Weeknotes 2022 W49:

December 5​–​11, 2022
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Content warning: death. (Please feel free to skip to the next section.)

I’m still processing the news of Chris Seaton’s passing. I’m struggling to put my thoughts into words, but here’s a start:

Few people were as welcoming and ready to share knowledge as Chris was. He’d take people with him, making time when people wanted it, no matter their seniority or experience. An excellent human being.

What a loss.

At Shopify, I spoke with Chris on a few occasions as I was exploring my career options. I’ve long had an interest in compilers and interpreters, and there was the option for me to join Chris’ team. I ended up not joining the team and quitting Shopify instead. That decision had nothing to do with Chris, his team, or his work: that decision was purely because there was too much misalignment between my personal values and Shopify’s.

In the last video call I had with Chris, I told him that I had decided to leave Shopify. He seemed surprised, and asked me whether I’d still be part of the Ruby community. I said yes, and told him we’d definitely meet again, probably at conferences. We ended the conversation awkwardly, not knowing what else to say.

It feels like Chris’ death has closed some doors, not just for me but for many other people as well. His willingness to share his knowledge, to help others learn and grow, was remarkable. Junior people on a compiler team? You better believe it. I can’t help but wonder whether my decision to leave Shopify instead of joining Chris’ team was a mistake on my part; a missed once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

I think Richard Schneeman’s Coping with suicide thread is a good read.

On Friday evening, there was the company’s end-of-year party, which I skipped.

Over the last few years, I’ve become less and less inclined to spend my free time in a corporate environment. I’ve gotten confused responses from people when I tell them that I’m skipping social work event, but it feels so right.

This isn’t a slight on my employer, mind you. It’s about me putting my priorities straight. My free time is my own, and I’m happy that I’m resisting the peer pressure that suggests work is a family.

I cleared out one of my Twitter accounts, @DenisDefreyne. It feels strange to abandon it. It does not feel great to abandon your own identity.

Or rather — it feels like identity, but it’s just a fucking social media profile. Twitter is not a public good, and Twitter is not part of my identity.

I’ll probably clear out @ddfreyne some time soon too.

Virtually no progress on any side projects this week. (This is fine with me.)

I think the most important thing is to do a proper 1.0 release of nanoc-dart-sass. There’s more that needs to happen for it to be on par in terms of functionality with the built-in :sass filter, but that can be for version 1.1 or later.

I also think that the Nanoc web site needs a list of plugins, so that stuff like the :dart_sass filter is more discoverable. I’ll get to that at some point.


I tried a few different TV series, but nothing I tried really stuck. I’m out of material to watch, I suppose.


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