Friday, October 08, 2021

Friday Links 21-33

stairway towards blue sky
stairway to nowhere

Too many articles about management today!
I got pulled into a rabbit hole about Thomasson Hyperart this week, which was fun.

Management

The Skill of Org Design - great long read about organisation design

How to safely think in systems - "When your model and reality conflict, reality is always right"

TBM 41a/52: Slow Down on Your Own Terms - I like the idea of working in different speeds. When introducing changes for example it is important to slow down (or take a long breath I like to call it) before introducing more

TBM 41b/52: Suitably Detailed Roadmap Items - this is just an expanded tweet, but a log model of planning long roadmaps 

Responsible Tech Playbook [mostly PDF] - collection of guides from Thoughtworks about making better technology decisions 

Learning-focused engineering [Podcast] - about learning and teaching in the context of companies

What Is a User Story? - nice opinionated overview

Asymmetric Workloads: One Way Leaders Can Poison Their Culture - easy thing to step into

Engineering Teams Are Just Networks - it is about the team and not just the individual 

How Big Tech Runs Tech Projects and the Curious Absence of Scrum - absence is probably incorrect, but he always goes for the click-bait titles

Why do we recommend working small, especially in a constantly changing environment? - nice diagram to show the effects

Review Notes: Shape Up - I didn't see this back then. I am much mire sceptical and he also lists all the caveats 

Burnout in Software Development - Survey Results 2021 - that paints a pretty bleak picture

Minimize Team Cognitive Load to Increase Flow - this is probably one of the most important thing to think about when creating teams 

Mission on Repeat: To Lead in High Pressure Environments, Get Laser-Focused on the Standards with David Robinson (Former Commanding Officer at the US Marine Corps) [Podcast] - I am still not a fan of taking the military as an example, but this is a great episode 

Engineering

Infrastructure Observability for Changing the Spend Curve - on reducing CI costs

Welcome to the Verica Open Incident Database - pretty cool and timely 

A web developer's 'happiest' announcement: Google Search is saying goodbye to Microsoft's Internet Explorer 11 - best news since Flash's EOL 

Dungeon 235--So I Got to Thinking ... - I love this series. After the plot twist he no gets into the weeds.

How Red Hat uses GitLab for kernel development [LWN] - weird that Fedora didn't choose GitLab

Work

Facebook denies end to 'WFH forever' rule in wake of mega outage - in today's "forever news", ...

Here’s why flexibility, not hybrid, is what employees say they want - clearly

Technology

Submarine Cable Map - pretty, but are these all of them?

Facebook Outage

Investors Spent Millions on ‘Evolved Apes’ NFTs. Then They Got Scammed. - "investors" got scammed with NFTs and then were surprised to be scammed

Environment

‘Eco-anxiety’: fear of environmental doom weighs on young people - I guess that makes me young. Nobody cares about these fears though, while they were very concerned about young people during the pandemic (when it suited them)

Peter Lustig und das Elektroauto (1983) [YouTube, German] - electric car on German TV in 1983

3 new ways to navigate more sustainably with Maps - some nice new features for Google Maps. I wish they would also change navigation to avoid populated areas if possible (also on The Guardian)

Microsoft climate head says planting trees won’t be enough to remove CO2 from the air - surprise!

Urbanism

Berlin’s car ban campaign: ‘It’s about how we want to live, breathe and play’ - in Germany? Hah!

​​What’s the Point of 15-Minute Grocery Delivery? - no point

Birmingham to become a super-sized low-traffic neighbourhood - another town, millions to go, ...

Promenades & Medians of Passeig Sant Joan [YouTube] - my office and former living hood. I hate central bike paths with a passion. I still remember this road before the transformation. It was much worse.

Random Hyperart

Hyperart Thomasson - I came across the term via this tweet. I was always facinated by this, but never new it had a name.  

I’m a life coach, you’re a life coach: the rise of an unregulated industry - MLM?

How Tracking and Streaks Help You Establish Habits and Reach Your Goals - good personal summary about tracking streaks

Animal rights groups call for sterilization methods to control wild boars - the boars are back in town!

‘Email is a zombie that keeps rising from the dead’: the endless pursuit of Inbox Zero - once you get into GTD Inbox Zero just makes sense

 

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 01, 2021

Friday Links 21-32

image generated by AI about "Revenge Bedtime Procrastination"
Revenge Bedtime Procrastination
Catching up with everything again. Some good long reads in the Work section, especially the report about women in the workplace.

Management

Agile vs Kanban [YouTube] - forget about the "vs", he just gives an introduction to both and some personal opinions

Don't worry, you’re not wasting your mentor’s time. - good to know, now I need some mentors...

1.0 Is the Loneliest Number - "By shipping early and often you have the unique competitive advantage"

Say Goodbye to Your Manager - it is really about "bad managers"

Engineering

Partitioning GitHub’s relational databases to handle scale - the main learning here is that you can get away without doing it for a very long time

Dungeon 230--I'm goin' in. - good post about how we can change everything later and avoid upfront design 

How Backstage Made Our Developers More Effective — And How It Can Help Yours, Too  - we are definitely still too small for this

Improve Your Life with Long Error Messages - "Guru Meditation" 

How to Reduce Memory Bloat in Ruby

Technology

webshit weekly July, 2021 -

"Google, the world's largest repository of algorithmic search expertise, gets trick-fucked by blogspammers and doesn't notice because nobody at Google both speaks Norwegian and gives a shit about search results"

"Bicycling enthusiasts try to figure out why someone without even a Serfas sponsorship has managed to win. Hackernews knows it was because the professional collusion tools failed the old guard, creating an opening for someone to win based on actual physical exertion. One Hackernews is mad that women are allowed to ride bicycles, but it's not clear if the anger is about the competitive aspect or that a woman has a bicycle at all."

A fork for the time-zone database? [LWN] - heartbreaking! My favourite Changelog is getting messy

Set Safari free! - I still can't believe that this is happening, how is not everybody complaining about this?

Now — AWS Step Functions Supports 200 AWS Services To Enable Easier Workflow Automation - this is another nice step to less code

Amazon Managed Service for Prometheus Is Now Generally Available with Alert Manager and Ruler - this is also a good thing for people using AWS

PostgreSQL 14 released - also relase notes and the little things

I Am Not Satoshi Nakamoto - well, that is one person of the list! or is it?

Courtès: What's in a package - as a former Fedora packager I can relate

The Framework Laptop is now shipping! - nice, but not for me. The port things look weird and oversized too. 

Bespoke - very cool modular synth, also for Linux

Clive Sinclair and the offbeat brilliance of the ZX Spectrum - we had ZX81, ZX Spectrum, C64, Atari 800 and my TI99/4A in our early home computer "gang"

Remote Work

If You Never Met Your Co-Workers in Person, Did You Even Work There? - maybe

Working From Orbit - this would free up some space in offices. I can't see myself moving to this any time soon though. Linux support is still in the making. 

Women in the Workplace 2021 - very long report, with some positive news but also a lot of work to be done

The data doesn’t lie: what we learned when we tried a 4-day workweek - another successful experiment 

New Microsoft Study of 60,000 Employees: Remote Work Threatens Long-Term Innovation - "Short-term productivity goes up, long-term creativity goes down."

Environment

Can YOU Fix Climate Change? [YouTube] - no

Pollutionwatch: the fight to protect children from dirty air - it is a bit annoying that this even is a fight 

When will countries stop exploring for oil? [Podcast] - sometime between 2050 and never

Waste from one bitcoin transaction ‘like binning two iPhones’ - well done everybody, well done!

Cycling

‘I haven’t looked back’: the women who discovered cycling in lockdown - this is great. I also think I see a lot more women on my rides. Often alone or small groups. 

Lockdown sees cycling gender gap narrow, government statistics reveal - more data on this

Why aren’t more big bike firms tracking their environmental impact? - because it takes time and effort. Good to see Trek giving it a go.

Urbanism

The Unstoppable Appeal of Highway Expansion - people will never learn

Superblocks and tactical urbanism – who owns Barcelona‘s streets? [Podcast] - people do

Tactical Urbanism & Barcelona’s Future [YouTube] - local critique of these

The Liberation of Paris From Cars Is Working - interview with one of the people making this happen

Germany: parking row brews as Green mayor plans to increase fees by 600% - still a bargain

Telosa - billionaire is going to build city from scratch ... two words: "Flying" "Taxis"

A conversation with Bianca Hermansen about Democratic Design in Cities - Ep 16 [Podcast] - interesting perspective, our cities are not often democratic designed, even if we try

Cycling by Design - Scottish cycling infrastructure guidelines (pdf)

ZDF Magazin Royale vom 17. September 2021 [German, Video] - comedy show about German's addition to cars

Random Sleep

Why Sleep Deprivation Kills - that was unexpected

What Is “Revenge Bedtime Procrastination”? - TIL ... I had to look that up recently

The Evolution of Crocodiles [Podcast] - back from the summer break and a great episodes. Crocs!

YouTube to remove misinformation videos about all vaccines - I have some other conspiracy theories I would like to have removed please

9/21/21 - It's Today!

Whistle, Gotham City’s latest superhero, is Jewish. It’s a full-circle moment for the comics industry. - ordered!

Ikea's New Gaming Collection Looks Pretty Good - I was looking for a reasonably cheap new chair!

Dutch are world’s tallest people – but they’re shrinking, study shows - see nutrition

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, September 17, 2021

Friday Links 21-31

ZX81 and Michael K Williams generated by Neurlblender AI
ZX81 and Michael K Williams
Sad news about Michael K. Williams and Sir Clive Sinclair passing away. People who influenced me in quite different but profound ways. 

Of course you also get the my usual link dump, again from the last two weeks. 

Environment news are frustrating as always and I don't think COP26 is going to cheer me up.

Management 

Engineering Progression Framework v2 - another engineering career path, this time from Monzo

Enough With Must-Have Features - "must haves" or "table stakes" are the opposite of lean

Bias For Action - do instead of planning, then learn and do more

Ok. So, You Can’t Decide. - sometimes you just have to make any decision

Decision Making at Netflix - spoiler: it is A/B testing 

The Five Meetings Every CEO Should Lead - good advice for every manager. I am pretty bad at the "celebrating wins" bit

Stay Curious For a Bit Longer: How to Get to the Root of Issues and Set Goals That Inspire Bold Action with Dave Bailey (Coach & Mentor to Scale-up CEOs) [Podcast] - lots of good advice in there.

Wohin mit den Ideen, wenn nicht ins Product Backlog? [Podcast, German] - where should ideas go, if not into the backlog. I really would like to have a separate too, but just having a Kanban project is also a good idea.

How to build silos and decrease collaboration (on purpose) - the most expensive thing employees can do is communicate, you have to make it count.

Engineering

Accessible Palette: Stop using HSL for color systems - I am colour-blind, but this is pretty cool anyway 

CPU Steal Time: A Crucial Metric for Cloud Servers and VMs - shared servers and CPUs are tricky

Ship / Show / Ask - I don't know. Maybe to hard to make the decision on which part to take?

Increasing developer happiness with GitHub code scanning  - using custom CodeQL to find common code problems

Technology 

What’s the Diff: SSD vs. NVMe vs. M.2 Drives - well, that cleared that up

The most inspiring Apple Event announcement - I didn't realise browser were so bad on iPhones

Google Supports Open Source Technology Improvement Fund - $100 million! (in total)

ProtonMail Now Keeps IP Logs - stuff is secure until it isn't 

Amazon Elasticsearch Service Is Now Amazon OpenSearch Service and Supports OpenSearch 1.0 - my hope is that this creates a real alternative to ElasticSearch with is bumpy upgrade paths. But it is more likely that the Amazon fork will stagnate. 

Launching Public Status Pages for Uptime Monitoring on AppSignal - did I mention I like AppSignal? This is another nice feature. 

Best email forwarding service for 2021 (free and premium) - I am trying to get rid of my own EC2 server, this is part of the solution. Currently testing Pobox

Remote Work

Microsoft indefinitely postpones return to U.S. offices as Covid cases surge - "postponed", but it will happen with 30 days notice, so don't move too far away

Just say hybrid because nobody knows - yes, but we still go hybrid 

‘My Boss Doesn’t Want Me to Go Back to the Office’ - this sounds made up, but there are the weirdest bosses around

Environment

Outcry over killing of almost 1,500 dolphins on Faroe Islands - in 2021! Traditions are a killer.

Most plans for new coal plants scrapped since Paris agreement - emphasis on "most" and "new"

Netherlands proposes radical plans to cut livestock numbers by almost a third - now the question is why this is happening only in the Netherlands

World’s biggest machine capturing carbon from air turned on in Iceland - the equivalent of scrapping 870 cars a year, which might be cheaper.

Piaggio, KTM, Honda and Yamaha set up swappable batteries consortium - this could be interesting, unless they expect me to swap them at petrol stations

air / aria /aire - pretty visualisation of pollution in Barcelona 

Long term exposure to low level air pollution and mortality in eight European cohorts within the ELAPSE project: pooled analysis [Paper] - "Our study contributes to the evidence that outdoor air pollution is associated with mortality even at low pollution levels below the current European and North American standards and WHO guideline values. These findings are therefore an important contribution to the debate about revision of air quality limits, guidelines, and standards, and future assessments by the Global Burden of Disease."

Urbanism

Murderbots - autonomous cars ... not the solution

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo to run for French presidency - good news for France, bad news for Paris?

London's Oyster card: Are its days numbered? - £553 million left on cards! I think Barcelona is skipping the cards and going mobile directly? 

Transport noise linked to increased risk of dementia, study finds - transport is killing people (annoyingly this includes rail)

Forget Low Traffic Neighborhoods, Planet Needs No Traffic Neighborhoods - hear hear

The Wrong Way to Set Speed Limits [ST06] [YouTube] - the US way is as weird as the German way "allow speed limits when too many people get injured"

A Conversation with Anni Sinnemäki - Deputy Mayor of Helsinki - Ep15 [Podcast] - there seems to be something about female city mayors. I put Helsinki on my list of urbanism envy 

Random Home Computers

Home computing pioneer Sir Clive Sinclair dies aged 81 - I never had a Sinclair, but a few people in my home computer gang had them. And the story of the C5 is also great. 

Commodore 64 ads from the 1980s still make me want a C64 in 2021 - I have still some old Byte magazines. Computer ads used to be fun.

5 things I learned from Google’s productivity expert - annoyingly you have to give your details to get the report, but this is a summary

NEW: lots of news recently on waning immunity against infection, but a study has now landed from Public Health England on how vaccines are faring against *severe disease & death* - I link to the thread, because the FT source is pay-walled. Great data and good to know that Biontech shots are probably going to be good for a bit longer.

Police catch close-pass drivers by joining group ride, and upload to Strava - nice initiative. I wish they would do stuff like this in Spain and Germany. 

biorower - the indoor rower I want, but can't afford

The disastrous voyage of Satoshi, the world’s first cryptocurrency cruise ship - this cheered me up more than it should have

Michael K Williams, star of The Wire, dies aged 54 - RIP

‘I got the shotgun. You got the briefcase’ – how The Wire’s Omar changed TV - the best character in the best TV show

Top street artists paint decks in aid of rural skatepark - if it wasn't in the UK I might bid, some pretty stuff there. "Happy Feelings" is lovely (currently at £450)

Fit in my 40s: phew, a group bike ride that stops often enough for me to catch up - "They’ll stop if they see an unseasonably large toad" ... that's me

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, September 03, 2021

Friday Links 21-30

Catalan Cricket
Back from my holiday and catching up with the news. 

New section on Agile this time as something at work required a bit of research into this.

Management

What’s going on with the ‘Great Resignation’?  - I have heard this term in different contexts a few times now. I guess this will continue for a bit more.

Building a data team at a mid-stage startup: a short story - example story about how this could happen and what to expect

4-day workweek: which day should you take off? - it depends

These statistics prove the value of the 4-day workweek - I am all for it, but I am pretty sure my productivity would go down by roughly 20% 

Performance Review: Build Your Process and Master Feedback Delivery [Podcast] - Lara Hogan on reviews

#118 Doug Conant: Leadership With Integrity [Podcast] - very down to earth discussion from a very high level CEO

Agile

The Four Agile Values and Slack - it is really difficult to complain about the agile manifesto

How to Deal With Tech Debt Effectively - we are using a mix of 20%, fix as you go and large clean-ups.

Software Development Waste - results of a study of projects

An epic treatise on scheduling, bug tracking, and triage - cool presentation, it includes a link to the talk

How I Failed As A Scrum Master For My Most Prestigious Team - not really a fail, more of a small correction

Autonomous Scrum Teams are like powerful responsibility magnets - but tricky to get right

Remote Work 

How remote work is bringing life back to Spain’s rural villages - fast internet is definitely a game changer and Spain seems to be doing a good job.

Spanish companies divided over employees’ return to the workplace - the same as everywhere

How to Understand How Things Ever Got This Bad [Comic] - "Technology was supposed to set us free, but it really just made it harder to escape"

Extending our voluntary return to office - for a tiny bit

Introducing Horizon Workrooms: Remote Collaboration Reimagined - this is worrying

Environment 

Der Bulli wird zum Pkw [German] - small buses are really not better than SUVs

Leaded petrol era ‘officially over’ as Algeria ends pump sales - it only took 50 years, this doesn't make me hopeful about tackling the climate crisis or fine particles

Air pollution linked to more severe mental illness – study - a bit like lead?

Urbanism

Tolls scrapped on more than 550 kilometers of Spain’s freeways - this is so frustrating. Apparently they are doing it for "sustainability" and "safety". But see next link...

Spain plans to introduce tolls on all state and regional highways - right

Should jaywalking be legal? [YouTube] - should it ever have been illegal? 

Vehicle/cycle conflict halves in Glasgow trial of bike-activated traffic signs - never heard of systems like this before and it is a bit sad that we need them

How to move things on a bike - pretty pictures from Amsterdam

Walking Places Is Part of the Culture Wars Now - I for one am glad that isn't just about cyclists now

Ten social benefits of walkable places - I bet there are more

Warum ein Lastenrad-Bonus nicht nur hippen Großstädtern nützt [German] - today's argument from the right: cargo bikes are for hipsters and upper middle class

Todesfalle Landstraße [German] - lowering speed limits is good for motorways and country roads ... only the German's think they drive better than everyone else

Random Sports

Imported sports: Catalonia goes cricket crazy - nice, now I can watch it locally without understanding it

#109 – Holden Karnofsky on the most important century [Podcast] - a bit weird, but a good conversation

#110 – Holden Karnofsky on building aptitudes and kicking ass [Podcast] - more weird

What personality are you? How the Myers-Briggs test took over the world - horoscopes for business

Catalonia: Squatters, eviction and extortion [Podcast] - I didn't realise how much of a business this is

As demand for bikes surged, Amazon got in the way - a bad fit for this bicycle part company

Genetics and the longer arm of the law [Podcast] - it seems this fight has been lost, at least in the US. Your gene fingerprint is some database and the police will access it

Dear Diary: how keeping a journal can bring you daily peace - pretty much my experience. I am still sticking to it.

SUMMER MUSINGS: No... Not all amplifiers sound the same (but many do! ;-). - I am a fan of 90s Sony amplifiers, but I don't think I would notice a difference nowadays

Next Steps for Chia, in Their Own Words - burn the planet with hard disks

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.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Summer Cycling Trip 2021

Trip wheel from Veloviewer


As every year at Devex the company takes a week long Summer break in August. August isn't really the best month to take holiday in Spain, because on the one hand everybody does and on the other hand tends to be really hot. That's why I tend to do a trip on my own, without my girlfriend. In the recent years this have been cycling holidays.

I had the idea for this years trip for a while: rent a camper-van and travel to the nice hills that are not so easy to reach from Barcelona. 

I rented a van from Indiecampers, which have reasonable prices unless you book in the last minute like I did. The car was a pretty posh Mercedes Marco Polo. It drives pretty much like an oversized car and comes with automatic gears (why would you have anything else in 2021?). 

There is no bike rack, but my bike fitted inside. This is a bit of a hassle, because it tends to be in the way when cooking or eating. I also had to sleep in the raised roof, because my bike had the nice downstairs spot. 

I didn't really plan a fixed route or places to stay. I had Montsec, Val d'Aran and Seu d'Urgell on my wish-list.  

Most rides were pretty short. Cooking, planning, camping, looking for place to camp, shopping, sleeping, ... leave less time for riding. A fully organised trip is more effective. Even staying at one or two hotels/AirBnbs and then doing loops like I did last year gives more riding time.

Day 1. Montsec  

I took off from Barcelona toward Montsec. I used Park4Night to find a nice parking lot near a lake not far from the area I wanted to ride in. It was pretty quiet at night, but I didn't sleep well ... as all night on the trip. 

The route I picked was not ideal and in the end I decided to just ride back instead of doing the whole thing. It was very hot and a lot of the route was on fast roads. The first part was nice though. 
Turns out planning rides on the go without a laptop is pretty tricky. I used a mix of Garmin Connect, Strava Mobile and Wikiloc for the rest of the trip.

Strava: Day 1: figuring out the car and a hot ride

Day 2. Montsec Climb 

I drove close to the climb and the route turned out pretty nice except of some bad road surfaces. I knew the area, because I looked at a house to buy here once.
 
Very nice area, maybe a bit warm in August. I had to fill up my bottles a couple of times.

Strava:  Day 2: Col d'Ares and Tremp

 

Day 3. Rest Day  

I had no good idea what to do, so I decided to stay in a hotel for two days. It was a lucky pick. Hosteria Toloriu 1948 is a real nice mountain hotel ... highly recommended.  I thought I check out the area, but after having two punctured inner tubes before even get going and then a puncture on the first descend I decided to call it a day.
I did the laundry instead and tried to patch the inner tubes. Note for next time: bring more spare tubes and possibly some tires.

Strava:  Day 3: the day of the thousand punctures

Day 4. Val d'Aran 

Next I headed to Val d'Aran to a very quiet parking lot in the park next to a stream. I arrived late and only had time for a short ride. There was also no reception in the park, which made planning tricky.  

Good ride though with nice climbs and very quiet roads. The villages are very picturesque and probably full of tourists during the day.

Strava:  Day 4: short, punchy and pretty

Day 5. French quicky 

I knew this climb towards France from an early organised trip, but only as descent. There was a sign on the bottom about the border being closed, but the police let cyclist through at the top. Arriving in France I remembered how bad French drivers are at overtaking cyclists, so I aborted and quickly drove back and did a loop around Val d'Aran instead. It turned out to be a good choice, with nice climbs and scenery. 
In the evening I moved to a small camping site.

Strava:  Day 5: French quicky and some hills

Day 6. Bonaigua 

Bonaigua is the highest cycling pass in Catalonia. I parked on the not so nice side to avoid some of the climbing and then cycled up, down and up again. It is a long climb and temperatures went from 35C on the bottom to 20C on the top. Fun, with the exception of the bee who stung my temple on the first descent.  
 
I run out of water again ... I think this is becoming a theme.

Strava:  Day 6: Just Bonaigua

Day 7. Aigüestortes 

Last minute addition to my plans. This is a national park with lots of streams and waterfalls. I definitely plan to come pack. I found another nice parking lot in a village, which was also a good starting point for cycling.  
Due to bad planning, weak legs and running out of time I missed the largest climb and did only three of the four panned climbs. So pretty though! And cold in the morning at 10C. 
After finishing the ride I drove back home.

Strava:  Day 7: Aigüestortes

Day 8. Return 

The great thing about Indiecampers is that it isn't far from home and I rode back from their depot with my bicycle. Very convenient. 
By now my legs were pretty smashed. 

Strava:  Camper drop off

Conclusion


This has been a brilliant trip and something I want to repeat. Now that I have some practice it will also be easier.

It would be nice to also take the mountain bike. There is some nice infrastructure for mountain biking in Val d'Aran and in Andorra.

 

 

Some more impressions on Flickr below ...


Cycling Trip 2021