one year

Some months ago, we decided I would be the one to take Kyle’s computer and put it to use. My decade-old PC is clearly on its last legs, but I don’t use it enough to justify replacing it with something modern. I was more likely to simply stop playing the few games I still enjoy […]

using forums

The Internet was just a communication tool. It connected a few remote sites and let them talk to each other using an agreed upon protocol. Nodes were added, complexity grew, and millions of new tools were built on top of it. Today, it’s a utility. Young people regard it like an abstract idea, its existence […]

context puzzles

Life is a 1000 piece puzzle, but we only have 980 pieces or so and they’re not all from the right puzzle. Micah Haun, 2005 Are you old enough to remember when The Facebook asked you for your favorite quotes? If you dig deep enough, they’re still there. If you’re of a certain age, you […]

binary consensus

Most substantive community work is about consensus seeking, and software is naturally very bad at this. Bits want to be toggled on or off. I have permission to delete this thing, or I don’t. I am an administrator, or I’m not. I can view this discussion, or I can’t. And atop this mountain of toggles […]

black box

The greatest sin of any developer is thinking they are cleverer than the users of what they build. “I can guess what you want.” In truth, guessing what someone wants is far easier than helping them achieve what they actually want.

platform syndicate

I was reading Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software by Nadia Eghbal (which I highly recommend) and was particularly struck by the section How Platforms Broke Apart The Commons. In it, Eghbal compares the 2006 advent of Facebook to the first highway system and uses Anthropologist Michael Wesch’s term “context […]

attention management

In the last year, I’ve repeatedly come across folks (especially fellow developers) sharing their experiences with diagnosed ADHD as an adult. After a lifetime of speculation, I’ve read enough now to say I am dead certain I have undiagnosed ADHD. Since many folks have very outdated and narrow views of what that means (and I […]

spring reading

From time to time I enjoy collecting the best articles I’ve read that added something to my perspective recently. I previously did this on the Vanilla Forums open source community where you can peruse the backlog. Responsive Design Turns Ten (Ethan Marcotte) Open Source Beyond The Market (DHH) Is Your Work Truly Essential? (James Kaelan) […]

tipped scales

Last week I plunged back into the coding deep end. I spent a full day refactoring something I knew nothing about a few short weeks ago, and my brain went to that mythical “zone” for the first time in a long while as it all clicked into place, almost effortlessly. I was burning again with […]

project folders

My ADD-infused creative process is something I’ve struggled to accept. Too many times I’ve tried to control it in a way that ended up burning me out. Late nights of “work” that accomplished nothing. Hours forcing my brain to follow the path I decided it needed to, only to discover it was the wrong one. […]


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