On The User Interview

As engineers, we often have grand ideas of fantastic things we could build to solve everyone's problems. We spend a couple of months building and deploying a prototype that we're proud of, only to discover that everyone hates our solution. The tool we built is the wrong shape for the…

My Site Reliability Resources

This is my list of resources for folks who want to learn more about site reliability engineering, embracing risk, and building observable systems. Last updated 2020-08-27. Site Reliability Engineering: Embracing Risk: The Site Reliability Engineering book outlines the Google Way for keeping the lights on. It's an excellent book and…

Burner Phones for Activists

If you participate in street activism and attend actions, you probably understand the value of having a smartphone on you with an active data plan. The Signal secure messenger runs purely on data networks, and it can be useful to have a live mapping app in case you're unfamiliar with…

An Opinionated Guide to Fixie Commuters

Two months ago, I picked up a basic little road bike and turned it into a fixie commuter. What's so great about a fixie? They're simple Fixed-gear bikes are way simpler than geared bikes. Reducing the number of moving parts on your bike means you have less stuff to maintain.…

I'm Scared of Learning Hard Stuff

My first job gave me the confidence to learn more on my own, but also taught me to learn in a way that I’m still trying to recover from. Here's how I’m learning how to learn in a way that will make me a better engineer and leader.…

How to get stuff from Craigslist at ridiculous prices

Here's my strategy to getting the used stuff I want at insane prices. I've used this to buy bicycles, motorcycles, home furniture, and kitchen equipment. If the thing you're looking for isn't one-of-a-kind, I think you'll have luck with this approach. As a brief introduction, here's a story about something…

Finding a Career You Love: Lessons Learned From My Job Hunt

I'm writing this article for someone who works in tech and is looking for a new job, but wants to be somewhat selective and build stuff they believe in. If that describes you, read on! On June 3, I left my job at Punch Through, a hardware consulting firm in…

You got LaTeX in my Markdown!

Working title: You got Markdown in my LaTeX! I hate writing documents in Microsoft Word and Apple Pages. I spend way too much time fiddling with formatting, page layout, and typesetting before everything looks the way I want it. And writing math equations, even with Word's GUI equation editor, is…