Uses This

Interview

What do people use to get the job done?

Madelin Woods

Madelin Woods

Developer (Square), artist

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Madelin Woods, an engineer, artist, illustrator, and urban gardener. I live in San Francisco.

I have been working at Square for the last 3 years, as a front-end engineer, building out the UI and front-end architecture for a handful of our web products. I'm currently working on our Receipts team, but I've helped launch products like Square Market and gift cards in the past. I tend to hack around a lot, making cool things with code, watercolors, laser cutters, and popsicle sticks.

What hardware do you use?

I love my 11" MacBook Air - though it's not super great for running a lot of services and applications at work, it's light and doesn't make too many funny noises. When I'm at my desk, I'll typically have it plugged into a Cinema Display for the bigger screen. I do a lot of pair programming, so I'm constantly jumping between different people's computers and iMacs set up as pairing machines.

My home laptop is a 13" MacBook Air, which I use mainly for illustration projects, typically with a Cinema Display as well. When I'm home, I mostly just use my iPad 2. It's just the right size for drawing, reading, and air playing my music or movies with my Apple TV. I use a Pencil for drawing with Paper, though all the fancy Bluetooth features don't work with my current iPad version, so we'll have to see about that. :'(

I have a black iPhone 5. I use it so much that it dies at least once or twice a day. I should probably do something about that too.

In attempts to remove myself from electronic gadgets and screens all day, I've taken up physical art as a practice. I carry a Moleskine sketchbook with a Quiver to hold my Muji 0.5 black pens. I also use a Windsor & Newton travel watercolor set, for coloring on the go, and have an assortment of Canson mixed-media sketchbooks for the thicker paper. I have so many pens and brushes that my girl friend Anastasia hand-made me the most perfect pencil case. Water's kind of hard to carry around, so I use a Zig Water Brush2O Pen.

And what software?

I run whatever the latest version of OS X is, and am usually programming in Ruby on Rails, JavaScript (Ember & CoffeeScript when possible), Slim and Sass. I write my code in Sublime Text 2 (tricked out with a ton of extra installed packages), use iTerm2 for my terminal, the latest version of Chrome for browsing and development, and Divvy to organize my screen.

We've recently switched over to using Atlassian products at work, so we use Stash for our Git code management, Jira for bug tracking, and HipChat for team chats. I also use iMessage, Google Hangouts, and FaceTime for chatting. I use xScope for color checking and pixel measuring, BrowserStack for IE testing, and Litmus for email testing.

Day One is amazing for all my personal writing, anything from journaling to jotting down poems and stories to morning pages. I love Day One because it's super easy to sync across all my devices, and backs up to Dropbox. I use Dropbox for all my file sharing, photo storage, and all that good stuff. I try not to look at feeds of things on the internet anymore, but I post to Instagram and Tumblr to share pictures of my latest art & illustration projects. I really enjoy the art community on Instagram, so I do still check that occasionally, and I try to keep the people I follow down to a minimum of only folks who inspire me.

I use Paper on my iPad for drawing, and have been using TuneIn to stream FIP radio, a station I fell in love with while living for a month in Paris this past April.

I read a lot, and usually just use iBooks on my iPad, because I like being able to highlight things and refer back to them. I've been using Yo to bug all my friends and disrupt entire meetings. I'm really bad at being on time for things, so Uber helps with that.

What would be your dream setup?

A big room full of plants, an easel, never ending supply of canvases, paints, papers, and brushes. Occasionally I find this place, it alternates between my apartment, a secret room I found at work, and the magic of Airbnb, but I really just need to find the time to enjoy it.

It would also be great if I could code and use all my apps without devices and screens and computers. Somewhere between Her and Minority Report, without the creep factor would be great.