How I Work

The How I Work series on Lifehacker is one of my favorite Lifehacker series. I always enjoy seeing how other people work and see if I an pick up any new tricks. I decided it was time I gave a similar overview.

Boston, MA

Current Gig:
RPI College graduate starting in February as a Software Engineer at BookBub

Current mobile device:
Nexus 5x (cheap, powerful and solid quality)

Current Computer:

  • Dell Chromebook 13 for class and all day battery life.
  • Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon 2nd Gen for portable workstation.
  • Custom Desktop at home dual booted Ubuntu and Windows 10


I began programming and experimenting with robotics in high school and I've been interested in engineering since I was little. When looking for colleges I applied to schools that I new would challenge me and encourage my inner nerd. I applied and got into Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and didn't look back. Freshman year I jumped in heads first getting involved with a bunch of technical clubs on campus and I slowly found what I loved to work on the most, web applications and operations.

How do you organize your work?

I use a combination of Evernote with the Secret Weapon as an organizational system and a Moleskine that I always carry with me. In the Moleskine I have combination of weekly grids, free form notes, to do lists and more. I have found that a combination of Evernote and paper helps with both short term tasks and long term goals.

What tools do you use for development?

I work on a variety of projects and assignments in diverse languages. Almost all code I write gets written in Vim. Vim is powerful and I love being able to control everything through the keyboard. Vim also works great for all the languages I use: Go, Python, Javascript, Ruby and more. Since I have three different machines and am a busy college student who may need to work anywhere I do all of my work through a Tmux session to my desktop. Tmux allows me to work on my desktop, run to class and continue the same work on my Chromebook without missing a beat or worrying about checking out new code.

Besides your phone and compute, what gadget can't you live without?

Right now this is probably a toss up between my Kindle and my Nexus 7. I use my tablet all the time for everything from recipes, to PDF's, to controlling the Chromecast. The Kindle is a more recent adition the gadget collection and is beginning to be irreplacable.

What do you listen to while working?

My music tastes are diverse but when working I mostly listen to electronic music with little to no lyrics. I find lyrics distracting and silence does not motivate me to work much.

What are you currently reading?

I just finished the Elon Musk biography and am working through the audiobook version of Homo Sapiens. The Elon Musk book was inspiring and gave me a great picture of what is possible. One part that I really took to heart was the concept of real innovation and creating positive change.

How do you recharge?

One of my favorite ways to recharge is by cooking. I love to cook and eat good food and cooking turns into a social and relaxing time. When stressed or anxious I often go for a run or hit up the gym.

What's your sleep routine like? When do you work best?

If asked this question last year I would have said that I was a night owl and worked best at night. This semester I began waking up at 7am and getting work in before my first class at 12. This schedule wasn't always easy or possible to keep but I find I am most focused and motivated when I wake up and begin working around 8am.