Nathanael Silverman

Hello and thank you for visiting my personal website. 👋🏻

A few words about me from me: I'm a pretty nice dude. Aww dude, thanks for saying that. You're welcome dude. I live in San Francisco. I like sci-fi and fantasy novels. I'm trying to liberate myself from the illusion of the self. I tend to write about how difficult it is to write, and post on social media about quitting social media.

I'm happily employed by Specto. I'm a software developer: basically I tell computers what to do while they try their best to misconstrue my instructions and crap out. Previously I worked at Airbnb, Life360 and my own company.

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If you give me your email I will add you to my altar. If you are one of the first 1000 subscribers I will send you a personal message—probably of gratitude, we'll see. I will also email you when I do things I deem newsworthy. This will happen rarely or not at all.


December 3, 2020 — Belay: Robust Error-Handling for Kotlin and Android

As part of my work at Specto, I open source and write about Belay, a Kotlin library to help find bugs and avoid crashes.

2020 — Kind Speech

Kind Speech logo I create Kind Speech, a digital home to counteract advertising and voice the contrary idea that we are already good enough as we are:

December 21, 2019 — Droidcon: Implementing a Design System

I talk about Airbnb's Design Language System, its Android implementation and the various tools that relate to it.

December 5, 2019 —KotlinConf: Lona: Scaling Server-driven UI

As part of my work at Airbnb, I talk about server-driven UI with my colleague Laura Kelly. We present the Kotlin-based framework used internally at Airbnb and go over some challenges and solutions. People post cool sketchnotes about it.

April 13, 2018 — Paris: Define and apply styles to Android views programmatically

As part of my work at Airbnb, I open source Paris, an Android library to define and apply styles programmatically to views. It is well received by the Android Developer community on Reddit and garners 1k+ stars on GitHub.

August 6, 2017 — Why I Traded My TV for a Turntable

I write about taking a break from TV, feeling great about it, then relapsing after 7 weeks and eventually deciding to get rid of my TV altogether. I post my article on Hacker News and reach the frontpage. Someone calls me a hipster for getting a turntable. ☮️

2016 — Robin

I work on a side project with a couple of friends. We launch a safety monitoring app for Android with a grand vision: to help seniors live at home and their caregivers feel at ease. We apply to the Expa Labs startup incubator and reach the final interview stage. We don't make the cut. We eventually abandon the project.

April 26, 2016 — How a Small Slack Feature Helps Reinforce Life360's Company Values

A thumbs-up emoji.
Art by Amanda Clark.
As part of my work at Life360, I write about leveraging Slack reactions and a custom bot to show appreciation and promote company values like respect and accountability.

2015 — Next Fitness

I work on a side project with a designer friend. We launch a personal training app for Android with a grand vision: making workout recommendations tailored to each individual based on the successes of similar users. After iterating for a few months my motivation wanes and I slowly give up. Sorry Tyler. 😬

November 8, 2012 — The Best Time to Post on Hacker News

I write about the best time to post on Hacker News based on data I've collected via web scraping. My conclusion is that 9 to 10AM EST is best. I post my article on Hacker News at 9AM EST and reach the frontpage. Sweet success.

October 21, 2012 — Don’t Worry About Your Productivity, Worry About You

I write about a personal insight: that while excessive media consumption is bad for my general productivity, it is even worse for my well-being. I post my article on Hacker News and reach the frontpage for the very first time. Yay!

March 10, 2011 — NASL Application of MoMaN

An organization I co-founded, Cyber Nation, sponsors StarCraft 2 players. The North American Star League is selecting participants by asking players to submit a video where they answer a series of questions in order to gauge fan interest in the players. I help record and produce MoMaN's video. It blows up, gathering 70k+ views, and he becomes part of the 50 players invited to participate.