Friday, November 17, 2023

Friday Links 23-30

Hippo in Barcelona ZooI liked the story about Backstage from Spotify.

The monaspace font is also lovely. 


Adam Bryant on how to know if you're ready to become a leader. [Podcast] - lots of good stuff.

A Practical Handbook For Engineering Management- another guide. I have just browsed a bit for now.

Team Charters are a trap. - oh, I quite like them, but … "Empowering bottoms up mission-setting in an organization that practices top-down resource allocation is a trap."


The Query Strikes Again - Slack is still having fun with databases. 

monaspace - new pretty family of monospace fonts for coding & co. 

How Meta built Threads in 5 months [Podcast]

Fedora Linux 39 is officially here! - 20 years! 

Story: Platform Takes The Pain [Podcast] - history of Backstage at Spotify.


Is toxic culture driving your team away?  [Podcast] - it has. 

Employees of the Month: How Pets Contribute To Remote Work-Life Balance - they can also drive you nuts!

It’s the Job of My Dreams, But I’d Have to Write a Cover Letter, So Never Mind - funny, but true. 

Why Resumes Are Dead & How Keeps Killing the Job Market - Indeed is so bad!

Buffer is Remote but not Async-First, Here's Why - interesting. I thought they would focus more on async. 

Fika, four-week holidays – and zero overtime: Sweden’s stunningly healthy work culture - Sweden does sound nice, it's a bit cold for me, though.


EU agrees law to curb methane emissions from fossil fuel industry  - I'll expect someone to veto this. Germany? Poland? 

EU strikes landmark deal on law to restore and protect nature - also not adopted yet. 


The Amsterdam Metro ... Kinda Sucks, Actually (with RMTransit) [Podcast] - I haven't even used it yet, whenever I was in Amsterdam. 

Random Zoos

In the Studio: Kieran Stanley - Designing a Zoo [Podcast] - TIL: zoo designers exist. 

The in-flight audio player [YouTube] - it's annoying that it is hard to get working.

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 kinds 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 03, 2023

Friday Links 23-29

Beagle on a pile of leaves
If you want to watch something inspiring today, I recommend the video about Germany's Green City and Pedal to freedom. 

Overall, a lot of interesting stuff to think about this week.


How Do I More Effectively Build Stakeholder Alignment? [Podcast] - excellent example of coaching, where the thinker is already aware of the answers.

Communicating Your Engineering Team’s Impact at Work - Tips for Leaders [Podcast] - obviously pushing LinearB a bit, but still good. 

A Friendly Reminder to Cost-Cutters: Keep the Company a Great Place to Work for Survivors - the list is helpful, I have seen all of these go wrong at some point. 

TBM 252: How to Troubleshoot Status Updates and Syncs - don't just do the meetings, make sure there is impact

Hire Better Managers: 35 Interview Questions for Assessing a Candidate - good if you are hiring or looking for your next opportunity (like me currently).

TBM 251: Scale vs. Efficiency - you can't have it all.

Developing leadership styles - I have been thinking about leadership styles a lot lately. "The key insight to remember is that you can use any leadership style badly, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful when done well. "

Video of Solving the Eng Strategy crisis. - I think I had the slides in a previous week.  

Runbook vs. Playbook, SOP, User Guide: How Do They Compare? - it's all the same.


Engineering platforms and golden paths: Building better developer experiences [Podcast] - treating the developers as customers is the key here (and the customer is not always right)

Developer Productivity Engineering at Netflix - I like the idea of having a proper support system for your platform teams. 

Bjarne Stroustrup’s Plan for Bringing Safety to C++ - C++ was my first OOP language, but it is a different beast nowadays. I am not sure if this is a good thing.

Protomaps is an open source map of the world, deployable as a single static file on cloud storage - pretty cool


Bill Gates: How I stay positive on climate change [Podcast] - It is nice to see some optimism, even if I don't share it.

The Oatly Chronicles Part 1: The Big Dairy Problem [Podcast] - it's more than just about the environment, good background on the brand. 

Young Europeans more likely to quit driving and have fewer children to save planet - they will grow up, though. 

How green is your waterproof cycling jacket? Why some tech is being phased out in favour of more eco-friendly materials - I still have the old stuff, but I am looking forward to what they come up with.


Unraveling the SRAM Experiment: Tubeless vs. Tubular Tires — Are the Claims Inflated? - more statistics on an aspect of bicycles.

The Real Reason You Should Get an E-bike - "It’ll cut your emissions. It’ll also make you happier." 

Pedal to Freedom - HOW CYCLING SAVED MY LIFE - with Owen Vermeulen [YouTube] - cycling for mental health is underrated.


Impacts of parking and accessibility on retail-oriented city centres - parking in front of shops is not good for retail (via Parkplätze vor der Ladentür sind schlecht fürs Geschäft [German])

Does Bicibús reflect and reproduce social injustices? - probably

Germany's "Green" City (with more bikes than cars!)  [YouTube] - there are good bits in Germany!

Random Animals

Mangrove forests: Steely gaze of young tigress wins photo award - brilliant photographs

Melvyn Bragg talks to Mishal Husain [Podcast] - a bit of meta talk about one of my favourite podcasts "In Our Time"

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 kinds 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 20, 2023

Friday Links 23-28

beach on Lanzarote with dark volcanic mountains and some small boats
I decided to stop posting depressing links and keep only the interesting and uplifting content. 

This makes the list smaller and me more happy.


TBM 247: 15 Metaphors for Waste In Product Development  - excellent summary. I recognise all of them in past jobs.


Open source advocacy: The benefits of open source software [Podcast] - another one of these, apparently necessary, since many people are moving in a more closed direction.

Automating product deprecation - most of this doesn't apply to smaller organisations, but I like the idea of a "deprecation playbook"

Remote execution in the GNOME tracker - interesting vulnerability, the comments are also pretty good.


Africa's urban future: Tanzania [Podcast] - they seem to be mostly investing in buses with dedicated lanes, which is a start. 

Why health and wellbeing should be at centre of urban planning - “Creating environments where every essential is within a 15-minute walk or bike ride fosters consistent physical activity. This diminishes risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle and elevates air quality,”

SPD will Straffreiheit für Schwarzfahrer  [German] - some plans to stop treating travel without a ticket as a criminal offence, which could lead to prison.  

Stockholm to ban petrol and diesel cars from centre from 2025 - I really wish more cities would dare this. 

Project Green Light’s work to reduce urban emissions using AI - no mention of pedestrians or cyclists.

Random Waves

Deborah Greaves [Podcast] - about harvesting energy from waves.

Sucking It Up  - Tim about being a "White Male TechBro Boomer". 

Pizza, plum cake and pickled red onion: how school lunches look across Europe - I vote for Sweden.

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 kinds 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 06, 2023

Friday Links 23-27

Large scale model of person with bicycle, with a picture of a city square in the background, all made from LEGO.
The podcasts I enjoyed especially this week are the Lego Overboard and Open source at a crossroad episodes.

I also liked the WFH vs RTO blog post.


Managing cost efficiency at scale-ups [Podcast] - nothing surprising, but still good

S5, Ep. 20: What's Up With Performance Improvement Plans? [Podcast] - interesting that they can be weaponised and figuring this out is nearly impossible. 

Wisdom for Work #17 - The Power of Retrospectives: Learning From the Past To Shape the Future [Podcast] - if you do anything "agile", start with retrospectives. 

Unlocking Peak Performance: The ROI of Investing in DEI (with Dr. Vijay Pendakur, Organizational Development Strategist)  [Podcast] - "DEI is not about shrinking one person's slice of pie, but rather expanding the pie for everyone."

Garry Ridge: The stunning business impact of WD40’s Culture First strategy [Podcast] - I don't agree with all of it, but it is a good listen. 

How to Apologize - it will come up again.

Solving the Engineering Strategy crisis. - speaking notes, from a talk.


RoboCop 3 - Dongle Anti-Piracy that Failed | MVG [YouTube] - that didn't go well, even with all the effort.

Software Design by Example - I haven't seen this before, it's neat.

Open source is at a crossroads [Podcast] - insights into licences and how they affect the community. 

Postgres: a Better Message Queue than Kafka? - keep it boring, if you can.


Why Meetings Suck and How to Fix Them - I think everybody agrees on this. 

RTO vs WFH: my default recommendations for remote vs colocated teams - fascinating way of classifying types of work and good overview of how the RTO/WFH arguments are often over the top.

The Seven Meetings You Hate - 100% - another pretty workspaces site / newsletter.


‘Gobsmackingly bananas’: scientists stunned by planet’s record September heat 

Wetlands win reprieve after deal over Andalucian natural space - some win at least. 

World’s dogs going vegan ‘would save more emissions than UK produces’ - I guess I have to look into this now too. 

Rishi Sunak’s net zero U-turn [Podcast] - UK still going bonkers.

Europe’s olive oil supply running out after drought – and the odd hailstorm - will this wake people up? No.

Summer night temperatures as high as ever, while sea 1.8C warmer than average - time to move?

Five siblings jailed for illegally extracting water feeding Spanish nature reserve - #waterwars


Africa's urban future: Ghana [Podcast] - so many possibilities to do things right, or repeat previous mistakes.

Germany: Jail for fare-dodging [Podcast] - yes, Germany, not the US (see also The German group buying ticket dodgers out of prison)

Neue Autos kosten in Singapur jetzt 106.000 Dollar (plus Kaufpreis) [German] - buying a car in Singapore now needs a licence for 106k. 

Portugal to scrap ‘unjust’ tax breaks for foreign residents - good!

The bicibús: how Barcelona got kids cycling safely to school – and loving it! - I am so in love with bike-busses. 

As Downtowns Struggle, Businesses Learn to Love Bike Lanes - sadly businesses only realise this after the fact.

"Far more pleasant for walkers and cyclists": 20mph speed limit analysis hailed "astonishing", with drivers' journeys just 45 seconds longer - surprise!

Urban Planning Opinion Progression [Comic] - xkcd joined urbanism.

Car Enthusiasts Should Hate Car Dependency. Here’s Why. [YouTube] - you can love cars and hate car use.

Random Lego

Lego Overboard [Podcast] - lovely story. 

What are the best cycling climbs in Spain? Simon Warren’s six must-ride ascents [Podcast] - someone did a checklist for me. 

Mastodo - Annual Report 2022 - looks reasonable healthy

Everyone at this gig looks just like you! – the Stephen Collins cartoon - does apply to other situations too!

Are you having fun? [Podcast] - "Memorise it: fun is playful connected flow". I like that definition.

Maxell would like you to know that they still make audio cassette tapes - just Type I.

Steel vs. Carbon: Exploring Clementina’s touring dominance against Trek’s carbon speed - someone spent too much time on this. 

The vast majority of NFTs are now worthless, new report shows - surprise!

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 kinds 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 22, 2023

Friday Links 23-26

Woman walking five dogs towards the sunset on a lane between fields
Environment news seems especially depressing at the moment. There are some uplifting urbanism stories, the bike bus podcast did make me smile. 

Both long leadership posts are definitely worth a read.


Performance & Compensation (for Eng Execs). - massive topic and, as usual, Will really presents it well.

TBM 240: The Ultimate Guide to Developer Counter-Productivity - this seems to be the topic of the day again.


OpenTF for an open Terraform [Podcast] - it's called OpenTofu now. I hope they make it. 

You call it tech debt I call it malpractice [Podcast] - I like that framing. 

Story: Configuring Identity: Adam Jacob and the Search for Self in Software [Podcast] - Chef history.

Forty years of GNU and the free software movement  - happy birthday! 

Make time to address low-hanging technical debt - I wouldn't count the examples in the article as technical debt. I do like the criteria for the low-hanging part:

  • Easy to verify
  • Easy to remove
  • Small improvement to some part of the development, deploy, or end-user experience

It’s Official: Cars Are the Worst Product Category We Have Ever Reviewed for Privacy - I am a bit surprised and worried. 

Threads: The inside story of Meta’s newest social app - must be nice to have that kind of infrastructure. Also: Django?


Swedish government faces backlash after slashing climate budget - My guess is that the UK and Sweden are just the beginning, everybody else will pretend that they reach the goals and then fail at it. 

‘A lifeline for dirty cars’: EU backs new air pollution limits, but not until 2035 - another step back. 

EU states must bridge ‘planning gap’ in order to hit climate targets, report warns - not going to happen. 

German parliament approves plan to replace fossil-fuel heating systems - the watered-down plan.

‘Major disruptor’: El Niño threatens the world’s rice supplies - maybe people start worrying if they can't get their rice? 

Heat denial: influencers question validity of high temperatures - Denying must be the hardest hobby.

Australia to acknowledge climate risk to government bonds after world-first court settlement - maybe people start worrying if it affects their money?

Urbanism & Transport

Back to School with the Bike Bus [Podcast] - Are bike buses the most effective way to get people on board of more liveable cities?

All aboard! Can Luxembourg’s free public transport help save the world? - "The loss of income from abolishing fares was small, Bausch explains: about €40m a year, when the overall cost of running the system is about €800m" 

European governments shrinking railways in favour of road-building, report finds - nobody is surprised. Germany leading the way. 

So will Hannover seine »nahezu autofreie« Innenstadt bauen  [German] - hard to believe that this is in the same country as Berlin. 

This Spanish city has been restricting cars for 24 years. Here’s what we can learn from it - the only surprise is that it happened. 

This train is your charger: Lessons from Madrid about transit as public space - I have to confess that I mostly walked or used the taxi.

The Legal Attack on Superblock Barcelona - when you think everything is going well, ...

Berlin clubbers and green protesters unite to fight motorway plans - this must be the silliest motorway currently in planning in the whole world. 

DIY Kyiv - The Rise of Temporary Urbanism in Ukraine - life seems too normal.

Random Pets

The case against pets: is it time to give up our cats and dogs? - I am worried about the meat consumption of our zoo.

B612 Font family - any suggestions on where I could use this? I notice there is already a Fedora package.

Raising the bar: Annemiek van Vleuten, one of cycling’s great revolutionaries, retires - she is a remarkable cyclist, not many like her around at the moment.

Do you really need to walk 10,000 steps a day? And 17 other fitness ‘rules’, tackled by the experts - there goes my age & metabolism excuse!

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 kinds 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.