Cheers: Working from Home

I’ve been working remotely for almost two years. While I was at my last job, I spent a good amount of time working in the office, from home, and interacting with colleagues who lived and worked from other parts of the world.

Overall, I really enjoy remote work. It allows me to work from wherever I want to be, and I find that I can enjoy more productive work without the distractions of office life. Being on a small team is really helpful, as I don’t seem to miss out on many opportunities for communication, and barely ever feel out of the loop.

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In-air WiFi on the Cheap

  • Using Safari or any browser that can change your user-agent to a phone, open any webpage after changing your UA and connecting to your inflight internet
  • Purchase a mobile plan (for significantly cheaper than normal)
  • Enjoy cheaper wifi on your laptop, despite the claims that it’s “mobile only”

Best. Week. Ever.

Today I’m happy to share some good news. Starting on Tuesday the 14th, I will be employed again! Yes! This week (and to a lesser extent, last week) has been AWESOME. I’m going to be joining the team at Red Tricycle, a startup down in the Bay Area, as the Director of Engineering. The team is still small, but I couldn’t be MORE excited to join them and get the opportunity to grow with them and make a great product. I’m also super excited because I get to work with the awesome folks at VIP again. Love those guys. You can read more about Red Tricycle and what they’ve been up tp at GeekWire or TechCrunch. I’ll be staying in Seattle and going down to the offices in Sausalito every few months. I’m there next week to meet everyone and get started. It seriously feels like Christmas all over again. Monday can’t come soon enough.

I’d like to take a quick aside and reaffirm something you hear a lot in life. Wherever you are, whatever you do: build connections. Do whatever you have to to do it. Go to conferences or meetups, join email lists, follow blogs or bother people on Twitter. And it’s more than just being connected to someone on LinkedIn. Make sure the people in your “network” know what you can do, your skills and that you’re awesome at getting stuff done. They will want to tell other people they know about you, especially if they know you’re looking for a job. One of the greatest things I took away from Cheezburger was not only the connection to my peers at work, but all the people I was able to meet through business, conferences, meetups etc. Do it. You won’t be sorry, and it’s not very hard.

Anyhow, watch this space for updates. I plan to try to write about my experience at my new job and be more vocal about what I’m learning, because it’s going to be a lot.

A Long Journey

As of this Friday, I will no longer be employed at Cheezburger. While incredibly saddened by this, I look back on my time fondly. I worked with amazing people and had the unique opportunity to help build and grow the company from a startup to what it is today. The engineering team we built at Cheezburger is incredibly driven and talented, and will continue to produce amazing work long after I have gone. I will still think in lolspeak, appreciate Dolan and ROFL at pictures of people faceplanting on concrete. I’m looking forward to finding out what the next step of my journey is.

Thanks to all of my wonderful friends and family, and my coworkers for being amazing. I love you guys.

Here’s TOP to play us out:

Roll Your Own Screenshot Annotation App

In our CheezTech chatroom today, another developer was asking for advice on screenshot apps that could do annotation for OS X. I’m a big fan of Automator, so I took a quick sec to whip something together.

For my day-to-day screenshot usage, I use the built-in OS X command ⌘-Shift-4 (or 3) to get a draggable selection box. I also use a cloud storage app called Cloud, which has a built-in option to auto-upload screenshots and give you back a shortened link in the clipboard. I combine the OS X command, Cloud app and a quick hack to change the default location of screenshots to take photos, throw them in my Dropbox, and upload them to Cloud. Adding annotation into this is pretty easy! I’ll go into detail after the break.

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AEA Boston 2012: So Far So Good

For the past two days, I’ve been in Boston at An Event Apart, a web design conference. It’s been incredibly interesting and enlightening, especially since many of the talks have been focused on content, which is something we think about a lot at Cheezburger.

I especially enjoyed Karen McGranes’s talk on Monday about Adaptive Content. She talked about a striking example of NPR refining an API which they could use to push their atomicized (made that up) content to all sorts of endpoints / devices. She argued to start with the content. Content presentation should be informed from the content metadata itself, not from some sense of design or layout. This is a frustrating aspect of working with content at Cheezburger, especially since any time “content” is discussed in the industry, it’s generally referring to blog posts or articles, not singular images.

In all, the conference has been a great experience, and there’s still a day and a half left. If AEA is coming to your city, I’d recommend going if you’re a front end developer, designer, or somehow in the industry.

The First Year

Today, my lovely wife and I are celebrating our first wedding anniversary. We’ve been together for almost 10 years, but this last year has been one of the best in memory. Happy Anniversary, Shannon! Here’s to the years to come!