About This Website
I am a software developer and engineering manager living in NYC. Since 2014, I have worked at Braze, where I manage a group of six engineering teams. In a prior life, I worked as a policy analyst for the New York State Governor’s Office. And before that, I studied history and philosophy at Swarthmore College.
- I track the books that I read and want to read on Goodreads. See Books I Love for a list of favorites with brief commentary.
- Most of the code I write outside of work is available on Github.
- Zeke is a CLI that makes managing a folder of markdown notes more ergonomic. I use it for my own personal note taking system.
- DrDoom is a small script for learning and practicing the Doomsday Algorithm.
- Orbital was a web app for learning and practicing build orders and timings in real time strategy games. I wrote it for Braze’s 2018 hackday as a way to learn Elm. At its core, it is a timer that uses text-to-speech synthesis to read user-defined phrases aloud at specific timings. The effect is similar to having a coach remind you to take certain actions at specific times.
Starting with laptops, my daily driver is a 2022 M2 MacBook Air in Midnight Blue with 24GB of RAM. This is the best computer I have ever owned. It is sleek and thin and light. I love that I can go whole days without charging it and yet it is way faster than it has any right to be.
At work, I use the standard tech-company issue 13" MacBook Pro. How boring.
My phone is a Pixel 5a. I especially love that it runs stock Android, that it has a fingerprint reader, and that the camera is pretty good. Phone hardware is amazing, but does anyone actually use their phones in a way that pushes that hardware to its limits? I don’t, so I’m perfectly happy to stay a generation or two behind the latest flagships.
When I’m not reading on my phone, I read on a Kindle Paperwhite. And I listen to music and shelter from the sounds of the subway with a pair of Pixel Buds Pro.
While I am, by tradition and upbringing, a PC gamer, most of my gaming over the last few years has taken place from my couch, via a Nintendo Switch or (more recently) a Steam Deck.
I carry some of these things around in a Tom Bihn Synapse 25 backpack. I have used this bag for over a decade at this point, and really admire the simple but pragmatic design and excellent build quality.
Firefox is my browser of choice. For add-ons, I run uBlock Origin, 1Password, Firefox Translations, and Raindrop.
For text editing, I use Helix, and typically run that inside Alacritty + zsh + tmux.
I use the same UNIX command line tools as the rest of the world, but a few exceptions are worth mention. ripgrep is a blazing fast replacement for grep, written in Rust. tldr is a simple alternative to man pages. fzf is a fuzzy finder which I use for path and shell history searching. bat is a
cat replacement, but with line numbers and syntax highlighting. exa is an
ls replacement with some nice features, like git integration and better colors.
I use Anki for technology-aided spaced repetition, which is the closest thing to a super power I have encountered, other than (maybe) modern contact lenses. My personal note taking system is just a folder, synced with Dropbox and managed with Zeke, which has a bunch of markdown files in it. I track other things in Todoist (todo lists…), Raindrop (bookmarks), YNAB (finances), and Cronometer (nutrition).
Other miscellany. Alfred and Rectangle are nice quality of life improvements for macOS. Little Snitch is a great network monitor. And there’s this lovely tea timer built by Michael Villar.
All of this software is installed and kept up to date via homebrew. I back everything up via Dropbox.
The motivating idea for this site is that it become a sort of garden that I will tend over time. Revising some parts, pruning others, grafting on new notes.
Less metaphorically, it is a perpetual draft. I am fascinated by human projects that take a long view, that unfold over the years, and that reward patience. My ambition is that this website can be such a project for myself.
The core design principles of
nwj.sh are that it should be simple, fast, and respectful of users’ privacy.
I host and deploy the site on Netlify. There is no user tracking code, though basic traffic analytics are available via Netlify’s server logs.