Carrie, Dan, & Yulia

A year ago today, three friends were lost at sea. It was the last day of PAX Seattle 2019. When I left the conference, I went to Pike Place Brewery to have a drink. Cyn texted saying they were on the Conception boat where a fire occurred early in the morning. I had seen some of the news pass by my Twitter feed through the day, but I didn’t realize they were on the boat. It would be the deadliest boat disaster in California maritime history since 1865. The bartender gave me a free drink. Then I went to the Sheraton lobby where I cried on the shoulders of friends. This would be the second time in four years I would cry on Andrew’s shoulder at PAX due to the death of someone I knew.

Today, the city of Santa Barbara recorded a memorial service unveiling a plaque in honor of all the people we lost. It’s weird to have it video only, but these times are weird. At some point I hope to visit this memorial when we’re OK to travel again.

Dan & Yulia

The funny thing about Dan & Yulia is we didn’t meet in Boston. There were a few years where we were all living in Boston and in similar circles, but we were never introduced. Years later in the Bay Area that we met.

Most of my memories come from their New Years parties held at their home, the House of Trouble. It was also the chance for me to see the latest small-scale works Dan was working on. If you’ve seen a large structure consisting of LEDs at Burning Man, it’s very likely involved Dan in some way. If not designing the artwork itself, then for co-developing FastLED.


Artist, programer, activist, and the person who helped me break through my struggles with technical testing interviews.

My first job after Telltale was working at an ad agency. I needed to find a different job that wasn’t contract, but my biggest struggles were technical interviews. By then I worked over 10 years in tech, but I never entered the world of technical testing beforehand and struggled to be successful at them.

Carrie had formally worked at Avenue Code and told me they were hiring. I applied, but also talked about my struggles with technical tests. To Avenue Code’s credit, their process was project based (not whiteboard), which was a welcomed first for me. Still, I didn’t know how to prepare or what to expect. Carrie helped me though that process and did more training for me than anyone had ever done for me.

I did get an offer with the Avenue Code job. That confidence also helped me with getting a job at my current employer, Traction. Traction gave the better offer. But I wouldn’t be successful in either interviews if it wasn’t for Carrie.

Tell the people you care about that you love them.

Remember how important it is to let everyone you care about know how they mean to you. Especially as we can’t physically meet each other, communication is even more important.