Selfie April 2023

I’m an engineer at Crunchy Data, where I work on the company’s platform API, and spend a lot of time talking about and working with my favorite database, Postgres.

I recently spent five and a half years at Stripe, where I helped design, build, and run our API, and maintain our public-facing developer tooling. Stripe’s API design ethos is notable for aiming to make complex flows as easy as possible, while still providing enough flexibility to facilitate even the most complex flows.

Before that, I spent four years at Heroku, where I helped create our V3 API and refine and operate its central supporting services. I’m still a strong believer that developers at every product company shouldn’t be spending too much time thinking about infrastructure, and have access to a deployment mechanism as easy as git push heroku master.

Having written software professionally for many years now, I’m convinced that the default result given our modern processes and tools are products with undesirable levels of fragility. These days I’m especially interested in ways to improve the robustness and longevity of software, and reduce toil in operating it. I have little doubt that powerfully type-safe languages which expose more problems at compile time are the future.

My favorite movie is Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation. My favorite book is Michael Crichton’s Rising Sun (although I like a lot of others). I also like running, photography, history, meditation, urban design, and metal.

I publish to this blog with some frequency, most often tweet-sized atoms, then short-form fragments, and longer articles less frequently. I have an email newsletter called Nanoglyph that I’ve been delinquent on recently. If you like the content here, you should check out a sample edition and consider subscribing.

This site is a static set of HTML, JS, CSS, and image files built using a custom Go executable, stored on S3, and served by a number of worldwide edge locations by CloudFront to help ensure great performance around the globe. It’s deployed automatically by CI as code lands in its master branch on GitHub. The architecture is based on the idea of the Intrinsic Static Site.

It was previously running Ruby/Sinatra stack, hosted on Heroku, and using CloudFlare as a CDN.

This site was initially designed with a boatload of custom CSS which over the years became a rat’s nest in which it was difficult to change anything without breaking something else. I’ve since simplified things and moved it all over to Tailwind, now being of the opinion that CSS as a concept is fundamentally unmaintainable.