Ash Furrow

iOS, Design, Photography

Company Values

I didn’t realize it at the time, but the ultimate reason I decided to leave 500px was the lack of company values. Decisions were being made based only on what was convenient at the time – never consistently and never using the same thought-process. As an employee, it was chaotic and fostered a hostile work environment.

When I was interviewing at Teehan+Lax, Jon Lax handed me a booklet he had designed which defined the company’s values. It was important enough to him as a leader, and to his company, that they have a canonical source of the company’s values. These values defined a framework through which decisions can be made. Consistently.



The programming language Ruby was created by a developer named Matz. He is arguably the leader of the Ruby community, and he is so nice that that the community has adopted the following expression: “Matz is nice so we are nice.” It’s used so much that it has its own Wikipedia article, and has been abbreviated as MINSWAN.

I’ve been thinking lately about ways the iOS community could improve. One of those ways is the how we treat other members of the community. I’m not saying that the Ruby community is perfect, but they’re far more civil to each other than we are.

The problem seems that the iOS community doesn’t really have a leader like Matz. I mean, I guess we have Apple, but they’re not a person. And they’re certainly not nice in a way that engenders a drive for us to act nicely.


Gratuitous Positivity

Working in the open source community can be a fulfilling experience. Helping others is fulfilling, after all. There are also material benefits to open source participation, but I’d wager most open source contributors volunteer because they enjoy it.

So if people do open source because it makes them happy, then the joy that they experience is important. Happiness drives open source, and by extension, the entire tech industry. We need to protect it, and help it grow.


Cloudy Conway

I’ve recently found a really awesome twitter account named @CloudyConway.

The account is a bot that uses Conway’s Game of Life to generate beautiful, algorithmic art. If you’ve not heard of the Game of Life before, you’re in for a treat.


Starfleet Propaganda

My wife and I have been enjoying re-watching our favourite episodes of Star Trek Voyager (we’re calling it “Voyager: Greatest Hits”). We really enjoy the story, characters, and of course the impressive leadership of Janeway (the best captain in the Star Trek cannon).

But as I was watching, something kind of hit me. Star Trek is totally propaganda for socialism. Allow me to explain.



My sister posted this Buzzfeed listicle on Facebook. Normally these aren't my bag, but the headline caught me "21 Signs You Might Actually Be An Ambivert".


Protocols and Swift Follow-up

Earlier this year, I wrote a GIF-laden and rambling post about protocols in Swift. It described a new approach to using Swift protocols in a more idiomatic way than just using Objective-C techniques.

Well, Swift 2 has been in beta for a month now, and protocols are hot stuff.


Self Care Cheat Sheet

The other day, this article on self care floated across my timeline. I took a look and it looks like a very useful tool for anyone struggling with depression.


More on Sketching

I’ve heard that everyone is born a sketcher – that we all drawn as children – until we reach a certain age. Then we realize that our drawings aren’t accurate. That they don’t reflect reality. That we lack the skill to produce something “good.”

But what is good?


Photograph Less, Draw More

The School of Life has posted another awesome video – this one, on photography.