Friday, August 21, 2020

Friday Links

Elite Game Screenshot
Last batch of links before I am off for a week on holiday. A bit of a mixed bag, with focus on management and technology.


The Human Need to Vent - indeed we do. I would say most blog posts tend to be venting. Twitter and Facebook are Vent Central. I also like the post by Rands he references: The Update, The Vent, and The Disaster, which is about venting in the context of 1:1s

Theoretical vs. practical cryptography in the kernel - in the bigger picture this discussion also happens in all projects about other aspects than security. It is the idealists fighting the pragmatists. The idealists can never win, because their goals are too lofty.

11 Ways I Visualize Product Development Work  - nice overview 

How to Find Your Zone of Genius with Alex MacCaw, CEO at Clearbit [Podcast] - work on weaknesses or strength, do what you love or what you are good at, ...

The Manager's Handbook - I found this through the above podcast and have it on my to-read list. They also have an interesting podcast, definitely worth listening. Lots of good tips for managing, most of them I even agree with.
Some episodes from the podcast:

Company values aren’t actionable. Here’s how you can change that.  - never heard about "even over", sounds weird

Why Write ADRs  -  "Architecture decision records" - good idea ... seems a lot of work

Navigating Change With Facebook’s Engineering Leadership Team - I was hoping they would go a bit more into detail :-) 

Why don’t we reward good managers? -  don't we? I mean I can always use more money, but especially higher level managers seem to be rewarded quite a bit.

Gary Hamel: Battling bureaucracy - the big fix for broken work [Podcast] - some good points. I still believe in a hierachy in companies, but that doesn't mean you have to do all the decisions from the top. It is more about supporting the teams. I just wish he wouldn't shout at me the whole time.


RustConf 2020 [YouTube] - nearly eight hours about free Rust content. Nice!

Laying the foundation for Rust's future - kicking of the Rust Foundation, with the recent lay-offs at Mozilla this news was kind of needed.

Backblaze Hard Drive Stats Q2 2020
- I have a weird fascination with these posts (Not as much as with tz-announce though. I mean, what is going on in Morocco!) . Nowadays most hard drives are good enough for private NAS use, you don't have them in desktops any more and nobody cares what the cloud runs.

A more detailed, colorful map - another fascination of mine: maps. Google probably have one of the most beautiful on-line and mobile maps. Now it is even more pretty and nicer to plan cycling routes. Also great what they are doing to improve cycling and walking navigation in cities.

Kinesis Advantage2 - Review after three years of use - Martin Fowler's long term review of this keyboard. Maybe I am forced to switch from my trusty Microsoft Natural Keyboard 4000 at some point. I am not sure I will go quite as weird as this one though. Pedals are a neat idea though. 

Why I switched from Vim to Emacs - I used Emacs for a very long time, switched to Eclipse for a few years and now I am back and happy on Emacs. I use vi for small file changes, but never for projects.

A college student used GPT-3 to write fake blog posts and ended up at the top of Hacker News
- (disclaimer: I don't usually read hackernews. I think it is the worst side of the technology community) The article is already is pretty funny, but it is definitely worth looking into the comments on hackernews.  

Metabase: Business Intelligence Open Source with Sameer Al-Sakran [Podcast] - we use Metabase quite a bit at Devex, good to hear the inside story


How Portland’s Landmark Zoning Reform Could Work - this seems to be mostly about multi family homes. I wonder if they also allow restaurants and small shops in these zones to make them liveable and walkable

Portable Parklet in Stuttgart (in German) - I love Parklets, they make it so obvious what a waste of space on-street parking is. More pictures on the Facebook page.

20 offices turned into 2,000 individual pods for post-Covid working - a lot of people seem to hate open plan offices ... well, they all can take work in pods! 

Random Games

HIGH SCORE | The First Computer Graphics Game | Netflix [YouTube] - This looks promising. I love old computer game history ... because I am old. 

Germans must walk their dogs twice a day, new law will say - I think I mentioned it last week: laws about pets have to change, it is good to see this is very slowly moving forward. 
Dog gone: rescue pet shelters emptied by surge in demand during pandemic - there is a positive side of this, but mostly people keep "pets" for selfish reasons 
Electric conversion gives old Land Rover Defenders a 200-mile range - I have to wait a few more years until this gets cheaper  

The Bigger the Tos - another visualization of Terms Of Service by different companies. Spotify wins! Or looses.

Is Economic Growth the Wrong Goal? [Podcast] - yes

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.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Early Friday Links

Summer Sunnsets
I am off tomorrow, so Friday Links come on a Thursday. 

I could blame the list being shorter than usual on this, but in reality I have been spend most of my time watching the twins reacting to music I like (see link below).


How to Build and Scale High-Performing Teams with David Sakamoto, VP of Customer Success at Gitlab [Podcast] - interesting perspective from a non technology fully remote VP


Changing World, Changing Mozilla - This is pretty depressing. I have been using Firefox since it was called Mozilla. As usual the statement makes it sound like a good thing, but it really is not. It is also worth checking out the comments on the web, for example on

Cloud Traffic - we are way to small to worry about this kind of stuff, but I am kind of glad about it

Code Coverage Best Practices - results by some research from Google: "it does help and it is what we got", the paper goes more into detail

Moving Ulabox to Next.js - front-end stacks will be front-end stacks


This is what coronavirus will do to our offices and homes - imagining how our future of office and homes will look like. Is it a dream or a nightmare?

Atlassian tells employees they can work from home forever
- the article is not quite as black and white as the headline

All of its locations, [...], will remain open, and the company expects to adjust them so they can be used efficiently. Employees will be welcome to return to the offices should they want to use them.

Some details of Atlassian’s plan have yet to be finalized. The company hasn’t decided how compensation might change for employees who relocate to other regions, nor has it figured out the right number of people to work in each time zone to ensure a sufficient amount of overlap.

The big return 1: making the call on what to do next
-  some insight from an owner of a creative agency and how the forced working from home changes their company now and how it might develop in the future

Random Twins

These are the twins whose first-time reaction to hearing Phil Collins has captured the internet - the videos of these guys are great on so many levels. I just keep on going through their very long back catalogue of reaction videos. I am rediscovering music I haven't listed to for decades and remember the joy of listening to a brilliant new song for the first time. I am also realising that I am definitely a music snob. I have a certain taste and are not really open to anything else. I wish I could forget all music I ever listened to and start from scratch. Nowadays I am mostly listening to a constant stream of new electronic music podcasts, which at least give me the experience of listening to new music all the time. I am now also trying this with YouTube music, but as I said: I am a music snob. 

A new global COVID-19 map for journalists - Google knows how do make pretty maps, these are very nice and you can embed them in your pages

Love you to death: how we hurt the animals we cherish  - I imagine that sometime in the future keeping pets will be mostly illegal. This will start with weird breeds, keeping animals in small apartments and horse riding. You can't go vegan and care about how livestock is treated and then keep animals just for your pleasure. I have two cats and a dog and am clearly conflicted about this. 

'We need people here': the Spanish towns welcoming migrants  - not just in Spanish towns. Inviting large number of migrants to Germany will probably be seen very positively in the future. 
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, August 07, 2020

Friday Links

This week a bit light on the management and COVID-19 links. I balance it with lots of depressing news and some uplifting urbanism developments. So grab a tea and a biscuit ... 


Collaborating During Coronavirus: The Impact of COVID-19 on the Nature of Work - apparently we are having more, but shorter meetings and work more hours. Definitely more meetings for myself, but not shorter and I am too lazy to work more hours.

Floods, Viruses, and Volcanoes: Managing Supply Chain in Uncertain Times - very cool report on how Backblaze manages to maintain to have a constant supply of new hard drives for their backup / S3 clone business. I am so glad I don't have to deal with hardware at the moment. I was also very proud when I prepared for The Thing in February, but clearly others were even earlier on it.

6 inspiring teamwork rituals from around the globe - are they inspiring, or plain weird? And don't tell the Catalans that the human towers are Spanish!

HubSpot's Secret for Onboarding Engineering Leaders: Nadia Alramli (Engineering Director, HubSpot) [Podcast] - interesting way of onboarding leaders, which will be too expensive for most companies, but maybe we could use parts of it


Perl7 is a fork of values - besides tiny scripts I haven't used Perl in years. I also seem to be more interested in the Perl politics since the train-wreck of Perl 6 (or whatever it is called at the moment) then the actual language which is probably telling.

Firefox 79 includes protections against redirect tracking - this will probably break stuff, but for a good cause

Changes to SameSite Cookie Behavior – A Call to Action for Web Developers - more breakage for good 

Introduction to Ruby on Rails Patterns and Anti-patterns - if you love anti-patterns, you are going to love Rails!

An update on Exposure Notifications - still basically unused in Spain, but good to see that at least the technology is improving


An Urban Planner’s Trick to Making Bike-able Cities - There are many things wrong with the articles, but I hope some of the correct things are pointing to a good future. 

Barcelona was never an obvious candidate to be a bike-friendly city. Much of it is built on the foothills of the Collserola mountain range and seven smaller hills. Cycling in the Catalan capital often means pedalling up steep inclines and sweating under the Mediterranean sun.

Barcelona is mostly flat and has is only really hot in July and August. If you are on a hill get fit or an e-bike. The climate is ideal for cycling all year around. Distances are usually very short and manageable for most people. What we don't have is a well connected network of good bike lanes.

Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge - these design competitions never lead to anything, but all the finalists are showing a trend away from cars and towards people, bikes and mass transit. 

Desert urbanism, algorithms, and inebriated emus [Podcast] - a bit more about zoning and architecture 

Other Link Collections

Tim Bray: Long Links - OK! So his links are better and so are is insights. Stop it already.  

rjp: Wednesday roundup for 2020-08-05 - I see what he is doing there, releasing his collection a bit earlier, good stuff in their as usual.

Random Tea and Biscuits

Tea in a microwave? New research says it could be the perfect cuppa - clearly this is sponsored by the all powerful Chinese microwave lobby  
Adam Richman's Biscuit Reviews EP 3: Hobnob
- first warning: it is a chocolate Hobnob, second: he dunks them also in milk

The UX of LEGO Interface Panels - we didn't have these back in the day, but they look brilliant 

NIME – algorithmic pattern - Alex doing his thing. My favourite thing about live coding is how you can watch the track slowly building up from nothing to something rather complex and beautiful.  

Lifestyle changes could delay or prevent 40% of dementia cases – probably to late for me and younger people might be quite happy to forget the life that they inherit. But please give healthier living a go.

Pessimist Archive: What Will We Fear Next? [Podcast] - whatever comes next

The Endless Doomscroller - I leave you with this depressing messages and also these: Let's do a quick recap


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.