And how you can use it too…

As part-time authors of Mac software, we’ve felt first-hand the pain of managing our own distribution outside the AppStore. That’s why today we’re introducing Bump, an automated pipeline for releasing apps with Sparkle. Bump has made updating & releasing our apps a much smoother process but before we show you how, a little on how we got here.

For macOS developers today there’s two options for distributing your sparkly new app: distributing “officially” via the AppStore or doing distribution yourself.

For those in the latter camp, Sparkle is the de facto framework. It’s reliable, robust, simple to integrate into an…


In between jobs, the only computer at my disposal has been a Windows machine I built for gaming last summer. Until recently I’d only ever used it as a launcher for Steam or Warzone, but now I needed to use it as a development box. For the first time in 15 years or so I was delving into using Windows full-time. Here’s what I did:

Development Environment

Fluent Terminal and VSCode connected to a remote host

Ok, so I cheated. WSL2 seems to hold a lot of promise for Linux on Windows, but after 30 minutes of attempting to set it up I gave up. Instead, I opted for spinning up…


In the changelog notes of Sketch 51, Bohemian Coding quietly announced that Sketch now supports “a URL protocol for adding Sketch Libraries backed by RSS feeds to Sketch”.

At Salesforce, we were eager to make use of this feature as we’ve recently been using our internal design platform Xray to host and distribute Sketch Libraries across the design organisation. Unfortunately it quickly became apparent there wasn’t a whole lot of documentation around this great new feature and so I’ve decided to write up the notes from our implementation here.

There’s only three things you need to automatically sync a self-hosted…


One of the things that I’m always tinkering with is the tools I use to do work. Are these the right tools for the job? Am I as productive as I could be with them?

In this post I’m going to share some designer productivity challenges we faced within Heroku and how we solved them with the broader Salesforce design team in mind.

At an onsite in San Francisco late last year, the Heroku design team set aside some time to discuss how we felt about our current design stack: the tools and products we use everyday to do our…


We’re only a few days in to the new year and I can’t help but feel it’s already been a massive disappointment. As a 13 year old, if you’d have asked me what an article about tech in 2017 would be about, I’d have probably said it would be a list of gadgets fit to kit out your new Mars home with or the pros and cons of the two leading brands of teleporter. The ‘Betamax versus VHS’ for the matter moving generation, of which I would obviously be a part.

But no, the pinnacle of human achievement thus far…


What we’ve learned at Heroku

One of the many things that makes Heroku unique is that about 60% of our employees are remote with the remaining 40% based out of our beautiful office in San Francisco.

When I mention our remote to onsite ratio to friends, I get the same look of incredulity normally followed by a “how does that work?!”. The truth is it works great. We’re productive, communicative, and happy, but that’s not to say it’s easy or without its sacrifices.

Remote working has been part of the zeitgeist recently, as it has increasingly become easier to be productive out of office. After…


This essay was originally written for the January 2016 edition of .net Magazine.

Blame your tools

Looking back to 20 years ago, our workflow for web design relied heavily on creating a hi-fidelity, fixed canvas in Photoshop that would then be mimicked in HTML and FTPd out into the world. Since then, the increasing ubiquity of the internet has changed everything. We now boast a multitude of devices from which to consume, publish and share via apps. From watches to televisions, we’re now never more than a glance away from our beloved black mirrors.

And yet despite our technological progress, our design toolkit…


Bohemian Coding recently released Sketch 3.4 which ships with lots of new features, the most exciting perhaps being ‘local sharing’. Local sharing allows you to quickly grab a link to preview live changes to your Sketch document which anyone on your network can view with a web browser.

There’s one limitation however and that’s that local sharing, as the name implies, only works on your local network. If you want to share your document with a friend or colleague who isn’t with you, Sketch isn’t going to help you out with that.

With a little command line doodling we can…


Back in December, I lamented the lack of social interaction and collaboration that is inherent in the design tools that we use everyday.

In contrast to our toolset we use to make our apps, designing together on Photoshop, Sketch, Affinity or whatever else you’re using, is essentially impossible.

The root of this problem is version control. Git just doesn’t work for our binary files that our tools create. If you move a single pixel in a Sketch document and commit the change to Git, it acts as if you’ve created a whole new file and can’t discern the change you’ve…


With the rise of Git & GitHub, we’re living in a golden age for programming “together”. How long must we wait for the same thing in design?

I consider myself a bit of a dabbler when it comes to development. I love hacking around with stuff with no real goal or purpose. It’s mentally challenging in a different way to design and I find the reward of writing some nice code, or building something, more of an instant rush than the ever-iterating, “it can always be better” approach that doing design as a day job instills in you.

Working daily with both design and development projects for the last few years, it seems odd that the thought only just struck me yesterday: “why is designing for the…

Alasdair Monk

Design @hashicorp

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store