Human Operating Systems

When I speak with people about my chronic illness, there is often confusion on it. Many people think, “your pain [or dizziness] is just in your head” and that I can just let it go or ignore it. Yes, my disabilities are invisible, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t very real. When we meet people who are deaf, we can’t see what is physically wrong with them, but we believe them when they say they can’t hear us. Why don’t we believe people with other disabilities?

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On Depression

Society has many ills. People are fallible and get themselves addicted to unhealthy things all the time. It may be overeating, under-eating, gambling, alcohol, or drugs, but each of these people is dealing with a pain that their particular addiction gives a little bit of relief from. We recognize that these addictions are diseases; we spend millions a year advertising and partaking in various treatments for them. We recognize that people who have these addictions need to take life a day at a time; there is no magic wand for addiction. It is a constant struggle. But many of these addictions are just covering what the real problem is, mental health. As a society we don’t talk about mental illness. We don’t admit that is too is a disease that takes a daily fight and this needs to change.

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Apple Watch Emergency Alerts?

I live with a person who has a very severe allergy to fish and shellfish. So much so that going out to dinner is extremely hard. She carries an epipen in case she is exposed, and it can be as little exposure as walking into a restaurant having a fish fry. I have malignant hyperthermia, an extreme reaction to anesthetics. It’s genetic and my kids have it from both parents. My father has a pacemaker. For us, one of the coolest things to happen in iOS 8 was the ability to add the “Emergency” information, including links to call an emergency contact to the lock screen of the iPhone.

That got Sara and I thinking, what could we do with an Apple Watch?

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Imposter Syndrome Sucks

But we do it to ourselves. I battle imposter syndrome every day. In fact I made a distinct decision back in 2009 to “fake it until I make it”. I got fired for poor performance (I was severely depressed at the time which affected my work). While out of work in a down economy, I specifically put on a new outward face that would pretend to be someone I’m not to land a job.

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CodePaLousa Accessibility Resources

Thanks to everyone who came out to my talk UX of Stairs this morning. It was a really great crowd. there were a number of great questions and I mentioned some really good tools and resources, but I didn’t have the URLs on slides. Here is a list mentioned in the talk as well as in some conversations I had afterwards. And if you missed my talk, you can catch a version of it here.

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Turning the Titanic

In 2013, I was working for a Fortune 500 financial firm. During my four years there I had been pushing to make mobile development a first level priority. At the time it was a forgotten step-child. I had the opportunity to present on my experience at CodePaLOUsa that year. Given Google’s new policy on mobile and the fact that there are still big firms that aren’t mobile friendly, I thought I’d resurface the tale.

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9th Circuit Court Accessibility Ruling

The news just broke that the 9th Circuit court has ruled on two cases with major consequences to the internet, how it is built, and how people use it. The rulings are a huge mistake in interpretation of the law and should be appealed immediately. However, work is currently being done to improve the Americans with Disabilities Act that would in fact make these rulings moot. The question is, which will happen first? Whether it is an updated ADA or appeals, it is still not soon enough for people with disabilities.

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How to Negotiate

Negotiating is a tricky subject. Talking money seems to still be a taboo in polite society. Subsequently, we often over pay for things or get underpaid for the work we do. A friend asked about having a conference session on negotiating. I began working on a talk, but I’m not sure it is ready yet. This article is an attempt to get my thoughts out there so a discussion can be had to help me flesh out the talk.

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Optimizing Working Remote

For the last eighteen months, I have been working remotely from my home in Wisconsin for a startup located in San Francisco. This has been one of the greatest adventures I have had in my life; learning a tremendous amount about the world of startups, better coding practices, how to make a remote environment work, and about myself. Today I want to share what I feel are best practices for myself & the teams I’m on working with to get the most out of being remote.

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