Alicja Laszuk

Unblocking my writing

I often self-identify as a person who reads and writes a lot. Yet it has been challenging to write for the past few months. I wanted to explore why, as my actions were not aligned with my goals.

On passing for a native speaker

I came to realize how many thoughts I have around my English accent. It’s a mix of pride and anxiety, and this is discomfort I’m not going to get away from anytime soon.

Retrieving drawings from Notability

I use Notability a lot to take notes while learning and during meetings. It’s fast and comfortable, allowing me to jot down my ideas on the fly. One caveat of taking notes in this way is that they’re not easily exportable in an editable format, so I can’t reuse them in other contexts (e.g. when creating diagrams to explain ideas).

Gender fluid in a gendered language

I changed the default English pronoun I use for other people to they some time ago. For a long time I thought it impossible to incorporate a similar approach in my native language, until I realized I’ve been doing it all along.

The curb cut effect of the Internet

I recently listened to an episode of the 99% Invisible podcast on curb cuts and it made me pause to appreciate some of the curb cuts I experienced. One with the most profound impact on my life is the Internet.

Browsing in grayscale

I started exploring my browsing habits to better understand why certain websites grab my attention. As aware of UX dark patterns as I am, I grew tired of mindfully noticing when they want to “nudge” me into certain behaviors with vibrant colors and obscuring others by making them less visually appealing.

Improving my English

I encountered a thread in a community group chat asking for advice on guiding someone through improving English skills. Some of the resources and ideas I shared were helpful, so I decided to write a longer blog post about it.

GDPR compliance

As the General Data Protection Regulation compliance deadline has arrived today, I have removed all tracking scripts from my website.

Conf & Coffee 2018 - designing and printing name badges

We recently organized Conf & Coffee 2018 in Vancouver, BC, and one of the bigger tasks we had to take care of was designing and printing our conference badges. A conference is all about people - people who come there to learn, meet new people and have a good time. We wanted to make it easier for them and create useable badges.

Drawing with CSS - part 2: linear gradients

The first part of the drawing with CSS tutorial was all about box shadows. They are pretty flexible when it comes to creating multiple rectangular and circular shapes, but there are some limitations.

Drawing with CSS - part 1: box shadows

I have been using CSS as a medium for drawing for the past few months and I appreciate its versatility and wide support. Since it’s hard to get started without understanding the basic concepts and most of the online guides are not focusing on how to draw images with CSS, I decided to write a few simple guides on creating single div CSS images. In the first part I’ll focus on drawing using box shadows.

Git branch in your prompt

I have paired a lot over the past week (which makes me tremendously happy!) and I noticed how lost I can get in someone else’s terminal if I don’t have my regular bash prompt - not only the cute little heart that welcomes me every time I run the terminal, but also the git branch name I’m currently on.

Making pairing flow

As my second batch at the Recurse Center is approaching, I can’t help but to be excited for all the pairings to come. I enjoy learning by working with others - other than improving my coding style and understanding how to solve problems better, I always pick up all sorts of little tweaks and ideas while geeking out over someone’s setup.

Designing HTML emails

It’s 2017 and it seems that plain text emails are just boring for most users. Communicating without the emoji, GIFs or images seems rather stiff and your brand is better than that! It’s approachable and fun, or sleek and high-end, or in some other way remarkable. No plain text email will do.

Single div CSS animations

I recently got inspired to try pure CSS single div animations, as I came across this blog post (thank you, Gabrielle!). There were only two problems:

return programmer;

24 weeks ago I entered the Recurse Center in New York, not sure what to expect. I’ve only known what I was able to find online and anything I could gather from introductory emails. I flew to another continent based on the gut feeling that this is the right thing to do and not being able to explain what this was exactly.

How I grow

The past few months have been an ongoing adventure for me - an adventure in learning to manage the disorienting level of freedom I’ve had to face.

Outreachy - first month recap

I’ve been asked today to reflect on my first Outreachy month and share what I’ve done so far.

To mentor

When I first heard Zulip is taking part in Google Code-In and was asked to become a mentor, I got excited. And scared. The more time passed, the more scared I was, feeling inadequate and not experienced enough to review other people’s code.

To be mentored

One of my fellow Recursers is actively researching needs of newbie developers and interviewing juniors, mentors and anyone else engaged in hiring programmers who are starting out. Given my experience so far, I more than qualified for an interview as a tech industry newbie.

Getting into Outreachy

Getting into Outreachy is a long process that requires a lot of effort. In order to have a chance at an internship one has to:

Learning by observing

Recently I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Sumana Harihareswara live documenting a coding adventure on Zulip. As I wanted to learn even more from this experience, I’ve reread it and tried to break it into high level activities.

The First 20 Hours

I have recently reread The First 20 Hours: How To Learn Anything… Fast! by Josh Kaufman - a light book with some helpful insights on acquiring new skills. As I have so much to learn and so little time (or at least so is my perception), the concept of spending just 20 hours on something and going from knowing nothing to performing noticeably well is appealing.