The people who use our boards.

Beth Adele Long

Head of Product

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

I’m Beth, a writer and engineer-turned-PM based in Portland, Oregon. I’m currently the Head of Product for, a tech startup building an incident analysis platform to help technology companies make sense of their outages and other incidents. I started with the company as a backend engineer, but one of the great things about a startup is the flexibility to take on new and exciting challenges. When we added the head of product role, I made the leap, and it’s been a lot of fun leveraging my obsession with incidents in a new way.

When I’m not writing product briefs and wrangling roadmap decisions, I write travelogues and essays. On weekends, I might be kayaking or hiking, reading at a tea shop, making a great meal with my family, or planning my next travel adventure.

Beth Adele Long's setup
A mix of digital and analog tools let Beth work under whatever conditions the location offers

What hardware do you use?

I’m currently on the road, working for a month from a cabin in southern Iceland, so I’ll describe my travel setup instead of my home office. This trip has been an experiment in doing true “remote work,” and my setup is still a work in progress.

I’m a minimalist when I travel, and a split keyboard is more bulk and setup than I want, so at the moment I’m just using a MacBook Pro with built-in keyboard for day-to-day work, and an iPad Air tablet with an Apple Pencil for writing and sketching in the field. (Hm, maybe it’s time for the Planck EZ…) I use wired Bose headphones so I don’t worry about the battery dying if I’m in meetings for six hours straight.

I got my Moonlander when I was still an engineer. I was having shoulder problems and wanted to upgrade my mechanical keyboard to a split layout. A colleague of mine (who has, hands down, the best hardware and software setup of anyone I know) recommended the Moonlander, and I fell in love with it. Then as I was in the process of retraining my hands to the ortholinear layout, I switched roles, and suddenly my days were a wall of Zoom meetings instead of hours of typing. I hit pause on making the switch.

A big part of my “hardware” is my analog setup. At home I’m a fountain pen junkie, but I switch to Pigma Microns when I’m on the road so I don’t worry about ink tragedies. My planner is a custom layout that I draw into a plain dot-grid notebook, which lets me easily customize my schedule when I’m traveling and working weird hours. And writing out my schedule by hand every day helps make sure I stay oriented even when I’m jet-lagged and befuddled. Everyone thinks I’m naturally organized, but in fact I’m a hot mess without the systems I’ve designed over the years.

Beth Adele Long's setup, up close
Keyboards are grand, but pen and paper are versatile

And what software?

In the product role, I live in Notion, Zoom, and Google Calendar. I have two main calendars for work: meetings go on my main calendar, which is visible to everyone in the company, and then I use a second, private “Capacity Planning” calendar to help me visualize how much time I’ll need to devote to commitments that aren’t meetings.

When I’m messing around with code, I still use Vim and tmux in a customized setup based on Maximum Awesome.

For my travel writing and essays, I use Ulysses. I’m trying out Buttondown for my newsletter; it’s dead simple, reliable, and has a refreshing personal touch. My personal website is a WordPress site; I’m always telling myself I’m going to migrate to something simpler that I can tweak and deploy myself, and I never quite get around to it.

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

I had started to customize the Moonlander for my Vim/tmux bindings, but I haven’t had much time for coding lately so that project has languished. I’m a language fiend and one thing I’m looking forward to, when I get back to my Moonlander, is adding custom layers to make it easier to type non-English characters, like the Icelandic ð.

What would be your dream setup?

Staying with the travel theme, my dream setup for when I’m on the road would balance portability and performance. I’d need quiet switches so I could type freely anywhere. So probably an iPad Pro with Apple Pencil and a Planck EZ with Cherry MX Speed Silver switches.

Beth Adele Long's setup with a view
We look forward to more beautiful views from Beth's keyboard

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