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Author: Martin Smith

How Slack is bad for an online community

Dave Cheney recently made waves in the tech world by writing that Slack is inappropriate for open source communications. This reminded me about how the Chef community had made the move to Slack last year, and how they’d identified some major gaps between IRC (the previous preferred chat platform) and Slack. Because you can’t moderate users, block users, or protect your own private messages, I’d recommend communities go elsewhere. I’d take this further and argue that Slack is bad for any kind of non-corporate community.

3 Thoughts about Machu Picchu

According to Wikipedia, “Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, above the Urubamba River valley. Built in the 15th century and later abandoned, it’s renowned for its sophisticated dry-stone walls that fuse huge blocks without the use of mortar, intriguing buildings that play on astronomical alignments and panoramic views. Its exact former use remains a mystery.”

Mentoring & Industry Culture

Why Mentoring?

I strongly believe that mentoring can help a mentee develop into a better technical leader, and it’s also an exercise in leadership for a mentor — you’re sharing your vision and engaged in convincing someone else to go down a particular path. I’ve participated in at least four different mentoring programs during my career; some have had a focus on specific projects, while others are more of a “meet & discuss” model or even one where mentees have a specific goal like getting a job.

Five things I do when arriving in a new place

When arriving in a new place (city or country), or even sometimes before takeoff on a travel day, I have a checklist of things I immediately do. I’ve developed this list over the course of traveling in South America, Europe, and Asia for the last year with Remote Year. Even when I’m not traveling with the group, I pretty much immediately pull up this list and run through the items as soon as I open my laptop in a new place. I figure that other travelers, remote workers, and digital nomads might also find this list useful.