Friday, June 17, 2022

Friday Links 22-20

Acid House flyer with smiley illustration

For some reason I have no urbanism topics or podcasts! 

Dave Kellogg brings an interesting perspective on leadership levels. It is an old article but still valid. He seems to be going against the stream in general. Worth a follow! 

Leadership

Career Development: What It Really Means to be a Manager, Director, or VP - interesting perspective I agree on 

What we learned in studying the most effective founders - mostly as expected, but this is interesting: "While most people would expect self-confidence to grow with time, our data suggests the most effective founders are not nearly as confident as the least effective founders are." 

Stop Interviewing With Leet Code - everybody hates them, all of FAANG loves them

Agile

Your Roadmap Isn’t Really a Road Map - everybody knows this, right? 

Product Backlog Building Canvas - good user stories are hard, here are some helpful frameworks

“Measure Twice, Cut Once” isn’t very Agile. - do experiments, not perfect planning

Technology 

End of an era: Microsoft retires Internet Explorer - about bloody time, but now we have Chrome as the new IE

How we think about browsers - from GitHub

Work

The title Chief Notion Officer is popping up more and more — here's what it looks like - I posted about CNO before, but this is how it could look in practice 

Research Concludes: We Waste Our Time At Work - less meetings are good, especially if you are an IC

Random Acid

No card, no entry: documenting the world’s biggest collection of membership cards from the infamous acid house era - iirc I only had one or two club cards

‘It changed lives and opened minds’: a visual record of the birth of acid house - I was a little bit late to the party 

Heatwave in Spain to drive temperature above 40C in parts of country - I know!

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, June 10, 2022

Friday Links 22-19

bicycle in front of a cycling sculpture
A short one this week. 

Some fun technical reads on Meta's cache invalidation and Linux pipes. 

Leadership

Valuing experience [Podcast] - another great discussions by two coaches

TBM 25/52: In Defense of Frameworks (and Process) - there are always frameworks and they make life easier and more predictable 

CTO Craft MiniCon - The Complete Hiring Arc (In Under 3 hours!) - Full event [YouTube] - recording of a recent hiring conference 

Engineering Levels at Honeycomb: Avoiding the Scope Trap - another good post about career paths

Engineering

Cache made consistent: Meta’s cache invalidation solution - memcache is still around! But scale is just something different at Meta

Why We’re Sticking with Ruby on Rails at GitLab - also see Stockholm Syndrome 

What Would It Take for Roda to Win? - first time I hear about Roda. Good to see another Ruby framework.

Why still 80 columns? [Podcast] - I am in the 80 columns camp! Some of the history is cool.

How fast are Linux pipes anyway? - people have too much time on their hand to solve weird puzzles.

Work

Microsoft to curb use of non-competes, drop NDAs from worker settlements, disclose salary ranges, launch civil rights audit - probably pre-empting law changes 

Our Virtual Hackathon - sadly the default now

Random Bicycles

Bicycle Thieves: Pumped Up - soon available for everybody! 

Episode #298 – Bicycle Mayors Program Founded To Counter Reducing Numbers of Dutch Cyclists [Podcast] - cycling share for kids in the Netherlands is going down. If they can't make it work, who can?

505. Did Domestic Violence Really Spike During the Pandemic? [Podcast] - it is difficult, but probably not 

Random [Comic] - all my facial expressions

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, June 03, 2022

Friday Links 22-18

Robot torso
Quick one today with a new Hiring section.  

The podcasts abut coaching and with the Meetup CEO are also pretty good.

Leadership

TBM 24/52: Your Head Hurts. But Why? - how to debug dissonance, very cool 

Leader As Coach - with Andy Crissinger & Chris VandenBrink [Podcast] - also highlighting the difference between coaching as a leader and a coach

How to Improve Employee Retention During the Great Resignation [Podcast] - from the Meetup CEO

Hiring

Interviewing is a noisy prediction problem - lots of good stuff in there

Behavioural interviews - some of these helped me prepare for interviews, now I am thinking about how to interview

Engineering

Algebraic Data Types in Elixir - I am not sure if Elixir's or Ruby's type checking is weirder

Mozilla releases local machine translation tools as part of Project Bergamot - I hope this ends up on mobile too

Random Robots

Ahead of an electric motorcycle, Kawasaki shows off an electric goat robot with a human rider - this is the stuff nightmares are made of

504. Introducing “Off Leash” [Podcast] - I didn't realise I wanted a podcast about dogs!

Everything [Comic] - indeed

Toyah Willcox and Robert Fripp look back: ‘He came from the 60s, having multiple girlfriends at once’ - I love their YouTube channel

More 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, May 27, 2022

Friday Links 22-17

Library in  Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
I have a new job. You can expect more about hiring and communication here in the coming weeks.

My weird hobby topics will continue. 

Leadership

Leading your engineering team through an unexpected product pivot - Code as Craft is back and it is good. I really liked this one. Pivots are tricky, the ground shifts below you.

Octoverse Spotlight 2021: The Good Day Project—Personal analytics to make your work days better - nothing really news, but using surveys and data to figure out developer happiness 

When Everything is Important But Nothing is Getting Done - a common problem and a good long read about how to fix it

It is not my job - "Glue work vs gap filling" is a great way of describing Staff+ roles 

21 secrets the Scrum Guide doesn’t tell you - "How we cripple Scrum to fit the broken system" - I am not a Scrum purists, but there a lot of good stuff here 

Everything You Need to Know About Answering Behavioral Interview Questions - this is more for the interviewee, but a good introduction to behavioural questions 

Asynchronous Communication is the Great Leveler in Engineering - not much new, just a good summary

Technology 

Stupid RCU Tricks: Is RCU Watching? - I can't stop myself from reading posts about Linux internals! (til: Livejournal is still a thing)

What happened to Perl 7? - I did forget about it! I really don't use Perl much any more. It is such a fun language though. 

747 Hackathon - security researches are clearly having too much fun!

Schneier on security for tomorrow’s software [Podcast] - Bruce Schneier is great. This is the first time I hear him in a podcast and I like how down to earth and humble he is.

Environment 

Toxic particles from brakes to be included in ‘Euro 7’ emission rules - still missing tires 

Urbanism

Crash Course - words matter

Random Books

a book like {foo} - book recommender and recommender for books outside your bubble: Break the Bubble!

Bikes4Ukraine - crowdfunding sends bikes to Lviv, Ukraine [YouTube] - cool initiatives, but it doesn't look like the crowd funding is going anywhere

layoffs.fyi - well, that's depressing

Classic Desert Island Discs - George Michael [Podcast] - I don't think I listed to this one the first time around, really good and what a guy!

How can we live an ethical life? [Podcast] - great interview with the Philosopher Peter Singer

The 6 Horizons of Focus - it has been a long time since I read GTD and I completely forgot about the horizons, this is a good reminder

More 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, May 20, 2022

Friday Links 22-16

Cassette mix desk with Japanese caption
Cassette Mix Deck
I skipped last week because I was on the bicycle. 

Sorry about the length today and the many podcasts. I had a lot of listening time.

Leadership

TBM 22/52: The Perfect Manager/Leader - "I see people putting themselves under so much pressure to be the perfect manager or leader."

Radical Candor S4. Ep 7: Radically Candid Conversations — Kim Scott & Russ Laraway [Podcast] - this was a good episode of that podcast. I like that he doesn't care about the difference between leadership and management any more :-)

From PayPal Mafia to Viral Startups: How David Sacks Leads Growth at Iconic Companies (with David Sacks, General Partner at Craft Ventures) - some really good tips on leadership and what not to worry about 

The great tech hiring slowdown - it hasn't quite reached Europe yet

Resources for leading through crises - collection of Lara Hogan's post related to this. Good to keep bookmarked as there will be more crises.

Productivity Focus - productivity should be only a tools towards another goal 

What do great engineering managers need to know about compensation and equity? - I have been in salary band & career path meetings again :-)

Engineering

Mitigating cognitive bias when coding [Podcast] - interesting to see how biases can change our approach to programming problems

Rust: A Critical Retrospective - my learning of Rust has sadly grind to a halt 

Using Scientist to Refactor Critical Ruby on Rails Code - apparently I landed at another Ruby shop ... expect more Ruby links

The 5 Categories of Engineering Metrics - quick overview

Episode #6: Paying Back Technical Debt With Help From Metrics - interesting to include "onboarding lead time" in there. I can definitely see that. 

Shopify Invests in Research for Ruby at Scale - good to see 

3 Reasons OKRs Are Great For Software Engineering Teams (And Some Drawbacks) - "Writing good OKRs is difficult" ... this is probably where most teams fail

Work

Are we in denial? is Work From Anywhere our destiny? [Podcast] - I am fully remote now, but Raj mentions how important seeing each other regularly is. Lets call it extreme hybrid. 

Bay View is open — the first campus built by Google - meanwhile in office news...

Environment

Saudi Aramco eclipses Apple to once again become the world's most valuable company - the climate crisis is going well

The ‘carbon bombs’ set to blow up the world’s climate pledges [Podcast] - we should just give ... or did we give up already?

Urbanism

Detective Superintendent Andy Cox [Podcast] - every city should have an Andy Cox. He does such a great job of communicating the problems of bad driving

Peaje Urbano - Barcelona '22 [Catalan] - a couple of organizations in Barcelona a lobbying for a city toll 

How to Learn About Other People's Obscure Interests [Comic] - crossover with Not Just Bikes :-)

Why Do So Many Motorists Feel Persecuted When In Reality They Rule The World? - two words: "entitlement" "privilege" 

Kidical Barcelona - just brilliant, now lets normalize it and let them cycle everywhere every day 

Urban Growth Boundaries: Effective or Worthless? [YouTube] - this comes up in London regularly if I remember correctly. I didn't know that some cities treat these boundaries as expandable 

The Gym of Life [YouTube] - if your city allows you to walk/cycle everywhere you don't need a gym

Car-free neighborhoods share simple patterns: key design tips [YouTube] - these look so cool

Can Sustainable Suburbs Save Southern California? - no

The Struggle of Living in NYC [YouTube] - partly applies to London too, though London is way better than NYC

Random Mixes

FULL CASSETTE | ALL GENRE MIX set | ooedotechnica [YouTube] - what is this brilliant piece of magic! A fricking cassette tape mix machine!

Is your identity keeping you from change? [Podcast] - turns out my coach has a podcast! This is a topic that I have been thinking about recently. I always introduce myself as "programmer", but that isn't even true any more. Times of change are also times to invent yourself. 

Is Emotional Intelligence Really So Important? | No Stupid Questions [Podcast] - I am a bit critical of EI, often it seems to be used to say "shut up and deal with it"

HMV No 11 Gramophone Pick-up Restoration [YouTube] - how has this guy only a 1000 subscribers? He is brilliant! 

How Vladimir Putin rejuvenated Nato [Podcast] - he is good for something!

Marcos’ myths: the dictator’s son rewriting history in the Philippines [Podcast] - I am so sorry for my friends in the Philippines. And the current president was awful too. 

RIP the iPod. I resisted you at first, but for 20 years, you were my musical life - I was very close to buy some mp3 player or a Walkman, but a mobile is just too convenient. I do hate streaming though.  

NFT sales plummet 92% as market ‘collapses’ - I hope this continues. I predicted it should have happened earlier ... so don't ask me for advice 

Strava: Mark Gainey and Michael Horvath [Podcast] - how Strava got to be

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, May 06, 2022

Friday Links 22-15

Renault R5 Turbo car
R5 Turbo
This week I loved the article about the Single Threaded Owner. 

Or if you want something to listen to: The Sistine Chapel discussed at In Our Time.

Leadership

Your migration probably isn’t failing due to insufficient staffing.  - there are so many things to go wrong that I question the wisdom of doing them at all. 

Dan Coyle can fix your culture [Podcast] - I quite like the book, this is good too

20 Things I've Learned as a Systems (Over) Thinker - nice list, for all over thinkers

Hold the Mirror, Don’t Paint the Picture: How to Lead an Experienced Team and Coach Underperformers (with David Hanrahan, Chief Human Resource Officer at Eventbrite) [Podcast] - "hire as senior as possible" - interesting

Implementing Amazon's single threaded owner model a retrospective - putting a name to it. I might go for a dual legged stool model (EM + PO) though.

Technology

Announcing the Hare programming language - apparently you can never have enough languages ... now they will have to create a whole new parallel ecosystem. again.

GCC 12.1 Released - 35 years! I was working on a hack to use GCC for parallel programming in university. I had no idea what I was doing. 

Backblaze Drive Stats for Q1 2022 - Star Wars Day edition 

The future of Linux: Fedora project leader Matthew Miller weighs in - interesting titbits, distributions are having a very difficult job today

Work 

Our design to live and work anywhere and Live and Work Anywhere initiative - AirBnB going hybrid

Urbanism

From August 30th, Paris, France, almost the whole city is restricted to 30km/h - Paris is doing everything right

#Autokorrektur: Katja Diehl über die Mobilitätswende, Menschen ohne Führerschein und Identitätspolitik [Podcast, German] - more from the author of Autokorrektur. I hope there will be an English translation soon 

‘It’s just more and more lanes’: the Texan revolt against giant new highways - one more will fix it!

Random Cars

Chris Harris Drives The Renault 5 Turbo 1 [YouTube] - this was my dream car growing up. They are a bit expensive now and not very practical.

On the Ground in Ukraine and Beyond [Podcast] - good stuff on Ukraine and one of the most depressing topics at the moment. (The ads are super annoying since they moved to iheart)

Michael Horvath: the Strava co-founder who’s pacing himself - it is such a great tool and company in my opinion. Especially since he took over the CEO role again.

One down, 39,136 to go: the explorers who walk every street in their city - completionism at its best

Why We Relaunched Code as Craft - good to see them back, this used to be one of my favourite blogs

‘It was the poor man’s studio’: how Amiga computers reprogrammed modern music - more nostalgia

Personal Knowledge Management is Bullshit - yes, but it is better than my brain

The Sistine Chapel [Podcast] - I learned so many new things. Great episode.


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, April 29, 2022

Friday Links 22-14

Old rotary phone
Rotary Phone

The paper about traffic safety messages is very surprising and interesting. 

If you don't measure your change you might make the wrong assumptions.

Leadership

Visualizing Team Dependencies with a Team API - aka team agreement

Founding Uber SRE. - I am pretty sure he is too modest. Interesting that hiring was so fast back then. 

Episode #4: Nothing In Nothing Out - I never seen a good use of Jira for metrics, maybe something to aim for at $NEXTJOB

Work

Burnout, Buffer’s State of Remote Work, and Lessons from Super Pumped [Podcast] - I liked only the first two parts. 

The world's WFH expert is confident for offices [Podcast] - as much as we hate it, most people will work in hybrid environments

Urbanism 

Infiltrating the Auto Show II [Podcast] - how to say: "we added some orange bits" in many words

Can behavioral interventions be too salient? Evidence from traffic safety messages - unintended consequences 

ADAC ruft zum Fahrradfahren auf [German] - German car club recommends to use the bicycle for the trip to the bakery instead of the SUV. (insert sound of hell freezing over) 

Free Public Transit Is Not a Climate Policy - I confess I was a fan of free transport, but I changed my mind for other reasons. Frequency is more important and it should be cheap enough.

Random Phones

Rotary Un-Smartphone - you can buy one now!

Barcelona phone booth library vandalised a day after opening - that is why we can't have nice things

GNOME patent troll stripped of patent rights - nice to see, lets make that happen more often

Seven hours’ sleep is ideal amount in middle to old age, study finds - tell that to our dogs! I wish I had seven hours uninterrupted sleep.

Antigone [Podcast] - I nearly skipped this one, but it is great. I love Greek stories and this one seems lovely, with a connection to the present. 

Maybe [Comic] - "Maybe I'll make some changes today"

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, April 22, 2022

Friday Links 22-13

Bicycle in front of old stone village

I am switching to more off-line reading in the coming weeks. I still got a few interesting bits this week. 

A lot of good summary posts this week. I like the principles and koans one for example.

Leadership

Job Ads to Hire Software Engineers: My Advice - nothing new here, but good to have it in one place 

When your coaching questions freak someone out - I never even considered that. Maybe I have been lucky so far.

Rethinking Flexibility at Work [Podcast] - about autonomy

TBM 18/52: We Need Someone Who Has Done "It" Before - "You have to resist either seeing everything as solved, or everything up in the air. It’s a mix. That’s….”it”."

The 8 Best Professional Development Goals for Managers - good summary of the usual ideas 

TWH#35: Principles - for leadership and management

Engineering

Five Koans of Software Architecture - "“Graph databases are lies”" :-)

Update on the Atlassian outage affecting some customers - that was pretty bad, but I can understand how it can happen 

Do You Really Code? - assessing if you are a programmer with a simple survey

Technology

The Freedom Phone is not great at privacy - oh no!

NULL [Podcast] - technology is pretty hopeless

Clever Cryptocurrency Theft - "It is insane to me that cryptocurrencies are still a thing."

Man who paid $2.9m for NFT of Jack Dorsey’s first tweet set to lose almost $2.9m - poor thing!

Urbanism

U.S. and European Zoning, Compared [YouTube] - apparently you can do zoning OK and it used to be a good idea

What are the most effective ways to get cars out of cities? - Spoiler: congestion charges

The Colorado Safety Stop is the law of the land - I hope this spreads around the world ... unlikely

Air pollution and CO2 from daily mobility: Who emits and Why? Evidence from Paris - SUVs from the suburbs

Environment 

I went on TV to explain Just Stop Oil – and it became a parody of Don’t Look Up - this is amazing, the show and moderators should be ashamed of themselves 

Net Zero Check"If your organisation tweets about #EarthDay we'll tweet with an assessment of your climate commitments."

Random Bikes

Secondhand bikes and city traffic: the joy and grit of an African cycle race - we are spoiled

Blinde Bäckerin verwöhnt Radler mit selbstgemachten Kuchen [German] - if you cycling around Berlin, make this one of your stops. I found it by chance and it was an amazing experience.

The music cassette tape revival is in full rewind mode - they are cheaper too!

1980's Kenwood Tape Deck - Auto-reverse fix [YouTube] - this is my favourite retro audio channel now after Techmoan

Someone managed to fit an entire Raspberry Pi computer inside the body of a cassette - not a cassette any more!

To Do List [Comic] - I feel seen again

Links

Bruce Lawson: Reading List 289

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, April 14, 2022

Saying goodbye to Devex

Hand drawing of factory and "Devex"
After more than eight years I have decided to leave Devex and look for new adventures.

This is a long time and except for my start-up back in the days, the longest stint at one company for me so far.

The world was very different in 2013. The iPhone 5S was released. 2012 Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak was starting to get going. Donald J. Trump announced Miss Universe 2013 To Take Place At Crocus City Hall In Moscow. Ruby 2.1.0 was released, so was Rails 4.0.2. On 23 January 2013, under pressure from many of his MPs and from the rise of UKIP, Cameron announced in his Bloomberg speech that a Conservative government would hold an in-or-out referendum on EU membership before the end of 2017.

I was working at a hotel booking site at that time, when I got introduced to Devex by a friend. I ended up at one of the terrace happenings. Kami, one of the founders, picked my brain and explained the problems and set-up Devex had at the time.

It might have been the alcohol (I was still drinking back then) or the realisation that I couldn’t make it any worse, but at some point I agreed to join the team.

People in office with guitar and wine
The team was very different back then, with just a small team in Barcelona and a much larger team in Manila. There was a Technical Director already, so I joined as Associate Technical Director. Kami’s plan was for me to do 80% coding and 20% management. To me it was clear early on that it probably would end up the other way around.

I kicked off my Friday Links in the first weeks, got Scrum going (and later restarted again after an experiment), introduced code reviews, 1:1s, proper testing, local reproducible environments, continuous integration and set the path to continuous deployment which we are still on. Simplification of our code was also always a goal, it took years to finally remove the legacy codebase named Neo, but some low hanging fruits vanished earlier.

While I might have kicked off a lot of things with a proof of concept or MVP, we wouldn’t be here without the brilliant team. Some have been with Devex about as long as I have been.

Everyone has been very patient with me, while I was learning more about management and getting on board with my visions for the technology and the team.

The team will be fine without me. We have great people already and more are joining in the coming weeks. 

Interview at Devex World 2018
Devex World 2018

I am going to miss the team, all Devexers, Frine (Friday wine), office dogs, an office!, Devex World, visits to our Manila and DC offices.
I will miss the discussions about our technology, products, teams and culture.

Devex is a very special place and the international development community is a very special industry to work with. You don't often have the chance to be part of something that is creating such a positive impact in the world. 

The Devex slogan of "Do Good. Do It Well." is more than just a motivational message. It is something to aim for every day.

But it is finally time for me to move on and say goodbye.  

More on my future in another post...

Early Friday Links 22-12

Foto of Amiga 1000 homecomputer
Amiga 1000

Short and quiet week. I liked the refresher on engineering directors and 1:1s.

Leadership

Mailbag: Resources for Engineering Directors. - helpful summary of previous articles and book pointers

Episode #2: The First Taste of Metrics - continuation of the metrics blog post series 

One on One Meetings: The Only Guide Managers Need - I get more and more annoyed by the Lighthouse posts, but this one is a good overview

Engineering

Performance at GitHub: deferring stats with rack.after_reply - I am pretty sure I did something similar in PHP ten years ago

De-anonymizing Bitcoin - I hope this is another nail in that coffin

Environment

Sun, sea and now smoke free: Barcelona bans cigarettes on the beach - nice!

Coming soon: More ways to repair your Pixel phone - good to see more repairable devices. Swapping screens and batteries should be something everybody can do

Police in Spain seize €29m haul of stuffed endangered animals - what the fuck is wrong with people?

Urbanism

Autonomous murderbot pulled over by SFPD; tries to escape. - this is not the urban future I imagined

The streets belong to the people - "understanding that the streets quite literally belong to the public is a good place to start."

Heavy-Ass EVs Are Going To Kill Us All - in Europe you will need a truck license to drive the Hummer EV. As much as I would like do drive it off-road for fun, it is a pretty pointless car.

Colorado approves bill to let cyclists ride through red lights - but what will drivers complain about then?

Random Computers

A500 Mini review – tiny Commodore Amiga is a robust piece of tech nostalgia - I stick with emulation for now until I can revive my Amiga with pistorm

How to ace your interview [Comic] - I can relate

Cylinder Records - New music on dead formats taken to the extreme [YouTube] - if you thought collecting cassette decks was weird

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, April 08, 2022

Friday Links 22-11

old green diesel locomotive

Catching up with podcast. The ones about Coaching Habit, Brian Kernighan and The Pedestrian are very good.

Leadership

Tackling bottlenecks at scale-ups [Podcast] - Podcast with a summary of the idea behind the content I shared recently.

How To Do Less - about hard prioritization "First, you need to lower everybody’s expectations, ASAP."

Why greater autonomy is the future of software development - release of the Atlassian State of the Developer Report [PDF]

Rich Paret - Why You're Terrible at Hiring (and how to fix it) [Podcast] - the idea of hiring someone without comparing them to other candidates is great and difficult

How to refactor meetings as they grow with the rule of eight - about meetings, team and company structure. 

Episode #1: Going On an Adventure! The First Step - getting started with metrics and running into problems already 

TBM 15/52: A Tale of Two Meetings - I am not going to lie, 180 minute meetings scare me

How GitHub does take home technical interviews - a lot of automation, which makes sense at scale

Technology Radar - I like the idea of the radar more than the content :-)

The Best Managers Don't Rescue, They Coach: Why Your Goals Should Be Thrilling, Important, and Daunting (with Michael Bungay Stanier, Author of ‘The Coaching Habit’ & ‘How to Begin’) [Podcast] - I love the (very short) book and it is nice to hear him talking about it

Engineering

Prevent the introduction of known vulnerabilities into your code - another cool use of GitHub actions and their dependency review service 

Devs For Ukraine - free on-line conference to raise funds for Ukraine 

Wisdom from 50+ years in software [Podcast] - Interview with Brian Kernighan

Handling Flaky Tests at Scale: Auto Detection & Suppression - flaky tests are one of my obsessions

Stabilize, Modularize, Modernize: Scaling Slack’s Mobile Codebases - modularization is key here

Work

Thousands of UK workers to take part in four-day week trial - take me! 

Atlassians are on the move as our people embrace TEAM Anywhere - interesting migration patterns

How many jobs can be done at home? - "37% of jobs in the United States can be performed entirely at home. Jobs that can be done at home typically pay more." this will split society even more

Environment

Last stop, underwater: the Spanish railway line being devoured by the sea - we are all affected

Ebre River Delta activists form human SOS message to highlight environmental issues - We have to accept that this place is lost. 

Cutting fuel taxes is a bad idea - everybody knows 

London, Paris, Rome, and Milan denounce High Court’s rejection of Low Emission Zone - something is going really wrong with Barcelona's ZBE

Urbanism

Old Enough: the Japanese TV show that abandons toddlers on public transport - I haven't watched this yet, but it does sound intriguing. Imagine a city where it is perfectly normal and safe that kids can move around alone on foot, public transport or bicycle.

Usuaris Bicing visiten la nau i celebren els 15 anys de servei [Catalan] - Bicing (Barcelona bike share) is 15 years old! It is such a big part of the change of the city. 

Model project: 30 km/h speed limit leads to better air quality  - surprise! 

The Pedestrian [Podcast] - I too have been stopped by the police in LA for walking. I was a teenager and with my family.

The Only* Car-Free Neighbourhood in Canada (and why you can't live there) [YouTube] - the weird thing is not this neighbourhood, but that you can never build one like this again  

Episode #294 – Building a Better World — an Activist Planner’s Network Analysis of Bike Lanes in Paris [YouTube] - the importance of network vs length of lanes

New smartphone app to allow public to submit evidence of speeding drivers - I want this! Or something similar to measure speed of cars in the city.

Autos raus – Berliner Friedrichstraße zieht mehr Menschen an [German] - Berlin banned cars from a small stretch of road in the city centre and as always it has been a success

What’s a City’s Curb Space Worth? - more than wasting it on parking

Random Trains

Rail route of the month: Barcelona to Cádiz, the slow train right across Spain - I took this train once at night. Next time I make sure it is a day train to watch the scenery. 

The people who keep the refugee trains running out of Ukraine – photo essay - everybody in Ukraine is a hero

Visualizing Air Raid Sirens in Ukraine - good and depressing use of data

Introducing Atlas – your new teamwork directory - this looks useful if you already bought into the Atlassian tool-set

498. In the 1890s, the Best-Selling Car Was … Electric [Podcast] - a bit of history of the electric car. Also mentions that roads where paved for bicycles

Today is March 769th, 2020 - helpful calendar 

Building a Second Brain - I am using org-roam for my second brain. The post has links to more ideas around this. See also: Second Brain Summit 2022 - Full Session Recordings [YouTube]

That smiling LinkedIn profile face might be a computer-generated fake - weird

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, March 25, 2022

Friday Links 22-10

cute monster
I have to confess that I have been still doom-scrolling Ukraine news. 

I still have some interesting links and even some fun reads.

Leadership

The dreaded reorg - "draft your communication plan" is always a good start

Dimensions of Power - I didn't realise companies do private/secret levels. 

How We're Helping Our Remote Team Feel More Connected - a lot of common sense, but good summary

Engineering

An update on recent service disruptions - I love these posts, we should all learn from each others outages

Urbanism

Judicial ruling on the Low Emissions Ordinance (ZBE) of Barcelona - WTF!

Random Monsters

I Created An Account Where Professional Artists Recreate Children’s Monster Drawings Each Week - the Instagram account is the best way to follow it

The hunt for the horse-killer gang that never was - people always expect the worst from people

Over 14,000 Ukrainian refugees have already arrived in Catalonia - this is just the start, they can't all stay in Poland

Moving to Spain could be good for your mental health, new report suggests - I know! Just look how Spain compares to the UK. 

'Bizarro World' That's what my wife and I entered when we drove up to an arcade in Weirs Beach, New Hampshire, where she would attempt to break an official world record in the classic video game Tetris. - great story, sadly only this awkward archive version is available

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, March 18, 2022

Friday Links 22-9

Blue lobster
Blue Lobster
Some longer reads and good podcasts about leading and structuring teams. 

And mostly amusing random links.

Leadership

The SPACE of Developer Productivity - framework for thinking about developer productivity

Refactor → Organisation - story of the reorganisation of BBC's website team

When There’s Doubt, There’s No Doubt: How to Protect Culture and Eliminate Hiring Biases (with Nick Dimitrov, Founder of Bar Raiser) [Podcast] - good strategies for hiring

Is there ever a good time for a code freeze? [Podcast] - not really

What Team Structure is Right for DevOps to Flourish? - like Team Topologies, but focused on DevOps 

How Engineering Managers Are Set Up To Fail - nothing especially new, but a good summary 

Hard to work with - how much of conflict should be resolved by the managers vs the team

Work

2022 Pay Analysis: Our Unadjusted Gender Pay Gap is Below 1% - Buffer is inspiring as always

Random Lobster

Leon VS The killifish [YouTube] - I still follow the adventures of Leon the rescued lobster

Learn Vim in Less than 2 Minutes [YouTube] - the guy is annoying, but this is quite funny

‘We’ll be back … stay tuned’: Kermode and Mayo’s BBC Radio 5 Live film show to end after 21 years - oh no! Also: have I been listening for 21 years now? 

Meta employees left to do their own laundry as perks get cut - poor guys!

Lunaz Design - Where Old World Charm Meets New World Technology [YouTube] - electric car conversions that are probably the only reason to be filthy rich

An OpenStreetMap viewer for Emacs - Emacs does everything 

Daylight Saving Time Gripe Assistant Tool - nobody wants shorter evenings! 

Sitcom 'Servant of the People' Back on the Streamer - I watched one episode on YouTube, it is quite funny

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, March 11, 2022

Friday Links 22-8

Vinyl record on recorder player

The war is on my mind, but not in my links. 

I enjoyed the podcast about bad bosses and the discussion about time in the last article.

Leadership

Bottlenecks of Scaleups - new blog series that looks very promising 

Applying Product Thinking to Slack’s Internal Compute Platform - that is probably one problem of some platform teams: they don't treat their internal users as customers and the platform as a product. 

Unlearning - what has worked before, doesn't have to work now. Situations and companies changes, you experience is mostly helpful in choosing what not to do

The Five Time Thieves - part the of "Making Work Visible". While I don't like to anthropomorphism used in this, the points are still valid.

495. Why Are There So Many Bad Bosses? [Podcast] - the Peter Principle & co

Engineering

The Waning of Ruby and Rails - I think this is pretty obvious and if you want to hire people in the future you shouldn't start a Rails project now. Which is a shame, because Ruby is quite a nice language. Rails is stuck in the past though. 

Urbanism

Suburbia is Subsidized: Here's the Math [ST07] [YouTube] - cities seem to completely ignore the numbers though

Barcelona begins phase one of connecting tram networks through Diagonal Avenue - about fricking time!

Bicibus, BikeBus, BikeTrains: Where are they going? - one of the best things coming from Barcelona

Random Vinyl

Analogue Hearts, Digital Minds [PDF] - study about how much of the quality of vinyl compared to digital is really just in your head (spoiler: most of it)

How Covid Stole Our Time and How We Can Get It Back - this goes very good with a book I am reading at the moment. "These two delusions — that we have countless time ahead of us and that we can’t change our course — are a recipe for complacency."

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, March 04, 2022

Friday Links 22-7

photo of abandoned warehouse
abandoned warehouse

Most of what I read this week was related to the ongoing war and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. 

But I have nothing to add or to share about it. Lets hope that this gets resolved soon and Ukraine prevails.

Leadership

The State Of Burnout In Tech - results of surveying lots of tech professionals. As far as I am aware I suffered burnout three times in my career. They come in different severities and durations. I might have missed or ignored some of the smaller ones. The survey also comes with an risk assessment tool.

A playbook for managing & leading in difficult times & crises - I liked this very much and will keep it in my back pocket for the next difficult time. They seem to get more frequent.

Can You Take a Problem from Beginning to End? How to Read Signals and Manage “Synthesizers” (with Scott Williamson, Chief Product Officer at GitLab) [Podcast] - "Synthesizers" is an interesting framing. I think most introverts would fall into the category of "think first ... a lot ... and then speak"

Perverse Incentives of Retrospective Promotions - "As an employer. you got the performance, why wouldn't you pay for it?"

Redesigning work with Lynda Gratton [Podcast] - about hybrid work

Engineering

The Story Graph with Nadia Odunayo [Podcast] - great origin story. I wish I would like The Story Graph more, but my books are still on Goodreads. 

New – Customer Carbon Footprint Tool - this is pretty cool

Urbanism

Low traffic neighbourhoods encourage a quarter of Hackney’s residents to cycle more, poll finds - unsurprisingly they work, but the opponents are just too vocal

Killer Truck, Dude - I don't get the allure of monster pick up trucks. They seem so impractical compared to a van or a reasonable sized SUV.

Random warehouses

Inside the world's biggest humanitarian warehouse [Podcast] - a small look inside the logistics of humanitarian aid. You can also see it in a tour here: UNICEF global supply hub virtual tour [YouTube].

Voluntary UK ban on killing birds with lead shot has had ‘no detectable effect’ - what? Voluntary restrictions don't work? (see environment and urbanism)

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, February 25, 2022

Friday Links 22-6

Cray 1 supercomputer
Cray 1
I am catching up with my reading and listening.

Nothing about the war in Europe. It is to fresh and too frustrating. I don't even want to think about it. 

Leadership

TBM 8/52: The Data-Informed Product Cycle"We (hopefully) start with a Strategy"

You Won't Have All the Answers: Why Being Intellectually Honest and Disassociating from Ideas Makes You a Better Leader (with Remi Guyot, Chief Product Officer at BlaBlaCar) [Podcast] - how to get into management and how to enable people  

From Manager to Director: Guide to Managing Managers [Podcast] - mostly about the differences to managers and how to grow into it

Don’t Be the CEO of Happiness: Why Culture is Defined by a Team (with Colleen McCreary, Chief People, Places, & Publicity Officer at Credit Karma) [Podcast] - Good communication is key

The Death of Process - plan for obsolescence of the policies you create!

Goodreads: Otis and Elizabeth Chandler [Podcast] - founding story of Goodreads

Engineering

Moving the kernel to modern C [LWN] - "modern" as in over 20 years old standard 

Data diffs: Algorithms for explaining what changed in a dataset - quickly see differences in data

A walk through Project Zero metrics - seems like we are getting better at fixing security issues

Y2038 - I am mostly hoping to be retired by then

Balancing Safety and Velocity in CI/CD at Slack - it is interesting how bad it was and how they dealt with it

Learning from incidents [Podcast] - how to best handle incidents to gather insights and learn 

The Kobayashi Maru of Comparing Dates with Times - dates and times are the worst

Work

Our Vision for Location-Independent Salaries at Buffer - not quite location independent, but the two bands are pretty close

How to Have the Best Bad Meetings - controversial! 

Mandatory cycling helmet law dropped in Seattle as it unfairly targets black people and the homeless, say officials - they also are not very useful 

Why People Really Quit Their Jobs - "People leave jobs, and it’s up to managers to design jobs that are too good to leave."

The 4 Rs of people-first culture - quite common sense, but I like the definition

Environment

Valve partners with iFixit so you can replace Steam Deck parts by yourself - we need more of this kind of information for products

The future of research events? - "I think it’s also urgent though that we stop tolerating conferences without an ethical/environmental policy."

Ghost village emerges in Spain as drought empties reservoir - beautiful, but also frightening. We haven't had proper rain in more than 70 days now.

Urbanism

There Are No Accidents with Jessie Singer [Podcast] - cars don't kill people, people do 

What Happened When They Banned Cars [YouTube] - spoiler: everything got better

Stealing Bicycles by Swapping QR Codes - sneaky! 

Well There's Your Problem | Episode 96: John Forester & Vehicular Cycling [YouTube] - I listened to the podcast, but this has slides. Good history and insights into urban cycling

‘Noise radar’ in Paris will catch raucous cars and motorbikes - meanwhile most cities don't even enforce speed limits or stop lights 

Bicycles and public transport: The perfect match - good to see the World Bank getting into this

From crisis to opportunity: How the Philippines built 500km of bike lanes in less than a year - apparently this is very one sided and doesn't talk about the local advocacy groups, but still good news

Wie Europas Metropolen das Auto loswerden wollen [German] - slowly

Random Supercomputers

Clustered-Pi Zero edition - your own mini Cray!

Homage to Spain’s railways: take the slow train for the best scenic routes - I don't ride enough trains!

Romeo and Juliet [Podcast] - the brilliant thing about In Our Time are these kind of topics that I usually wouldn't get in contact with. Great episode.

Presenting: Science Vs. Joe Rogan: The Malone Interview [Podcast] - turns out it is indeed pretty bad

Can Joe Rogan change? [Podcast] - spoiler: no

Bypassing Apple’s AirTag Security - "Apple didn’t think this through nearly as well as it claims to have"

More Guns Do Not Stop More Crimes, Evidence Shows - for some reason I wanted to find out how useful guns are to prevent crime or in self defence. This is a great article and answers that question.

Synology NAS and Hard Drive Compatibility in 2022 – Should I Be Worried? - turns out that Synology is behaving not nice

A Software Engineer Upgraded an Old iPod for 2022 - I am using YouTube Music and I do hate it at times. It really forces you to listen to the same songs over and over again.

Making Singletrack Legal: The Threat of 1,000€ Fines and The Politics of Barcelona’s Collserola Park - this is so frustrating. I had some of my most fun riding on those singletracks, when I lived in Barcelona.

Portland Startup to Mine Artisanal Bitcoin Using Only Slide Rules and Graph Paper - finally hipster coins!

‘The sprites clearly do not look like actual lemmings’: the inside story of an iconic video game - TIL: there is a documentary about Lemmings

worldle - I am so bad at this

»Alle diese Wege gibt es noch, sie haben eine Geschichte« [German] - cycling in the Pyrenees 

Show me a 10ft paywall, I’ll show you a 12ft ladder. - super useful paywall skipping tool

In Praise of ‘Line Goes Up’ - can't be repeated often enough

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.