In an effort to explore the talent in our community, Devanooga is doing a “How I Work” series of articles akin to the series Lifehacker produced in the 2010s. If you would like to be a part of the series, submit a PR with the questions answered or contact one of our moderators.


William Valadez

Devanooga username



Director of Engineering


Chattanooga, TN

Current daily computer

Thinkpad P53

Current mobile device

Oneplus 8 Pro

One word that best describes how I work:


What apps, software, and/or tools can’t you live without?

weechat/wee-slack, bash, emacs, puppet, terraform, ad blocked browser

What is your best time-saving shortcut?

ctrl+r in bash

What is your workspace setup like?

Standing desk, single monitor, mechanical keyboard, MX Master series mouse. Minimal stuff on my desk (no papers) and next to a window facing out.


What do you listen to while you work?

Mostly a classical mix since it’s less distracting but sometimes Rush. I prefer not to listen to music I otherwise normally listen to.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret?

Deciding what work to do and by extension not doing work that I don’t think is immediately worth my time. Many tickets get closed because they’re already fixed/invalid or the person filing no longer cares. If you do have to work to make sure it’s something automated, or even better, something that the person asking can do themselves in the future.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Vendors are the enemy, treat them as such. Clients are the same, but need to think you’re their best friend.

What is some advice you would give to yourself earlier in your career?

Everyone fakes it till they make it and rock stars are almost always full of it.

Anything else you would like to add?

Emacs is the one true and good editor.