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Using the Platform

The other day I was listening to the latest Shop Talk Show podcast while out for my morning run. They had Jen Simmons on the show, talking about (among other things) the standards process. It’s a great conversation, as you would expect—Jen’s super smart and has been doing great, meaningful work for a long time. Among the things that she discussed is the care that has to go into new browser features because once shipped, it’s...

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Approachable Tooling

I’m lucky to be able to work with a wide variety of organizations and teams, with different architectures and workflows. I like it. It keeps things fresh. I sometimes find it’s nice to have a version of their site running locally to make it easier for me to dig deeper and test different optimizations. I see a lot of similar tech-stacks between my clients nowadays. The most common from the last year and a half has involved...

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Missed Understanding

There are two basic ways to respond when someone expresses frustration about not understanding a tool or technique that we do. The first is to blame them. I mean, you understand it. It’s not that hard. They should be able to figure it out too. Maybe they don’t want to put in the work. Or they’re slow on the uptake. It would be great if they would put a little time and effort into actually understanding it instead of...

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Book Review: Good to Go

I worked out all the time in high school, back when my teenage brain thought it was totally plausible that I could eventually become a professional basketball player (ahem). But after that? I didn’t do much at all until I decided to commit to the Couch-to-5k thing last fall. I haven’t stopped working out since, mixing in everything from more running to strength training to HIIT (gosh that’s painful stuff). Naturally, as an...

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Performance Budgets That Stick

Occasionally I hear some chatter about performance budgets “not working.” And, to be fair, I have seen companies who adopt a budget and then are unable to make meaningful improvements towards that goal. Over time those ineffective budgets get pushed to the sideline where they accumulate dust before being forgotten about altogether. It’s not really about the performance budget, though. Or rather, it’s not the idea of performance...

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Book Review: And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer

I often come away from novella’s and short stories feeling a little underwhelmed. I suppose it’s just not my format. I struggle to get into the story and to connect with the characters. This was not the case at all with And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer. This book is just…it’s beautiful. The story, as Backman puts it in his opening letter to the read, is “…about memories and about letting go. It’s a...

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Book Review: The Business of Expertise

I have never liked the term “expert”, and I’ve not been shy about it. So when a friend recommended The Business of Expertise I bristled a little. Still, the reviews were great and moving past the term, using my experience and the knowledge I’ve gained to help organizations is how I make a living so there was no denying the topic was relevant. The book started off a bit slow. The first several chapters are pretty foundational...

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Book Review: Mismatch

Inclusion has become a borderline buzzword that many companies like to throw around but few know how to actually prioritize. Mismatch attempts to fix that by helping to provide a framework for how to design and build more inclusive experiences. At less than 200 pages, Mismatch is a brisk read and it’s not going to cover everything you need to know. It does, however, do a very good job of tearing down the blinders we wear and helping...

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Book Review: The Winter of the Witch

I absolutely loved The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower so as soon as The Winter of the Witch came out, it jumped immediately to the top of my list to read. Katherine Arden is one heck of a storyteller and this was a wonderful conclusion to a fantastic trilogy. Book three picks up moments after the conclusion of the second book and takes off at a tremendous pace that doesn’t really ever let up. Vasya continues to be...