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Adam Wathan

Developer at Boltmade

What do you do?

I’m a software developer at Boltmade.

How do you stay up to date with trends in your industry/field?

Twitter is great for the minute by minute stuff. There’s also a few relevant subreddits I subscribe to, a lot of RSS feeds through Feedly, and about a dozen podcasts that I keep up with.

Best way to stay on top of email?

Switching from using a web client to Airmail has been great for me. I used to be one of those people with 700 unread messages who never archived anything when I managed email from the browser. But using a desktop client has made me get my act together big time, and the interface encourages you to work towards Inbox Zero which is always good!

What are your top five applications or programs?

I spend most of my day writing code in Sublime Text 3 and still love it. It’s extremely powerful and flexible, and I can’t edit text anywhere else. I’m actually answering these interview questions in Sublime right now!

Airmail has been a godsend for keeping up with email. I don’t quite know what it is but having a good desktop mail client has made me much more organized than trying to work from Gmail.

I use iTerm2 for my terminal. Having it globally available via a keyboard shortcut has improved my productivity a lot.

Deckset has been awesome for preparing presentations. I write everything in Markdown already, so being able to prepare slides in Markdown has been awesome.

I use Alfred for app launching and switching, really handy to avoid having to ever reach for the mouse or trackpad. Great for just finding random files on your hard drive too.

What is your best time-saving trick?

I think the thing that saves me the most time is just mastering my tools. I’m always looking for a way to do something quicker or more efficiently. Using software that’s customizable and allows you to write your own macros and map your own keyboard shortcuts is crucial.

One non-tech thing you can't live without?

Music. My dad taught me to play the guitar when I was about 7 years old and music became my whole life for a long time after that. I don’t play as much as I used to but I know I would give up my vision before my hearing in a heartbeat.

What does your workspace look like?

At work we don’t really have assigned desks, so I move around a lot depending on who I’m working with.

At home I honestly work from my couch in the living room. I’ve got desks all over the place and just never use them. Most of my best work has been done with my feet up on the coffee table and some Seinfeld reruns going on the TV.

Structure of your typical day, how do you divide your time?

I get out of bed just in time to be at work for 9am and spend the day programming on whatever client work we’re busy with at the time.

I usually spend a couple hours every night working on some sort of personal project, whether that be an app, a library, writing, or contributing to open source. I spend a couple hours at the gym 2 or 3 nights a week, and the rest of my evenings and weekends spending time with my girlfriend.

What is the greatest piece of career advice/wisdom you've ever received?

Getting out and meeting people in your community and industry. If you are really passionate about what you do for a living, the amount of opportunities you’ll get by going to local events and meeting new people is crazy. I got to fly to Amsterdam this summer and speak at a conference because I spent the time to get involved in the community! That’s not something you’ll ever get to do if you just keep to yourself and put in your 9 to 5.

Who would you like to see featured on Ways We Work?

I’d love to see my friends Declan Whelan of PrintChomp and Colin DeCarlo of Freshbooks on Ways We Work.