Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Katherine Daniels

Katherine Daniels

Web operations engineer (Etsy)

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Katherine Daniels and I'm a web operations engineer at Etsy. I also do a fair amount of speaking at conferences, often about devops and other things related to tech culture. When I'm not arguing with computers, I brew beer, make hot sauce, climb rocks, and play violin.

What hardware do you use?

At work I have a 13" MacBook Pro Retina with 256GB SSD and 16GB memory. I have an adjustable laptop stand to keep it at the right height, and a Samsung 22" LCD as an external display. I've got a Logitech G500 mouse and the Apple Bluetooth keyboard as well. The Beyerdynamic DT-770-PRO-32 headphones take care of all my music-listening needs at the office.

At home I have a 13" MacBook Air with 128GB SSD and 8GB memory. When one of those needs to come with me, it goes in a CaseLogic sleeve which goes in my Columbia Treadlite 10 which is hands-down my favorite backpack ever. It fits a 13" laptop, my 11" Grid-It that's keeping all my cables, adapters, and other miscellany organized, it's water-resistant and very low-profile for easy commuting. When I'm speaking, I use the Logitech R400 wireless presenter.

My phone is the Nexus 5, often found with a set of JLab J5M earbuds for music on the go. And of course I couldn't do without my Hue Kard for when I need emergency phone charging. I also wear a Jawbone UP24 so I can keep track of how being on-call affects my sleep.

And what software?

On a daily basis I find myself using Gmail, Google Docs/Drive, Radiant Player, and vim. A lot of my work gets done in iTerm2 with zsh running a modified version of oh-my-zsh's agnoster theme. Both of my laptops have ClipMenu, Caffeine, Spectacle, and Seil installed (and my caps lock key is re-mapped to escape).

When I'm wrangling servers I use Chef and liberal helpings of knife-spork. grep, awk, sed, and htop are there for troubleshooting. Code of course gets pushed to GitHub. I chat with coworkers on IRC, either by way of irssi running in a screen session or Etsy's homegrown IRC client called F-Train. When I need to talk to remote coworkers, I use Vidyo.

Talon for Android takes care of my Twitter habit. Feedly is where I keep my RSS feeds, and Pocket saves articles I want for offline reading, without which I wouldn't survive the subway. Same with the Kindle app, though only for fiction - for non-fiction I still prefer dead tree format! Chrome handles all my web browsing, LastPass deals with my passwords, and Duo takes care of 2-factor auth. When I'm giving talks I use Keynote, upload my slides to Speaker Deck, and get a lot of slide pictures from I've also been using HabitRPG as a fun to-do list manager and habit builder.

What would be your dream setup?

I'd love to have a 13" MacBook Air with a Retina display. Of course a phone with better battery life (and that can fit in my pants pockets somehow!). A really amazing chair, at a desk that's covered in cat pictures. And if someone could go ahead and invent teleportation, that would be great.