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 Monica Dinculescu

Monica Dinculescu

Emojineer (Chrome, Polymer)

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Monica Dinculescu. I'm a software emojineer (read: an engineer who liberally abuses emoji) at Google. Up until recently, I used to work on Chrome; nowadays I'm recovering from my stint as a professional C++ grumbler by working on Polymer. I sometimes speak at conferences about serious topics, but only if they apply to cats.

I've recently relocated from Montréal, Canada to San Francisco in protest of the east coast winter.

What hardware do you use?

I have a 15" MacBook Pro (sometimes attached to a 30" monitor) that's due for a refresh --- I'm holding out hope for a super-pretty-yet-super-beefy gold MacBook Pro with multiple USB ports. Thems the dreams. I'm still emotionally attached to compiling Chromium, so I need at least 16GB of RAM. And a real CPU. And an SSD. And half an hour of patience. Compiling is hard.

I use an Evoluent VerticalMouse and the emoji keyboard, because why not. I wear a Withings Activité Pop, because I am obsessed with counting steps and smart watches that actually look like watches. I've recently switched my Nexus 5 for an older iPhone 5S which fits in my pockets; I don't think I will ever upgrade. I've given up on having any fancy headphones, as my cat is a jerk who chews on (preferably expensive) wires. If they would survive the cat, I would probably forget them on a train.

I take photos with a Fujifilm X100S, and I find the challenge of only using one lens comforting. In a past life I had far too many Canon lenses and it made taking photos A Thing I Would Dread™. I tend to carry a book with me everywhere I go, so I was recently lent a Kindle to help with that. I don't like it but I begrudgingly use it when travelling. I play Zelda and Megaman on my red 3DS. I forget to charge most of these things.

And what software?

I write code in Atom, not because I have an opinion on editors, but because it's built on Chromium and at the time I thought writing Chromium code on something built on Chromium was cute (spoilers: it is). I internet in Chrome, email in Inbox, slideaphone in Keynote, work-chat in Slack, friend-chat on Hangouts/Adium, tweet about squirrels in Tweetbot, and verb all the things in real life. Moom saves my window layout and makes connecting to an external display painless. Alfred is my butler.

I edit my photos in Photos, because I don't know any better, and show them off on Exposure. I am obsessed with Mextures, which is the only real reason I'm using an iPhone.

All my code lives on GitHub. All my git shenanigans happen on the command prompt. I use oh-my-zsh, with a deadly cute prompt and an obnoxious set of aliases. I keep track of what I should be doing using a pile of post-its. They never stick to anything, but they work better than any other apps I've tried.

What would be your dream setup?

I don't like sitting at a desk and I hate standing even more. I'd love to fully embrace the curl-like-a-pretzel lifestyle and just work in a giant beanbag chair, an Egg chair, or both. I like the laptop that I have but it could always be lighter and faster.

Oh, and coffee. There must always be coffee.