The resume format is so awful. Resumes should be: What I’m interested in, what I’m good at, and why I’m good at it.

— Chris Wanstrath (@defunkt) March 24, 2012

What I’m interested in

A small team with a single vision that drives them. A team that has fun together, because they do things that amaze each other, where every individual looks forward to getting the next pull request. A small team that invests time in thinking, in tools, and in experimentation by prototyping. I believe these investments are time savers and force multipliers.

Specifically (and as of September 2015), I’m interested in these technologies, which I believe are the fruits of such teams and values, and will enable small, productive, less fragmented engineering teams in the coming years:

I’m not an expert at any of these things, but I’m rapidly getting better at understanding and applying the first three, and spending a lot of time building my fundamental base for the rest.

What I’m good at

Building and strengthening an engineering team. Breaking down problems (or sometimes finding better questions). I’m good at Ruby on Rails and JavaScript. I’m a good communicator, especially in written forms (this may not be evident from this blog, but I like to think I usually have the right touch in a lot of startup-related contexts, like email, chat, one-on-ones, code review, etc). I’m pretty good at, and trying to get better at, systems thinking. I’m good at working with partial or fully remote teams.

Why I’m good at it

I’ve worked at big companies and small; rolling in cash, and rolling towards the end of the runway. I’ve had the good fortune to work with some truly excellent technologists and gifted leaders, and during my time as a systems auditor for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, get an inside look at great work environments and stifling ones.

As a programmer, I’ve put in the time. Innumerable late nights down the rabbit hole because I couldn’t stop until it worked, then back again in the morning, if necessary (as it often was), until I understood it. Biting off more than I could chew, and making it work. Battles with Linux servers. Debugging under pressure. Hotfixes. All of the above after a page at 11pm New Year Eve.

Learning about version control, testing, and processes so I could put my cowboy hat away.

I’ve been at it long enough to understand that tech is a fashion business, and learn when to buy the latest trend and how to avoid tomorrow’s bell-bottoms (most of the time).

Recently, I taught a three month intensive class on web development, and this made me better at tailoring my feedback to individuals, being patient, and illustrating concepts with relevant examples.

I read, all the time, as much as I can. As many books – technical, historical, and sociological – as I can digest. I keep up with people on the cutting edge and try to learn about the giants on whose shoulders they stand. I love this stuff and am plugged into this culture, but I’m not so narrow that I can’t tell which parts are childish and toxic, and I know when to unplug, go home, and recharge.