Silhouette of Jason Lengstorf’s glasses and beard.

I’m Jason Lengstorf.

software architect · keynote speaker · occasional designer · mediocre bartender

Super Official Third Person Bio™:

Jason Lengstorf is a principal developer experience engineer at Netlify and the host of Learn With Jason, a live-streamed video show where he pairs with people in the community to learn something new in 90 minutes. He’s passionate about building healthy, efficient teams and systems, and he’s done his best to positively influence the community, leadership, and technical health of open source and companies including Gatsby and IBM. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Teaching a workshop in Croatia.Credit:Web Summer Camp

What I Do for a Living

  • I collect and share knowledge as a keynote speaker, principal developer experience engineer at Netlify, and through my blog.
  • I find brilliant people and learn from them in public on Learn With Jason, a live show where I pair program to learn something new in 90 minutes.
  • I create better teams by focusing on effective working habits, including such world-shattering techniques as “actually taking time off”.
  • I make the people around me more effective by identifying the dirt floors, then helping design ways to remove them.

Me and Marisa in Tokyo.Credit:paint with stars

What I Do for Fun

  • Write. Usually I tell stories about how I used to be a shitbag, and try to share the lessons I learned to make me less of a shitbag.
  • Cook. I love figuring out new ways to create meals, and I love having friends over for a family-style meal.
  • Code. Before it was the way I made a living, I built things for the web for fun. Sometimes I still build silly things on the internet.

Why This Site Exists

Looking tough with my fisherman’s vest, spandex shirt, and studded Hot Topic bracelet.Source:My Mom’s box of shame

I was not a particularly well-adjusted teenager.

I spent a lot of time feeling angry. I was always suffering from some form of (completely imaginary) censorship, oppression, brutality, or unfair treatment.

As you can probably imagine, I wasn’t exactly a happy kid.

I was lucky, though: I had good friends and supportive parents. They didn’t put up with my shit, gave me books to read, and helped push me toward a better outlook on life.

And — despite my recalcitrant asshattery — eventually they got through to me.

I’ve been able to get pretty far in life, and a younger, more arrogant me used to chalk that up to “being a genius” or “working harder than everyone else”. But neither of those statements is true.

Here’s what is true:

I am where I am because I had smart, empathetic people around me. People I could bounce ideas off of; people who recommended books for me to read; people who called me on my shit; people who evolved along with me as I grew up.

Marisa and Nate have always pushed me to be better today than I was yesterday. This is us at the Potluck of Meaning, a benefit dinner for Community Food Centres Canada.Credit:Precision Nutrition

I was lucky, and I want to share a little luck with the world.

Not everyone had access to a great network like that. Not everyone has someone to help push them forward when they might otherwise settle in and think, “Well, this is probably the best I can do.”

I realize that I can’t create that network for everyone. However, I can try to create a space where I’ll do my best to push you to be the best possible version of yourself, and create a channel where you can push me to do the same. And — hopefully — there will be enough of us that we can start to create that network.

I’m not exactly sure how to actually make that happen, but I’m starting with a blog and a newsletter.

If this sounds like the sort of thing you wish you had — or if it’s something you do have, and you’d like to help other people experience it — join my newsletter. Reply to a message. Let’s talk.

Let’s figure out how to connect with people who strive to be better; who push themselves and the people around them; who don’t feel threatened when someone is succeeding — instead they feel energized to go do more awesome shit.

Those people are my people. Our people.

I started this site to find more of my people. Hopefully you’re one of them.

Note: I will never share your email or spam you with nonsense. Because I’m not a dick.