Life

20190127_141046

A Parable of the Polar Vortex

The best time to shovel your driveway is immediately after it snows, but failing that, any time before you have driven on it. Driving on fresh-fallen snow compacts it into something between “ice” and “pure evil”, depending on the temperature, humidity of the air, humidity of the snow, etc. I just went out and shoveled…

A white woman with purple-pink hair, teal glasses, and dark lipstick smiles at the camera.

The Year That Was 2018

A wrap-up of my year’s travel, including links to conference talks, and photos of places I’ve been.

A page of text with a line chart.

This job is all the best parts of going to college

I used to say that technical writing is an endless series of research papers, and if I had realized that when I started doing it, I might have studied harder at the Java class I flunked. But not really, because the thing I loved about research papers was reading the primary text, and a bunch…

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Lady Conference Speaker: 14 Travel Tips

I was talking to a fellow ladyish conference speaker, and I reeled off a list of my travel tips as they pertain to people who are working for small/nimble enough companies that you don’t have to book through The Corporate Site. Remember that your time is usually more valuable than the amount you can save…

My first year, a professional review

My first year, a professional review

A bit over a year ago, I applied to a startup. I’d never been a developer advocate before, and I wasn’t sure what the job actually entailed, but the person who recommended me (thanks, Rach!) and the hiring manager said that probably my experience doing talks about technical writing was enough to make me a…

A very pink laptop covered with stickers about feminism, semicolons, and cats.

My first year, a personal review

I woke up to a cheery email today telling me that a quarter of my stock options had vested. That means I’ve been with LaunchDarkly a whole year! (there are worse anniversary notes to get). And what a year it’s been. I thought about doing a photo essay of all the conferences I went to…

Dignity, Always Dignity

Dignity, Always Dignity

One of the interesting parts of being a semi-public figure by doing DevRel is that it makes you think a lot about how you look to other people, in a way I suspect is not a concern for the ordinary developer. It parallels the doubled perception that a lot of women already experience. In 1972,…

Praise is a vitamin

Praise is a vitamin

I was thinking about how happy I am when I get the kind of praise I need. It doesn’t make me feel smug or complacent, it makes me feel strong and empowered and like what I’m doing matters and is seen. Which is kind of the opposite of burnout. I don’t think you can entirely…

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Slow is smooth, smooth is fast

If you recognize this mantra, you may know it comes from marksmanship training. The idea is that it is better to move slowly and not have any hitches or unexpected bumps, rather than to hurry and have a less predictable outcome. Another way to phrase this is You don’t have time to do it right,…

Toggle is happy

This job is undoing me

… in the best way possible. My protective casing of hard-earned cynicism is being rubbed away by all this genuine kindness, cooperation, good culture, and all that jazz. It’s honestly kind of uncomfortable, like molting. You need to understand – I have this hard-ass candy shell for a reason. My first job in technology was…

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