Why Fake Titles Matter

Last night, I learned I officially got a new job title. I feel very uneasy announcing the news this way. This essay is scary for me to write and it is frightening for me to publish. For a long time, I really didn’t think that job titles mattered very much, and I even thought that they could be hazardous to a work environment and to yourself. So why is this important to me? Why should titles be important to anyone? Why write an essay about earning a title?

Being Brave

I think from the outside looking in, a lot of people don’t think I have trouble doing what seems outlandish, intense, or scary. Yet, no matter how much planning, rationalizing, and considering I do, there is still one thing that I can’t control for, something that I think has limited me for most of my life: fear.

Giving Meaning to Nothing

As the year quickly came to a close, I found myself thinking a lot about endings. As I wrote about most recently, I've had a lot of endings lately. As a result, there are new fissures in my mind. This time of year naturally prompts us to reflect; it's just that for me, this time around, my thoughts feel heavier having recently been soaked with endings, stained in the spots where tears have dried up, and lined with the scars left over from healing. This time around, I find myself plagued with the knowledge of one of the few certain facts of life: that everything ends.

I want to write about how to live with this fact.

Suffering

November 2nd, 2017 was a very long, very difficult day. There are lots of ways to work through grief, through suffering. That first day was shock, then pain - blinding pain, then heartbreak. It was a whirlwind. But in the midst of all that, I was able to do a few wise things. Over the course of a month or so, these things have saved me, and I want to share what I've learned with you.

Love is Walking into the Ocean

When I was younger, I didn't fully understand the toil of love. I think many of my single friends still don't. The moment conflict inevitably came my way in dating, I defected and moved on to the next candidate I was already considering. I had convinced myself that I was just hedging my bets by talking to more than one person at a time because I was never in a "real" relationship, never committing, when really I was shooting myself in the foot by playing it safe.

Sin and Songbirds

Think about the most controversial but delicious food you know about. Really pause a moment, and think about it. You're probably thinking about a bird, one that gets deliberately fattened by force feeding before being slaughtered, prized by famous chefs and indulgent diners the world over. You're probably thinking it's a dish that's been illegal to serve in many places around the world. You're probably thinking the dish is French.

You'd be right about all of these things...but I'm not talking about foie gras.

Travel Stack

My most recent trip was the third time I've been away from my home base for at least three months. Traveling for that long means that you have to pack differently. Learning how to carry only the things you really need, making the most of the things you carry, and understanding how little you need in your life is all part of this exercise.

Maze in the Dark

Learning to code feels hard. For a really long time, I’ve been trying to sort out how to describe this feeling. On the surface, it really doesn’t make sense: with all of the new tutorials, videos, and countless other resources now available, it really should be easier, but it isn't. Why? For anyone who wants to be a developer, whether you decide to go through a bootcamp, get a degree, or teach yourself, this is what I want you know:

Learning to code is a lot like walking into a maze in the dark.

Marketing for Developers

For many of my peers, and I think to the general public, marketing has - rather ironically - been given a bad rep. It's seen as a finicky field: engaged in activities that are hard to measure, and at its worst, it's seen as a spurious profession. I think this reputation is the end result of a lot of bad apples that not only execute marketing badly, but as a result, have ruined it for the rest of the lot.

My First Twelve Months Working at Stack Overflow

Today is my one year anniversary working at Stack Exchange. Some of you many remember a post I wrote about my first six weeks working at Stack Overflow. This is a follow up to that post, and what has changed since. It's also my first time blogging in a very long time, and as you'll read, it's because I've been quite...busy.

Designing a @#$%ing Address Form

Address forms, at surface, seem like a common enough thing on the web that it should be relatively simple to implement. Anywhere where something needs to be shipped, paid for, or organized in the real world, the form almost always appears. Yet, when the moment comes that you need to implement one yourself, it can quickly become a journey into a wilderness plagued with feature creep, standardization pitfalls, and in some occasions, death (not really, but I have ended up with some massive headaches at the end of the day).

Vertical and Horizontal Programmers

I ended up spending most of my time explaining was a pattern that I noticed among my colleagues and my friends in technology: there seem to be two "ranges" of behavior that developers seem to fall nicely along. I've noticed that a lot of people who have had formal education in computer science (through a higher-education program usually) and those who were self-taught (like myself) tend to exhibit different sets of behaviors.

On Risk

When you're having trouble making a big decision, think about the worst thing that could realistically happen. If you can recover from that scenario, go for it. If not, back away.