Friday, June 04, 2021

Friday Links 21-21

mountain bike in front of bench and mountains
#WorldBicycleDay
Some new articles about remote work. This is becoming interesting for a lot of companies now, as office are reopening and employees are wondering what it will mean.  

Also some good thinking about testing and how to embrace your personality as a leader.

Management

TBM 23b/52: Cognitive Load "“My head hurts” is valid. It is a signal."

Do you know your communication style at work? Take our quiz to find out - silly quiz, but apparently I am dominant

Your Insecurities Aren’t What You Think They Are [Podcast] - embrace your insecurity, they might give you a kick in the bum 

#112 Adam Grant: Rethinking Your Position [Podcast] - try changing your mind, often

Conway’s Law - good summary on this

TBM 21/52: Building Stuff to Close Deals - OK sometimes, but not as a rule

Product Ownership Evolution Model (mit Tim Klein) [Podcast, German] - about the roles of product owners

What How Why - Ron musing about why he is doing what he is doing and about Scrum

Remote Work

Remote-first vs. remote-friendly: what's the difference? - and not just remote-only

Employees Are Quitting Instead of Giving Up Working From Home - some do

Don’t Let Employees Pick Their WFH Days - good point. You have to focus on what you want to gain from WFH & days in the office and make the best of both. 

"32% of employees say they never want to return to working in the office. [...] . At the other extreme, 21% tell us they never want to spend another day working from home.

The empty office: what we lose when we work from home - a bit long winded and weird

Engineering 

On the Diverse And Fantastical Shapes of Testing - Martin Fowler on testing

Testing in the Twenties - Tim Bray on testing

Early learnings from an engineering manager on a fully remote team - long post and a good summary on how to approach it

GitOps is a placebo - I wouldn't go that far, but it certainly isn't anything new

Uptime Monitoring: A One-week Project, a Decade In the Making - nice write-up of this new feature and how it builds on previous work

Technology 

Have I been Pwned goes open source, gets FBI data feed - curious to see what comes next

Police find bitcoin mine using stolen electricity in West Midlands - not illegal yet

US Soldiers Expose Nuclear Weapons Secrets Via Flashcard Apps - oops

Producing a trustworthy x86-based Linux appliance - tricky, but possible

Ruby For Good - I plan to donate some of my skills, but probably not my lacking Ruby ones

Cycling

World Bicycle Day 3 June - the bicycle day that is not on drugs

‘It’s the journey, not the destination’: cycling writer rolls out on 4,900km odyssey - what a dream trip

Cycling is ten times more important than electric cars for reaching net-zero cities - and it makes cities nicer for people

‘Barcelona wants to become a 100% cycling city’ - and a nice city, there is still a bit room to improve

Wheelie interesting Maps trends for World Bicycle Day - insights from Google Maps

Environment 

G7 nations committing billions more to fossil fuel than green energy - no surprise at all. I blame Germany.

Urbanism

How Parking Destroys Cities - I confess a while back I never though of this, but now I am just annoyed by the rows of cars everywhere when space in cities is so rare. 

Congestion in highways when tolls and railroads matter: Evidence from European cities [PDF] - paper on highways expansion in cities, congestion pricing and transit policies

Our findings confirm that the induced demand is considerable smaller in cities with road pricing schemes and congestion decreases with public transportation expansions..

We can’t beat the climate crisis without rethinking land use - we need liveable cities

The evidence is in: low-traffic neighbourhoods are popular - the opponents are louder though

Random

Forbes Announces Its First-Ever “50 Over 50” List, A Definitive Lineup Highlighting Women Shattering Age And Gender Norms - this is great on many levels and not only because I am old

Anti-vaccine lies get more bizarre by the day - at least they are entertaining for the rest of us

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 leak - could this be my next laptop?

Any amount of alcohol consumption harmful to the brain, finds study - poison is poison, even in moderation

American Airlines joins Southwest in delaying return of alcohol sales - poison on a plane

Classic Cassette Tapes Are Making a Comeback - top tip: don't follow his blog, it is abyss of nostalgia 

German voters’ view of personal wealth causes problems for the left - I already believed that most people think they are richer than they are, but apparently the rich also think they are middle class. In the US everybody is obviously a potential Millionaire 

Amazon Prime Is an Economy-Distorting Lie - but also: so convenient. 

Pay Transparency: Commission proposes measures to ensure equal pay for equal work - this could make the job market of the future in Europe quite interesting. 

Donating My Time to Grow a VC-Funded Company: Why I Quit Mentoring at Plato - I kind of expected them to be paid. I never joined though. 

‘Who are we performing for?’: Will McPhail on the strange art of small talk - smalltalk is indeed a performance and I am rubbish at it

The NGO working a 28-hour week - I want this!

English councils start banning smoking outside pubs and restaurants - I wonder if I should start a health / teetotal sectuon

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, May 28, 2021

Friday Links 21-20

Sonar 2003
Spotify and Shopify are publishing some good articles on technology and management recently. Also some good news for the environment.

Management

Achieving Team Purpose and Pride with Scrum - how one team at Spotify improved their team with Scrum

Who's the Boss? [Podcast] - about giving employees the freedom to express themselves at work

Key Remote Work Statistics to Keep in Mind in 2021 - nothing surprising, the rest of 2021 will be interesting to watch

How to Bust Bias at Work [Podcast] - good ideas on this

Engineering 

Create your own journaling app without writing code - pretty amazing what can be done without coding nowadays 

Deconstructing the Monolith: Designing Software that Maximizes Developer Productivity - Shopify doing a modular monolith

Other Driven Developments - more of a fun post. I am sometimes using Jenga Driven Development

Role Management at Slack - first rule of role management: there is always a special case

Technology

Chia has grown almost 1 exabyte (974PiB) in the last 24 hours. The scale of this is hard to comprehend - still burning the planet

New cryptocurrency Chia blamed for hard drive shortages - burn the planet and steal our disks!

The reality behind NFTs [Podcast] - it is a stupid idea

objective or biased - "On the questionable use of Artificial Intelligence for job applications"

Colemak - do we need another keyboard layout? ... nope. A bit surprising that the number are always layout in the same way

Google revives RSS - not really, also: it was not dead

Urbanism

Can Removing Highways Fix America’s Cities? - yes

People Walking And Cycling Spend More In London’s Shops Than Motorists - I think everybody knew that, right? 

Cities that better serve women cyclists have more bicycling overall, a study suggests - Apparently if you don't ignore 50% of the population your overall group is bigger? Que surprise! 

Trouble in cyclists’ paradise: Amsterdam accused of favouring pedestrians - as much as I like bicycles, you should favour pedestrians 

On your bike! Ed Miliband on Britain’s much-needed cycling revolution - the old story: boy meets bike, boy falls in love, boy becomes obsessed by urbanism 

Ignore the naysayers – low emission zones do work - naysayers are just loader

Environment 

I always thought that people will start suing for clean air at some point, this was a good week

Smoking ban on four Barcelona beaches comes into effect this weekend - oh yes please

Petition calls for smoking ban on all Spanish beaches - even better!

Asthma in toddlers linked to in-utero exposure to air pollution, study finds - more court cases in the future 

Richest nations agree to end support for coal production overseas - nice, but the time-line is depressing

Random Techno

Daft Punk Is Staying at My House, My House [Podcast] - Techno in the 90s. This gave me goosebumps. Make sure to check out the Slam Radio Podcast too. 

‘I’m way older, but I’m still doing it’: Tony Hawk on his skateboarding legacy - still amazing

Turmoil at the freenode IRC network [LWN] - good summary about the freenode mess by LWN

ORBISThe Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World - plan your Roman holiday!

On Kangen water, snakeoil and the New Age far right - magic water!

Football-mad Barcelona votes to build cricket oval - one day I will understand cricket, until then it is just nice to watch

Herman Miller Has Quietly Cornered the Luxury Gaming Chair Market - I need a new chair, but this might be too much

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, May 21, 2021

Friday Links 21-19

Photo of Lego blocks
Lego Blocks (Wikimedia Commons)
I love the weird stuff people hack in their free time. Be it bringing retro computers back to life, weird use of MOV instructions or lock picking. Not everything has to be productive in the conventional sense.

Podcast backlog 29h 47m (!)

Management

The Surprising Power of Simply Asking Coworkers How They’re Doing - not that surprising

Spotify Guilds - I was looking for a refresher on the Spotify guilds, chapters and how they are managed. This is a good summary. 

Maker to Manager — How We Support New Leaders - very structured transition to manager path. It is nice to see what you can do at a certain size.

Finding the steps on the individual contributor ladder - also from Skyscanner, because I was also looking into career paths ... again

Employees are feeling burned over broken work-from-home promises and corporate culture ‘BS’ as employers try to bring them back to the office - maybe promises were not a good idea in a time where nobody knew what they were facing

The Manager's Handbook: Consciousness - apparently the final chapter of this great resource. I am looking forward to the Kindle edition. The podcast was good too by the way.

Engineering

Zero-touch SaaS Bookkeeping with Stripe and Moneybird - I guess this should always be the goal. The Stripe and Moneybird APIs look nice.

More-in-one: Uptime Monitoring Is Now Available In AppSignal - another nice feature from the AppSignal gang

Technology

movfuscator - MOV is apparently Turing complete, so clearly you need doom to verify it

"The mov-only DOOM renders approximately one frame every 7 hours, so playing this version requires somewhat increased patience."

AmigaOS 3.2 for all Classic Amigas released and available - old school is the new school 

Amiga PiStorm - Retro Power on a Budget - Tech Nibble [YouTube] - this is such a great toy. Maybe I dust off my A1000 and A3000 for this. With networking and a proper monitor they could be fun.

Plotting the source code "TODO" history of the most popular open source projects - but what does it mean? postgreSQL looks the most healthy to me

Ransomware Is Getting Ugly - I am a bit surprised that the police is allowed to pay a ransom

Environment

We now do more computing where there’s cleaner energy - I wonder what hat means for the capacities of data centres. 

Bitcoin’s growing energy problem: ‘It’s a dirty currency’ - Yes!

New Big 5 - "Shooting with a camera, not a gun."

#99 – Leah Garcés on turning adversaries into allies to change the chicken industry [Podcast] - cool story about the fight to create better farming of animals and convince people to eat less meat

Urbanism

It’s Crash Not Accident: Road Collision Reporting Guidelines Issued - I still haven't quite figured out how this translates to German or Spanish. Amazingly I think there is only one word in German.

Taking Art to the Streets, Just Look Down - tactical urbanism through paint, with nice shots from above

How traffic signals favour cars and discourage walking - there are some bicycle traffic lights in Barcelona that have so short phases that I can't cross the road by bike without them turning red in the middle. With traffic lights for pedestrians this happens all the time.

Critics of UK low-traffic schemes told that 25,000 filters already existed - I remember lots of these in London around 2000. I even lived in a street were one side was blocked off. It was nice, except of the motorcycles taking short cuts.

Random Blocks

LEGO Lost at Sea for 24 years - this is such a great story and I love the legolostatsea project 

Everyone Is Awesome: Lego to launch first LGBTQ+ set - brilliant!

Check Out What These Cyclists Packed for a Long-Distance Bike Trip - I love these top down equipment photos, especially for cyclists

Should Marmite get back in its jar? - I am just glad I stocked up on Marmite at the beginning of the pandemic. But I also want the Dynamite Chilli Marmite now.

[631] Master Lock 875/975 Decoded WITHOUT ANY TOOLS ! [YouTube] - security is hard! I got a bit lost in his channel recently. What a great hobby. 

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, May 14, 2021

Friday Links 21-18

Screenshot from the game Little Computer People
Little Computer People
Interesting podcast episodes about management and urbanism this week. 

Lots of things happening in urbanism, especially with Paris planning to remove through traffic.

Management

Rapid Response: Inside Google’s Pandemic Safety Squad, w/Chief Health Officer Dr. Karen DeSalvo [Podcast] - interesting insights from the inside of Google, with someone who's role has unexpectedly changed focus because of the pandemic

Get Started with Team Topologies in 8 Steps - very short summary of the book

Instacart tells entry-level team to return to office, senior managers can stay home - in today's "how not to communicate changes" news ...

SAFe is Not Agile - I would assume everybody has realised this by now

Why it Pays to Raise Pay [Podcast] - interesting perspective. For many companies raising pay also means less employees, so this has to be balanced somehow. 

Amortizing Software Rewrites: An Evolutionary Approach - I don't really agree with the first point "The need to rewrite whole or parts of software arises quite often", but otherwise an interesting and probably expensive approach to a rewrite

Can virtual meeting spaces save us all from Zoom fatigue? - no

Matthew Bilotti (Twitter) [Podcast] - another staff engineer interview, this one is quite fun 

Calm’s Will Larson on how to build a technical leadership career [Podcast] - I really like Will's down to earth approach. It seems much more pragmatic than what I would have expected from his books.

Technology 

Global shortage of computer chips could last two years, says IBM boss - maybe that explains the lack of choice of ThinkPad laptops in Spain at the moment

Babel is used by millions, so why are we running out of money? - same story from a lot of open source projects

Environment 

Elon Musk says Tesla will no longer accept bitcoin due to fossil fuel use - I guess he is just sitting on $1.5bn of bitcoins now for a while?

Hydrofoiling - Tim Bray looking at alternatives to diesel boats. Leasure boats are probably the worst for the environment, because they use a lot of fuel and are not necessary at all

Ouigo launches its high-speed railway service ending state monopoly - if this works out it could reduce the number of flights between Barcelona and Madrid, which would be nice. Sadly they still are pretty strict on bicycle transport. 

How has our thinking on the climate crisis changed? [Podcast] - The Guardian looking back over 70 years of reporting on the crisis

Urbanism

Where Covid’s Car-Free Streets Boosted Business - all over the place

Paris Will Ban Through Traffic in City Center - that's it! I am moving to Paris. 

Paris Cracks Down On Cars In City Center - fewer cars and baguettes, what is not to love?

The quick way to make new pedestrian plazas [YouTube] - is it just me or do all of these look a bit depressing? Good as a first step, but they need to grow and made permanent with plants and street furniture. I do like the wooden decking though.

Asphalt, Gridlock and Common Sense"Urban transportation needs many things, but it doesn’t need more asphalt. We should all understand that by now. It’s common sense."

Pobles i ciutats 30: menys velocitat, més seguretat [Catalan] - Spain is changing the default speed for many city roads to 30km/h, some even to 20km/h. I hope other countries copy something like this.  

Episode #273 – Ralph Buehler and John Pucher On Cycling For Sustainable Cities [Podcast] - mostly a book review, but still good

Random Games

12 Minutes is a star-laden thriller in a bite-size package - could we have it released no please? 

12 Minutes: 6-Minute Director Gameplay Commentary [YouTube] - pretty please?

Longitude [Podcast] - history of measuring Longitude, which required different disciplines working together.

Tour de France organisers reveal women’s race will be revived in 2022 - about time! No details about the format though. 

WR1231 Arbeiten im Impfzentrum [Podcast, German] - a report from someone working in a vaccination centre in Berlin.  

COVID-19 Projections - lets hope that these are overestimated

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, May 07, 2021

Friday Links 21-17

Photo of lighthouse at beach
Lighthouse in Italy
Mixed bag this week. I wasn't really able to focus much and could not dive deeper into some of the topics.

Podcast backlog: 19h 44m.

Management 

Why we may be measuring burnout all wrong - interesting view in diagnosing burnout. I agree that a scientific approach makes sense if possible. I also think that over-diagnosing is probably less harmful than under-diagnosing. 

A hybrid approach to work - Google is going hybrid, as I expect most companies will. The all-remote crowd is complaining about it, but I would argue that Google probably has some numbers to back this up. 

The Sustainable Workload Loop - another approach to organising your work

Efficiency is the Enemy - about how slack can help making work better

CTO from startup to scaleup - nice overview what CTO means in different company sizes/stages

Amazon: creating the 'invention machine' culture [Podcast] - reducing communication, single threaded leaders, ... interesting titbits

A bit more on the Basecamp train-wreck. I reached a point were I am thinking about the lessons I can learn from this. I would hope that I am better at listening and receiving input though.

Engineering

Semantic blind spot in Ruby case statement - I haven't heard about "mutant" yet, but with this kind of license I an not too keen to try

How we use Web Components at GitHub - another thing I never looked at 

Turbolift — a tool for refactoring at scale - Skyscanner certainly are doing some cool stuff. I guess this solves one of the problems with microservices 

How does Airbnb track and measure growth marketing? - they kind of reinvented utm tracking? But they obviously use their own storage. They also explain why they don't use utm.

Technology

Backblaze Drive Stats for Q1 2021 - I don't even use many hard drives any more, but I am still strangely attracted to these posts

Signal Founder May Have Been More Than a Tech Adviser to MobileCoin - shocking! 

Exclusive: Hackers Break Into Glovo, Europe’s $2 Billion Amazon Rival - I am mostly suprised by the valuation 

The Amiga 2000 You Always Wanted - someone build an A2000 from scratch! 

Announcing Hanami v2.0.0.alpha2 - I wish we had some use for this at work

More doorbell adventures - "Searching for the port number led me to the Doorbird LAN API and a complete description of the format and encryption mechanism in use" - this might have been a good first step :-)

Hosting SQLite databases on Github Pages - weird, but cool

Identifying the Person Behind Bitcoin Fog - Bitcoin ... maybe also not perfect for crime?

Environment 

Which form of transport has the smallest carbon footprint? - includes an interactive graph ... if you are in the UK, don't use black cabs. 

Multimodality - Tim Bray looking at how he uses vehicles and what it means for the environment

Carbon offsets used by major airlines based on flawed system, warn experts - this comes as a surprise to no one #murderoffsets 

The Danish climate minister closing down the oil industry for good - 2050, they are already a net importer of oil anyway

Urbanism

Spain plans to turn highways into toll roads in 2024 - "maintaining such a network is increasing and can no longer be assumed by the public budget" - which is true for all countries, but most don't dare to ask drivers for money. Roads are basically technical debt. 

The Driver [Podcast] - a driver explains on The War On Cars podcast how she killed a cyclist without consequences. Everybody's nightmare, but always present.

Is San Francisco more conservative than Moscow? Top San Francisco official says yes

"Though he mostly stuck to discussing transit, the idea holds true on a host of major issues including housing, climate change, small business reform and addressing our drug crisis. The traditional hallmark of conservatism is embracing the status quo, and San Francisco seems nearly incapable of major change."

Random Lighthouses

A Blinking Map of the World’s Lighthouses - Norway is basically just lighthouses

Amazon Q1 2021 - the pandemic is certainly helping out. One day I will check how much I spend in the longest March 2020 on Amazon

Philips crazy Ski Slope Cassette Deck [YouTube] - I did mention my weird obsession with cassette decks. I like them working though, not having to fix them.

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.