Author: Alex Blackie

  • The Importance of Structure

    The Importance of Structure

    I’ve been self-employed for just over a year, and in the beginning I really struggled to stay productive. But I found the secret: “be your own boss” should be taken literally; set expectations for yourself that a boss would expect. This is what worked for me: My days start at 8am. I block out time…

  • Finding Alignment with Event Storming

    Finding Alignment with Event Storming

    One thing we do at Linear Forest is use a workshop format called Event Storming. This process has reliably produced audible “wow” reactions from every client we’ve worked with. The problem is: business is complicated. Rarely does one stakeholder know every detail of a process from start to finish. And they shouldn’t be expected to! Event Storming…

  • Drummers Still Exist

    Drummers Still Exist

    Ten years before humans landed on the moon, the Wurlitzer company released a machine capable of producing automated drum-like noises called the “Side Man.” This device was the first “drum machine,” and its spiritual successors would define entire new genres of music. In the decades since the Side Man, humanity finally solved the rhythm section.…

  • Stop Selling Your Startups

    Update: I was thrilled to read the news that Adobe has backed out of their purchase of Figma. Innovation and competition are so critical and I hope this signals a new era of disruption. With the recent news of Adobe consuming its staunchest rival, Figma, I am once again left in shock and awe at…

  • Email Authenticity 101: DKIM, DMARC, and SPF

    Prefer to listen? I was a guest on Heavy Networking Episode 602 and covered all the details in this post! Password resets, two factor codes, business secrets, private conversations… Email is at the centre of most of life and business, and so we must ensure it is trustworthy and authentic. If you use email with…

  • Build Worse Software First

    Build Worse Software First

    One of my first software projects — probably the first project I did that wasn’t just building a website theme — was building my own CMS. The year was 2010, I was a middle school student doing web design on the side, and I was tired of WordPress. I am reminded of this project from…

  • Generating Static Sites with Make and Bash

    When you think of bash, you may not consider it suitable for building websites. For the most part, you are probably correct. But I wanted to try anyway. I don’t buy into most trends in the frontend web development community, so literally none of the “modern” static site generators appeal to me. All of them…

  • A Review of the Dell Latitude 7214

    A Review of the Dell Latitude 7214

    For many years now, Lenovo Thinkpads have been a mainstay in my life; their no-nonsense, practical offering greatly appealed to what I wanted in a machine. Its shortcomings in weight, thickness, and aesthetic were all areas I was more than happy to trade for superb battery life, port abundance, and “in the field” features like…

  • Quick and Dirty Containers with systemd

    Docker and other containerization technologies are making the rounds in the Linux community, but a lowly hero lurks beneath now every major Linux distro; enter systemd-nspawn containers. systemd has arrived with mixed reviews — you either love it or you hate it — but one thing stands for certain: it gets the job done. Regardless of your…