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Long time, no see. I came to my senses and switched to a self-hosted Ghost site since I'd backed myself into a corner with my homebrew CMS. It was a great way to learn Node.js and to try weird stuff but I eventually wised up to my own folly. Namely:

  1. Rolling your own authentication is hard.
  2. Stumbling into trendy NoSQL/MongoDB management, only to realise thoughtful schemas are definitely your friend, was decidedly unpleasant.
  3. Re-discovering useful design patterns and solutions is edifying—but only up to a certain point.

Roll-your-own angst has been a reliable motif in my online life so I threw caution to the wind and picked a well-supported project. Ghost is a happy medium of fully-baked features and moddable extensions, and these days DigitalOcean makes it dead-simple to set up an instance. My installation is still pretty vanilla but I've liked what I've messed with so far. Still working out some of the kinks (e.g. legacy redirects, documenting my migration process/methods).

What else is new?

I finished my masters at the University of Cincinnati last summer and rolled right into a new gig: data scientist with Clearhead. They're an awfully nice bunch of folks—they let me run the quantitative end of all sorts of UX/UI tests and research projects. Frankly, I'm pleased as punch and look forward to the work I get to do with them every day.

I am also now a proud resident of Chicago, Illinois. My partner decided to pursue her graduate studies here and I was more than happy to follow; a mess of family and friends have roots here and I'm a midwestern boy through and through. Cincinnati was my base for more than fifteen years but I couldn't imagine an easier place to call my new home than Chicago. (That said: it snowed on April 4th and the very concept of the interminable Chicago winter violently struck me about the head. William H. Macy Christ, spring cannot come soon enough.)

All in all, my immediate circumstances are grand. And perhaps most importantly: I now live with this fuzzball.

Matt Policastro

I'm Matt Policastro, a data scientist at Clearhead. I build analyses and software to improve experiences and outcomes. I like bicycles, coffee, and building neat stuff. Welcome to my site.

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