Slack is a major part of how we communicate at work. If you still think it’s just about chat then chances are you’re using it wrong. Other collaboration tools exist and some have similar features but Slack is the dominant choice.

After using Slack, and similar collaboration focused tools, in multiple jobs here are some practices I’ve found that will make it better for everyone. Some of these tips work best in a remote-first, asynchronous environments, but many of them apply to fully co-located teams and companies as well.

There are a lot of different use cases for Slack and…

In my time at Amazon, I’ve observed the way we use documents is incredibly unique. A lot has been written about the six-pager and PR/FAQ so I’m not going focus on document formats, but I wanted to share how our process benefits from document-based meetings. I also have identified some areas for improvement if you are looking to adopt document-based meetings for your workplace.

I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for a while and Jaana’s tweet finally gave me the inspiration to share my thoughts.

Meetings starting with silent document reading is the best idea ever. …

You’ve discovered that Signal can provide you with secure communication from your phone that is cross platform and free!

First of all you may be asking “who makes Signal?” Signal Messenger LLC. is the company that makes the Signal app. They are funded by the Signal Foundation which is a non-profit organization that relies on your donations to make the app free and not have ulterior motives with your data.

The foundation’s mission is

To develop open source privacy technology that protects free expression and enables secure global communication.

The Signal app is all open source on GitHub and their…

I think there’s a rule that any helpful tweet with 10k likes should be a blog post. So here’s mine.

Someone asked me today what it takes to successfully onboard someone remotely. Here’s my wish list as an employee who has been onboarded 100% remote a couple of times

- Justin Garrison (@rothgar) August 21, 2020

My past two on-boardings have taught me a lot about what it takes for me to feel comfortable in a new job. …

How to uninstall and block snapd on Ubuntu

There has been a lot of bad news about snap recently. I’m not a fan, and it looks like other people are speaking out too. Linux Mint has even decided to drop snap altogether.

If you’re looking to drop snap here’s how to make sure it stays off your system.

First check if you have any snaps installed. If you do you should write them down and try installing them with apt.

snap list
No snaps are installed yet. Try 'snap install hello-world'.

Now you’re ready to remove snapd

sudo apt remove…

I’m now publishing blog posts on my new blog. I still might re-publish some of them here for sharing but in general if you want to subscribe to my future content please visit

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Here’s to the people I can relate to. The people that I don’t know but I understand. For those who feel alien because of our past or our present.

Here’s to us who moved because we couldn’t afford to stay. Those who were on the receiving end of church meals and charity gifts. The thrift store clearance shoppers.

Here’s to those of us who never had a role model. With moms in rehabs and dads in counseling. With broken families and hidden scars. Constantly let down and habitually in trouble.

Here’s to the necessity of friends. Overstayed welcomes, dinners, and…

I never would have imagined I would be a part of such an amazing place. Being able to work on technology and help make cartoons kids all of the world love has been awesome.

After four and a half years it’s time to say goodbye to friends and co-workers who have taught me so much! I’m thankful for how this place has changed me and the world through our stories and art.

Keep up the great work and keep moving forward to push yourselves and your craft!

Next week I start a new adventure as a lead software engineer for the infrastructure team at Disney streaming services. It will be a great new challenge I’m looking forward to!

I am not an expert. I have co-authored a single book in 2017 called Cloud Native Infrastructure for O’Reilly Media. Many people have asked me what it was like so I will attempt to explain the process, time investment, and financial incentive here.

This was my experience. If you have written a book, or would like to, I promise your experience will be different. Nonetheless, I hope you can learn something from the things I learned.


The process was about what I expected. I was introduced to Brian, our first of three editors, from someone I knew who was already…

ChromeOS desktop screenshot

TL;DR I’d love if Google made the ChromeOS experience better for professionals but I have little hope they’ll figure it out any time soon given the issues I experienced.

I’ve been using a Pixelbook as my main mobile computer for a little over a month now. I have long wanted to use ChromeOS as my full time OS for a number of years but it always seemed to not be ready. I was finally ready to jump in knowing there would be limitations, but I wasn’t prepared for some of the limitations and bugs I found. Here’s my experience.


Justin Garrison

Trying new things. Breaking stuff. Likes open source.

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