, but can have a real impact on your website’s user experience and performance. One of the best controls available to us is the CSS font-display property. Using it, we’re able to tell the browser how we’d like it to render our web fonts. font-display Block – don’t render any text until the fonts load, resulting in “Flash of Invisible Text” or “FOIT” Swap – render un-styled (system) text first and swap it with web fonts once they load, resulting in “Flash of Unstyled Text” or “FOUT” Fallback – render un-styled text first, if the web fonts load in the next few seconds swap them out, otherwise give up Optional – render un-styled text first, load web fonts only if the user’s internet connection is strong enough to load web fonts Auto – let the browser decided, most use “block” Even with those definitions it can be difficult to decide what to do with the web fonts on your website.

Chia fundamentals and plotting Chia in parallel

April 13, 2021 • ⌘ Permalink

What is Chia? Skip this if you already know what Chia is Chia is a new cryptocurrency based on “proofs of space and time”. It differs from “proofs of work” crypto (like Bitcoin) in the amount of energy it takes to validate transactions on the blockchain. With Chia, the energy-intensive work is done up-front to create “plots”. Those plots are used to do the much-less-energy-intensive work of validating transactions, called “farming”.

I have many mentors

November 30, 2020 • ⌘ Permalink

I have four mentors. I have a loose definition of the word “mentor”. They aren’t people who I can call at any moment, but some of them are. In fact, two of them have no clue who I am. But they’re all my mentors because I can predict how they’d respond to my questions, I’ve chatted with them enough or I’ve read enough of their writing. I didn’t call them my mentors until recently.