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I’ve been working from home since 2013. Initially as a freelance app developer, later as Developer Advocate for Appcelerator and The Things Network and currently as Full Stack Engineer for Zapier.

We’ve become so used to commuting to an office, that people often don’t understand why I like and actually prefer to work from home. Fortunately, it is slowly becoming more common. I tell my son that there are two things he’d later find hard to understand looking back:

Why would you queue up your car for an hour, then balance a cup of the worst coffee in the world, while searching for a free desk in an open-plan office, to finally open the laptop you brought with you, and try to get work done at the least productive place, until the clock tells you it’s ok to give up for today?

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At Zapier, we were thrilled to hear Slack introduced setting your status. Slack is the very backbone of our daily communication and as a fully remote company you can’t just tell if somebody is available by glancing over that “beloved” open office floor.

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Last spring, I decided to ignore social media until Easter. Lent traditionally is a period of fasting from food, but modern ways of fasting include anything TV to alcohol. The idea is to grow in discipline, break with looming addictions and spend more time with those you care about, which may or may not include God.

4 months later… still fasting!

Easter is already 4 months ago and I’m still going strong without social media. I haven’t missed it at all and found little reason to return to them. I’ve even started to slowly untangle websites where I used them login. I’ll probably keep the accounts around to protect my username (fokkezb everywhere), for history-sake, testing Zaps and what not. I may even reply to a comment every now and then as I get notified of it via email (thanks to Zapier), but don’t expect me to come back to follow your doings online. …

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By Tatu Väyrynen

Today is the start of Lent, traditionally a period of fasting leading up to Easter. Not a lot of people fast from food anymore, but modern ways of fasting include anything from going without watching TV or drinking alcohol.

40 Days without Social Media

Today, I decided to fast from social media. I’ve removed Twitter and Facebook from my phone and turned off all notifications except direct messages and mentions.

And who knows, maybe I’ll leave it that way even after Easter.

Cutting down on Notifications

I wouldn’t have taken this decision as easy a year a go as I did today. In the last few months, I’ve already cut down heavily on notifications. No matter how disciplined you are, notifications are designed to be addictive and there’s only one way to beat them: kill them. …

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MQTT is a machine-to-machine (M2M) protocol heavily used for the Internet of Things (IoT) because it is an extremely lightweight publish/subscribe messaging transport. The Things Network as well uses MQTT to exchange messages between devices and their online backends — or applications as we call them.

The Rise of APIs

In the meanwhile, online platforms have seen the rise of APIs. No longer do you need to manually export and import data between services. Once you’ve allowed one service to access another’s API on your behalf, it can take care of that for you.

Connecting Passive APIs

While MQTT provides full two-way communication, the popular REST APIs do not. In the example above, the first service is the client who takes the initiative (requests), while the other is the master and merely responds. …

In August, after a well-needed-longer-than-I-had-in-a-long-time break, I started at The Things Network.

The first weeks have been both exciting and challenging. Hardware is almost completely new to me, yet it is my very job to make our technology more accessible. So why not start with building the documentation site I desperately felt a need for myself?


We wanted the documentation site to meet a number of requirements:

  1. Open Source on GitHub.
  2. Anyone should be able to run the site locally.
  3. Content in Markdown.
  4. Working previews on GitHub, including embedded images.
  5. Quick corrections via GitHub’s edit feature.
  6. Automatically publish on push or merge. …

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Developer Relations is still a relatively young profession, trying to find its rightful place between marketing, support and engineering. I enjoy reflecting on this journey with others at events like DevRelCon and hope to organise a new DevRelAms soon. Earlier I wrote about comparing Developer Evangelism with its Religious counterpart and the Value of FOSS.

In this new post I’d like to explore how Developer Relations makes sense in what Pine and Gilmore called The Experience Economy, already back in 1998.


A long, long time ago it was all about the product. “A great product sells itself”, they would say. Well, I hope we’re way past that myth. Sure, your product should do what you say it does and do it well. But with a new JavaScript framework pretty much every day surely some will be of excellent quality, without resulting in much adoption. …


Fokke Zandbergen

Full StackEngineer at @Zapier ❋ Previously Developer Advocate at @TheThingsNtwrk and @Appcelerator ❋ Learn. Improve. Share.

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