Ash Furrow

Software, Design, Photography

Contempt in Swift

You should read this fascinating article on contempt culture in programming communities, specifically Python. It details the dynamics of having contempt for another programming language and for the developers who use it. The article describes the toxicity of this culture and the obvious result: exclusion.

A community can’t be both welcoming and be exclusive of those who have other preferences.

I think it’s worth exploring the idea of contempt culture in the Swift community, particularly in regards to Objective-C and Objective-C developers.


We Trust Apple Too Much

A blog post in five tweets.

So we all know about Dash, eh? Apple acted rashly against an indie dev, the developer called them on it, and the iOS developer community failed to rally behind the developer like it should have.


Growing Pains

Artsy did it’s six-monthly peer performance (performance?) reviews and I got lots of meaningful feedback, including “aww yeah, Ash is great” comments from colleagues and my manager. I want to reflect a bit on the review, my direction, and my goals.


Large Format Photography

Large format photography is wild, it is totally different from 35mm or medium format, in a few ways. First: the negatives are huge. My camera uses 4x5" film (10cm x 13cm). Second: there is an entirely new way to manipulate the camera: camera movements.

In normal cameras, the plane of focus and film plane are parallel (or co-planar, for math nerds). The plane of focus moves away from the camera in a straight line. LF cameras allow the photographer to change the relationships between these planes by manipulating the optics of the lens. There are mathematical rules that photographers can apply to achieve artist effects.

I’ve been thinking about getting a LF camera for a while now, and finally broke down and got one. I want to talk about some more motivation why, and what’s surprised me about it, and then take a look at some sample photos.


Resolving GitHub Merge Conflicts

So you’ve seen an opportunity to improve an open source project and you’ve submitted a pull request – awesome! Whether it’s a typo fix, added documentation, or maybe some code, pull requests from the open source community are what keep a project alive.


Darkroom Printing

A few weeks ago, I participated in NYCWLK, a darkroom workshop and photo walk. I had been looking forward to this all summer – darkroom printing is arcane, requires equipment and chemicals, and a dark room. Having someone experienced there to show me the ropes in the Bushwick Community Darkroom was the perfect way to try it out. Johnny Patience was great, and I learned a tonne.


Twitter Anger

I’ve struggled a a bunch with being angry on Twitter. I’ll feel angry and share that anger with the world, which isn’t something I want to do. I think it’s usually related to my depression. When I’m having trouble feeling my own emotions, it’s hard to relate to others and empathize with them, so I tweet things I normally wouldn’t. I always regret it later.

The worst part is, Twitter rewards anger with followers, with favourites, and with retweets.


CocoaPods' Lasting Impact

I’ve written before about how CocoaPods isn’t a dependency manager, but rather that CocoaPods makes a dependency manager.


Building Swift Playground Books

When I heard about Swift playground books during WWDC, I was super excited about what kinds of new ways people could learn to code. And not just learn to code for the first time, but to learn a new framework or technique.

I wanted in.


Building Compassionate Software

If you make a mistake, you would want a colleague to point it out to you, right? Just like you would hope a colleague would ask a question when they don’t understand something, and just like you want everyone on your team to speak up with ideas, even if they’re unconventional. But chances are that you’ve been in the position to speak up before and haven’t.

Why? It feels like those scenarios represent a good team dynamic, but what effect do they have on a team’s performance? And how can we begin to change a team’s dynamic to improve its performance?

Today we’re going to take a look at psychological safety and how it can help your team perform better. My goal is to give you the evidence you need to take back to your team so we can all improve our workplaces – with enough of us, we can begin to make significant change in our industry and beyond.