Philosophy




How I Code

I use Sublime Text these days. It's a very powerful text editor (of which there are impressively many) that doesn't seek to be a full IDE. There's a certain elegance to simple coding programs that you can easily take advantage of when you're working as a web developer. No compile cycles makes for rapid revision and makes agile programmers squee with pleasure. It also simplifies debugging.

Lower level code is a different beast, although steady improvements to languages and tools have made it more approachable. As a primarily high-level, front-end oriented engineer, I miss out on some of the optimization CPU and OS designers have brought to the field (although, yet again, disciplines exist to bring Javascript closer to metal). On the other hand, squeezing every drop of performance and reliability out of a block of Javascript requires a very similar skillset. The way I like to share my code, though, I also have to pay attention to readability and design time; these are questions every programmer runs into, and I expect to develop my solutions to them as my career advances.

Code splotch for illustration purposes

How I Design For The Internet

Design bloblet for illustration purposes

So many artists these days value brevity and minimalism. They have a point.

While I find it doesn't really suit my style as a musician, I find simple, clean, legible visual design satisfying and always seek to achieve that ideal in my own work. I'm self-taught as a graphical designer (and I consider myself more of a programmer anyways), so that used to be all I could do. In recent years, I've become better at coming up with these designs for myself, partially because the tools I use have improved.

When I'm in the employ of another person, I find the end result is more about what they want. That is one of those obvious points that you don't really think about because it seems obvious, but it's good practice to dredge up the fundamentals of your business for meditation once in a while. Less obviously, I find that opening myself up to the ideas of others often helps me get a better perspective on my own, and in the long term leads to better implementations.


How I Write For Humans

Book cover for illustration purposes

Sure, it's not strictly related to code, but I place great value on the quality of my prose, and I am furthermore always seeking to improve it. The most relevant example would probably be documentation, which admittedly has different requirements than some of the writing I do. There, you want to be as simple and clear as possible, since your goal is to help the reader understand the concepts associated with what you're documenting. This shouldn't prevent you from going into detail. However, it does take not only a strong understanding of your subject, but a good grasp of your language, and in particular, your necessary writing style in order to really master it.

Most of my other writing efforts these days fall into either the realm of fiction, or critique (since I spend considerable effort judging and writing about music). These genres allow me greater flexibility of style and content, but my need to remain intelligible still remains. There are some authors out there who take great pride in obfuscating their meaning in the hopes that someone will take the time to decipher their riddles, but I am not that kind of author, nor do I wish to be. I can't emphasize this enough - good conveyance renders complexity more approachable, even in cases where a reader still has to exert significant effort to build their understanding.