The people who use our boards.

293 interviews since 2018

Ann Kilzer

Software Architect

Who are you, and what do you do? What do you like to do outside of work?

My name is Ann. I grew up in Montana in the USA, and now am a permanent resident of Japan, living in the Tokyo area. I work as a software architect at Slalom Build, helping Japan with digital transformation. I also volunteer with Women Who Code Tokyo as a director. My hobbies include cooking, hiking, and fine art such as drawing, Japanese calligraphy, and indigo. Art was a big motivator for me to relocate to Japan.

Ann Kilzer's setup
Ramona the cat supervises Ann's work

What hardware do you use?

I have a white Moonlander keyboard, and a Logitech trackball mouse that matches nicely. I have been a Mac user since 2006, and have one MacBook Pro each for personal and professional use.

On my desk I have an IT protection amulet from the Kanda Myojin Shrine. I also set up my cat tree close by to keep the cat from lying on the keyboard. 😨 Her name is Ramona, and I adopted her when I lived in Texas. She’s fifteen years old!

I always keep a paper notebook for to-dos, with a Kaweco Sport fountain pen.

Ann Kilzer's keyboard
An amulet and kitsune watch over Ann's code

And what software?

For software, I am a big fan of Alfred, iTerm2, Notion, VSCode, and emacs. Alfred gives me quick access to saved snippets like emoji and special characters. Terminal app iTerm2 is beautiful and customizable. Notion is like my second brain… I put ideas, inventory of art supplies, hiking plans, and recipes in there. And VSCode is a big part of my work.

For better privacy, I use Ghostery, DuckDuckGo, Signal, and Keybase.

Ann Kilzer's keyboard from above
Ann brought her art and language strengths together to customize her keyboard

What’s your keyboard setup like? Do you use a custom layout or custom keycaps?

It’s really a mash-up of the Japanese keyboard with a few adjustments based on my development needs. When I first got a job here, my company bought us refurbished MacBook Pros, which had the Japanese keyboard. I quickly fell in love with the かな and 英数 keys that allow me to quickly switch input sources. Since I am an emacs user, I need to be ready to type some chords. So the layout allows me to transition easily between my laptop keyboard and the Moonlander.

For customization, I got a nice TRRS cable from Custom Cable Co. in purple. I had some grand ideas about making resin keycaps, but never found the time, so I’ve just written on them with some POSCA paint markers.

What would be your dream setup?

I’d love to eventually get a sit/stand desk, and a second Moonlander for the office. I also want to take more time to customize my developer tooling. A while back I led a Creative Coding session on Developer Tooling, where we customized terminals and edited VSCode Themes. Sitting down to your machine and having a nice, serene look is pleasing. 😊

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