Friday, December 03, 2021

Friday Links 21-38

Screenshot of a house from the game Townscape
Short one this week. I did catch up with my podcasts, but not many made it to the list.

I found the article series on architecture and devops interesting reads.


Operator's Manual #2: What Does It Mean To Let Others Lead? - with Ali Schultz & Jerry Colonna [Podcast] - “The simplest way to trust is to let go of perfection. If you can allow the team to make mistakes then it’s a lot easier to trust.”

TBM 49/52: Your Calendar = Your Priorities - analysing your calendar a few times a year is a good idea, though I am not sure I like what I would see

The Secrets of Productive Virtual Offsites - Tips from GitHub [Podcast] - now I want to work at GitHub

Scaling the Practice of Architecture, Conversationally - on-going article series about decentralised architecture decisions for autonomous teams

How to Integrate Operations Into the Daily Work of Development  - different approaches to DevOps in teams


Upgrading MySQL at Shopify - quite an effort for only a minor update

You Can't Buy Integration - another article series focusing on integration and how they should be a core focus of your business 

Random Towns

Townscaper Demo - I am sorry for wasting your time already

Jethro Tull - Locomotive Breath | The Story Behind The Song | Top 2000 a gogo [YouTube] - "everybody has do to something for the environment" says man living in a castle with his dog

Johnny lo da todo | Tibidabo Hill Climb | Juan Flecha [YouTube] - I didn't make it this year. This looked like a lot of fun again. 

I can't ride a bike. How fast can Mike Boyd teach me? [YouTube] - It is like watching someone getting into drugs 

A 'Fully Charged' City Built Around Bicycles? | Fully Charged LIVE is coming to Europe! [YouTube] - I got bike lane envy again! 

How Cassette Tapes Changed the World [Podcast] - one forgets that this was probably the first easy portable medium people could record on, this was a catalyst for change

Smart Contract Bug Results in $31 Million Loss - oops

Friday Links Disclaimer
Inclusion of links does not imply that I agree with the content of linked articles or podcasts. I am just interested in all kind of perspectives. If you follow the link posts over time you might notice common themes though.
More about the links in a separate post: About Friday Links.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Friday Links 21-37

Model of Jacques-Yves Cousteau's Calypso
Jacques-Yves Cousteau's Calypso

I am a bit disillusioned with our response to the climate crisis and the pandemic.
So I am focusing on other things like management, nostalgia and urbanism!


Agility ≠ Speed - common misunderstanding well explained

My experience with Re-organising a team - some good tips to keep in mind for the next time

Please dogfood your software interview homework - this are some awful examples. Who would work on a test for a whole day? 

Flickr Engineering Team Vision & Guiding Principles - So many good ideas came and are still coming out of Flickr. I think this is a vision most engineering departments could adapt. 

What’s the Best Meeting Cadence for Different Types of 1:1 Meetings - pretty much common sense 

Don't soften feedback. - work in progress for me

Managing Humans: Michael Lopp in conversation [YouTube] - he is just so reasonable! 


CRISP: Critical Path Analysis for Microservice Architectures - if this doesn't turn you off microservices, I don't know what will 

Why I Hate Password Rules - because they are stupid


The forgotten oil ads that told us climate change was nothing - people are still believing this now

Blah, Blah, Blah, Boom - I am very close to muting "COP26" on twitter


Parking Has Eaten American Cities - especially bad in the US, but also a problem in Europe

Paris to make motorcyclists pay for parking from 2022 - Barcelona should take note, motorcycles on the pavement are a pain and they are not policed at all

Why the Netherlands is the Best Country for Drivers [YouTube] - because driving is not like in the ads 

LA tests Dutch/Japanese pocket communities. Skeptics like it [YouTube] - these are brilliant!  

Half of journeys in Barcelona by car, up 23 points since before pandemic, study says - depressing "6,000 cars per square kilometer in the Catalan capital, twice as many as in Madrid or Paris."

The political economy of car dependence: A systems of provision approach 

Perfecting the New York Street An achievable, replicable plan for a city that’s embracing public space as never before - nice before/after mock-ups. Who could be against this? But clearly people are

Random Models

scalemates: Jacques-Yves Cousteau's Calypso - discovered one of my favourite models on this site, which is quite a treasure for model nostalgics

Sales of eco-friendly pet food soar as owners become aware of impact - "Globally, pets consume about 20% of the world’s meat and fish" with two flexitarians and six animals in the house I am very aware of this problem. Maybe they all should get used to more fish.

Conspiracy Chart - so funny and though so sad

TV tonight: David O’Doherty talks nonsense in new series – and it is bliss - Richard Ayoade on a bike? In the Kent countryside? Sold!

Barcelona Welcome Desk - in case you plan to move here

An instant Amiga or Atari ST in your browser - this is brilliant, no need to unpack my old Amiga

Mask-wearing linked to 53% cut in Covid incidence, global study finds - more surprises! 

Do online social media cut through the constraints that limit the size of offline social networks? - not really

Line length revisited: following the research - this is not about code, but texts

Other Links

Friday Links Disclaimer
Inclusion of links does not imply that I agree with the content of linked articles or podcasts. I am just interested in all kind of perspectives. If you follow the link posts over time you might notice common themes though.
More about the links in a separate post: About Friday Links.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Friday Links 21-36

Cassette tapes cases with saw cuts
Dakou Tapes

The Great Resignation has definitely arrived in mainstream media. 

Lots of good podcasts this time, about career paths, engineering organisations, learning and weird Chinese cassette tape culture. 


Managing Platform Teams: How to Build and Structure Platform Engineering? [Podcast] - interview with Camille Fournier going into details of platform teams

Why all new managers want to quit - I feel you

Why you need an emotional-support network at work - it isn't easy, but identifying peers as support and creating community of practice groups is a start 

Tech Sector Job Interviews Assess Anxiety, Not Software Skills - I think we are doing better at this, but interviews in general are assessing anxiety and you always have to take this into account

Measuring software development productivity - going away from individual productivity to higher level measurements. Very good overview of different areas to measure. 

No-compensation Ratings - ratings are tricky, so is compensation 

The Importance of Writing in Software Engineering [Podcast] - I would argue writing is important in most jobs

Intercom’s Jane Honey on perfecting career paths for product management [Podcast] - I usually just see engineering career paths, so this is a different perspective for other roles


How a couple of characters brought down our site - I would argue a couple of characters can bring down any site 

Etsy’s Journey to TypeScript - this is probably in our future and I am already worried

Deleting Data in a Microservices Architecture - microservices, creating jobs of the future 

How Two Interns Are Helping Secure Millions of Lines of Code - the disadvantage of choosing new languages: all the tools have to be created again 

Test Desiderata - properties for good tests according to Kent Beck

Backroom/Frontroom to Smooth Releases - decouple code deployments from feature deployments, through feature flags for example


Why remote working in Spain is once again a thing of the future - good intentions going wrong 

Mindful employees are more likely to experience self-control depletion as a result of “surface acting” at work - mindfulness at work is on my list of things that I am highly sceptical about. Good to see studies about this. 

Kim Scott (Author of Radical Candor) on How to Get Sh*t Done Fast and Fair in the Workplace [Podcast] - feedback and inclusion

This insane tech hiring market [Podcast] - I am still suspicious about this being true for all companies, but still a good episode 

The Great Resignation


Putting on my hacker hoodie to View Source - Google & Apple are currently fighting about who will inherit the evil empire crown from Microsoft 

Make your monorepo feel small with Git’s sparse index - nice, this was a problem in a previous job

From the Top: Building Zwift [Podcast] - cool insight in building and growing Zwift


Few willing to change lifestyle to save the planet, climate survey finds - surprise!

So wird das nichts mit der Verkehrswende [German] - Germany still being a bit rubbish at everything that isn't a car

45 Min Vorfahrt fürs Fahrrad? | Themenwoche 2021 [Video, German] - this is quite scary at times

The hidden climate costs of America’s free parking spaces - less parking = more space for people and fewer cars

It started with 5 families. Now hundreds are biking to school together in Barcelona - this Spanish initiative is spreading through the media at the moment. Seeing kids cycling always make me happy and hopeful for cities.

The Top Ten Bikes in Amsterdam in 2021 - what you expect, but with pretty pictures

Mobility protests in the Netherlands of the 1970s: Activism, innovation, and transitions - study about the effects of the protests

The bikelash paradox: how cycle lanes enrage some but win votes - people love the change once it happens, but never before

Random Tapes

Mixtape: Dakou [Podcast] - one of my favourite podcasts is making a series about cassette tapes, this one is especially good. I never heard about Dakou.

#123 William Irvine: How To Live a Stoic Life [Podcast] - This is the first podcast about stoicism that I liked. 

Paella, ‘icon of the Mediterranean diet’, given protected status - probably the best one-pan dishes 

Beating the To Do List [Podcast] - I am a "productivity enthusiast", but definitely with low expectations of change

How to stop languishing and start finding flow | TED Talks Daily [Podcast]

Slow, Life-sized Travel - a conversation with Carl Honoré Ep 19 [Podcast] - life-sized travel: we are flying halfway around the globe to spend a couple of days in a coffee shop or bar

Have a chill time moving house in Unpacking, out now - tidying without getting up ... brilliant 

Google News to return to Spain - finally! Until then just use 

#122 Robert Cialdini - The Principles of Persuasion [Podcast] - influence not manipulation

Backblaze Drive Stats for Q3 2021 - so I keep posting them because I am fascinated by drive failures, not because I care

Ti TMS0119 - single-chip calculator (1971) : weekend die-shot - another weird blog I follow, but now I discovered through this, which is lovely

Friday Links Disclaimer
Inclusion of links does not imply that I agree with the content of linked articles or podcasts. I am just interested in all kind of perspectives. If you follow the link posts over time you might notice common themes though.
More about the links in a separate post: About Friday Links.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Friday Links 21-35

Scrabble tiles
Scrabble tiles
Some long reads this week. The one about longtermism and "Great Attrition" are very interesting. 


Ratings as Incentives - I once worked at a place doing the 1-5 ratings, with additional rules that acted as weird incentives. I liked the idea, but it failed in reality.

Experimenting with Focus Weeks and Mob Programming - I still haven't tried mob programming, but then I never got into pair programming either

You can be directive without being a jerk - lots of good tips from Lara Hogan as usual

Squad Health Check model – visualizing what to improve - I came across this and the next one for some reason, interesting approaches to assess teams

How to Create a Team-Health Assessment for Engineering Organizations  - another assessment strategy

The Art of Growing Up: Using the Challenges of Leadership to Attain Radical Self-Inquiry [Podcast] - interview with the coach guy from reboot

Why nobody hires junior developers and what happens next - it is a vicious cycle


‘Great Attrition’ or ‘Great Attraction’? The choice is yours - tricky time for employers and even worse if you don't understand what employees want

Has England gone back to the office? [Podcast] - yes and no

Our work went fully remote - Ask Me Anything! [Podcast] - could we stop asking people who have a vested interested in this? 


Analysis: Fuel-duty freeze has increased UK CO2 emissions by up to 5% - UK freezing tax on driving and flying just around COP26

The $3.50 go-anywhere ticket to fight climate change - this is great, and better than free for all transit in my opinion


Data on Bike Parking in Barcelona - pretty amazing how many dare or have to leave their bike outside in Barcelona. 

A bordo del "bicibús": cientos de alumnos desafían a los coches para ir a clase pedaleando [Spanish] - article about the "bicibus" an bike to school initiative for kids in Barcelona

Busy yet Friendly? Explaining Barcelona’s Av. Diagonal [YouTube] - our office is on this road, the worst thing is that the type of bike-lane changes every few hundred meters

Inside the New Plan to Make Paris ‘100% Cyclable’ - Paris is the rising star of urbanism

Random Words

Word of the Day: procrastinate - one of my favourites 

Drive Failure Over Time: The Bathtub Curve Is Leaking - drives are improving, especially at the beginning of their lifetime 

Cycling notes: the pros and cons of braking with the heel – archive, 1896 - before the disc vs rim brake wars

Learning the ropes: why Germany is building risk into its playgrounds - I never thought about Germany as trying to encourage risc taking

Against longtermism - I hear a lot of positive stuff on longtermism, this puts it into perspective 

Anthony Fauci Could Use a Day Off [Podcast] - cool interview with Fauci

Friday Links Disclaimer
Inclusion of links does not imply that I agree with the content of linked articles or podcasts. I am just interested in all kind of perspectives. If you follow the link posts over time you might notice common themes though.
More about the links in a separate post: About Friday Links.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Friday Links 21-34

Lego Cassette
Lego Compact Cassette
Catching up and dreaming of a four day work week. 


The Sabotage List - nice idea to collect the stuff you are probably not going to do for reasons

Always do Extra - if you have slack, do extra, not more of the same

How to Understand the Power Structure [Comic] - funny :-) 

How Amazon Raised the Hiring Bar and Leveraged Narratives for Decision-Making (with Colin Bryar, Former Amazon VP) [Podcast] - interesting, but most things probably don't apply to my or your job 

Want a More Productive Morning Routine? “Pay” Yourself First - I have to work on this, though I already improved a bit. "No mobile before work" for example. 

That Burning Feeling When You’re Right - being right alone is not enough


Lessons from 10k hours of programming [Podcast] - this is a fun discussion about learnings from too many years of programming 

Incident Review and Postmortem Best Practices - some good practices and ideas for incident reviews

Dungeon 251 - talking about the "Second System Syndrome"

A complete guide to code reviews - very good overview ... you have to figure out what you want to optimise for 

Worst Case - planning for worst case AWS outages 

The Original Remote Developer [Podcast] - fun story about Paul Lutus the developer of Apple Writer


You Can Now Directly Read Data Logs From Tesla Vehicles (Jalopnik) - this would be even nicer if it would really be open

Adventures in Amiga land part 1 - so great people are still writing code for the (virtual) Amiga

Security Risks of Client-Side Scanning - Schneier provides some more context

Try Out YJIT for Faster Rubying - Ruby gets a bit less slow 

Using Machine Learning to Predict Hard Drive Failures - not very useful at this time

The European Parliament Voted to Ban Remote Biometric Surveillance - go Europe!


Make the most of hybrid work with Google Workspace - some new and old features from Google to improve hybrid work

Set aside time for focus in Google Calendar - did we really need a pandemic for this feature?

Remote teams will always need in-person interaction to succeed - interesting to see this from a company that is quite vocal about remote 

Could a shorter workweek be in your future? - I can't imagine it working for myself, but this will come 

Desigual workers vote in favor of 6.5% pay cut in exchange for four-day workweek - I take up to a 20% cut, no problem

Does the 4 Day Work Week Really Work? Gallup and real companies have the true answer.  - interesting stats, but then it derails a bit


UK public now eating significantly less meat - still too much though

What made us doubt climate change? [Podcast] - lies

Updating our ads and monetization policies on climate change - Google is doing something about the lies. See also Google and YouTube will cut off ad money for climate change deniers


Vision Zero Reporting - I hope this catches on in the international media

The +1/-2, biking to a suburban hardware store challenge, in Barcelona! [YouTube] - Barcelona didn't do so well 

Barcelona’s ambitious plan to transform the city for pedestrians and green space - slow moving plan

Europe’s best walking cities: Six wonders of the wandering world - I thought Barcelona be on there, but while it is walkable it isn't nice with all the cars

Random Lego

Lego to remove gender bias from its toys after findings of child survey - nice ... this should be normal

Teen Spirit: Nevermind at 30 [Podcast] - maybe I am just a bit too old, but I never really got into it. Rereading Generation X is on my list though.

In Place of War: Around the World in 80 Raves - Techno for a good cause

Puppy perks: should workers get three weeks of paid leave to bond with a new pet? - yes please, but also at least two months per puppy and consecutive if you have more at once

Intro to Cassette Recorder Operation, Maintenance, and Repair - this will be useful in the future. I still have two decks to fix

On an Endless Loop: Tracking the Cassette Renaissance in 2021 - fun to see the new kids joining

This makes a change - a Boombox with a unique feature [YouTube] - I seem to have developed an addiction to tape changers

When Facebook went down this week, traffic to news sites went up - interesting

Other Links

Friday Links Disclaimer
Inclusion of links does not imply that I agree with the content of linked articles or podcasts. I am just interested in all kind of perspectives. If you follow the link posts over time you might notice common themes though.
More about the links in a separate post: About Friday Links.