Hello, internet. Specifically maybe the Android/Kotlin community, or anyone still following me for tweeting my comp once in 2020.
Some things changed over the last year or so, and I've taken a pretty significant step back from the more visible perches I used to hang out on before. I guess this post is a little "What's New with Zac?" update.
Social media, or lack thereof
After Twitter was bought by a weird right-wing narcissist, I eventually removed all my public interactions on the platform. I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the following and pocket of influence I'd built up on it (~12k followers), but it's not worth supporting the awful thing it's become. Its new owners' open hostility to the LGBTQ+ community particularly hits home for me, as I have a lot of them in my family. There's still a lot of good/funny/smart people on there. I wish they'd let it go, too.
The alternatives (namely Threads and Mastodon) that gained popularity after have been ok, but never really replaced the spaces that Twitter once occupied. I don't think they ever will either. Threads is held back by leadership that's scared of letting it become a news venue and Mastodon's just the linux of social networks.
I scraped all my interactions on reddit too. I'd largely stepped back from active use years ago anyway, but their treatment of 3rd party app developers (and in particular — of Apollo / Christian Selig) left a real bad taste in my mouth about leaving any of my contributions there.
These days, the social media I'm active on is basically Instagram (with friends) and... Strava?
Not much has changed here. Still at Slack, just passed 4 years. It's changed a lot, but mostly in the form of people coming and going. I'm back on developer experience these days, working on builds/CI/whatever seems worth attention. I report directly to a director that I've known since I started at Slack, and it works really well.
I still work on Circuit, albeit not much inside of Slack. Long-story-short: my responsibilities are the day-to-day of the OSS project/core library maintenance and another team inside of Slack is responsible for its internal adoption. Circuit in OSS supports far more than Slack needs from it, so this setup works well. The community around Circuit has been racing ahead with more advanced/interesting uses cases, and those contributions/feedback/etc make it back into the project in a way that the rest of Slack benefits from for free, even if they don't exactly know it. This is a familiar story to OSS maintainers 😄.
Some of the highlights in Circuit over the past year:
- iOS and JS multiplatform support, along with the existing Android and JVM/Desktop. Most of Circuit's core APIs are now multiplatform.
- circuit-retained has become a foundational tool in Circuit and works across both configuration changes and backstacks.
- I strongly believe this granular state management is becoming Circuit's magic sauce compared to other frameworks and was improved largely by external contributors like Chris Banes.
- We introduced CircuitX artifacts with neat/common tools we use often with Circuit, such as multiplatform gesture nav and common overlays.
- Nearly a dozen different external contributors!
- Tons of small bugfixes and little tweaks to its infra and public API.
I maintain a lot of other open source at Slack (about half of our top 10 public projects!), but Circuit's what I'm probably most proud of. Other active projects I've enjoyed lately are SGP, slack-lints, and kotlin-cli-util.
I've got thoughts on Salesforce as a parent company, but instead of opining on them here I'll just mention I really like John Oliver.
On top of Slack OSS work, I still do a lot on my own too. I still tinker with CatchUp, which I modernized and rewrote in Circuit. I still maintain a few libraries and participate in Kotlin's EAP champions program, plus contribute regularly to libraries I use in my projects or at Slack.
Community-wise, I still periodically attend or speak at confs. Less than before (more on that later), but I still try to do a couple a year.
I feel like I've painted a rather dull picture so far, but for all these things I stepped back from, bigger and better things have filled those spaces.
I ❤️ NY
I love New York.
I wasn't old when I moved here four years ago, but none-the-less I wish I'd gotten here sooner. My social life here is light years ahead of where it was in San Francisco. As I've stepped back from a lot of time in the tech, that space has been filled with very real people and experiences here. Below's a snippet in pictures in 2023 from different circles I run in these days.
And a whole lot of other people and other things I don't have pictures handy for. New York's the first time in awhile I really feel like I'm a part of a place. I know the baristas, I know the bartenders, I run into people I know walking around the neighborhood, I'm out and about most evenings and weekends.
There's the famous bit from The Office where Andy has this moment of piercing clarity.
At some point recently I realized I'm in the good old days right now, so I'm gonna run with it.