Hi, I’m Sam

This is my blog. I also have a website thing.

Work-Life Balance

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A friend recently complimented me on my work-life balance. This is definitely something I put some effort into figuring out when I first started working at a large company. It was pretty neat to get feedback that I was doing this well versus that I’m too disconnected, etc. Here’s what I’ve been doing that works for me.

One of my main drives for joining a company was not working from home any more. Having to physically go to the office helps me really keep things separate. I want to show up, get a lot done, go home, and not think about work at all. Having separate work and life contexts helps you focus on each.

I almost never take my work computer home. It belongs at work. I also only work from home if absolutely necessary. Being at the office makes me more productive and helps me turn off work when I’m done on my ride home. I don’t do any work on my personal computer.

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Static Blog

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So I redid my blog again. I don’t think there is a piece of software I have worked on more over the years. Way back in 2006, I remember constantly redoing my custom WordPress theme over and over again. Since then I rewrote it in PHP a bunch of times, Rails a few times, and then some weird stuff on top of Sinatra for awhile. I tried Jekyll on GitHub pages, WordPress, Roon, Ghost, and probably some other stuff mixed in there too.

This iteration is built on top of Jekyll, a static site generator written in Ruby. My previous iteration was built on the idea that I should store my posts separately in a repo that’s just Markdown and the images used in the posts. I optimized for a format that I enjoy writing with the hope that it would help me write more. The blog imported the posts and did a bunch of processing to eventually store the rendered posts in Redis.

Lately, I’ve been playing with Netlify, a great static site host. It’s been really great of a bunch of simple projects. My blog was the last big thing I had on Heroku and wasn’t cheap to run. I figured since it was mostly static already, I could just convert it to Jekyll without too much effort.

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Staying Positive

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About 6 months ago, I tweeted that I want to be known for being positive.

I want to be known for going out of my way to be positive. Hold me to that.

@soffes on 2018-07-17

I think the value positivity is underrated. When you go out of your way to be positive, it really changes your outlook on life. The idea of being known for always being positive is really interesting to me.

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Maximum Effort

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A few of my coworkers and I say “Maximum Effort” to each other a lot. Don’t confuse Maximum Effort with perfectionism.

per·fec·tion·ism noun

refusal to accept any standard short of perfection.

Our team is called Design Systems. We make trade-offs on a daily basis. Our job is to maintain a bunch of components, tools, documentation, technical infrastructure, design guidelines, etc. The goal is to make all of the UI more consistent and to make the teams using the design system more productive.

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Custom Mechanical Keyboard

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I ordered a mechanical keyboard from WASD Keyboards awhile back. I got Cherry MX Brown switches. The still have a satisfying click but aren’t insanely loud like greens or blues. After having it for awhile, I decided to get dampers for it to make it even quieter. This made it feel too squishy and I removed them.

A few months in, I decided to design new keycaps. It’s fairly cheap to order a new set, so you can change your mind often if you’re into that. Here’s my latest iteration:


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