To me, writing and coding are closely related: through words and ideas, I aim to serve others and make the world a bit better. With code, I write for a compiler and my teammates. In prose, I write to communicate, clarify, and influence. I have written part of a book and the occasional magazine article. I’ve even written and peformed a radio opinion piece for KQED. But most of my writing is now on the web and written for the fun of it. I am especially fond of the Q&A format: I’m guaranteed at least one reader, and focusing on a specific person’s story can be a great way to pursue universal, enduring themes.
I participate in various nerdy forums, including the Lean Startup Circle and Balanced Team mailing lists. In the past I have been active on Wikipedia (where I was voted an administrator), Stack Overflow (4 gold badges) and Quora (Top Writer 2013 and 2014).
Some of my popular posts include:
- some improvements I made to Code for America’s technical hiring process.
- my top 10 signs of startup failure,
- telling managers why wanting programmers to work longer weeks is foolish,
- a list of great nerdy tourist stops in San Francisco,
- telling programmers why they really don’t want to make themselves indispensable,
- exhorting people to avoid long feedback loops,
- and explaining why I think the Lean Startup approach has some advantages over the traditional “field of dreams” approach.