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Design Docs, Markdown, and Git

About a year ago my software engineering team, the Azure Sphere Security Services (AS3) team, found ourselves struggling with our design document process.  So we ran an experiment, moving all our design documents to be written in Markdown, checked into Git, and reviewed via a pull request (PR). The experiment has been incredibly successful, so we’ve iterated and refined it, and have even expanded it to the broader Azure Sphere team.  The goal of this blog post is to share our process and what we learned along the way.   Our original design doc process involved writing a Microsoft Word document and sharing it via SharePoint.  Feedback was gathered via in…

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2019 A Year In Review

My last blog post talked about 2017 being a year of change.  2018 and 2019 have been ones of intense growth and discovery.  It’s felt like a whirlwind, so let’s catch up on the basics.  Home I’m still living in and loving Seattle.  Moving back here proves over and over again to be the right…

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2017 a Year in Review

2017 was a year of change, personal and professional.  I started the year in San Francisco, working at Twitter as an Individual Contributor, and in a long term relationship.  I ended the year in Seattle, working at Microsoft Research as a Lead, sans that long term relationship, and a brand new home owner.   Change can be terrifying, especially when you are comfortable, when you are content.  Nothing was terribly wrong, but I got the nagging feeling that perhaps nothing was going terribly right either.  I was no longer content with being content.  So in 2017 I began to change some things up to make space for new opportunities.   That…

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Resources for Getting Started with Distributed Systems

I’m often asked how to get started with Distributed Systems, so this post documents my path and some of the resources I found most helpful.  It is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list. It is worth noting that I am not classically trained in Distributed Systems.  I am mostly self taught via independent study and on the job experience.  I do have a B.S. in Computer Science from Cornell, but focused mostly on graphics and security in my specialization classes.  My love of Distributed Systems and education in it came once I entered industry.  The moral of this story is that understanding distributed systems doesn’t require academic…

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2016: A Year in Review

2016 was a year of constant movement, I visited 19 cities, in 7 countries, on 3 continents.  In the middle of the year I switched teams inside of Twitter and began working on a new challenge, Distributed Build.  I also spoke 15 times at conferences and meetups.  Its been a really long, wonderful and exhausting…

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Tech WCW #4 – Jean Jennings Bartik

On February 14th 1946 the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) was unveiled to the public.  It was the first general purpose electronic digital computer and it was Turing Complete.  The project was funded by the United States Military to speed up mathematical tasks, most notably artillery firing tables for the Army for World War…

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A Quick Guide to Testing in Golang

When I started writing Go in May, I found a lot of useful documentation on Getting Started with Go.  However, I found recommendations on testing best practices lacking.  So I decided to write down what I pieced together, and create a Github Repo of a base project with examples.  Essentially this is the guide I…

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2015: A Year in Review

2015 has been a whirlwind of a year, which started off in a new city, with a new job as the Tech Lead of  Observability at Twitter.  The year was full of travel spanning 10 states, 3 different countries, and 2 continents.  This year I also had numerous opportunities to share my experiences with programming…

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Tech WCW #3 – Annie Easley

This entry of TechWCW is shorter, because Annie Easley was brought to my attention by Ashley Nelson-Hornstein an engineer at Dropbox.  She wrote an excellent piece profiling Annie Easley where you can learn more about her.   Annie Easley was a computer programmer, mathematician, and aerospace engineer at the Lewis Research Center at NASA &…

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