Friday, September 23, 2022

Friday Links 22-30

Abstract cityscape
Many topics this week. I love the hack of a stolen laptop, the post of cascading goals made me think, good climate news cheered me up and check out random for some fun and funny stuff.


Setting your engineers up for success: how Skyscanner created greater clarity in our competencies and pathways to progression - interesting approach, kind of similar to my favourite one from Etsy

TBM 41/51: Why Goal Cascades are Harmful (and What to Do Instead) - interesting. I always thought top down, cascading goals were a good thing. I have to think about this more. 

Dealing with Top-Down Projects - tricky, but good suggestions 

What do you need to know to be a manager? - "Can a lack of subject-matter expertise even be an asset for a leader?"

Seven things you need to know about retaining engineering talent - good summary of the usual reasons why people leave or stay


How we merged our main repositories into a single monorepo - I love monorepos! 

From Stolen Laptop to Inside the Company Network - that is quite a hack


An X11 Apologist Tries Wayland - nice, someone, please convince the Cinnamon people

The SSD Edition: 2022 Drive Stats Mid-year Review - "At this point we can reasonably claim that SSDs are more reliable than HDDs"


Hacker Stations - more workspace porn 

I Tried A ‘Body Doubling’ App To Help With Focus – It’s Weird But It Works - it's like pair programming for random tasks


Rain in Catalonia will be more frequent, violent and unpredictable in future - lovely 

Barcelona bat el rècord històric de nits tropicals: 114 nits sense baixar de 20 ºC [Catalan] - new record of number of nights above 20C in Barcelona: 114 this year

Been Angry [Comic] - me too  

Earth is now our only shareholder. - Patagonia changing its business ownership to a trust, with the money made being invested in fighting the climate crisis 

Reasons for (cautious) optimism: the good news on the climate crisis [Opinion] - that cheered me up a bit 

Cancer breakthrough is a ‘wake-up’ call on danger of air pollution - "Smoking remains the biggest cause of lung cancer, but outdoor air pollution causes about one in 10 cases in the UK"


Crossing the Street Shouldn't Be Deadly (but it is) [YouTube] - I get so annoyed by short pedestrian light phases

Renovation works to 'detouristify' Barcelona's La Rambla to begin on October 3 - I am curious about how successful this will be 

Uphill battle: How Spain’s Pamplona helped cyclists overcome steep slopes - elevators for bikes 

How Japan Won its ‘Traffic War’ - public transport, less parking and smaller cars 

Why Empty Offices Are Becoming Apartments in Texas’s Big Cities - this is great, we need housing, people want to live in cities and cities need people 

France’s answer to Banksy: the anonymous street artist filling potholes with colourful mosaics - this is brilliant

Small prefab backyard home feels more livable than McMansions [YouTube] - more housing, even if it is for the rich

Random Trombones 

There is no song that cannot be improved by Trombone Champ - I am not convinced, I even want to play it, but the videos are great.

Gratitude [Comic] - me looking at some mindful tips

Bikes4Ukraine - The Story So Far [YouTube] - still lacking donations 

Longest single-volume book in the world goes on sale – and is impossible to read - it's a (stolen) comic

‘Gifs are cringe’: how Giphy’s multimillion-dollar business fell out of fashion - I always hated GIFs, it isn't just the kids 

Cats on Synthesizers in Space - exactly what it says on the tin

Air Force Releases List Of What’s In Its Famous ‘Petting Zoo’ Threat Training Facility - I never thought about this, but it clearly makes sense to have this. 

Dismantling Schengen – half a year at a time - oh, bugger

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, September 09, 2022

Friday Links 22-29

AI art: lady in front of cityscape

Two week of links again. Will's post about hiring quality was fascinating. 

And I learned about Sturgeon's Bias, which I have to remember for the future. 


One-on-ones with executives. - cool advice from Will Larson about ad-hoc 1:1s with executives 

Is Engineering Management Bullshit? - no

Sturgeon's Biases - TIL: "Ninety percent of everything is crud."

Eight Traps to Avoid When You Take Over a Team - a bit late, but thanks

The Scoop: Netflix’s historic introduction of levels for software engineers - it is so wild that Netflix didn't have levels 

Onboarding Practices: The First Month - Angela about her personal onboarding plan

Dear Ex-Bigco New to Smallco - I think this can be general advice when changing companies 

OPP (Other People’s Problems) - how to pick your battles 

The fallacy of “thriving in ambiguity” - "Ambiguity is bad. You should thrive in it, sure, but you should also strive to eliminate it whenever possible."

Why are you so busy? - being busy shouldn't be the goal for you or your team

Bar raisers, hiring committees, and other complex ways to improve hiring quality. - I liked the idea of Amazon's bar raisers for a while, but Will makes a good point that you probably don't need them


Facebook Has No Idea What Data It Has - if you ever felt bad about how much of a mess your data is: you are not alone

JIT Compilers for Ruby and Rails: An Overview - more speed and more choice for Ruby

After self-hosting my email for twenty-three years I have thrown in the towel. The oligopoly has won.  - I gave up too. I pay someone to do it now. 

How to Sign Commits For GitHub With SSH - this is nice, but seems a bit of a hassle for most cases


Telegraph miscalculates the cost of working from home - yes, but there is still a cost 

California Passes Law Requiring Companies to Post Salary Ranges on Job Listings - one more state, we are getting there 

How to create the perfect home office setup for remote working - good summary of best practices


Australian parliament passes first climate change legislation in a decade - they have some catching up to do. 

World on brink of five ‘disastrous’ climate tipping points, study finds - we all have some catching up to do. 

Clearing the Air [Podcast] - the case of Ella Kiss-Debrah, her death was the first ruled as partly caused by air pollution 

More ways to drive sustainably and save money with Google Maps - finally also in Europe

The truth about hydrogen [YouTube] - it is very inefficient and probably dirty  

Germany’s €9 train tickets scheme ‘saved 1.8m tons of CO2 emissions’ - sounds like a success to me!


How might (should) cities regulate Bicibus? - ideally, the Bicibus should be the norm and not need protection. Until then, the protection is a good thing.

513. Should Public Transit Be Free? [Podcast] - I don't think so, but I think the best way is a very cheap yearly subscription. I think it will lead to higher usage.  

‘I will never ride a bike again’: why people are giving up on cycling - :-( 

How car culture colonised our thinking – and our language - our life is framed by car, we have to rewire our brains

Freie Fahrt für freie Fussgänger:innen [German] - how to rethink cities and traffic in Switzerland  

Spat at, abused and run off the road: why do some people hate cyclists so much? - the UK sounds like a nice place ... not!

Would you believe me if I told you the true cost of owning a car is over $11 million? How can that be? Come join me for a thread. 🧵👇 [Tweet] - for the US, but owning a car is expensive

Random Queen

Queen Elizabeth II don die - BBC News Pidgin. RIP.

Flicker-free Elite on the Commodore 64 and Plus/4 - that is pretty cool. And it is just a backport of later Elite versions. 

The super-rich ‘preppers’ planning to save themselves from the apocalypse - this is kind of funny. “How do I maintain authority over my security force after the event?”

Shaving Compact Discs to improve the sound (?!) [YouTube] - audiophile magic! 

ON THE WHEEL | Finally, Tour de France Femmes: Episode 1 - A New Beginning  [YouTube] - the women's Tour de France, a step in the right direction!  

The utterly delightful site dedicated to classifying plastic bread tags - this is just magic, someone had too much time on their hands 

AI Creating 'Art' Is An Ethical And Copyright Nightmare - this doesn't look good

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, August 26, 2022

Friday Links 22-28

AI generated art of modern, but run down office building

Quiet week. The team assessment repository has a lot in it and I just started looking through it.

Interesting papers about urbanism, but maybe I just say that because it confirms my bias.


Multi-team Software Delivery Assessment - nice collection of useful team assessments, everything from team health, to delivery and security 

Imposter Syndrome [Comic] – it's me

Benefits of Pulse Surveys for Remote and Distributed Teams - a bit spammy. I used to be highly sceptical, but now I am a convert. If done right and with the right communication, these can be super helpful for all teams.


Building a Feature Education Coordination Platform at Strava - moving this from client to centralised 


Lucid Emacs was released 30 years ago - happy birthday  - jwz was apparently really bored back then

Unix legend, who owes us nothing, keeps fixing foundational AWK code - I never got into awk!


Remote Workers Are Wasting More Than an Hour a Day on Productivity Theater, New Report Finds  - mostly the fault of managers apparently


Adults’ self-reported barriers and enablers to riding a bike for transport: a systematic review [Paper] – turns out everyone is mostly scared of cars 

Barcelona by bike - a perfect city for cycling? - yes (all cities are)

How Does Urban Sprawl Affect Public Health? Evidence from Panel Survey Data in Urbanizing China [Paper] - and it isn't great.

Photo stream of urban design that's deliberately hostile to unhoused people - people are shite.

New variable speed limits to improve cyclist safety following fatal hit and run - a bit late, isn't it?

Random Art

Michael Heizer’s City, a vast art project in the Nevada desert 50 years in the making, will finally open to the public - I am conflicted about this. I guess this makes it art.

EuroVelo Routes Finally Available as GPX Files - this is lovely, make me want to go on a longer ride. Or just use parts of these.

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 19, 2022

Friday Links 22-27

three bottles of non-alcoholic cava
non-alcoholic cava

This week I enjoyed the podcasts about Culture AMP's data and the one with Daniel Pink about regret.

I am still browsing the Gallup State of Workplace survey, it is a lot of data.


Build Week at Buffer: What It Is and How We’re Approaching It - we used to call that just hack week. Build week is definitely more inclusive. 

Diving into Culture Amp's data lake - How we uncover insights from 34 million employee experience data points. [Podcast] - interesting data points that all companies should use ... but probably don't 

True Time Management is About Deciding What Not To Do - management in general is deciding what to do 

Learning From Regret - with Daniel Pink & Jerry Colonna [Podcast]  - regret as a data point


Tornado Cash and collateral damage [LWN] - I am on the fence. Since the developers profited they should go to jail, but maybe we keep the code around?

News for the tz database - oh yes! with nuggets like "Rename Europe/Kiev to Europe/Kyiv." or "Iran no longer observes DST after 2022.

 wisp: Whitespace to Lisp - in case Lisp isn't weird enough 

Making accessible DocuSign forms - not great


‘I had a very welcome lie-in on Friday’: the joys and challenges of switching to a four-day week - I'll accept a salary cut!

Why quiet quitting is more than leaving a job - this is more interesting than the title suggests

State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report - "Stress among the world's workers reached an all-time high -- again." (full report)


Slow Travel - Tim on the idea of avoiding planes as much as possible

Cigarette butts: how the no 1 most littered objects are choking our coasts - if you want to know how egoistic smoking is, look no further

Spain wildfires: up to 20 injured after passengers break out of train engulfed by flames  - this is fine 

Is it time to end cats’ right to roam?  - I hope not, but they are a pest


Can Public Transit Beat Uber? [YouTube] - probably not. I think we have something like this on trial in Barcelona.

When Cars Kill, It’s Not an “Accident”: A Conversation With Jessie Singer - and cars don't kill, people do

Random Drinks

The Rise of the Non-Alcoholic Pairing Menu - I want to experience one of these 

The 100% Solar Powered Sun Ship That NEVER Needs Charging! [YouTube] - now I want a boat. Not for that price though. 

Gmail gets approval to move forward with plan to ruin its spam filter - definitely going evil

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, August 12, 2022

Friday Links 22-26

Two weeks worth of links. This time with a comics extra instead of leadership links. 

Lots of good environment and urbanism articles.

And the most surprising podcast about how rescuing people from cars is changing


A Deep Dive into Memory Leaks in Ruby  - part 2

CPAN - This Day In History [Podcast] - when I switched from Perl to PHP, CPAN was what I was missing the most 

Backblaze Drive Stats for Q2 2022 - also available as raw data!

All You Need to Know about EdgeDB - first time I hear about this one

The Best-Selling PC of All Time: Commodore 64 Turns 40 - I never had one, but all my friends did


Malcolm Gladwell slams working from home: ‘What have you reduced your life to?’ - great hair, weird opinions. I am not a WFH zealot, but this piece seems to be wrong in so many ways. Especially if you check how he works.


Rhine close to running dry in German energy nightmare - this is fine 

Source of River Thames dries out ‘for first time’ during drought  - also fine

Bitcoin mining operation Riot Blockchain earns more money in July by - look at that thing! 

Sostenibilidad del Consumo en España [Spanish, PDF] - impact is moving outside of Spain, food & mobility have the biggest impact 

A fine or a nudge? Charging for plastic bags works and is an interesting behavioural case study - "The average shopper in a UK major supermarket now uses just three plastic bags per year, compared to 140 back in 2014."

No more glaciers in Catalonia as climate change melts Iberian Peninsula's last ones away   - I didn't even realise there was one, and now it will be gone in 20 years 

Spain puts limits on air conditioning and heating to save energy - this also makes life in the city nicer

Spain warns heatwave threatens olive oil production - we have olive trees and only the ones in the shade of the house have olives this year


Ten futuristic cities set to be built around the world - none of these will ever be built

Brussels breaks up with the car - "If you look at the numbers, only 20 to 25 percent of the people who live or come to work here use cars,"

La revolución peatonal de Valencia [Spanish] - I haven't seen these plazas open yet, but this looks great. Valencia is brilliant anyway.

Paris halves street parking and asks residents what they want to do with the space - “We can no longer use 50% of the capital for cars when they represent only 13% of people’s journeys,”

The Car-Replacement Bicycle (the bakfiets) [YouTube] - definitely more useful in cities, but I love my cargo bike  

The political economy of car dependence: A systems of provision approach [Paper] - " Through uncovering the constituents, processes and characteristics of car-dependent transport systems, we show that moving past the automobile age will require an overt and historically aware political program of research and action."

SF traffic cops issue just 10 citations a day - this sounds like every city 

Fare deal: Ireland joins Europe-wide efforts to coax people out of cars - cheaper public transport will help, but you have to be patient 

Bicycle Theft Barcelona 2021 - one of the big problems for cyclist in Barcelona 

UK heatwave: Weather forecasters report unprecedented trolling - lets just pretend it doesn't exist 

How far can you go by train in 5h? - pretty far if you are in Paris or Switzerland, the network in Spain has lots of big holes 

The city that pioneered Europe’s car-free future - Pontevedra still doing fine "Instead of driving out to malls on the periphery, people shop in the city center: The city is our mall."

Comics  - make your own excuses 

How to Enjoy Your Own Geekiness - not me! 

Inflation - ouch

Sprints - this sounds familiar

Random Spreadsheets

Excel Esports: ALL-STAR BATTLE [YouTube] - Yes, the spreadsheet 

Is it time for a complete overhaul of car wreck rescue techniques? [Podcast] - apparently we never stop learning. This is amazing and not obvious at all. 

"Men have no friends and women bear the burden” [Podcast] - I have trouble with making friends. Time to join some local clubs.

Opinion Why does the IRS need $80 billion? Just look at its cafeteria. - this is beautiful and makes me feel better about all weird processes

The End of Manual Transmission - can't come early enough.  If you like it so much, then also go back to rotary phones. Your steering, throttle and brakes are probably already by wire. I wonder if "sport"-car companies will add fake stick shifts to future cars just for these weirdos who like to feel "to be in control".

People are blowing cinnamon on their front doors – wellness experts explain why - what?

Stray review – cats get the cream in slinky, post-apocalyptic fantasy - five stars 

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, July 29, 2022

Friday Links 22-25

Photo of the classic R5 Turbo rally car
Some good long reads today: The classic "Give Away Your Legos", how to slowly kill your org, Why Spotify Squads are a Failure and Bicycle Graveyards.

A few podcasts, the one about agile is definitely worth it.


‘Give Away Your Legos’ and Other Commandments for Scaling Startups - classic article 

190 Brilliant Examples of Company Values - so many values, so similar. The ones from Build-A-Bear a fun.

The manager’s guide to slowly killing your org - helpful!

How a Leader Made the Interview Process More Collaborative - setting expectations for all interviews upfront is key 

Team Topologies Distilled - Elite performing teams are long lived [YouTube] - small long-lived autonomous teams with a shared purpose  

Jonathan Frakes Asks You Things [YouTube] - 1:1 starter questions :-) stolen from somewhere  

Why Spotify Squads Are a Popular Failure for Product Teams - don't copy them, but take the good parts and adapt to your environment 

Screw SCRUM: Guide to Building a Truly Agile Organization [Podcast] - going back to the principles and thinking bigger than just the teams 


How to Track Down Memory Leaks in Ruby - painfully, you do it painfully 

Locking Engineering Principles - about kernel locks, but applies more widely: "Make it dumb; make it correct; make it fast"

Programming languages endorsed for server-side use at Meta - look at this the next time you want to add something to your stack, then think of the size of Facebook and don't do it


New integrated email marketing tools for Gmail - Google gets into the spam sending business

It’s time to leave the leap second in the past - they want to remove all the fun of time keeping!


Why tech workers are quitting great jobs at companies like Google to fight climate change - because someone needs to

Plant based promises, rise of the plant based burger [Podcast] - at the start of pandemic we switched to mostly plant based. The variety of plant based replacement products definitely helped with this. 

Wildfires continue to burn across France and Spain - we had the first rain for a while yesterday, so this will improve a bit 

Barcelona school and residents create solar energy community - nice solution for cities


Bicycle graveyards: why do so many bikes end up underwater? - because we can't have nice things

Three new Maps updates to help plan your next adventure - new bicycle routing! Suggesting bike lanes and quieter roads 

The deadliest road in America  - I complain about European roads, but the US has completely lost it

Random Cars

R5 Turbo - Renault has a website dedicated to their classic cars!

We bought the most boring electric car - alright, that is from me

Steff goes home and needs help Let's help rebuild Ukrainian homes destroyed by russian army. - Steff is riding for a good cause

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.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

We bought the most boring electric car

Most of the current electric cars are either very fast, very fancy or very cute. Ours definitely isn't any of these.

We would have loved to get a cute small one like the Honda-e. We certainly didn't want an SUV. There are some electric dream cars out there, like the Rivian R1S, but this isn't available yet and also out of our price range. 

Because of our large collection of dogs, we needed something with enough space for them. Ideally something robust and easy to clean as the dogs are currently nibbling at everything they get their hands on. 

Range is not so important as most of our trips are local.  A round trip to Barcelona or the beach is maybe 100-150 km. If we do a longer tour, we can use our Land Rover Defender or rent a more suitable car.


In the end, we settled on an ë-Berlingo. The Berlingo is a very common car in Spain. There are family and van versions driving around everywhere. It is also rebranded as Opel Combo-e Life, Vauxhall Combo-e Life, Peugeot e-Rifter, Toyota ProAce City Verso Electric, Fiat e-Doblò and probably more in the future. They are all the same cars, only with a different front and slightly different configurations. 

There are two different lengths, the M and the XL. We went for the XL, which has slightly more boot space and is 20 cm longer.


If you are spoiled by buying everything online, having lots of option that you can easily configure, you will be very disappointed with buying a car. 

I obviously first went to the online configurator. There are a lot of options that conflict with each other and are different in different countries. 

I wanted to select every option, but this was not possible. This is what I got in the end:

  • version XL with Feel pack 
  • Dark grey
  • Green interior 
  • 16" wheels 
  • wireless mobile charging
  • two zone a/c for the front
  • grip control (for different surfaces ... pretty useless)
  • children pack (shutters for the rear windows and a mirror to watch the "kids")
  • parking sensors, 180 degree rearview camera, automatic parking system
  • blind spot notification 
  • GPS navigation system

This is what I wanted, but couldn't get:

  • tow-bar (apparently not available in Spain)
  • head up display (just for the M version?)
  • wireless mobile charging (wasn't delivered because of the lack of chips)
  • adaptive cruise control (just for petrol/diesel cars?)
  • a/c for second row
  • middle console  (just for M version?)

Anyway, the car is still good enough without some of these questionable toys. 

And then you have to sign a 100 pages long contract to buy the car. With a pen.



We don't have a charger at home at the moment, which is quite annoying. 

This means going to a public fast charger once in a while. We have our favourite, but I charged at a few others while travelling.

The car buying experience might have been annoying, but not quite as annoying as the charging infrastructure. I now have about ten different mobile apps installed for different networks. The machines and the apps all have a pretty bad user experience.

I don't understand why I can't just go to a machine and pay with my credit card, like with everything else in the world too. 

The network in Spain can definitely be improved too.


This car is made for carrying stuff. I used it for a bicycle trip already, and we did a few trips with all the dogs.

I added a separator between the loading space and the rear seats and rubber mats everywhere to make it more suitable for the mess the dogs make.


It is getting in the way when loading a bicycle, but it isn't too bad. With more bikes, it probably makes sense to remove the separator. 

I think you can easily fit three bikes and luggage while still having enough space to sit three people. 

The rear door is annoyingly big, and two normal doors would have been more practical. At least you can open the window separately from the outside.


This only the second electric car I have driven myself, after a quick spin in a Zoe.

It is not a fast car. It is fast enough and comfortable enough for my taste. If you drive faster than 100 km/h you will use a lot more electricity. 

Compared to the Land Rover Defender, it is pure luxury. 

I always hated manual gears and see them as something which should have been replaced by automatic gears a long time ago. Electric cars bring this to a whole new level. 

Running it so far is at least half of the costs of the Defender. This doesn't factor in maintenance costs yet. 

Real life range is 230 km on an 80% charge or 270 km on 100%. This changes quite a bit on terrain. Driving to the mountains reduced it, coming back from the mountains felt like it would last forever. 

The multimedia screen and digital gage cluster works well. As a nerd, I would love more customisations. Though this probably would reduce the reliability. 

The build in navigation system is pretty awful. You would expect an electric car to have fully integrated routing with support for charging on the way. You would be wrong in this case.

I use Google Maps via Android Auto most of the time, which works better and also has no support for routing with charging. There are some third party solutions out there, I am going to try for longer trips.


This car is pretty perfect for us. It has all the space, was reasonably cheap, and is basic enough to not worry about all the dirt the dogs and bikes bring in. It is also more reliable than the Defender. 

Once we have easy charging at home, we are probably not going to worry about public charging any more for 95% of the trips.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Friday Links 22-24

Screenshot from the game Stray. A cat sitting in front of a desk with ancient computers.

A few good articles about how to be a bad leader. 

And some depressing environmental news. 

Play Stray to cheer you up!


Hierarchy of Metrics - this is a nice happy land of metrics and probably not happening in the real world 

A Checklist Manifetsy - an Etsy checklist for new features and about checklists in general

How to get helpful, actionable feedback from your colleagues - good ideas to improve me asking for feedback

TBM 31/52: Why Does Our Strategy Keep Changing? - "You are witnessing tactics masquerading as strategy."

How Leaders Get in the Way of Organizational Change - great summary. There is probably a long list I could add.

Engineering Manager vs Scrum Master - personally, I quite like the EM being the SM. Better than the PO being the SM anyway.


The Deadlock Empire - fun deadlock coding game

Hard Drive Life Expectancy - by now I don't even know why I follow this


1 HOUR - Forced back to work at the Office Ambience | Relaxation [YouTube] - this is just a great channel 

Glassdoor ordered to reveal identity of negative reviewers to New Zealand toymaker - time to delete my Glassdoor account?


We’re Not Going to Make it to 2050 - cheerful 

Analysis: Which countries are historically responsible for climate change? - Go Germany!

City heat extremes - satellite picture analysis by the ESA


89. Distracted to Death [YouTube] - car displays are growing and killing people 

Holland Is Not A Dense Country, But An Empty City - interesting perspective 

Why Swiss Trains are the Best in Europe [YouTube] - that is an amazing amount of trains for a tiny country

Spain announces free rail journeys from September until the end of the year - this would be even better if I would still commute

Random Cats

Stray - play this now 

Stray review – press paws for adorable life as a post-apocalypse pussycat - cute hero

Make A Plan - the recent close wildfire prompted me looking into go bags and plans in general. The pandemic and climate warming (and maybe age) turns me into a prepper

Will you be prepared for the next wildfire? - probably not

Tesla announces they sold 75% of their Bitcoin - with a loss

Resum de l'episodi de simultaneïtat d'incendis forestals - 15 al 23 de juny del 2022 [YouTube, Catalan] - summary of the June fires in Catalonia 

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, July 15, 2022

Friday Links 22-23

Small wooden sailing boat

Lots of good news and videos in Urbanism this week.
I also enjoyed the podcast with Marshall Goldsmith.


When there's a Re-org [TikTok] - not funny!

Screw SCRUM: Guide to Building a Truly Agile Organization [Podcast] - don't actually screw scrum 

TBM 30/52: Why Don’t We Have a Strategy? - "The problem is that there are disincentives to thinking strategically." 

A Customer-Focused Approach to Tooling - platform teams should treat their output as products with a focus on developers as customers

Visualize team-code alignment: reverse engineer your organization from version-control - a great idea ... I am slightly worried what this would show though 

#142 Marshall Goldsmith: The Essentials Of Leadership [Podcast] - Great insight on leadership and life. He is a bit too proud of himself at times. I would like to read his books now though. 

What are your company's anti-values? - very good point. What are we not doing when we focus on something. I think the agile manifesto also gets this right.


What It’s Like Working a Four Day Work Week and How We Spend Fridays Off - spoiler: it's nice

Panel interviews don’t work - because of stress and groupthink. I think sometimes they are also just used as a time saving solution


Extreme heat around the world in videos, photos and graphics - we are in fire season again and it is too hot to leave the house during the day


The big idea: should cars be banned from cities? - not that big of an idea :-) 

Spain to fully subsidize Renfe train tickets from September to December - I wish they would think about something more sustainable and also increase the network instead.

I'm A Car Enthusiast That is Starting to Hate Cars. Here's Why. [YouTube] - "Cars are actually terrible"

Wales set to reduce default speed limit to 20mph in residential areas - nice 

The Plan to Change Amsterdam [YouTube] - interesting ... thinking about the whole area as one city 

Why Barcelona Looks Weird [YouTube] - I didn't realise that the blocks should have been openings on at least two sides  

Brussels Government approves first version of Good Living - this seems to be utopia. How will they get this past the NIMBYs?

Does Anyone Actually Cycle in Switzerland!? [YouTube] - more and safer infrastructure -> more cyclists

Random Ships

Lifestyles - cool story. The goal and incentives are the same, but the outcome is very different. I also love the last quote:

“Everyone else can stress out about outperforming each other,” he says. “I just like Europe.”

Ableton Co-Founder Robert Henke Says It’s Time To Reconsider ‘Underrated’ Compact Disc Format - what about USB sticks? 

‘Europol ploy’: mass phone scam defrauds Germans of millions of euros - the called me too

Google One now has premium Google Workspace features - nice ... when it arrives in Europe

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, July 08, 2022

Friday Links 22-22

Climate protest in Barcelona, one sign reads: "are you freaking kidding me!? So bad even introverts are here"
Climate protest in Barcelona
This week I have been looking at the good and bad of Agile Maturity Models. 

I haven't formed an opinion yet. 

Good stuff in "Random"!


Agile Maturity Models

TBM 29B/52: Asking for Feedback and Pushback - "Experience matters, and that includes your ability to foster an environment friendly to everyone giving and receiving feedback within their comfort zone."

What Are Vanity Metrics and How to Stop Using Them - great summary by John Cutler

more from Angela's great series on metrics:

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: An Illustrated Leadership Fable - the book as a Manga!

Learn the weekly rituals you should master as a software project manager


Downturn career decisions. - I never had stock, so I can't relate

What to do if a reference check goes wrong - I don't see the value in reference checks, but maybe I just have been lucky.


Cyclists want better bike lane connections within Barcelona and to surrounding towns  - yes please. Barcelona is pretty good though compared to Madrid. 

Deutsche wünschen sich bundesweit gültiges 365-Euro-Ticket [German] - Germany currently has a 9EU/month public transport ticket. It is not very succesful. A yearly ticket for a reasonable price could change this.

Random Protests

‘It felt like history itself’ – 48 protest photographs that changed the world - wonderful photos. Makes you want to protest for or against something. And one should.

Occlusion Grotesque - such a great idea. I don't know much about typefaces. Cool pictures.

Bill Bailey: ‘Keep saying funny things – that’s quite profound advice’ - teasing a new TV series and film! 

Germany’s move to legalise cannabis expected to create ‘domino effect’ - I didn't think of this. Germany going first could mean the whole EU adapting it. 

EU moves to rein in ‘wild west’ of crypto assets with new rules - I love the EU

Spain and Portugal suffering driest climate for 1,200 years, research shows - there are water restrictions in my neighbourhood already

The History and Mystery Of Eliza [Podcast] - this is great. I remember the first time using some Eliza clone and being fascinated by it. But this history is just good.  

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, July 01, 2022

Friday Links 22-21

Skateboarder midjump
YOONIVISION -- Flatground Series

Two weeks of links. Sorry. 

I have been thinking and catching up with my leadership reading, especially around the first team concept. 

The flatground skateboard video is worth a watch, and the Ziggy Stardust podcast is great too. 


First Team Mindset - The concept from the book "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" I have been looking into this again over the recent weeks, here is a collection of resources. I have a better idea about what this means as a director compared to a CTO now.

The Top 5 Mistakes European Startups Make in US Expansion - maybe this applies to all new markets?

Scaling product teams, and other leadership lessons with Megan Murphy, VP of Product at Hotjar [Podcast] - some good ideas in this one, especially around decision-making

TBM 27b/52: Why Most Strategies Lack Clarity  - "The unlock, I think, is realizing that you can confidently communicate a coherent strategy that also acknowledges uncertainty."

Supporting Your Team When the News Is Terrible - this is helpful since news always seems to be terrible

TBM 27/52: When Is Change More Likely? - "in most corporate settings there is a lot of change theater that is highly disruptive, but ultimately doesn’t really have a good shot of meaningfully changing behavior"

How to avoid the growing pains of communicating at scale - "The success of any company, large or small, relies on effective communication." - if you get communication right, you are nearly there

Stop Overcomplicating It: The Simple Guidebook to Upping Your Management Game - nothing new, just a good summary the key is "simple works"

STAR method for interview questions. - stuff I learned while looking for a job

DORA Metrics: the Right Answer to measuring engineering team performance - you just have to remember that these only measure one side of the team, usually focused on the technical delivery


Learnings from 5 years of tech startup code audits - mostly security insights, but also some general tips.

Remote Development at Slack - this seems to be reinvented in every company 

Plurals at Etsy - it would be a lot easier if everybody spoke English (I am looking at you Poland!) or if we just ignore plurals 

Cloudflare outage on June 21, 2022 - BGP strikes again 

Transparent memory offloading: more memory at a fraction of the cost and power - Facebook doing it at bigger scale


On the Dangers of Cryptocurrencies and the Uselessness of Blockchain - Schneier knows

AppSignal’s Next Level Of Front-end Error Tracking - I miss AppSignal 

Shadowy Strava users spy on Israeli military with fake routes in bases - clever


US supreme court rules against EPA and hobbles government power to limit harmful emissions  - SCOTUS has been misbehaving for a while. What even is the point of the government now? 

EU’s 3 billion trees by 2030 goal: where we stand - not going well


What I Mean When I Say 'Ban Cars' - the view of one of the War On Cars people. I agree mostly. 

Street pedestrianization in urban districts: Economic impacts in Spanish cities [paper] - "We find that pedestrianization increases retail stores' sales volumes." ... which everybody already knows and then ignores

Rome to impose new rules to curb ‘wild west’ e-scooter incidents - I am all for e-scooters behaving themselves. Why are we not doing this for cars? 

Barcelona by bike - a perfect city for cycling? - yes

People Hate the Idea of Car-Free Cities—Until They Live in One - change first, ask later 

More flowers, fewer cars: the rewilders turning parking spaces into parks - parklets are one simple way of tactical urbanism 

America Always Gets This Wrong (when building transit) [YouTube] - the pictures from China are quite telling: build it, and they will come

AP-7 highway: no trucks at certain times and additional lanes over summer weekends - removing tolls is still going wrong

Random Flatground

One Hour Of Slow-Motion Flatground Skateboarding  [YouTube] - mesmerising 

Ziggy Stardust at 50 [Podcast] - I was never a big Bowie fan, as I never owned an album. I like how he reinvented himself all the time. Too many bands turn into their own cover bands.

Congress definitively endorses medicinal use of cannabis in Spain - I am for legalisation of cannabis, even if I am not a fan of the recreational use.

redactle - another Wordle inspired game. I am not good at this.

Spanish airline to launch zeppelin trip between Barcelona and Mallorca - 2026!

A Box of NOTHING from McIntosh: The LB200 - in case you want to make your "cheap" hifi look expensive 

UK firm can electrify original Land Rover Defender for £24,000 - very slowly moving into my price range 

Microscopic mites that have sex on our faces at night could face evolutionary oblivion, say scientists - did I want to know this? Maybe not. But now you do too. 

GTD in 15 minutes – A Pragmatic Guide to Getting Things Done - refresher

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 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! 


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


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


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


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.