Hi, my name's Curtis Blackwell and I like ๐Ÿ goats ๐Ÿ.

I also build software for the web and got started in 2007. Now-simple tasks like adding drop shadows looked a lot different back then. It meant we had to create images in Photoshop then slice, export, and background-repeat 1px ร— ~10px PNGs for each side and corner back then. No fancy box-shadow luxury for us in the twilight years of that saucy HTML4 + CSS2 gloss.

Lately I've taken on more leadership roles in my work. Since joining Highland in January 2018, I:

  • got an established dev team to learn and embrace Laravel's and Vue's conventions,
  • created a framework for collaboratively defining development standards,
  • organized a biweekly, all-dev meeting where we conspire to make our work better,
  • mentored other developers,
  • led a team in using Shape Up to unanimous delight,
  • supported my product manager in her work using Thinking in Services to uncover and solve for gaps in a complex project (I'm convinced Thinking in Services is the next big thing in strategy and service design), and
  • helped co-workers get a DEI working group off the ground (and kept it alive after they took new jobs elsewhere).

A unique blend of empathy, insightful criticism, a low tolerance for unpleasant working experiences, and the tenacity to improve my environment and the surrounding ecosystem make me an invaluable team member.


Outside of work, I enjoy casual and strategy gaming, listening to and making music, mixing and drinking cocktails, and going for meandering walks with my partner.

Featured Writin's

2021.10.30

Slow and Deliberate

In The Hatchet, the protagonist uses a makeshift spear to catch fish. First, he tries holding the spear above water and stabbing desperately at every fish he sees. He runs out of energy and is forcedโ€ฆ

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2021.11.09

My Work, Distilled

I solve puzzles. That may look like observing people work and translating their frustrations into solvable problems. Or maybe designing a solution for someone else to encode in software. Or even writing the code myself. Sometimes it's identifying and...

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2021.10.24

Gettin' Better without Ron Funches

A little over 2 months ago, I admitted to myself that I'm burnt out. That I've been burnt out for a long time, maybe even several years. I recently ended a month-long leave of absence to start my recovery process. I started re-learning how to be a...

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