Hi! I’m Chelsea Troy.
I work as a Staff Engineer at Mozilla. I spend most of my time there on safeguarding data integrity and model integrity at scale, in prod.
I also run RigorWorks.
RigorWorks is a small collective of technologists. We serve clients who are saving the planet, advancing basic scientific research, or providing resources to underserved communities. We have backgrounds in the hard sciences and in activism. We’re particularly sensitive to the challenges of being a grant-funded or nonprofit organization that might have inconsistent funding for development work, and we have experience helping the org make the most of those resources and smooth over resource gaps.
All of us at RigorWorks are from marginalized backgrounds. RigorWorks projects span the stack in mobile development, web development, and machine learning.
We don’t have a website. We probably won’t have a website :). Most of our clients either found us from my blog or came through referrals, which is helpful for a couple of business reasons.
If you’re interested in seeing some of the work, you can watch me live code for clients on the Zooniverse Citizen Science Mobile App, the NASA Landsat Image Processing Pipeline, and the Scottish Gaelic Tattoo Handbook App. Here are some more posts about work I’ve done for clients. (By the way, one of the ways we smooth over the resource gaps is that we find companies to sponsor the live streams, blog posts, and tutorials that we make from client projects. If you work for a company that likes our mission or wants to sponsor one of our clients or teaching materials, please reach out!)
I teach in the Master’s Program in Computer Science at the University of Chicago. I wrote this series on designing the Mobile Software Development course. Apparently people liked because someone made a table of contents for it on their own blog (woo!). Student reviews of this course are more dear to me than any award I have ever received.
I also teach Python Programming. The interactive online textbook is a publicly available work in progress, designed to support all five learning styles (watching, listening, reading, trying, and experimenting). MASSIVE acknowledgments on this work go to the entire MPCS Python Programming instructor slate for their prior work on these topics, and MORE acknowledgments to my inimitable course staff for their work writing descriptions, examples, and unit tests for the exercises. These people rule. I couldn’t have done it without them.
I also teach workshops: chiefly I do this for O’Reilly, but occasionally I’ll also do one for an extremely well-run conference like RubyConf, DDD, or Strangeloop. The two I give right now are called Tackling Technical Debt: An Analytical Approach and Analyzing Risk in a Software System. Whenever I make a new one, I playtest it a few times before I ever sell tickets, and folks attend for free in exchange for their unvarnished feedback. I usually fill these playtests by putting out a call on Twitter with a sign-up form. That’s the spot to watch if you’d like to participate in one of those.
I mentor formerly incarcerated technologists through the Emergent Works program and Justice Through Code program at Columbia University’s Center for Justice. We’re always looking for more mentors and sponsors, so get ahold of me if you think you might like to get involved.
Finally, I’m a host on the podcast Greater Than Code. Catch me there approximately monthly.
I write this blog, clearly. It recently crossed 400 posts, 40ish of which are even pretty good 😉. I tell everyone I’ll retire at 1,000 posts. Everyone responds “No, you won’t.” People frequently think I’m joking, but I’m not.
I wrote a book called Remote Work Sucks (the title is kind of a trap—order here) and did an audio version of my Leveling Up blog post series (here). Patreon subscribers get audio recordings and videos as I complete them. You can become a patron here (yes, I like birds. Ask any of my students).
In the Before Times, I organized two conferences: PromptConf and ORD Camp, both in Chicago.
This year (2022) both of those conferences are on indefinite hold pending pandemic proceedings. So instead, this year I’ll be organizing RailsConf ’22 in Portland and coordinating workshops for Chicon 8 (this decade’s Chicago edition of WorldCon).
I also speak at conferences with some regularity. Check out the talks category to see videos, transcripts, and recorded Q&As from some of my conference talks. Check out my speaking page to see which talks I’m proposing to conferences right now. I have attempted to keep updated “catch me at these conferences” lists on this blog in the past, but I tend to fail at keeping them updated, so once again I’m afraid I have to refer you to my Twitter for the hot goss on where I’ll be.
If you want me to come to your conference, you can reach out to me about giving one of the talks or talk proposals listed here.
Not Work Related
I fling barbells around for fun. I sing in a punk rock acapella group. I drive an electric cafe cruiser named Gigi. I’m very gay. I have a weak spot for vanilla lattes and my e-cruiser, both pictured here:
I’m gonna switch to talking about my views on code for the rest of this page. If you still wanna hear about me as, like, a person, here’s the most recent AMA I’ve done.
I’m head over heels for software engineering.
That brings with it a couple of things:
- A commitment to rigor. You’ll see that reflected in how I write code and how I write about code. The data science, Android, and iOS posts exemplify this.
- A begrudging determination to make this industry a better place. You’ll see that reflected in posts about management and leadership in tech, as well as in this never-ending series designed to help folks level up as engineers on their own.
If you’re interested in working with me, you can reach me at chelsea at chelseatroy dot com. If you mention this blog, I’m about a hundred times more likely to respond :).
I also keep my instagram public. Major themes: gross post-workout photos, artwork progress pics, and gushing love letters to the city of Chicago.
All of my blog, and any code it references, carries a creative commons ShareAlike license (CC by-SA).
There are basically four terms you can mix and match in a license:
- Attribution (credit the creator—almost all licenses automatically carry this term)
- ShareAlike (anything using this must carry the same license as this does)
- NonCommercial (don’t sell anything using this)
- NoDerivs (don’t adapt, modify, or remix this)