Andy Jiang

Derp Engineer at Segment

  1. Building a Conversational Interface

    I recently came across this post, “My chat bot found my wallet”, and was inspired to build my own chat bot (copied shamelessly—thanks Adrian!). Here’s what I learned about designing conversational interfaces throughout building my own.

  2. Managing Slack Managing You

    I remember the first time I heard of Slack at the start of 2014. I had never used Hipchat, so the aspect of a collaborative team chat tool didn’t resonate with me. However, I was immediately drawn to the playful aesthetic and ease of use. The attention to detail in the design spoke to me directly. Soon enough, I began looking for excuses to use it.

  3. How to Ship Side Projects

    Working on side projects helps me learn new technologies, improve as an engineer and designer, and exercise my creativity. Through building side projects (which range from the mildly useful to the completely inane), I’ve learned that momentum is paramount to getting things across the finish line (too often my GitHub repos become ghost towns because I can’t decide what technology to move forward with or visualize the final user flow). Here are some valuable solo project management skills that have helped me stay focused to maintain momentum throughout.

  4. Snoobear: Easily manage reddit submissions to multiple subreddits

    Because spamming needs to be easier for us spammers.

  5. Medium-CLI: Publishing to Medium via CLI

    Because writing in markdown and performing commands via the terminal makes me feel more like a hacker.

  6. Everyone is a Designer

    Yes, even you. Yes, you. This past week, I had the pleasure of working with one of the designers on our team. Apparently, design is less about your Sketch skills or how particular you are about your Espresso (though also not completely unnecessary), and more about problem solving. Here is what I learned!

  7. Introduction to Metalsmith

    When I first encountered Metalsmith, I thought that it was similar to Jekyll. It wasn’t until I had worked on two to three projects using Metalsmith that I fully realized its flexibility and power. This post is an introduction to Metalsmith and its extensibility.

  8. Publish to Blog via Slack

    Because I want the future of accomplishing anything with to be here now. Here is how you can setup a blog (hosted by Dropbox) and update it by sending a message in Slack.

  9. Reading Position Horizontal Progress Bar

    I’ve seen this in some of the articles on the Internet—a subtle, horizontal bar at the top of the window that fills up as you scroll down, indicating how far you’ve read. I came across this solution that uses jQuery, but wanted to write one using vanilla JavaScript. Here is the code!

  10. ⚡️ EmojiPacks 🎒 : Bulk Uploading 🌟Emojis🌟 into Slack

    We can all indisputably agree on that the three best things on 🌎 are warm blankets, emojis, and Slack. And when I discovered that I could add my own custom , , and to , it was arguably one of the 🎉 😍 moments of my short-lived life (barely exceeding a close number two, when I discovered this warm blanket). So I built emojipacks, a command line interface, to bulk upload emojis into Slack. Let’s take a 👀 at the code that accomplishes this ✨🌟✨🌟 feat.

  11. Metalsmith-Hover: A Plugin to Show Gifs on Hover

    I have some exciting news to share—not only did I write my first Metalsmith plugin, but also it’s live on my blog! Wewt! I’ll discuss how I went about doing so in this post, so come for the arguably trivial insights and stay for the mediocre gifs!

  12. BottomOfProductHunt: A Look Into the "Product Hunt" Effect

    Product Hunt has become the de facto way to launch and grow your business. I’ve recently had the unique opportunity to have something featured on Product Hunt. Let’s take a look at the traffic numbers behind the fabled “Product Hunt” effect.

  13. Here is a Twitter Profile Banner Template for Illustrator

    If you have a Twitter account, Adobe Illustrator, and have any desire to make a visually appealing Twitter profile banner, then this post is for you.

  14. How to Make a Random Text Snippet Generator in atext

    If you’ve ever written into support at Segment, you’ve probably received an email from one of us with a whimsical “inspirational” quote appended to the end. But how do we keep the footer quotes different each time? We use a special script with atext in order to keep the quotes random and fresh—here is how we do it!

  15. Segment Notifications in Slack via Zapier

    Yes, we all know that Slack is currently taking over the world. Those wise enough will understand that it is better to embrace our soon to be Overlords, instead of putting up futile resistance. This step-by-step post will show you how to receive real-time, easily digestible, customer event data in Slack with Segment and Zapier.

  16. Ladder: Redefining Ping Pong at Segment

    We take things very seriously here at Segment. But nothing is taken more seriously than our ping pong, which explains why we play on a non-Olympic regulation sized table (that sits snuggly above our junior-sized pool table), in addition to our sole use of one star balls. In fact, the Ping Pong culture at Segment is so strong, we even have a dedicated Slack channel for it.

  17. BottomOfProductHunt: The Long-Tail of Product Hunt Posts

    Exactly what it sounds like. Everyday, there are several gems just hiding at the bottom of Product Hunt. This site will only display those posts so you won’t get distracted from the “home runs”.

  18. Nightmare-LinkedIn: Crawling LinkedIn and Creating a LinkedIn API

    LinkedIn in true LinkedIn fashion has shut off its API for developers to use. But that’s ok—we all knew this day was coming! Regardless, the inter webs allows us additional alternatives to programmatically grab the data that we need.

  19. GitHub Social Slack: Posting GitHub User Events in Slack

    Slack is awesome. So is GitHub. Also, GitHub’s integration with Slack is neat, but only sends events on a given repo or organization. How cool would it be if we could send updates based on other users (when someone watches a new repo, forks or creates a repo, deploys something, etc.) into Slack?

  20. #Chipper: Tweet Money Live

    Periscope and Meerkat have brought live streaming to the masses. Mukbang stars in Korea and karaoke stars in China are already making a living via financial transactions over live streaming services (such as Afreeca), but Periscope and Meerkat don’t have this feature.. yet.

  21. Blink: Speed Reading on the Go

    We’ve all heard about Squirt—a tool that allows you to speed read with a technique that minimizes eye scanning, thereby effectively helping you reach WPMs of 1000 (allegedly). Blink is the mobile version of Squirt.

  22. Twapchat: Ephemeral Tweeting with Twilio Picture Messaging and Twitter

    Send pictures to a Twilio phone number, which posts it to Twitter. First 10 people will then get to view the picture before it self-destructs.

  23. Thunkify Non-idiomatic NodeJS Functions

    Yes, thunks are great. But what if the Object or Function that you’re trying to thunkify doesn’t fulfill the idiomatic node.js callback expression function(err, res)?

  24. Pepper Botts: Simplify Your Calendar Events

    A friend recently got in touch with me with a pain that he knew technology could solve. We use Google calendars to schedule meetings, but how great would it be for something to automatically conference us in on our cell phones when the meeting starts?

  25. Intermediate Cron Jobs with Heroku

    We all know that Heroku has made app deployment as easy as git push heroku master (and, indirectly, educating the vast majority of junior junior devs a tiny sliver of git). Heroku even went ahead and built out an ecosystem of tools to help developers easily add services to their apps.

  26. Tech Startup Definitions

    It is easy to get confused with the jargon that is emerging from the rapidly growing startup scene. This post attempts to clarify some terms.

  27. SutterBus: Your Personalized Muni Bus Tracker

    If you take the muni on a daily basis, it can be a hassle checking bus prediction web sites/apps for your various routes and stops to get an estimation of when your next bus will arrive. This app requires one time setup, where you select the bus routes and the stops that you frequently take. It will then generate a unique URL (that you can book mark or save onto your phone) that will display real time prediction data for your selected routes and stops.

  28. How IFTTT, Mandrill, and Twilio is helping me find an apartment in SF

    Anyone familiar with the SF apartment market understands the tremendous pain and frustrations in finding an available lease at a reasonable price. We have all heard and shared war stories of the hourly refreshing of Craigslist and bringing all of your bank statements and necessary paperwork to the open house just to win a chance to secure a lease for an apartment. In true SF-technology fashion, I decided to minimize response time to a new choice apartment listings on Craigslist by wiring together IFTTT, Mandrill, and Twilio to auto respond with an open email and a click-to-call to my phone number and the number in the listing to schedule an appointment.

  29. Phantachat: NodeJS, WebSockets, and Ephemeral Conversation

    In person conversation is fleeting. Words hang in the air for a brief moment then vanish suddenly. All participating members have to be present and aware in order to keep up with the conversation.

  30. Welcome to the A-List

    Recently, a conversation over dinner about personal life hacks without the direct intention of blatant commercialism spawned a neat idea that scratches an itch that us west coast jet setters face occasionally—not only just checking into Southwest flights, but also checking into those flights as early as possible to attain a highly coveted ‘A-list’ boarding group.

  31. Vipassana Meditation: Ten Long Days and a Few Negligible Steps Towards Enlightenment

    You are in a forest, but its possible to leave the forest for a fabled, harmonious land of rolling grassy fields. All you have is a deprecated compass and your walking shoes. One day, you come across a man who claims he can help you fix your compass..

  32. TextMe: A Bookmarklet That Lets You Send Highlighted Text In Your Browser To Your Phone

    TextMe! is straightforward to use: type in your phone number in the field and generate a link that is then dragged to your toolbar. Whenever you want to text yourself something, just highlight it in the browser and click the bookmarklet.

  33. Tips to Become a Winning Financial Analyst

    Like everything in life, navigating the confusing intertwining branches and brambles of the financial analyst jungle is a game. Winning requires steady focus, a strong stomach and disposition, and the expectation that you will get shat on multiple times per day. I have compiled below a short list of tips and tricks to help analysts orient themselves in the fast paced environment, full of egos and death traps that will take the most promising career at the drop of a hat, to ultimately succeed in the race to the top.

  34. The Economy

    We are almost there. Teetering on the edge, straddling the days of our sheltered suburban public education on one side and a world clouded with uncertainty, hope, and discovery on the other. Great, now is the time to finally put to use the hours we spent struggling to attain the ‘outstanding mark’ in penmanship in the third grade, the knowledge we learned while repackaging the analysis of ‘the great gatsby’ from sparknotes.Com for ap lang, and the understanding of complex social dynamics only derived from stomaching one too many middle school dances. Did we ever really know what we were getting ourselves into? What is the long term goal of late night papers and math problem sets?