Ash Furrow

Software, Design, Photography

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.


Smartphones and Augmenting Humanity

A few weeks ago, shortly after Pokemon Go launched, I saw a pretty messed up image get circulated ‘round the internet, with comments to the effect of “haha, this is so edgy!” But it made me pretty angry.


Photography Retrospective

In February of 2012, I wrote that I would not be buying a camera. Two months later, I did buy one, and that decision has come to shape a lot of who I am today.


Fresh macOS Setup

There are a bunch of things I do when I re-install macOS on a computer, or when I begin working on a new computer. I don’t do this often, so it’s easy to forget the steps. So I documented everything in a gist.


Static Site Search with Middleman and lunrjs

A few months ago, someone opened an issue asking for a site search on my blog. Neat idea, it wasn’t high on my list of priorities at the time, but maybe I’d get to it someday.

Well, today’s the day 🎉

(Note: The original “the day” was two weeks ago but I had given up in frustration.)


Asking for Help in Open Source

(Note: this post isn’t addressed to or aimed at anyone in particular, it’s just general advice. I’ve written about this before, but it’s time for a refresher.)

So I’m going to start by addressing the elephant in the open source room: licensing. I could quote any open source license here and point out that it says “software provided without warranty” or “software provided as-is” or whatever else that really means “I don’t owe you tech support.”

But I’m not going to do that, because I don’t believe it.


Blogging Workshop Notes

This week, at Artsy’s offsite, Orta and I are leading a workshop named “Bootstrap your Blog!” where we’ll try to get participants most of the way towards their first blog post. This advice is widely applicable, so I thought I’d share it here.


Stargate SG-1 in 50 Hours

I’ve written before about one of my favourite science fiction shows, Star Trek Voyager. I really liked the format of that post, where I break the show down into bitesized chunks, so I decided to do it again with Stargate SG-1.

What I love about SG-1 is that the characters aren’t from the 23rd century, and they’re not from Kobol and the Twelve Colonies, and they’re not from a galaxy far, far away. They’re people now with the strengths and flaws of us as we exist today. Well technically as we existed in the late 90s, but still. It’s so easy to relate to the characters because they’re so much closer to us as an audience.

One of the largest villains in the first season is a goddamn US Senator who thinks the whole Stargate program is too expensive and wants to shut it down to save money. That would totally happen!


Steven Universe and Masculinity

Discussion of masculinity in feminism forums online usually centres around toxic masculinity, defined as “the socially-constructed attitudes that describe the masculine gender role as violent, unemotional, sexually aggressive, and so forth.” It’s important to discuss toxic masculinity, and a lot has been said on the topic. But I’m really excited about a new web series that analyzes positive expressions of masculinity in pop culture.


Photography Workflows

So it happened again, I saw something cool and took out my camera, and someone exclaimed “wow, film! Who uses film anymore?”

Well, I do. Actually, plenty of people do.