A README is a document describing how to use a piece of software. Done well, it clearly and succinctly communicates how to work with the code in question.

I recently came across the idea of writing a README not for my project, but for myself; in other words, a document describing how to work with me! What am I like? How do I work best? And more.

In the following text, I endeavour to do exactly this, both as an exercise in self-exploration, and a step towards working more effectively with others in my remote-dominated professional world.

Without further ado, let's begin.

How I type on Slack

I generally type in all lowercase letters and with punctuation. For example, I might send the following message:

heya. how goes? how was your weekend? what are you working on today?

i'm tweaking our model. i should be done this evening. i'll let you know when i'm finished.

My (textual) tone may seem curt and cold. In reality, it's not. Punctuation helps me keep my thoughts organized and speak succinctly. Capitalization is far too much effort for far too little reward.

My communication style

I speak directly in (non-sensitive) professional conversations. I ask questions plainly, e.g. "Why did you make that choice? How many hours will that take? What other solutions did you consider?

In science, explicit communication of hypotheses, methods, and outcomes is crucial. Clarifying questions are sexy. Sanity checks are king. My professional brain lives in this space; speaking directly keeps my feet planted below, and (hopefully!) moves me and my team forward.

When I have energy

I'm a morning person. My most productive technical hours are between 8 am and 12 pm. Ideally, I spend these hours writing code, undistracted. In the afternoons, I prefer talking to others. Ideally, I spend these hours in 1 on 1's, planning, retros, etc.

How to message me

Don't overthink it. I don't bite!

What I look like when I'm thinking

When I'm trying to understand a complex problem, I divert my gaze and stare at the wall for 5-15 seconds. (Conversely, staring directly at the camera clouds my brain.)

When I'm engaged in a technical conversation, my brow is furrowed. I look intense, exacting, prickly.

In both cases, please don't intuit rudeness! I'm focused on clarifying details for myself and my teammates.

How to teach me

At work, I prize learning from others—math, engineering, leadership, you name it—above most else. If you have something to teach me, please do. You aren't bothering me. You're not "preaching." Your wisdom is welcome. Keep it coming.

How to learn from me

If you value what I have to say, let me know. Ask for more. I love to share what I've been taught by others. To pass the torch, if you will! If you're open to learn, I'm genuinely excited to teach.

Anything I missed?

Let me know in the comments and I'll do my best to address.