Uses This

1239 interviews since 2009

A picture of Liz Fong-Jones

Liz Fong-Jones

Principal developer advocate (Honeycomb)

in developer, linux

Who are you, and what do you do?

Hi, I'm Liz, and I'm a principal developer advocate at Honeycomb, a company that provides developers with high quality observability so that they can debug problems faster and experience less downtime. I work at the intersection of engineering, marketing, and product, and often collaborate on innovative projects such as with AWS on adoption of Graviton2/3 at Honeycomb, with competitors on OpenTelemetry, and more.

What hardware do you use?

I have quite a few devices:

  1. Because of my chronic fatigue, I work about 2-4 hours per day from bed, where I use a 2017 Pixelbook with Chrome OS for browsing and an Ubuntu container for Linux tasks and SSHing to places.
  2. I spend another 1-2 hours per day in my recording booth for meetings, podcasts, and recorded talks, where I have a tiny 3.3L Mini-ITX computer built on an AMD Radeon 4750G processor, connected with a fiber backhaul for extra reliability. And the rest of my day is spent at my desk. I have connected via a KVM to two 24" 1920x1200 monitors.
  3. My main work device, a Cortex A72-based Honeycomb LX2K (no relation to my employer) in a tiny 4.5L Mini-ITX case
  4. My main gaming device, a Ryzen 5600X-based computer with a RX 6800 graphics card in a suitcase style 9.5L Mini-ITX case with a carrying handle.

Full specs at: https://gist.github.com/lizthegrey/ef5873f0b253fe61125c35f0c9fc1a9f

And 95% of Honeycomb runs on Graviton2 in AWS and uses a second copy of Honeycomb to debug Honeycomb prod, so that's where I'll be debugging and evaluating my experiments!

And what software?

All of my devices are standardized on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa; when 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish comes out, I'll upgrade everything across the board.

Most of my daily work happens in the Slack electron app, Zoom, Chrome (GitHub, Gmail, CircleCI, etc), and Discord. The standard Ubuntu/GNOME terminal works fine, but I've customized my bash with powerline, and use nano as my daily driver editor.

What would be your dream setup?

I think I have it already! My collection of small, modular, purpose-built computers has served me well by enabling me to have the compute I need when and where I need it. I can just shove my devices into a suitcase, pack clothing in around them for shock absorbence, and attach them to existing monitors on the other side if I'm visiting a friend in another city. This also means I avoid being stuck with parts that cannot be modularly replaced, as I would if I tried to get a laptop that could "do everything".

Uses This is supported by ZSA, makers of the Moonlander, ErgoDox EZ and Planck EZ keyboards. They also publish an awesome newsletter.