Friday, July 10, 2020

Friday Links

Relax think COVID-FREE thoughs for Well-being
Fewer links than usual this week. The whole global pandemic situation is certainly acting as a catalyst in a few areas. For cities there are some good developments, for companies some interesting times ahead.

Engineering managment

Netflix releases open-source crisis-management tool [LWN link]. I think this has been announced a while ago certainly seems to be interesting if you have the capacity to set it up.

Should companies rush headlong into permanent remote work? ... No?

Compensation in the new Remote Colonialism. Salaries in a more remote world are going to be interesting. Perks like a nice office, team events or living in Barcelona are not going to mean as much in the future. Companies whose main perk was remote work will also struggle. How this will effect star-ups and start-ups hubs all over the world will be interesting to watch. Will salaries drop in Silicon Valley or rise everywhere else. Will people be able to attract the best talent with the big technology giants being suddenly in every market?


From Docker Straight to AWS Docker is adding AWS ECS support to docker-compose to easily launch docker setups in the cloud.

Introducing the GitHub Availability Report GitHub is now unstable enough that it warrants a monthly report about it :-) For daily usage like "Is it me? Is it GitHub? Must be Friday" I usually just go to the status page.

The Rust Compilation Model Calamity. Apparently Rust is slow to compile. My toy programs never were big enough to notice. This is part of a three part series that goes really into depth of the reasons for the slowness.

Painless Rails upgrades. There are many things wrong with Rails, but upgrades are certainly very high on the list of annoyances.

The intersection of coding and fonts [Podcast] I am always on the lookout for interesting programming fonts, but I stayed away from fonts with fancy ligatures so far.

One thing or another

Cloudflare is trying a petition based approach to allow people back into the office. Every company is struggling with this in their own way. I think this is a good start, while you also should watch the local situation and government advice. 

Sweden Has Become the World’s Cautionary Tale. While I find it still too early to draw conclusions, Sweden certainly has made some "interesting" decisions that have been used as an example by Covid-19 deniers all over the world. In my opinion they probably made the wrong decision. (I am not a doctor!)


More space for walking, cycling and getting around on public transport in Barcelona. We shouldn't need a global pandemic for these kind of changes.

Special extensions to bar terraces to remain in place throughout 2021. This is great, maybe by the end of 2021 people realize that the city is much better with more space for people than for cars.
Some 60% of applications are for terraces on road surfaces. According to estimates based on the number of authorised requests, some 25,000 square metres of public space so far used by cars and motorcycles will be transformed into social space for bars and restaurants.
Episode #249 – This is not white gentrification, this is active travel infrastructure for everybody [Podcast] About the transformation of Waltham Forest with the "Mini-Holland" project. The opening was dominated by people predicting the death of the area. Spoiler alert: the opposite happened.

Random Stuff

Good list of long reads from Tim Bray. I haven't gone through all of them, but there is some are very interesting.

How three conspiracy theorists took 'Q' and sparked Qanon. It's weird out there people.

‘Living legend’ Linton Kwesi Johnson wins PEN Pinter prize. My favourite poet, mostly because I can't think of another at the moment and I also love his music.

Linux kernel coders propose inclusive terminology coding guidelines. It is a small step, but also symbolic and worthwhile.

How to manage your new Slack notification schedules - about bloody time!

Unmapped world. [Podcast] I remember when the OpenStreetMap project started. I was working at a start-up and we were trying to implement our own mapping solution, which was a stupid Idea. I also though that OpenStreetMap will never gain traction. If I remember correctly they just had a few roads in London in the beginning. Now they really map most of the earth and are becoming super important in the parts of the world that Google and Apple don't deem important enough to map.

# 87 Hannah Fry: The Role of Algorithms [Podcast]
Mathematician and author of Hello World and The Mathematics of Love, Hannah Fry discusses the role of maths in society, the dating world and we explore what it means to be human in the age of algorithms.

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, July 03, 2020

Friday Links

rjp inspired me with his random roundups to put a bit more work in my Friday Links.

This might have been a big mistake, as it takes me quite a bit more time to put this together and it might be even harder to read.

I also merged the podcasts and videos into the other sections to provide more context.

If you make it through this, please tell me if they are better or worse.


Btrfs at Facebook is a good article by LWN going into the details why and how Facebook is using Btrfs. I am always amazed by scale of Facebook, also mentioned in one of the links of the Fedora 33 article below.
Consider the web tier for example, we push the entire website to every box in the web tier (measured in hundreds of thousands of machines) probably 6-10 times a day. This is roughly 40 gib of data, getting written to these truly terrible consumer grade flash drives (along with some spinning rust), 6-10 times a day.
More Topfew Fun Tim Bray on a mission to prove that Go is in fact not slower than Rust. Seems to be true, but we also find out that regex libraries are slow (surprise!).

They want to be small, they want to be big: thoughts on code reviews and the power of patch series - everybody has a different taste for code reviews. Nicolai  Hähnle likes the git email workflow. I can't say I agree, but still an interesting perspective.

Worrying about the npm ecosystem - Who doesn't? If you think CPAN, Rubygems or Packagist are bad, you haven't seen anything yet.

First PHP 8 alpha released I haven't worked with PHP for a while and sometimes it is depressing how fast it moves compared to for example Ruby.

Skateboarding and the mindset of a programmer - Everything is like skateboarding and also like programming.

Docker and Fedora 32
This article helped me to get rid of the docker-ce packages provided by Docker and move to moby packages included in Fedora, which makes updating them a lot easier. I was basically missing the firewall bit, the CGroups part you have to fix for either version.

Engineering Management

The Security Value of Inefficiency Bruce Schneier makes the point that when you are 100% efficient, you don't have any margin for error. He is talking about the problems COVID-19 is creating in hospitals and supply chains.
This applies equally to engineering teams. The goal should never be to utilize your team to 100% (or ideally 110% as Americans like to say). Without any headroom there is no margin for mistakes, creativity and agility. 

Pretty good list of company handbooks - the usual suspects like Valve, Gitlab and Basecamp, but many more. 

All Hands on Deck describes the incident response to A Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day at Slack. As we recently worked on our incident response at Devex this was an interesting read, both from the technical and the management side.

Tech Migrations, the Spotify Way Upgrades, migrations, rewrites and changing technologies are one part of technical debt. Interesting to see how Spotify prioritizes and visualizes these.

Why Transparent Email Stopped Working For Us and What We Do Instead - the best thing of Buffer being transparent is that we all can learn from them. Transparent Email sounds scary, but secretive emails or private Slack channels are equally so.

Software developers: We won't take a pay cut just to work remotely With all the virus fun the world is having a lot of companies are going remote or distributed. This will have an interesting effect on salaries. Some companies are paying localized salaries, others are paying the ones in the headquarter location, which might be as expensive as Silicon Valley. This might destroy some of the startups in low income locations, as they won't be able to keep up with the well funded US companies.

The Art of Leadership: 1-on-1s, Staff Meetings, and Manager READMEs with Michael Lopp, Rands in Repose [Podcast] I guess Rands is on a book tour at the moment, still enjoyable as always and a good overview of the book in case you haven't read it yet.


The Pedestrian Strikes Back "Officials in several countries are getting the message: Cities are about people, not cars." says the NY Times

StreetRidersNYC [Podcast] Random group of cyclists organizing protests on bikes in New York. Reminded me of the local Critial Mass protests. Also a good insight into why bicycles are so great in cities.


nothing to add to the title. Or go directly to the film on YouTube: A Decade of Sun [Video]

Off their heads: the shocking return of the rave I am clearly too old for this stuff, but even if I wasn't I probably would wait a little bit, with One Thing Or Another going around.

‘I bought these items and I couldn’t stand them’: inside the mind of a Batman collector I am fascinated with collectors. The need to complete a set of things seems to be so human, but also so unnecessary. I have some tiny collections, but so far I have stopped myself from collecting ice cream. Or ice cream stopped me. I do love Batman though and have some graphic novels and various collectables.

Hype and hope: Wearables in the covid era I use a Garmin Fenix 5 sports-watch 24/7. I am expecting that Garmin will figure out some way to use all the data of their users to see some trends regarding COVID-19 and possibly provide some early warning system.

“I’m happy coming back, as long as nobody else does” Someone writing about their experience in going back to the "new normal" office. It will be different for everybody, but also strange for all of us.

The Mystery of the Shared Earbuds [Podcast] Great story about two different and interesting people getting together because of music.

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, June 26, 2020

Friday Links

Random interests and too many podcasts.

How to practice backend engineering.

Rands: WFH

COVID-19 Risks of Flying

Making my doorbell work

Announcing Perl 7

Open-source contact tracing, part 1

Are pets really good for us – or just hairy health hazards?

Git is About Communication

‘You can’t instagram tea’: is trouble brewing for the classic cuppa?

Modern Software Over-Engineering Mistakes

The Future of Virtual Events

I’ve Accidentally Become A Strava Stalker

Podcasts / YouTube


Micky Dolenz on How The Monkees Went from TV Band to Real-Life Band

Test. Measure. Repeat. — w/Eric Ries (Lean Startup; Long-Term Stock Exchange)

The Goblin of strange and uncertain times

Introducing "No Stupid Questions"

The 5G con that could make you sick

Special: How business can engage against racism, w/Shellye Archambeau (MetricStream, Nordstrom, Verizon)

# 86 BJ Fogg: Create Lasting Change 
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, June 19, 2020

Friday Links

Some open source news, a bit about covid and some art.

Corona-Warn-App Open Source Project

Introducing GitHub Super Linter: one linter to rule them all

Tsunami: An extensible network scanning engine for detecting high severity vulnerabilities with high confidence

Zoom Will Be End-to-End Encrypted for All Users

Loaded terms in free software

Buffer is Moving to a 4-day Workweek for the Rest of 2020

Xing: We are moving our asset delivery to the cloud — and here is why we do that

Introducing new Maps customization features from Google Maps Platform

Linkedin: Rebuilding messaging: How we designed our new system

How to Structure an Engineering Team for Scale

Technical Writing Courses

Bigger than big: Linux kernel colonel Torvalds claims 5.8 is 'one of our biggest releases of all time'

Covid-19: Managing Employees’ Return to Work

rjp: Random roundup for 2020-06-12

To highlight the importance of colorists in comics, we asked artists to put their colors on a page by DC artist @stephenbyrne86

Podcasts / Webinars

D&I Training & Consulting in Germany

Time Management Masterclass for Managers: Matt Martin (CEO, Clockwise)

The Liberation of RNA
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, June 12, 2020

Friday Links

This week I am not even going to pretend that there is any theme to these.

In Grudging Defense of Structure

Why the developers who use Rust love it so much

We love individual responsibility more than we would admit

As Diners Flock to Delivery Apps, Restaurants Fear for Their Future

Rain Alarm

Creating a Decision Journal: Template And Example Included

Performance and N+1 Queries: Explained, Spotted, and Solved

The RuboCop Name Drama Redux

5 Engineering Manager Archetypes

Adopted dogs being returned to Animal Shelters

An open letter of advice to CEOs

Marmite says pub shutdown means no larger jars for now

To highlight the importance of colorists in comics, we asked artists to put their colors on a page by DC artist @stephenbyrne86

Another Intel Speculative Execution Vulnerability

Celebrating 3 million accounts (fewer)

Reimagining Justice: A Primer on Defunding the Police and Prison Abolition


The Wellness Phenomenon

Absolute Zero

#79 - A.J. Jacobs on radical honesty, following the whole Bible, and reframing global problems as puzzles


Why We Hate Being Told What To Do

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, June 05, 2020

Friday Links

Black Lives Matter.

About Friday Links

Sawfish phishing campaign targets GitHub users

How the new normal will change company culture for good

The Definitive Answer: Who Really Owns a 1 on 1 Meeting?

Black Lives Matter.

Skip Level Meetings for Interns

Political Songs | Dub journalism, a cultural weapon

Poet on the front line

List of cognitive biases

How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change
80-characters-per-line limits should be terminal, says Linux kernel chief Linus Torvalds

No More Requirements


Zeno's Paradoxes

How to Implement Operational Frameworks and Hire Great Leaders with Sam Zaid, CEO of Getaround
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.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

About Friday Links

Since Summer 2018 I have been posting Friday Links on my blog. There are now nearly a hundred posts of these and I thought I write a little bit about these.

I picked this habit up at my job at Splendia. I can’t remember where it originated from.
The idea is to collect interesting links to share with your team and post them all together on a Friday so people have some reading material for the weekend.
Other team members would then add their own links in the same thread.

By posting these together in one email, blog post or Slack message you avoid the constant stream of notifications you would get if everybody posts these during the week. None of these are urgent reads and they shouldn’t pull you out of your zone to check Slack and then maybe even follow them and read the articles. Allowing to consume these posts asynchronous was one of the main goals.

Another goal is to inform my team about my general thinking. Not everybody will read all the links of course, but because there are some themes that are going through all the posts it gives some insight into my sources and topics I am interested in.
I also have been accused of using these to subversively spread certain messages in the company. I can’t confirm or deny this.

Originally I just emailed these to my team. This started in 2013 when I joined Devex.
Once we began to use Slack I also started posting a shortened version to our #random channel. I removed all the very technical links to make them more useful for the whole company.
In 2018 someone who left the company asked if he could still find them somewhere once he lost access to company email and Slack, that is when I started including them in my blog. So currently there are always three versions of these posts. I was hesitant to include them between my usual posts, but the alternatives were also not brilliant. 
Recently I also included a section with podcasts and videos, because people were interested in these.

The content is quite random. It is a selection from everything interesting that comes across my screen / headphones from one Friday to the next one. Currently it very much focused on engineering management, remote working and agile development. I often include posts about my hobbies, like Linux, cycling, electronic music or programming languages.

To make it into the list it has to be standing out in some way. I don’t necessarily have to agree with the content, but it still might inform my thinking about topics. I really should include some disclaimer in the posts, because sometimes people assume that I agree fully with all of these.

One good example is the Buffer blog, which is from a company very interested in fully remote companies and is pushing that message in a lot of their posts. I personally don’t believe that fully remote companies are as productive as companies with offices. But it is interesting to see how they are dealing with the problems a remote company creates, these solutions can help all companies that have some remote element in their workforce.
Their posts about transparency are also very good.

Most of the links I find come through one of the about 200 blogs I subscribe through in Tiny Tiny RSS. I star all the articles for possible inclusion. This has an RSS feed that creates Pocket entries via IFTTT. Stuff I find randomly through social media or Google I add directly to Pocket. Podcasts get starred in Pocketcasts and I copy the shareable links from there.
Every Friday morning I have 30 minutes booked in my calendar to work on the posts.
I use pocket-reader in Emacs to create the final list and the three versions I post. It is some manual work and some Emacs macros. 

I hope these are sometimes useful for you too.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Friday Links

Working from home, working remote, dealing with the pandemic-era, product management and random fun.

Ergodox Keyboard

LinkedIn’s approach to automated accessibility (A11y) testing

Netflix to automatically cancel ‘hundreds of thousands’ of inactive accounts

Why Kotlin Multiplatform Is A Great Alternative To React Native

Why GitLab pays local rates

From Germany to Detroit and back: how Kraftwerk forged an industrial exchange

Why Remote Work Is So Hard—and How It Can Be Fixed

A Guide to Threat Modelling for Developers

Tesco begins selling white eggs for the first time in 40 years following increased demand during lockdown

GT Bike V

Adidas Face Cover Large 3-Pack

Working from home and the office

Attracting great people starts with how you position your company

Websites Conducting Port Scans

Snowmelt Meetings: Why I’m Meeting With My Team Even More Right Now

Keeping Customers Streaming — The Centralized Site Reliability Practice at Netflix

A pandemic-era LWN update

OpenSSH 8.3 released (and ssh-rsa deprecation notice)

The Problem with Org Charts

The big story behind a little Blue Dot

DevOps Enterprise Summit London – Virtual: What to Expect, And Why I’m So Excited About It

Videos / Podcasts

Reunited Apart Makes a SPLASH - with Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, and more!

(Dispatch from the Scenius) Dr. Mik Kersten’s 2018 DOES TALK, Project to Product: How to Survive and Thrive in the Age of Digital Disruption with the Flow Framework, with commentary from Gene

Friday, May 22, 2020

Friday Links

Today free from "one thing or another", some software news, working from home, making product decisions and fun video from the past.

TBM 21/53: "Vision" and Prescriptive Roadmaps

The Cave Essentials

Developer Dilemmas Are Now Online

Architecture Jams: a Collaborative Way of Designing Software

The state of the AWK

Introducing Piranha: An Open Source Tool to Automatically Delete Stale Code

Digital Transformation Is About Talent, Not Technology

New controls for how you share albums in Google Photos

Prototyping at Slack

Some tips and tricks for a remote-friendly communication

King shares the Defold game engine source code and invites collaborators and partners

Doordash and Pizza Arbitrage

What Thomas Edison actually invented in 1880

On Making Decisions

The Great CoffeeScript to Typescript Migration of 2017

Spotify vs. Fitbit

Five Years of Rust

A Message from Co-Founder and CEO Brian Chesky

Videos / Podcasts

Microsoft demo of automatic code generation by language models

Plato AMA: Learn with live AMAs with senior engineering leaders

It's Time to go BACK TO THE FUTURE! | Reunited Apart with Josh Gad

Developing Leaders on a Team with Jill Wetzler

Friday, May 15, 2020

Friday Links

This time with remote working, Ruby, management and random fun.

What can we learn from the COVID-19 pandemic about how people experience working from home and commuting?

Universal basic income seems to improve employment and well-being

Building a Ruby CLI with Thor

“Sorry, I have a walk scheduled then”

Introducing portability of Google Authenticator 2SV codes across Android devices

rjp: Friday roundup for 2020-05-08

20 questions to ask instead of “How are you doing right now?”

recruiter spam

Upgrading a trivial Rails app from Ruby 2.3.1 to 2.7 and from Rails 4.2.6 to 6.0.3

Can hypothesis-driven rituals boost your team’s performance?


Developer Dilemmas are Coming Online Soon

We Are Sunsetting Reply, Here’s Everything You Need to Know

A successful Git branching model (revised)

JavaScript Growing Pains: From 0 to 13,000 Dependencies

YouTube / Podcasts

Keynote: Real Software Engineering

Announcing my new podcast, The Idealcast with Gene Kim

Dispatch 5: Don't Stop Believin'

The Art of Servant Leadership with David Cancel, CEO of Drift

Building a Culture of Trust and Transparency with Michele Romanow, President of Clearbanc

Friday, May 08, 2020

Friday Links

Today about management, mapping, programming languages, and insights into companies.

Better passwords in Ruby applications with the Pwned Passwords API

Urbanists of Twitter

How Our VP of Engineering Used Data to Support Our Engineering Team on a Human Level

How LinkedIn handles merging code in high-velocity repositories

JavaScript Error Tracking with AppSignal v1.3.0 is Here

We’re Trying a 4-Day Workweek for the Month of May

rjp: Friday roundup for 2020-05-01

What I Do At Gusto: An Incentives Explanation

Surprising Things About Working at Well-Known Tech Unicorns

The Startup Founder’s Guide to Analytics

Looking Back on Four Years at The Times

PHP showing its maturity in release 7.4

OpenOrienteeringMap and MapRunF

Route in a 1km Radius

GitHub blasts code-scanning tool into all open-source projects

We Re-Launched The New York Times Paywall and No One Noticed

Warburtons crumpet recipe revealed after 30 years as UK asks for baking tips during lockdown

The Great Decision Purge

Lockdown and Bikeshare

Making Emacs popular again

Helping journalists understand the power of machine learning

Podcasts / YouTube

Remote-First Team Interactions with Team Topologies (55m talk + 27m Q&A)

Using Science to Make Your Meetings Matter

Becoming A Resilient Manager with Lara Hogan

Clean Code for Managers: Robert C. Martin, a.k.a. Uncle Bob

Leading With Kindness & Clarity During a Crisis

Leading vs Managing: András Fincza (VP of Engineering at Emarsys)

One-on-Ones with Jason Evanish