Coda Hale
Photo by Dave Fayram.

Coda Hale

Infrastructure architect (Yammer)

Posted

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm the infrastructure architect at Yammer, where I write a lot of Java and worry about things breaking or not going fast enough.

What hardware do you use?

I've got a MacBook Pro running Lion because I'm super original. Every two or three years, I fliff out enough for a top-of-the-line MBP, so right now I've got 8GB of RAM, four i7 cores, and a big ol' SSD. It's easily the fastest computer I've ever had. An iPhone 4 and a Time Capsule in the closet rounds out the computational hardware.

I started out a die-hard overclocking modding build-it-myselfer, but as time passes I find myself giving less and less fucks about the actual hardware. I don't even have stickers on my laptop at this point. Should I find myself with some money burning a hole in my pocket, I'd probably bump the 'book up to 16GB of RAM.

I don't own an iPad or Kindle or tablet.

And what software?

There's really three broad categories of software I use on a regular basis: personal stuff, work stuff, and random utilities.

I'm mostly a Java programmer these days, so I always have IntelliJ IDEA open. I spent a long time using TextMate, but it seems to be suffering the same sort of lingering death that Quicksilver did, so I've recently settled on Sublime Text 2 which is funky but surprisingly modern. I more or less always have Terminal open, where I run Bash, a lot of bash-completion scripts, the usual collection of Unix tools, and a bunch of executables installed via MacPorts, including csshX, curl, git, git-flow, Maven, ack, pv, Scala, jsawk, tig, and GNU watch. In addition to that, I also use RStudio, YourKit, VisualVM, Soulver, Wireshark, and JD-GUI.

I have no idea what I'd do without GitHub. And naturally, I spend a lot of time on Yammer, which I've found to be as invaluable a tool for 200 people as it was for 20.

As far as general internet usage, Chrome Beta, Sparrow, iChat, Rdio, Reeder, and LimeChat serve to keep me fairly distracted, and Dropbox (plus GrabBox) keeps everything synced.

In terms of organizational software, I use iCal, Fantastical, and Things to keep track of what I'm doing (something-something-beta-OTA-sync), Papers 2 to manage my rather pathological collection of academic papers, and 1Password to deal with the proliferation of shared secrets that is the modern human condition.

Rounding it all out is LaunchBar, which I couldn't live without, Divvy, Stay, AppZapper, Transmission, and Movist.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream setup is any arrangement which removes an entity without sacrificing functionality. I'm a one-pair-of-shoes sort of person, so whenever a distinct tool gets merged into the background (iOS cloud syncing, for example, or Time Machine) it makes me happy. That frees up cognitive room for more interesting things.