Newsletter #29: The Design of Issue 9

Hello Recompilers,

We interviewed Issue 9 designer Hawnuh Lee to learn more about her vision for Hard Times. Enjoy her talent!

Is this the first time you have designed a magazine?

I’ve always been interested in zines and zine culture and the accessibility of the medium has lent itself to my iterative design process. I’ve brought in an illustrative quality to much of my print work and have extended this love of zines to other print media as well. The Recompiler is the first magazine I’ve had the opportunity to totally redesign and love the outcome.

What does “Hard Questions” mean to you?

“Hard Questions” is a topical question for facilitating social engagement right now. While The Recompiler content is geared towards a more tech-savvy crowd, it offers a unifying theme to people of all walks of life. It cultivates conversation around some of these more complex issues and encourages readers to keep the conversation going outside of the magazine.

How would you describe the cover image? What inspired it?

I am, by nature, a surface pattern designer who finds memorable repetition everywhere I look. I use pattern design as a tool to capture narrative and create a unique visual language. I looked at the theme “Hard Problems” and considered the repetitive nature of problem solving – the aesthetics of trial and error to achieve a unified, wholesome solution. I translated this into halves and wholes of a circle, an abstraction of a final solution.

What article excited you the most?

I thought every article really touched on important, innovative topics and felt lucky to get to read the issue working through it. I particularly liked Hard Problems: Mesh Networks [by Diana Thayer and Jamey Sharp] because it beautifully contextualized the necessity of an accessible, reliable network infrastructure in a way that isn’t being spoken about as much as it should be. An important article that should be required reading!

Where else can we find your work and how would someone who wanted to hire you get in touch?

You can find me on Instagram @hawnuhlee or at Feel free to get in touch!


Gladys West and GPS: Black mathematician Gladys West is finally getting some well-deserved attention for her contributions to the development of GPS. Reported by Cathy Dyson for the The Free Lance-Star.

Expert equalization: In addition to all the other prejudicial biases women in science face, women are much less likely to be quoted in news stories about scientific achievements regardless of the gender of the reporter. Author Ed Yong studies his past efforts and creates and a strategy for diversifying his sources. (Atlantic)

Pay to slay. People buy Twitter followers that are actually bots and it more than pays for itself for users and possibly for Twitter, too. Reported by ConfessoreDanceHarris, and Hansen for the New York Times.


The Recompiler Podcast Episode 48: Wouldn’t it be cool if we knewChristie Koehler and Audrey Eschright chat about the Strava’s heatmap, a newish iOS app called Verena, a new Amazon patent to track hand movements of warehouse workers, and how ICE now has a contract to access nationwide license plate recognition date.

Tech Bites Episode 125: The Hiring Line: Get A Food Tech Job: Host Jennifer Leuzzi tries to answer the many emails and messages she receives from people who want to get a job in food tech. In-studio guest Julia Greene, lead line cook at Roberta’s Pizza, wants to know if you need to know how to code. Answering her questions in a mini-job interview is hungryRoot’s Chief of Staff, Zoe Mesirow.

Reply All: #115 The Bitcoin Hunter: Writer Jia Tolentino has a new case for Super Tech Support: where are all those bitcoin she bought six years ago? Hosted by Alex Goldman and PJ Vogt.

Conference Talk of the Week:

AlterConf Berlin 2017: The Hardest Problems in Computer Science by Anjana Vakil

“We need to ‘re-download’ our representations of what people in the world of tech, and computer science especially, but also generally, look like, or behave like, and dress like.”


Stumptown Syndicate (the organization that brings you Open Source Bridge) is looking for board members. Please apply by February 16.

The Python Software Foundation is looking for bloggers. Please apply by March 1.

Upcoming Events:

All conferences have been screened and abide by clear and strict Codes of Conduct.

UX Night School Winter Weekend Intensive
February 17-19: Portland, OR

February 20-22: San Francisco, CA

ACT-W National Conference
April 10-13, 2018: Phoenix, AZ

April 17-19, 2018: Pittsburgh, PA

May 21-22, 2018:  Seattle, WA

DevOpsDays Toronto 2018
May 30-31, 2018: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

June 21-22, 2018: Atlanta, GA

Call for Proposals

Core Infrastructure Fund: Closes March 1

jupytercon: Closes March 6

GopherCon 2018: Closes March 15

Do you know an upcoming conference or CFP that should be included? Email leads us.

Lauren Hudgins (@lehudgins) is a freelance digital strategist living and working in cold, rainy Portland, Oregon. Her essay on Comic Sans and the right of people use whatever font makes reading accessible to them was one of the top 20 most read essays on The Establishment for 2017.

Image credit: Hawnuh Lee

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