Tuesday, December 22, 2020


I can't remember when I started to listen to podcasts. I am sure I was not an early adopter. It might have been around 2004 using iPodder on Linux with the first iPod and later an iPod Shuffle. 
Over the years I used various tools and devices to download podcasts and now have settled on Pocket Casts on Android. It has nice sync functionality between multiple devices and a useful web interface too. The web app is also useful to pull up the recently starred episodes for my Friday Links.

I have a silly amount of subscriptions, the list below are the main ones which are still active and the ones I am still listen to regularly.

I often have a backlog of multiple days of audio, which is not sustainable. So recently I have started to cull episodes and feeds when I am not interested. I used to listen to really everything to get a broad input of knowledge. 

I also started to use some of the Pocket Cast features to reduce time by cutting silence, intros and speeding up the audio. Currently I am at 1.2x speed, but I will probably go back to 1x when I reduced the back-log. There are only so many Mickey Mouse voices I can stand.

So here is a shortened list of my current podcasts.


The Spokesmen Cycling Roundtable Podcast - I don't think it has been a round-table for a while. Recently it has been mostly Carlton Reid interviewing interesting people. I like both styles. Carlton is giving the UK perspective, while the others seem to be in the state.

Antritt [German] - A mix of interviews, chat, technical discussion and listeners experiences

The Bike Show - interviews. sometimes on the bike sometimes off

CyclingTips Podcast - mostly focused on the professional sport, but with fun chat segments and technical bits

Nerd Alert Podcast - the bike tech spin-off of the CyclingTips Podcast

Velohome [German] - a handful of people chatting of all kind of cycling stuff. They have episodes focused on the professional sport (Velorace) and chit chat (Velosnakk). I usually just go for Velosnakk.

The BikeRadar Podcast - from the people of the Bikeradar website, chat about a everything cycling related. A mix of road & mtb.

Radfunk - Deutschlandfunk [German] - I think this is from a German radio station. Mostly focused on Germany and the bicycle as a means of transport in cities. 


Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions - I grew up hating Bill Gates via Microsoft, but nowadays he is so bloody nice and reasonable. 

WRINT: Realitätsabgleich [German] - two German "adjusting their realities", both a very much in my bubble, which is relaxing

Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin - Alec mostly talks to artists, but also some politicians. I am quite selective in which episodes I listen to.

The Blindboy Podcast - most of the time just one guy's stream of consciousness, but in a good way. He has a way of really putting ideas into words.

Freakonomics Radio - economics view of the world. I now skip everything that is to focused on the US

Pessimists Archive Podcast - looking back at what technologies people were afraid of when they were introduced (Forks, Elevators, ...)

80,000 Hours Podcast with Rob Wiblin - how to do good with your career. First time I heard of Effective Altruism, which is an interesting idea.

The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish - completely different topics, depending on the guess, but always something to learn

The Important Thing - by Rands, I thought about putting it into the Management sections, but often it is just chit chat between the two hosts


The Manager’s Handbook Podcast - great recent discovery, sometimes they just talk about their Clearbit handbook and other times they have guests for specific topics.

Eat Sleep Work Repeat - about work culture, often with good guests  

Supermanagers - from Fellows, which is a 1:1 app, great guests with practical discussions

Level-up Engineering - interviews with engineering managers of all levels 

Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman - I can't listen to the original any more, it is too annoyingly overproduced. But in 2020 they introduced Rapid Response, which can be good and is easier on my patience. 

The Retro - That Agile Podcast - podcast about agile, pretty new but promising so far

Radical Candor - related to the book. Sometimes too annoyingly American for me, but sometimes very good 


The Changelog - interviews with all kind of developers, often open source 

The Idealcast with Gene Kim by IT Revolution - I find the host a bit annoying, but the guests make up for it.  

Software Engineering Daily - feels like commercials for software sometimes, but they also have some great interviews with people from Facebook  for example


Discovery - BBC science documentaries  

Science Weekly - The Guardian science podcast  

Science in Action - BBC science news

The Climate Question - BBC podcast about the climate crisis


In Our Time - one of my oldest podcasts, always great discussions. I tend to skip poets and most of history and religion. Great archive.

Reply All - stories about the internet, with fun hosts and well produced

Radiolab - random stories very well researched, sadly the second host retired this year

Seriously… - a selection of BBC documentaries


The Sidewalk Weekly - chat about urbanism, mostly in the US

The Life-Sized City Urbanism Podcast - Mikael is very much living in his bubble, but he has some good points

The War on Cars - another urbanism podcast, maybe the one with the best title. Often focused on the US, but not always.

Streets Ahead  - UK perspective of streets for people


The Documentary Podcast - a mix of BBC documentaries about all kind of topics, often related to current news

Die Wochendämmerung [German] - news update in German, by two fun hosts who are very much in my bubble

Today in Focus - The Guardian current news stories

Music, TV & Films

Desert Island Discs - interviews with celebrities. What eight songs, one book and one luxury item would you take on a desert island. Great archive with interesting guests. I am not so much into the current host, but the guests do save it. Also one of my older podcasts.

Classical Fix - random musicians and other guests get introduced to classical music. I am in it for the music.

'The Wire': Way Down In the Hole - coming to a close now, but if you love The Wire I suggest you listen to the whole thing. It is like a rewatch without sitting in front of the TV. They did scale the sports references a bit down towards the end.

Kermode and Mayo's Film Review - possibly the longest running podcast I am listening to? It is mostly about the two bickering like the old guys from The Muppet Show. 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Friday Links

One of my favourite houses
Last one before the holidays, where I am going to post some other things. A little bit on productivity today as I look into the Zettelkasten hype.


How to Lead When Your Team Is Exhausted — and You Are, Too - I am personally just looking forward to the holiday.  

Shared vision on organization - I think this is one of the hardest things to get right

Four-day workweeks: the experiment that never stopped - one can dream

Interesting work happens at the edges. - very good point, the more I move away from the edge the less interesting daily work is. It can still be important and fulfilling though.  

The Ultimate Skip Level Meeting Guide for Leaders [Podcast] - helpful! I kind of like the idea of having group skip levels once the number gets out of hand 

Navigating Emotional Reactions at Work
[Podcast] - good episode. I definitely have to work on this more. We want everybody to bring their full self to work, this includes the emotions.  


Reducing flaky builds by 18x - great work, not easy to apply for us, but maybe there will be more tooling around this in the future 

Test Flakiness - One of the main challenges of automated testing - Google looking at flaky tests, seems to be the beginning of a series 

Encapsulating Ruby on Rails views - Rails slowly catching up with other frameworks on this 

A Discussion of Good Technical Debt with Jon Thornton [Podcast] - the usual "good technical debt is an investment", but still good 


Zodiac Killer Cipher Solved - that took a while

Exposure Notifications: end of year update - biggest problem is widespread adoption, where it is happening it seems to work 

CentOS Saga continues. Apparently it is a "good thing". Thankfully there are already options like CloudLinux and Rocky Linux developing.


€6.3 billion investment by 2030 planned for commuter train network  - this is great to see. I don't know if it will improve my line, but this might convince some people to take the train instead of the car.

La revolta de les escoles [Catalan] - Schools in Barcelona are protesting against the traffic right in front of their buildings. 

When the Trains Stopped, Cyclists Dodged Manila’s Choking Traffic - Manila is the worst city for walking I know. I always thought it would be good for cycling, as the traffic is pretty slow most of the time. They also created some bike lanes recently.  

Cycling Injury Risk in London: Impacts of Road Characteristics and Infrastructure  - Spoiler: protected bike lanes help, paint on the road hurts

Air pollution a cause in girl's death, coroner rules in landmark case - I hope this changes something. It is time that we treat air pollution as smoking, lead or asbestos.

Women behind huge increase in running and cycling in 2020  - Thank you women! (Just on Strava, so not too representative in general)  

Recovering from long COVID - a cyclist's guide - lets hope nobody needs this guide 

The French Connection
[Podcast] - Interview Deputy Mayor of Paris about the very successful changes they are making to their city


Zettelkasten - This seems a bit of a hype at the moment. As someone who is always looking for a better organization of my stuff I jumped right on it. 

Org-roam: Presentation, Demonstration, and What's on the Horizon [Video] - Zettelkasten for Emacs

the org-gtd package: opinions about Getting Things Done [Video] - I am pretty happy with Todoist, but I am going to have a look at this too. I really need something that works on the mobile phone though.  

Random Houses

Best Architectural Projects of 2020 - People still like rich people's glass and concrete slabs. I tend to agree.

Blob Opera - I am still amazed what kind of stuff they do with our browsers, but then they are now as big as operating systems

Interactive map of all Michelin-starred restaurants in Catalonia  - even though I am often disappointed by starred restaurants I am still eager to try some of these out 

EP 4: Is it too late to stop climate change? [Podcast] - probably yes, though Bill Gates is optimistic 

EP 5: Can people really change? [Podcast] - Bono in the house! 

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, December 11, 2020

Friday Links

Ikea Catalogue 1969
Extra section for the mess that is happening with CentOS at the moment. Thanks Red Hat! Lots of good other stuff too.

Engineering Management

Weak and strong team concepts. - I am all for focus on teams, when you can. Good summary from Will Larson as usual. 

Working From Home During a Pandemic: A Tale of Two Cities - "In the end, it looks like we are doing more and for longer. Some people are loving WFH. Some hate it. Productivity is personal and work from home is personal."

Evolution of my role as a founder CTO - great personal insight from a founder into CTO and VPE roles in a growing startup

Das Scrum Guide 2020 Update [Podcast][German] - good summary of the changes to the scrum guide in this years update 

The Rise of Knowledge Work, and its Structure and Dynamics [Podcast] - good discussion about the aspects of team and knowledge work. I just wish Gene Kim would stop with the non-stop military references.  

How to Stay Aligned in the Midst of a Collaboration Revolution with Bruce Tulgan, CEO of RainmakerThinking [Podcast] - never heard of Bruce Tulgan, but I like his focus on communication with the team, peers and managing up


Setting Up AppSignal Monitoring for a Ruby on Rails Application - we switched to AppSignal for cost reasons, but I am super happy with their service. They now also do JavaScript and Elixir.

Bash 5.1 and Readline 8.1 released - I have to confess I never check for new features in bash and I have been using it since I started with Linux iirc.  
The future of 32-bit Linux  - [LWN] probably around for a bit longer and it isn't just about x86 
Game UI Database  - clearly this should exist for other app categories and even websites.

The CentOS Saga

Red Hat decided that CentOS can't continue as is. People are upset. I am sad. 

I am a Red Hat fanboy and have been using Red Hat Linux, Fedora, RHEL and CentOS since the 90s. I also used to be a Fedora Contributor when I still had the time. 

Let's hope that a fork like Rocky Linux takes over the torch.

Random Catalogues

Ikea to stop printing catalogue after 'successful career' that spanned 70 years - first they take the phone-books and now this! I was always looking forward to browse the new one every summer. Even if it was just the PDF version. I hope they improve the website and especially the apps, they are awful.

You Aren’t Owed An Audience For Your Feedback - Kent Beck is more than the inventor of XP! Great to see him stand up against the bros.

Cities can lead a green revolution after Covid. In Barcelona, we're showing how by Ada Colau - I usually have the rule to ignore "opinion" section on websites, because they lack any filter. I am just going to make an exception, because she is Barcelona's mayor.

Other Links

  • LWN.net Weekly Edition for December 10, 2020 [Paywall] -  Not so much a link collection, but if you are interested in Linux and/or open source you should support them. You can look at last weeks issue, which is free. I share a lot of stuff from them.
  • Tim Bray Long Links - lots of good stuff, a lot about the election and better summarized than I am able to  
  • Links #30 - I met Ben through LunchClub and quite enjoy his blog and art

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, December 04, 2020

Friday Links

Center of the Road
IFTTT is forgetting to push some of my links to Pocket, so I am figuring out a new way for my link posting work-flow. 

Today some great podcasts about leadership and also a course I really enjoy.

Engineering Management

Shared vision on product - must be nice to have more teams than products :-)

Conway’s Law: Critical for Efficient Team Design in Tech - it might be my bubble, but recently I have been thinking a lot about Conway's Law and the Reverse Conway Manoeuvre 

Always leave the code better than you found it - good old Boy Scout Rule, that I somehow can't trace back to the boy scouts

How to Manage a Remote Team [Course] - GitLab course on Coursera. I did learn some things, which was unexpected. I still think fully remote companies live in a weird self selected bubble, but for them it is a nice bubble. And everybody else can learn a bit from them in these weird times.  

Information Sharing [Podcast] - Last week I posted about the Chief Notion Officer. In this podcast they also talk to have someone dedicated for the company Wiki. Maybe this really is something you can't do on the side. 

#97 Roger Martin: Forward Thinking [Podcast] - great podcast episode about leadership 

Managing for Happiness: Tips to Run a Productive Engineering Team [Podcast] - lots of good points about supporting happiness in your team. I am going to check out his books too. 


Impressive iPhone Exploit - wireless wormable root exploit, the stuff of nightmares 

Code Smell – Primitive Obsession and Refactoring Recipes - even worse in dynamic languages where everything ends up as a hash  

From Lambda to Lambda-less: Lessons learned - "However, in an effort to pursue faster product iteration and lower operational overheads, we recently underwent a transition to make it Lambda-less." - I wonder about this a lot. How much do technologies slow us down by not delivering all the tools required for agile development, which "old" technologies have.

Don't Panic: Kubernetes and Docker - how to make people panic: start your sentence with "Don't Panic".  

On Blockchain Voting - always be sceptical of blockchain and using computers for voting 

Open Source Does Not Equal Secure - not necessary secure, but more secure than closed source maybe?  

Scaling Datastores at Slack with Vitess - I haven't used MySQL for a long time, but it is great to see that people are still scaling it up

adventofcode - I never been good at these programming games. I think I lack the competitive edge or the motivation to spend my time on this. 


LTNs Do Not Cause Gridlock, Finds Traffic-Count Analysis - what does provide gridlock? People using cars do. 

Mobility of the future: dialogue and participation for the new roadmap - the plan for Barcelona, quite ambitious  "81.52% of journeys to be made on foot, on public transport or by bike by 2024."

Kensington and Chelsea council criticised for scrapping cycle lane - I don't understand London. The boroughs get money from the city or country and then use it on their roads until they don't. The city should have more power on this. 

Random Roads

Quick App Reviews: Wandrer Tracks Your Quest To Ride Every Road  - I use this, but don't look at it enough. Maybe I'll try to increase my road percentage in my hood next year 

Atlassian sets ambitious goals to combat the climate crisis and reach a net-zero future -  great to see companies moving to a greener future. It is also the first time I heard about Science Based Targets, which is an interesting initiative.

Slack sold to business software giant for $27.7bn - this will end in tears

Why I love Emacs  - I like it, but there is no love between us 

No-kill, lab-grown meat to go on sale for first time - I don't really need a chicken replacement, but lab-grown sushi would be nice. And possibly beef. 

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.