Selena Deckelmann

Selena Deckelmann

COO (Prime Radiant), PostgreSQL contributor


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Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Selena Deckelmann and I'm founder and COO of Prime Radiant. Our first product helps organizations document, share and tweak their processes.

I contribute to PostgreSQL, run conferences, and keep chickens. I also give a lot of technical talks.

What hardware do you use?

I trend toward practical, durable and low maintenance. My current laptop is a 13" MacBook Air. For listening and signaling that I'm busy in cafes, I have Sennheiser HD 280 headphones. For most voice calls, I use a Plantronics DSP470 foldable headset and Skype. I use a Wacom Intuos3 tablet for drawing and sketching. I have a Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 for documents and keeping track of receipts. And a shredder. I usually have a smartphone. My last one was a Droid 3 (before that, a Nexus One). I like phones with real keyboards. For now, I'm using an LG-VX5600, which I'm kind of liking mostly for the lack of functionality. For books, I have a Kindle. For buying stuff, I have Amazon Prime. I carry a 8400 mAh USB backup power charger.

I borrow my husband's iPod Nano. I just picked up a set of Sony MDR-NC11 Fontopia noise canceling headphones for a long plane trip. Hoping they work out! For a general purpose camera, I use a Canon Elph SD1200. My digital SLR is a Nikon D40, with a variety of lenses. I also use a Fujica 35mm film camera with fisheye, portrait and telephoto lenses.

I wear glasses with polycarbonate lenses with an anti-reflective coating. I've worked with eye doctors to improve my vision, which has involved making prescriptions weaker and no longer wearing contacts. I sit facing a sunny window overlooking my backyard and a very large pear tree most days.

I also carry a paper weekly planner for quick notes, and thinking through todo lists. And I get around on a Lemond Big Sky SLT, tricked out with red Chris King headset and hubs.

And what software?

Setup for Mac OS X starts with installing homebrew and then git. I checkout a copy of the PostgreSQL repo from, and have most everything else on GitHub in public and private repos.

For different versions of Perl and for CPAN, I use perlbrew and cpanm. For Python projects, I start with virtualenv. For configuration management, I use Puppet. For deploying into AWS, I currently use cloud provisioner.

I have a checklist for setting up a system from scratch.

My default text editor is Vim, and keep my daily todo list as a text file in a git repo. I have extensions for PGP and SQL formatting installed. I work with tabstop=4 and expandtab on.

I have some custom dotfiles for shell, vim, PostgreSQL and tons of libraries. I use ssh-agent, and have a very large .ssh/config file. People remember my terminal prompts because of this:

export PS1="\u@\h:\W #\! \A \`if [ \$? == 0 ]; then echo \:\); else echo \:\(; fi\` "

For communication, I'm logged into several IRC networks and use bitlbee inside of irssi inside of a screen session on a slice of a VM a friend loans me. And I use Skype daily. My email is mostly using the Gmail web interface, but I'm experimenting with Sparrow. I wish that I could go back to using VM (a mail client for Emacs). I save a copy of all my personal domain email on a remote server. I've had the same domain since 1996.

For sharing music, I still use OpenTape.

Apple's Keynote is the best for presentations, and nothing beats Skitch for quickly sharing screenshots, photos and sarcasm. I'm also using the free version of a Mac pomodoro app for work sessions, and I like it a lot. For writing, I use the WordPress full-page mode, Apple Pages (has a great full-screen mode) or Google Docs, if I'm not just using Vim.

I use Arq for backups, LastPass for passwords, Chrome for my browser and have four users set up inside Chrome to handle business and personal account separation. I also have a set of passwords to things like domain management in a PGP-protected file in a git repo. I grant access to it to a couple close friends, just in case.

What would be your dream setup?

If I really think big, I'd love one of those Misson Impossible in-eye cameras paired with that crazy gloves and glass workstation in Minority Report. With Skitch integration. And a Periera road bike.

In near-term reality, I've been considering a Lenovo X-series, and switching back to Linux for my primary workstation. For now, I tinker with an EeePC with Ubuntu on it, which is my backup system on long trips.