Picture this: I’m at work, on a typical Portland Tuesday morning. Unlike the weather outside, the office is bright and warm, and I’ve got my fancy desk set to “standing” (It moves up and down. When you push buttons. Fancy).

I’ve got my Spotify coding playlist going and am tapping my foot as I work.

Yup, that’s basically me

I’m in our app, doing something completely unrelated when I spot a bug that’s currently in production. Not an app-crashing bug, but a priority nonetheless.

I file a ticket. Then, I have a realization I haven’t had before: I can fix this. Without needing to…

Bruce Lee, the O.G. hacker

Last week, Stackery’s CTO Chase wrote about why you should stop YAML engineering, and I completely agree with his thesis, though for slightly different reasons. As a new developer, I’ve grasped that it’s crucial to learn just what you need and nothing more — at least when you’re just getting started in your career.

Now, I’m all about learning for learning’s sake — I have two now-useless liberal arts degrees that prove that. However, when it comes to starting out as a developer, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed by all of the languages and frameworks out there, and get…

Or, unwanted observations from an unwelcome stranger

Yes, it’s pretty. When it’s not raining.

I’ve now lived in Portland, Oregon for nine months, or enough time to gestate a human being were one so inclined. And in my Pacific Northwestern gestation period, I’ve observed a few aspects of the city that may well have been advertised, but took living here to really understand.

Portland only has two seasons: Rain and Summer.

Sure, it occasionally snows, but those rare periods are at best a sub-season of Rain we can call Really Cold Rain. Even though Rain is already unpleasantly cold for the most part anyway.

The thing is, it doesn’t rain a lot, but it rains just about every day during Rain, and…

I’ve been procrastinating a lot lately. Ok, maybe not a lot — for me. But compared to most people, I’m probably at the higher end of the spectrum.

I’ve been procrastinating on writing, though ironically now I’m using writing as a means to procrastinate on paid work. I’ve been procrastinating on learning to code, though I even signed up for paid classes (hey Code School!) to force myself to learn JavaScript in the 6 months I have a paid account. The only thing I’m not procrastinating on is cleaning and setting up my new house, but that’s because cleaning is…

Bye, Earth! I’ll come back if you ever get your shit together

Let me tell you a not-so-secret secret: I’ve never truly felt human. I’m bad at feeling in general, and often find myself relating better to A.I.s or alien observers in science fiction films. So not wanting to be a human anymore is not really that much of a stretch in my case, but this year has really pushed me to the edge.

I’m sick of humans, because they never learn. They repeat the same mistakes over and over, yet most keep themselves in a state of blissful ignorance of all that has come before. They’re slaves to their emotions and…

Fuck this guy

I don’t know how to be grateful. I wasn’t built with that emotion installed.

But all the blogs and the motivation/productivity/betterment gurus tell me I should “practice gratitude”, especially now that it’s a New Year and the time to revisit these things. And it sounds like sound advice. It’s just a lot harder for a person like me to do.

I was that kid that always said “thank you”, not because I meant it, but because I had a mother who drilled manners into me each waking hour. I realized quickly it’s something adults did without any meaning behind it, like voting or saying “I love you”.

The gurus say to practice “present-moment gratitude”…

The Cricoteka Museum and Theater

What today’s entrepreneurs can learn from Kantor’s theater

Author’s note: This is an article I wrote for KIC InnoEnergy for their KICkoff pitch competition at the Cricoteka Museum.

At the beginning of next month, the KICkoff Sustainable Energy Pitch Finals will take place in Krakow, a city that’s been generating buzz lately as a center of Central European tech innovation. So perhaps it’s appropriate that the competition venue is the newly-built Cricoteka museum and theater, a place dedicated to one of Krakow’s most famous and innovative personalities: Tadeusz Kantor (1915–1990).

Theater director, actor, set designer, artist and general cultural icon, Tadeusz Kantor, above all, was a man who…

Or why the hell it took me nearly a year to publish one damn article.

I started working on the idea of an article about women in tech in Poland pretty much the day after I became the editor of an online publication about tech in Poland. It was one of the main topics I wanted to tackle, but it would end up becoming the most difficult — and taking the longest to finish.

Over the past two years or so, my Twitter feed has been bombarding me with stories and comments on stories about women in the tech and gaming communities speaking out about experiences of sexism and discrimination. And I’ve been bookmarking about half of them, because as a woman in technology myself, it’s a topic that’s obviously deeply important to me. And that’s part of the problem.

These are all the bookmarks I could fit in a screenshot. Trust me, there’s more (and if anyone wants a clickable list, PM me and I’ll be happy to send it over)

When something’s important to me, I don’t want to screw it up. So I collect links, promising myself I’ll read every word of every article I’ve bookmarked, I’ll get all the data and all…

I could live here

“Hello, my name is Anna Spysz, I’m 33 years old, and I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.”

“Hello Anna.”

“Now Anna, what seems to be the problem?”

“Well, I’m really good at, but not great at, a lot of things, and I’m interested in everything.”

“Everything, really?”

“Yeah, pretty much. There’s nothing* I wouldn’t want to learn more about.”

“Well, let’s do the $1 million test. Do you know what that is?”


“I ask you what would you do if you had a million dollars — or in general, if you never had…

The definitive answer for everyone who keeps asking me why I’d rather live in Europe when I could live in the U.S.

Over the decade I have now lived in Krakow, tons of people — mostly other Europeans — have asked me why I’d rather live in Poland (or anywhere in Europe, really) than the U.S., when so many people I’ve met here have said that if they had the ability to move to the States without a visa like I can, they would do it in a second.

Well, this article pretty much explains why. Go ahead, read it in full first. Or if not, here are a few choice quotes:

“Everywhere you look these days, America is…

Anna Spysz

Full stack human. Writer turned web dev & serverless n00b @stackery.io. I am a (digital) nomad, not a farmer. More: annaspysz.com

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