Personal

Go Abstract

03 Dec 2018

As mentioned in my talking about feeling uneasy, I applied for a job. Thankfully, I got that job. As of today, I work for Abstract. I’m hopping on board as a front-end developer. The company is still small enough that I hope to make an impact beyond just code. One of the things that attracted me to Abstract was the similarities to Shopify when I first started working there. It is small...

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Uneasy

16 Nov 2018

I never used to have imposter syndrome. I felt confident in what I knew and didn’t know. About three years ago, a series of events really made me question my abilities. Throw in some burnout and depression and I am still left feeling uneasy and unsure of myself. Those feelings have spilled into other things: I don’t write much about web development anymore. I stopped doing conference talks....

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That Time I Tried to Get to LA

27 May 2018

I’m supposed to be spending a week in Los Angeles. Instead, I’m getting thrown around a tin can in the sky. The original plan was to head out on Tuesday but I had a free day and decided to head out a day early. I normally have decent luck when it comes to travel but such is not the case this time. Almost immediately after changing the flight, I started getting notifications of weathe...

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That Time I Ate at Five Michelin-starred Restaurants in a Week

21 Apr 2018

Not every idea is a smart one. I’ve heard stories of how difficult it is to get a reservation at an upscale restaurant. They’re booked for months. We had ten days planned in San Francisco, Kitt and I. Her speaking at Imagecon and then us attending Smashing Conf the following week. The San Francisco Bay Area is home to a plethora of restaurants including seven 3 Michelin-starred restaur...

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Rattled

22 Jan 2018

I have come of an age when those that pass away are closer and closer to my heart. Each death rattling me unnervingly more. May it never get so close as to shatter my heart entirely....

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One Change Changes Everything

18 Jan 2018

Six years ago, I didn’t drink coffee. If I recall correctly, it was Robert Nyman who insisted I have a latte when I told him I didn’t drink coffee. It was likely a year or two after that before I had another. It’s only been in the last three years or so that I’ve drank lattes (and cappuccinos and espressos) with any regularity. The idea of buying an espresso machine probably felt out ...

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Not So Reflective

09 Jan 2018

It’s the new year. Not all that shocking to you, I’m sure, unless you’ve been busy for the last few weeks. But here we are. Many are posting their retrospectives of how their year went. Or they’re posting their theme word for the year or their resolutions or their goals. I’ve tried resolutions and themes. A year is a long time to stick to such a thing and—inevitably—things happen....

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Attempting Deeper Work

18 Mar 2017

I’m in the midst of reading Deep Work. I’m about two-thirds of the way through and while it’s probably a bit hasty to jump into a review, I have been thinking about what it means to how I work and what I want to work on. The concept behind the book is that for the knowledge worker, success comes from the ability to think and work deeply on something. Basically, to get into a state of ...

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What’s Next?

27 Apr 2016

The writing was on the wall. For over a year now, I’ve waffled, hummed, and hawed on what I wanted to do. Last May, I left Shopify. For a brief two months, I filled my time up with conferences and relaxation before taking a position at Xero. Going into Xero, I was apprehensive. It’s probably not the feeling you want to have going into a new job but it was a good offer and I had hope that my...

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Aligning Your Values

17 Mar 2016

I read a good book recently called Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker. Originally published in 1999, the short book is a quick and easy read. In it, Drucker asks 5 questions targeted to knowledge workers and their careers. What are my strengths? How do I perform? What are my values? Where do I belong? What should I contribute? The book posits that these are the questions you shou...

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The Great Japanese KitKat Taste Test

17 Mar 2016

I recently made a trip to Japan and for some inexplicable reason, I decided to buy every flavour I could find. By the time I came home, I had 12 different kinds to try. My household decided to do a taste test to see which ones were the best. Maybe surprisingly, there was some variation in what people liked. Here are the results: Flavour L (Aged 8) H (Aged 12) ...

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Reinvention

24 Feb 2016

We humans like to categorize things and we make no exception with other humans. We typecast them, stereotype them, and place them into boxes. A Gemini, Type A personality, Alpha, INFP. As if any of these can accurately sum up the totality of a person. You’re a designer or a developer or a researcher or a content strategist. Or maybe you’re a bit of everything. How long have you known ...

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Applying Product Management to Your Life

21 Feb 2016

After having done product management for a time, I was asked whether the principles of product management could be applied to ones own life. It’s an interesting question and one I’m finally making some time to explore. First, we have to define what a product manager does. In a company, they’re often wearing many hats as they work with various teams to get something shipped. In the co...

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How I Manage My Finances

10 Feb 2016

Money is such a taboo topic but shouldn’t be. Money is, good or bad, a very important part of our daily lives. While I’ve had some rough times with money, through luck and hard work, I managed to get myself to a good place. There are, in my opinion, some very basic tenets to how I manage my finances. Increase Revenue Decrease Expenses Manage Cash Flow Increase Revenue There...

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Spontaneity

06 Feb 2016

I sometimes wonder if I’ve become too rigid with my time. Ask me if I want to go out some evening and chances are I’d have to say no. Between kids and travel, I didn’t really have the time to be spontaneous like that. Now that I’m not travelling as much, I’ve added the gym, guitar practice, and writing to my regular schedule. Most often, when I try to be spontaneous with friend...

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Habit List

13 Jan 2016

I don’t really do new year resolutions but sometimes I start up new things and one new thing that I decided to start doing is using the Habit List app to track and, more importantly, maintain certain habits. Since my theme for this year is Movement, both in exercise and in writing, the items in my list are geared towards that goal. Exercise, 5 days a week Plank, every day Stretch, eve...

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Simplicity and Comfort

03 Jan 2016

About a year ago, I came across this wonderful interview between Jack White and Conan O’Brien. The full interview is over an hour long but the first 10 minutes are filled with a number of wonderful points. The first of those is simplicity. Jack White talks of his apprenticeship as an upholsterer and observing the minimum number of staples to consider something upholstered. Too few and the fab...

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Movement

02 Jan 2016

It’s a new year. I’d like to say that this is a point at which I start reflecting on the past year and the year ahead but truth is, I’ve been introspective of where I am and what I’m doing for some time now. So much so that I’m starting to get sick of being in my head. For me, 2015 was a transitional and emotional year, one that I’ve had a tough time putting into words. I’ve felt...

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What does success look like?

10 Oct 2015

Brooklyn Beta was a lovely conference for five years running. My favourite part of the conference was the time between sessions where I could talk to all the great people in attendance. When BB announced a Reunion meetup, I jumped at the chance. Yes, I hopped on a plane, and rented a nice AirBnB place to spend a few hours with thoughtful people. I was not disappointed. (I was hungover but tha...

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My Second Mid-Life Crisis

04 Oct 2015

Over 6 years ago, I separated from my then wife, choosing to live a separate path—albeit an overlapping path as we co-parent our two boys. This was my first crisis. Now, years later, I find myself struggling with something different. Growing up, seeing what those around me did, I saw a familiar pattern: you work hard and consistently until your 60s and hope to have enough saved up to support ...

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A Career in Transition

09 Mar 2013

For nearly 15 years, I’ve called myself a web developer. The twelve years of this blog’s existence is a testament to that. I’ve written hundreds of blog posts that document my trials and tribulations with web development. In those 15 years I’ve had job titles like Technical Architect, Project Manager, Lead Designer, and even Director of Technology. Underneath it all, though, I just b...

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Reflective

28 Dec 2011

It is once again that time of year where I reflect on the year that has passed and contemplate the year the come. Professionally On a professional level, this has been a fantastic year but still not without its ups and downs. This year capped my second and final year with Yahoo!. Yahoo! has been a great experience for me and exposed me to an environment that I hadn't worked in before. I was...

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Of bits and butterfly effects

10 Nov 2011

I've never been so vain as to think I'll have much impact on the world. I never wanted to be president. I never wanted to be a doctor. I'll almost assuredly never go to war to fight for my freedom and the freedom of others. Way too much responsibility. Instead, I grew up making virtual things. Apparently, even making physical things was too much. I push bits around as if I'm doing something...

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Unsure

01 Nov 2011

Getting older is a humbling experience. Watching other people get older is sometimes equally so. I have an older brother who is almost nine years older than I am. When my parents divorced, I was only 3 years old. My brother moved with my dad and I stayed with my mom. I don't remember the divorce. I don't remember much of anything before the age of 5. As a result, I've considered myself an only c...

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Onward

04 Jan 2010

It's so easy to wallow in self-pity when things don't go right. As much as 2009 sucked on all levels, it wasn't all bad. As much as I want to sulk, the fact remains that I live a charmed life. Through some karmic luck of the draw, I've got a lot to be thankful for. Personal Projects This past year was a year of simplication and basically had me letting go of all my personal projects—at lea...

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Failure

04 Jan 2010

It has been a year marked with a series of failures and while I feel some urge to explain it all, I think it will be better off left unsaid. This post is a stick in the sand to remind me of what has happened. Onward we go, for time gives us no other choice....

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'Hooligan

09 Nov 2009

I just signed and returned the paperwork. As of November 16, I'll be an employee of Yahoo!. This might seem like a bit of a surprise for those aware that I started at Squarespace just seven months ago. Unfortunately, six months into it, the requirements of employment changed and I was no longer able to stay on. Suffice it to say, I think the folks at Squarespace are fantastic and I believe they...

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Less of Me

08 Sep 2009

I fear actually saying this out loud. I certainly don't want to jinx the progress I've made but, at the same time, I'm excited by the change. I'm trying to lose weight. I used to be slim. In my early twenties, I worked on my feet all day. I also didn't have a car. Therefore, I walked to and from work. And to the store. And to anywhere I needed to go. If I wasn't walking, I was on my inline skat...

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Being Square

24 Mar 2009

The snow is melting. Spring is upon us. It's that time of year for new beginnings. And there are definitely plenty of new beginnings around the Snook household. On top of all the other things that have been happening, I've decided to make some changes, too. After three long years, I'm leaving the life of freelance. What's old is new again, it seems. I'm going to be working for someone else. As o...

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Reflections

01 Jan 2009

It's that time of year when people see the big number roll over and decide to reminisce over good times and bad, and talk of where they plan to go until the big number rolls again. This blog post will be no exception. On the Personal Front It's interesting to look at last years pontificating. In some ways, things haven't changed. I am getting better at managing my time but in a weird sort of way....

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Evaluating the past year

06 Jan 2008

Another new year is here and is customary by many at this time of year, I'm evaluating how things have changed from a year ago, what worked and what didn't. Personal Personally speaking, this turned out to be a fantastic year. My wife and I got to adopt again, this time from Kansas. We now have two healthy and happy boys and we couldn't be happier about it. I'd like to think we're done having ki...

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Merry Christmas

24 Dec 2007

I'm just about to head to bed after now that Santa has placed all the presents under the tree. My almost 4 year old son heard Santa's bells earlier and I don't think he'll have an easy time getting back to sleep. I'd like to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas. (Happy Festivus for the rest of ... you.)...

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Snook++

20 Aug 2007

Things have been crazy busy for the past couple weeks and for good reason. I've mentioned before that my wife and I were in the process of adopting. Last Wednesday, the day we've been working towards for almost two years had finally arrived: to be parents once again. Lucas Adam James has become the latest addition to the Snook clan and we couldn't be happier. Our deepest gratitude to the birthmo...

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Why I Left 9rules

25 May 2007

With all of my preamble on sharing ones side of the story, I felt the need to share why I left 9rules. I wanted to share it because a few people have asked about why I left. I want to avoid and correct any misconceptions. Whether or not this was the right thing to do remains to be seen. In the beginning Like any story, we need to start at the beginning. I joined 9rules back in 2005. I asked to...

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Looking Back and Forward

26 Dec 2006

I've been trying to look back a what has happened over the course of this year. Examine what I've done and set up a plan for the future. My apologies if this post is a little long but it must be the holiday feelings of sharing. Freelance Looking Back This year has been fantastic from a professional point of view. I was able to go freelance full-time back in January and really take a chance t...

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Frenetic Freelance

01 Nov 2006

Deciding to go freelance full time back in January was a liberating experience. But it's times like these that I miss working in a stable day job. Making the decision It was a both a tough decision and an easy decision to make. Going freelance allowed me the opportunity to work on my own projects and choose the clients that I get to work with. It was tough knowing that I have a wife and son tha...

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Upon My Return

11 Oct 2006

Wow, that was a nice vacation. Nothing like spending a week in Disney World. With a two year old. A two year old who thought that napping was overrated and couldn't possibly close one's eyes for a moment while there. Despite the lack of sleep, it was actually a fun trip and one I'd gladly do again. Well, maybe I'll wait a few years until the kid(s) are older. In any case, I'm back and ready to....

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On hiatus

26 Sep 2006

I'll be taking a quick break folks. I'm heading on vacation next week (yay!) and between preparing for that and getting last minute work stuff done, I haven't been able to post anything new this week. Therefore, it'll have to wait until I get back. Hope to see you all back mid-October....

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