A Culture of Busyness

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I started a new job a few months ago. While there were plenty of reasons to move to a new place, one of the perks was definitely that my commute suddenly became 30 minutes shorter. Couple that with having the cash to move to a gym down the street from my work, and suddenly an hour and a half opened up in my day! If you’ve ever changed your schedule and realized you have an extra hour that you didn’t have before, you know how exciting this was. I had so much time for activities! It basically felt like this:

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So of course, like any sane person I decided to revel in that extra hour, sleep in a bit, maybe idly read or do some other relaxing activity right? 

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10 Brands Made in America

10 Made in America
Polina Skirt, Vivian Chan $168 / Wrap Cardigan, Alabama Chanin $90 / Coppename Point Silk Scarf, Slow Factory $175  (Made in Italy, but still a great company) / Anita Leather Skirt, Dolores Haze $345 / Kimono Indigo Grid, Upstate $290 /Rose Amos Top, Bon George $73 / Stripe Georgia Dress, Elizabeth Suzann $195 / Noe Dress, Sonnet James $98 / Grey Stripe Tank Top, Brook There $44 / Baleen Rose Gold Earrings, Craft & Culture $24

For more local designers, please check out my other favorite designers that manufacture in America. Who are you favorite local designers to shop? 

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Learn How to Code: part 2

Recently I’ve been getting a lot of questions on how to start or continue to build your programming skill-set. While I certainly can’t speak for backend and data science, I thought I’d share some next steps to take if you’re front-end development. If you’re an absolute newbie, check out the post that I wrote last year on learning how to code. I still stand by all the recommendations I made on how to start to learn coding, but thought that I’d flesh them out a bit and write about some next steps to take once you’re no longer an absolute beginner.

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Talking About React, Design, and Shenanigans

I recently recorded a talk for the Bitly Tech Podcast. Sean (one of our senior back-end developers) and I had a few beers and discussed what I’ve been working on lately, my background, and just our general opinions on the state of the web at the intersection of development and design.

So if you ever wondered what I sound like in real-life you can listen to the podcast on our website here  or download the podcast from iTunes here. All I can promise is that there is a lot of joking around (I think we’re hilarious), just a little bit of kvetching, and a lot of Sean talking about “back in my day…” :)

Hope you guys enjoy it as much as we did recording it, and be sure to check out the other podcasts done by our other awesome engineers!

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The Reading List: loved, hated and currently reading

Everyone seemed to enjoy the round-up of my favorite classic science fiction books, so I wanted to make sharing what I’m reading a more regular thing around here!

A little background on me: I consider the e-reader to be one of the great inventions of the 21st century, I often swap paperbacks with my friends and family, and I belong to a few different bookclubs just to keep myself open to new genres and authors and to force myself out of my literary comfort zone.

Also, confession time: I use Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk as a barometer of whether we will probably be close friends or not. If you’ve read the book and loved it, we have a similar outlook and sense of humor and will probably get along famously. If you hated it or don’t get it, obviously we can still be friends, but I’m still going to judge you slightly on your taste in reading material. Does anyone else do this or is it just me?

Anyway, onto my bookshelf! I’d like to share what I’ve been reading lately that I’ve loved, hated, and is currently in my purse/on my shelf. Obviously these aren’t “good” or “bad” books, just that I personally loved or hated them, and if you have similar tastes you might feel the same way.

And if you completely disagree with me, well, you’re probably one of those people who hated Invisible Monsters :)

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What I Learned from Having a Custom Skirt Made

If you have been reading this blog for a while you know that I can be pretty picky (that might be a bit of an understatement) and that I know what I like. My closet is no exception and I have some very specific items on my wish list.

I’ve been looking for a royal blue circle skirt for a while now. It would be that inky Yves Klein blue, have a subtle circle skirt shape without pleats that falls right below the knee. It would be made of gabardine wool and lined. It would have an invisible zipper, a thin waistband that hit at my natural waist, and of course, pockets are always a plus.

Over the years I had bought a lot of “close enough” versions of this skirt, but they were always kind of disappointing. Too short, too cheap-looking, too full, too something. After a few years of this I decided to just bite the bullet and make the skirt I had in my head myself.

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Five Piece French Wardrobe: Update #7

Can I still call this a fall/winter update even if it’s now April? Sorry guys, looks like the past few months got away from me… However better late than never, and apologies that most of these are already sold out! 

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I’ve stopped writing in-depth wardrobe planning posts (but definitely let me know if you miss them, and you can always check out my past posts here) but I still wanted to give a quick update on my fall/winter FPFW. I’m still casually participating in the five-piece wardrobe, since it fits seamlessly into my usual shopping style. So here are the five pieces I bought for the fall/winter season:

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Reader Question: capsule wardrobe for going out

I recently received a question from a reader about creating a capsule wardrobe that I thought would be helpful for others:

“I am studying medicine and even though it is a time consuming career, every now and then (ok, kind of often) I go out clubbing with my friends. But as a student I’m kind of broke and I struggle to pay transportation, drinks and buy night-out appropriate attire… So I wanted to know some tips on how to achieve a sort of “capsule wardrobe for clubbing”. I mean, it sounds kind of impossible, but maybe having some pieces that you could mix and match to create different night looks… Well, I’d totally appreciate the advice.”

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10 Do’s and Dont’s for Tech Interviewers

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Some big news: I’m moving to Bitly!

I’ve had an amazing two years at NBCUniversal, and while I’ll miss working with all the talented people over at NBC, it was time for some new challenges and a change of scenery.

I’m not going to lie, it was really nice this time around to have the luxury of job hunting while I already had a job. And by luxury I mean that I didn’t need to settle for just anything that would pay a living wage and I could afford to be a little pickier. Unfortunately, it also meant that I was basically working two jobs for a while: my day job and then finding a new job.

Since I wasn’t in a rush this time, I also had a chance to see just how truly horrendous the technical interview process can be. I’m sure that a lot of these are true for other industries, but I only have experience in tech, so this is my viewpoint.

There are so many guidelines and lists of do’s and dont’s out there for job hunters. So for the love of god, can we get a few for the people who are actually interviewing us? Since I couldn’t seem to find any for interviewers, here’s my list, courtesy of actual real-life experiences I’ve had over the past months.

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