A List Apart



Rachel Andrew

Rachel Andrew is the founder of edgeofmyseat.com, the company behind the CMS Perch. She regularly writes and speaks about the work she does, and can be found via her blog and personal site and on Twitter.

Contributions by Rachel Andrew

  • Creating Process to Free up Time for Creativity

    There’s merit to keeping your small business nimble by keeping process to a minimum. But even in the tiniest one- or two-person operation, it’s plain that not all business tasks are improved by being hand-crafted. Rachel Andrew powers through business routines with checklists that free her mind for more compelling things. Remove friction from the rote tasks, so you can be at your best for the creative work that can only be done you.

  • Software Audits for the Tiny Business

    Routine software audits sound like just about the most boring thing in the world. But losing access to a DNS server, missing important alerts from a developer, or paying for a forgotten service are adventures nobody needs. Often, a contractor or an employee sets up an account or buys software for company use. When that person moves to another role, important license or login information can get lost in the shuffle. Rachel Andrew wants you to love the drab old software audit. It’s your best ally for preventing nasty surprises.

  • On Being King of a Shrinking Castle

    Being your own boss is awesome. You’re the sovereign of your fate—and with that autonomy comes responsibility for making your business thrive. Your time management skills are more important than ever as you continue to get your to-dos checked off. The thing is… if you get an unexpected call from a friend, can you get away from that tyrannical boss of yours to do something unplanned? Are you able to schedule time with friends or family without feeling that you’re falling behind on work? If you can’t afford to take time to strengthen your connections with others, you’re at risk of being the monarch (and the serf) of an impoverished kingdom, indeed.

  • Sass Talk

    Sass. Less. Compass. Grunt. Gulp. If you’re overwhelmed by tools like preprocessors and taskrunners—not to mention all the complex setup advice out there—you might be wondering: can we even write vanilla CSS anymore? In this event from Wednesday, May 6, 2015, we asked a panel of developers to share their stories, strategies, and case studies.

  • Looking Outside

    Partners in a small, close leadership team—such as in a family business—often know each other’s minds very well, and agree on most things. That’s great to keep things running smoothly (though sometimes there’s awkwardness when business disagreements intrude on home life). On the other hand, it can also lead to stagnation. Rachel Andrew is finding that an outsider’s perspective can help when partners can’t quite see eye to eye—or when they agree too much.

  • The Challenge for the Tiny Global Business

    Long ago, a company had to grow to a certain size before it could embark on international trade. With digital goods, that’s no longer so. Learning all the applicable laws and taxes can be daunting, but that’s what allows the small business owner to stay independent as an exporter.

  • The Ways We’ve Changed—and Stayed the Same

    A perusal of the article titles in the seasonal magazine 24 ways shows how the things we’ve needed to learn and keep up with have changed since 2005. Amid all this change, one thing that remains evergreen is the generosity of web people in sharing their knowledge.

  • Managing Feature Requests

    You’re proud of your product, and welcome user suggestions on making it even better. Will you be able to make everyone happy? Should you even aim to accommodate them all? Before you start coding, think about how to prioritize feature requests, and even say no to some.

  • Seeing Past the Highlight Reel

    When we’re physically together, even in public, glances and side conversations help us understand what’s going on below the public personas others wear. But when we’re interacting with friends mainly online, it takes a little more effort to see behind their highlight reels to get the full story.

  • Getting to the Action

    Was that conference worth it? There were smart tips and awesome people. Should you buy a ticket this year? For a freelancer or small business, it can be a significant expense. Wouldn’t it be great to know if the investment in time and money is likely to move the business forward?

  • Lessons Learned by Being the Client

    Great ongoing business relationships are good for both sides. But often developers aren’t in tune with their client’s day-to-day business needs and where their work fits in. And clients’ focus on immediate practicalities can make the developer’s work stressful and unsatisfying. Well, what better way to learn about the needs of the other than by becoming the other?

  • Our Enclosed Space

    We tend to forget that the boots-on-the ground web generalists who do great work for small businesses can’t spare the time to implement an entire suite of best practices when they’re trying to solve one sticky problem on a tight deadline.

  • Making Time for Side Projects

    What’s holding you back from finishing that side project? It’s valuable, but how will you ever find time for it? The secret is…drumroll…real goals and deadlines, and a realistic plan on how to fit it into the open spaces in your schedule. Time to get it on your to-do list and feel the motivation kick in.

  • Your Side Project as Insurance Policy

    You’re never too young and healthy to make sure you can keep income coming in if sudden misfortune strikes. Often our livelihood depends on our physical abilities—such as typing code. Having a product as a side project can offer security if your daily work is disrupted by illness or injury.

  • Does Our Industry Have a Drinking Problem?

    The social events surrounding conferences are an integral part of the experience—and they mostly involve getting together over drinks. But as the industry becomes more inclusive, we gain more people for whom drinking isn’t a good option. It's time to add more ways to party and meet up that give us a chance to network with all of our peers—and maybe even leave us feeling up for that second-day morning workshop.

  • Pricing Underpins Everything You Do

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing—I can now see that many of the difficulties we experienced as a service business could have been avoided with a different pricing model. Yet what was ultimately one of our biggest mistakes gave us experiences we could draw on when deciding on a pricing model for our product.

  • How Do You Go on Vacation?

    The idea that everyone should get time off away from their business, perhaps even completely disconnected from the internet, is a pervasive one.

  • The Local Shops of the Web

    A local shop is part of an ecosystem — here in England we call it the High Street. The owner of a local shop generally has no ambition to become a Tesco or WalMart. She’d rather experience steady growth, building relationships with customers who value what she brings to the community.

  • You Can’t Do Everything

    In any given day I can find myself reading up on a new W3C proposal, fixing an issue with our tax return, coding an add-on for our product, writing a conference presentation, building a server, creating a video tutorial, and doing front end development for one of our sites. Without clients dictating my workload I’m in the enviable position of being able to choose where to focus my efforts. However, I can’t physically do everything.

Browse Authors

  1. Meg Dickey-Kurdziolek
  2. Senongo Akpem
  3. Lea Alcantara
  4. Dean Allen
  5. John Allsopp
  6. Pär Almqvist
  7. Joe Alterio
  8. Brian Alvey
  9. Stephen P. Anderson
  10. Rachel Andrew
  11. Jake Archibald
  12. Chris Armstrong
  13. Lance Arthur
  14. Faruk Ateş
  15. Peter Balogh
  16. Johanna Bates
  17. Dan Benjamin
  18. Scott Berkun
  19. David Berlow
  20. Mark Bernstein
  21. Carrie Bickner
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  23. Mark Birbeck
  24. Alex Bischoff
  25. Niklas Bivald
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  27. Jason Blumer
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  30. Scott Boms
  31. Bert Bos
  32. Maurizio Boscarol
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  305. Trenton Moss
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  310. Tim Murtaugh
  311. Rachel Nabors
  312. Sarah B. Nelson
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  314. Jorunn D. Newth
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  316. Matthew O'Neill
  317. George Oates
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  322. Mark Otto
  323. Nick Padmore
  324. Rick Pastoor
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  326. Jason Pearce
  327. Shane Pearlman
  328. Ross Penman
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  332. Veronica Picciafuoco
  333. Mike Pick
  334. Jack Pickard
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  342. Shelley Powers
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  346. Jim Ramsey
  347. Aza Raskin
  348. Jim Ray
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  351. Sam Richard
  352. Stephanie Rieger
  353. Nick Rigby
  354. Matt Riggott
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  356. Christopher Robbins
  357. Stuart Robertson
  358. Susan Robertson
  359. Rich Robinson
  360. D. Keith Robinson
  361. Jason Rodriguez
  362. Mike Rohde
  363. Pepi Ronalds
  364. Stewart Rosenberger
  365. Lou Rosenfeld
  366. Chris Ross-Gill
  367. Dave Rupert
  368. Andy Rutledge
  369. Richard Rutter
  370. Joseph Ryan
  371. Gian Sampson-Wild
  372. Jason Santa Maria
  373. Cédric Savarese
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  375. Christopher Schmitt
  376. Adam Schumacher
  377. Erin Scime
  378. Paul Sciortino
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  380. Ryan Seddon
  381. Al Shaw
  382. Dave Shea
  383. Peter K Sheerin
  384. Robbie Shepherd
  385. Eric Shepherd
  386. Sophie Shepherd
  387. Nick Sherman
  388. David Sherwin
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  390. Kim Siever
  391. Amber Simmons
  392. Michael Slater
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  394. Kristin Smaby
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  435. The W3C QA Group
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  437. waferbaby
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  454. Victor Yocco
  455. Indi Young
  456. Nicholas C. Zakas
  457. Jack Zeal
  458. Jeffrey Zeldman
  459. Ping Zhu