Friday, December 29, 2023

Friday Links 23-31

Open air swimming pools overlooking Barcelona
I was lazy due to the festive season and travels. 

That means plenty of links for today. 


Engineering strategy notes. - I think I posted the articles in a previous edition. Many good resources in this one. 

Navigators - interesting approach. I guess in some companies these are architects or staff engineers.

TBM 257: How to Make the Case for Slowing Down to Speed Up - many strategies, align with the main values and strategies.

RFC processes are a poor fit for most organizations - good critique of these. I would bet most organizations have already solved the mentioned issues. 

The Swedbank Outage shows that Change Controls don't work - "Change management doesn’t mitigate risk"

Is Being a Manager Right for Me? 5 | 25 [Podcast] you probably keep asking yourself that question forever. 

Rethinking Leadership: The Characteristics of a Successful Team Guide (with Gary Bolles, Chair for the Future of Work) [Podcast] - so now we have leader, manager, and guide


Committing to Rust for kernel code - fascinating to see a massive project considering accepting a new language. 

How recursion brought down flight search at Skyscanner - bug in creating the data, really.

AWS exec: 'Our understanding of open source has started to change' - CentOS, Fedora, and their original projects.

Modern C for Fedora (and the world) [LWN] - lots of code that still to catch up 

We Have To Support Every Line of Production Code Forever - change is easy, maintenance not so much.


The surprising connection between after-hours work and decreased productivity - surprising?


Giant batteries drain economics of gas power plants - "Data shows 68 gas plant projects cancelled or put on hold"

Spanish minister hails deal to save Andalucía wetlands as a model for green transition - not even that much money.


The New Jersey Mayor With a Plan to End Traffic Deaths - it is all about infrastructure.  

The 15-Min City Concept | URBAN MOBILITY SIMPLY EXPLAINED [YouTube] - not that the conspiracy theorists will believe it. 

School Streets create healthy, playful and more social environments - I saw this slowly taking shape. It still seems a tiny effort. It is good to see it making a change. 

Life-sized Lessons for Futureproofing Our Urban World @LvivUrbanForum June 2023 [YouTube] - Mikael doing his thing.

Paris mayor plans to triple SUV parking tariffs to cut air pollution - or make parking spaces smaller and more rare? 

Bollards and ‘superblocks’: how Europe’s cities are turning on the car - "According to Barcelona’s own statistics, the number of journeys made by private vehicle rose between 2011 and 2021, while journeys made by public transport fell."

‘People are proud of this green spirit of ours’: how a small Spanish city rejected cars 

I Visited the Best* City in North America - this reminds me of a lot of cities. 

Random Pools

The hidden beauty of Berlin's indoor pools - beautiful!

Walkman II : The Do-over. The start of something small  [YouTube] - I love to have one of these, but the maintenance seems to be a hassle. 

Decades of Fun: Computers Built to Last - or an Amiga in this case.

An audiophile keyboard now exists and it's straight in at no.1 on my Christmas list - I like the idea, even if I have no use for it.

Four bike rides, four years in the life of Black Britain: ‘On the road, we found ourselves again’ - long read, but worth it. 

Elite: "The game that couldn't be written" [YouTube] - I have fond memories of this on the Amiga.

Night trains and border crossings: Europe’s best new rail routes - some more for Spain too!

Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music via jwz.

[tz] Antarctic research base Vostok local time - thread about changing the timezone of a remote base.

‘It feels very fun and freeing’: US sees ebike boom after years of false starts

"It sounds like a drum machine instead of a machine playing drums - a sore disappointment": What critics said about the iconic Roland TR-909 drum machine on its release

Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics [Podcast] - about happiness and a good life 

Plankton [Podcast] - TIL: jellyfish is plankton!

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 kinds 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, November 17, 2023

Friday Links 23-30

Hippo in Barcelona ZooI liked the story about Backstage from Spotify.

The monaspace font is also lovely. 


Adam Bryant on how to know if you're ready to become a leader. [Podcast] - lots of good stuff.

A Practical Handbook For Engineering Management- another guide. I have just browsed a bit for now.

Team Charters are a trap. - oh, I quite like them, but … "Empowering bottoms up mission-setting in an organization that practices top-down resource allocation is a trap."


The Query Strikes Again - Slack is still having fun with databases. 

monaspace - new pretty family of monospace fonts for coding & co. 

How Meta built Threads in 5 months [Podcast]

Fedora Linux 39 is officially here! - 20 years! 

Story: Platform Takes The Pain [Podcast] - history of Backstage at Spotify.


Is toxic culture driving your team away?  [Podcast] - it has. 

Employees of the Month: How Pets Contribute To Remote Work-Life Balance - they can also drive you nuts!

It’s the Job of My Dreams, But I’d Have to Write a Cover Letter, So Never Mind - funny, but true. 

Why Resumes Are Dead & How Keeps Killing the Job Market - Indeed is so bad!

Buffer is Remote but not Async-First, Here's Why - interesting. I thought they would focus more on async. 

Fika, four-week holidays – and zero overtime: Sweden’s stunningly healthy work culture - Sweden does sound nice, it's a bit cold for me, though.


EU agrees law to curb methane emissions from fossil fuel industry  - I'll expect someone to veto this. Germany? Poland? 

EU strikes landmark deal on law to restore and protect nature - also not adopted yet. 


The Amsterdam Metro ... Kinda Sucks, Actually (with RMTransit) [Podcast] - I haven't even used it yet, whenever I was in Amsterdam. 

Random Zoos

In the Studio: Kieran Stanley - Designing a Zoo [Podcast] - TIL: zoo designers exist. 

The in-flight audio player [YouTube] - it's annoying that it is hard to get working.

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 kinds 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, November 03, 2023

Friday Links 23-29

Beagle on a pile of leaves
If you want to watch something inspiring today, I recommend the video about Germany's Green City and Pedal to freedom. 

Overall, a lot of interesting stuff to think about this week.


How Do I More Effectively Build Stakeholder Alignment? [Podcast] - excellent example of coaching, where the thinker is already aware of the answers.

Communicating Your Engineering Team’s Impact at Work - Tips for Leaders [Podcast] - obviously pushing LinearB a bit, but still good. 

A Friendly Reminder to Cost-Cutters: Keep the Company a Great Place to Work for Survivors - the list is helpful, I have seen all of these go wrong at some point. 

TBM 252: How to Troubleshoot Status Updates and Syncs - don't just do the meetings, make sure there is impact

Hire Better Managers: 35 Interview Questions for Assessing a Candidate - good if you are hiring or looking for your next opportunity (like me currently).

TBM 251: Scale vs. Efficiency - you can't have it all.

Developing leadership styles - I have been thinking about leadership styles a lot lately. "The key insight to remember is that you can use any leadership style badly, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful when done well. "

Video of Solving the Eng Strategy crisis. - I think I had the slides in a previous week.  

Runbook vs. Playbook, SOP, User Guide: How Do They Compare? - it's all the same.


Engineering platforms and golden paths: Building better developer experiences [Podcast] - treating the developers as customers is the key here (and the customer is not always right)

Developer Productivity Engineering at Netflix - I like the idea of having a proper support system for your platform teams. 

Bjarne Stroustrup’s Plan for Bringing Safety to C++ - C++ was my first OOP language, but it is a different beast nowadays. I am not sure if this is a good thing.

Protomaps is an open source map of the world, deployable as a single static file on cloud storage - pretty cool


Bill Gates: How I stay positive on climate change [Podcast] - It is nice to see some optimism, even if I don't share it.

The Oatly Chronicles Part 1: The Big Dairy Problem [Podcast] - it's more than just about the environment, good background on the brand. 

Young Europeans more likely to quit driving and have fewer children to save planet - they will grow up, though. 

How green is your waterproof cycling jacket? Why some tech is being phased out in favour of more eco-friendly materials - I still have the old stuff, but I am looking forward to what they come up with.


Unraveling the SRAM Experiment: Tubeless vs. Tubular Tires — Are the Claims Inflated? - more statistics on an aspect of bicycles.

The Real Reason You Should Get an E-bike - "It’ll cut your emissions. It’ll also make you happier." 

Pedal to Freedom - HOW CYCLING SAVED MY LIFE - with Owen Vermeulen [YouTube] - cycling for mental health is underrated.


Impacts of parking and accessibility on retail-oriented city centres - parking in front of shops is not good for retail (via Parkplätze vor der Ladentür sind schlecht fürs Geschäft [German])

Does Bicibús reflect and reproduce social injustices? - probably

Germany's "Green" City (with more bikes than cars!)  [YouTube] - there are good bits in Germany!

Random Animals

Mangrove forests: Steely gaze of young tigress wins photo award - brilliant photographs

Melvyn Bragg talks to Mishal Husain [Podcast] - a bit of meta talk about one of my favourite podcasts "In Our Time"

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 kinds 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, October 20, 2023

Friday Links 23-28

beach on Lanzarote with dark volcanic mountains and some small boats
I decided to stop posting depressing links and keep only the interesting and uplifting content. 

This makes the list smaller and me more happy.


TBM 247: 15 Metaphors for Waste In Product Development  - excellent summary. I recognise all of them in past jobs.


Open source advocacy: The benefits of open source software [Podcast] - another one of these, apparently necessary, since many people are moving in a more closed direction.

Automating product deprecation - most of this doesn't apply to smaller organisations, but I like the idea of a "deprecation playbook"

Remote execution in the GNOME tracker - interesting vulnerability, the comments are also pretty good.


Africa's urban future: Tanzania [Podcast] - they seem to be mostly investing in buses with dedicated lanes, which is a start. 

Why health and wellbeing should be at centre of urban planning - “Creating environments where every essential is within a 15-minute walk or bike ride fosters consistent physical activity. This diminishes risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle and elevates air quality,”

SPD will Straffreiheit für Schwarzfahrer  [German] - some plans to stop treating travel without a ticket as a criminal offence, which could lead to prison.  

Stockholm to ban petrol and diesel cars from centre from 2025 - I really wish more cities would dare this. 

Project Green Light’s work to reduce urban emissions using AI - no mention of pedestrians or cyclists.

Random Waves

Deborah Greaves [Podcast] - about harvesting energy from waves.

Sucking It Up  - Tim about being a "White Male TechBro Boomer". 

Pizza, plum cake and pickled red onion: how school lunches look across Europe - I vote for Sweden.

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 kinds 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, October 06, 2023

Friday Links 23-27

Large scale model of person with bicycle, with a picture of a city square in the background, all made from LEGO.
The podcasts I enjoyed especially this week are the Lego Overboard and Open source at a crossroad episodes.

I also liked the WFH vs RTO blog post.


Managing cost efficiency at scale-ups [Podcast] - nothing surprising, but still good

S5, Ep. 20: What's Up With Performance Improvement Plans? [Podcast] - interesting that they can be weaponised and figuring this out is nearly impossible. 

Wisdom for Work #17 - The Power of Retrospectives: Learning From the Past To Shape the Future [Podcast] - if you do anything "agile", start with retrospectives. 

Unlocking Peak Performance: The ROI of Investing in DEI (with Dr. Vijay Pendakur, Organizational Development Strategist)  [Podcast] - "DEI is not about shrinking one person's slice of pie, but rather expanding the pie for everyone."

Garry Ridge: The stunning business impact of WD40’s Culture First strategy [Podcast] - I don't agree with all of it, but it is a good listen. 

How to Apologize - it will come up again.

Solving the Engineering Strategy crisis. - speaking notes, from a talk.


RoboCop 3 - Dongle Anti-Piracy that Failed | MVG [YouTube] - that didn't go well, even with all the effort.

Software Design by Example - I haven't seen this before, it's neat.

Open source is at a crossroads [Podcast] - insights into licences and how they affect the community. 

Postgres: a Better Message Queue than Kafka? - keep it boring, if you can.


Why Meetings Suck and How to Fix Them - I think everybody agrees on this. 

RTO vs WFH: my default recommendations for remote vs colocated teams - fascinating way of classifying types of work and good overview of how the RTO/WFH arguments are often over the top.

The Seven Meetings You Hate - 100% - another pretty workspaces site / newsletter.


‘Gobsmackingly bananas’: scientists stunned by planet’s record September heat 

Wetlands win reprieve after deal over Andalucian natural space - some win at least. 

World’s dogs going vegan ‘would save more emissions than UK produces’ - I guess I have to look into this now too. 

Rishi Sunak’s net zero U-turn [Podcast] - UK still going bonkers.

Europe’s olive oil supply running out after drought – and the odd hailstorm - will this wake people up? No.

Summer night temperatures as high as ever, while sea 1.8C warmer than average - time to move?

Five siblings jailed for illegally extracting water feeding Spanish nature reserve - #waterwars


Africa's urban future: Ghana [Podcast] - so many possibilities to do things right, or repeat previous mistakes.

Germany: Jail for fare-dodging [Podcast] - yes, Germany, not the US (see also The German group buying ticket dodgers out of prison)

Neue Autos kosten in Singapur jetzt 106.000 Dollar (plus Kaufpreis) [German] - buying a car in Singapore now needs a licence for 106k. 

Portugal to scrap ‘unjust’ tax breaks for foreign residents - good!

The bicibús: how Barcelona got kids cycling safely to school – and loving it! - I am so in love with bike-busses. 

As Downtowns Struggle, Businesses Learn to Love Bike Lanes - sadly businesses only realise this after the fact.

"Far more pleasant for walkers and cyclists": 20mph speed limit analysis hailed "astonishing", with drivers' journeys just 45 seconds longer - surprise!

Urban Planning Opinion Progression [Comic] - xkcd joined urbanism.

Car Enthusiasts Should Hate Car Dependency. Here’s Why. [YouTube] - you can love cars and hate car use.

Random Lego

Lego Overboard [Podcast] - lovely story. 

What are the best cycling climbs in Spain? Simon Warren’s six must-ride ascents [Podcast] - someone did a checklist for me. 

Mastodo - Annual Report 2022 - looks reasonable healthy

Everyone at this gig looks just like you! – the Stephen Collins cartoon - does apply to other situations too!

Are you having fun? [Podcast] - "Memorise it: fun is playful connected flow". I like that definition.

Maxell would like you to know that they still make audio cassette tapes - just Type I.

Steel vs. Carbon: Exploring Clementina’s touring dominance against Trek’s carbon speed - someone spent too much time on this. 

The vast majority of NFTs are now worthless, new report shows - surprise!

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 kinds 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 22, 2023

Friday Links 23-26

Woman walking five dogs towards the sunset on a lane between fields
Environment news seems especially depressing at the moment. There are some uplifting urbanism stories, the bike bus podcast did make me smile. 

Both long leadership posts are definitely worth a read.


Performance & Compensation (for Eng Execs). - massive topic and, as usual, Will really presents it well.

TBM 240: The Ultimate Guide to Developer Counter-Productivity - this seems to be the topic of the day again.


OpenTF for an open Terraform [Podcast] - it's called OpenTofu now. I hope they make it. 

You call it tech debt I call it malpractice [Podcast] - I like that framing. 

Story: Configuring Identity: Adam Jacob and the Search for Self in Software [Podcast] - Chef history.

Forty years of GNU and the free software movement  - happy birthday! 

Make time to address low-hanging technical debt - I wouldn't count the examples in the article as technical debt. I do like the criteria for the low-hanging part:

  • Easy to verify
  • Easy to remove
  • Small improvement to some part of the development, deploy, or end-user experience

It’s Official: Cars Are the Worst Product Category We Have Ever Reviewed for Privacy - I am a bit surprised and worried. 

Threads: The inside story of Meta’s newest social app - must be nice to have that kind of infrastructure. Also: Django?


Swedish government faces backlash after slashing climate budget - My guess is that the UK and Sweden are just the beginning, everybody else will pretend that they reach the goals and then fail at it. 

‘A lifeline for dirty cars’: EU backs new air pollution limits, but not until 2035 - another step back. 

EU states must bridge ‘planning gap’ in order to hit climate targets, report warns - not going to happen. 

German parliament approves plan to replace fossil-fuel heating systems - the watered-down plan.

‘Major disruptor’: El Niño threatens the world’s rice supplies - maybe people start worrying if they can't get their rice? 

Heat denial: influencers question validity of high temperatures - Denying must be the hardest hobby.

Australia to acknowledge climate risk to government bonds after world-first court settlement - maybe people start worrying if it affects their money?

Urbanism & Transport

Back to School with the Bike Bus [Podcast] - Are bike buses the most effective way to get people on board of more liveable cities?

All aboard! Can Luxembourg’s free public transport help save the world? - "The loss of income from abolishing fares was small, Bausch explains: about €40m a year, when the overall cost of running the system is about €800m" 

European governments shrinking railways in favour of road-building, report finds - nobody is surprised. Germany leading the way. 

So will Hannover seine »nahezu autofreie« Innenstadt bauen  [German] - hard to believe that this is in the same country as Berlin. 

This Spanish city has been restricting cars for 24 years. Here’s what we can learn from it - the only surprise is that it happened. 

This train is your charger: Lessons from Madrid about transit as public space - I have to confess that I mostly walked or used the taxi.

The Legal Attack on Superblock Barcelona - when you think everything is going well, ...

Berlin clubbers and green protesters unite to fight motorway plans - this must be the silliest motorway currently in planning in the whole world. 

DIY Kyiv - The Rise of Temporary Urbanism in Ukraine - life seems too normal.

Random Pets

The case against pets: is it time to give up our cats and dogs? - I am worried about the meat consumption of our zoo.

B612 Font family - any suggestions on where I could use this? I notice there is already a Fedora package.

Raising the bar: Annemiek van Vleuten, one of cycling’s great revolutionaries, retires - she is a remarkable cyclist, not many like her around at the moment.

Do you really need to walk 10,000 steps a day? And 17 other fitness ‘rules’, tackled by the experts - there goes my age & metabolism excuse!

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 kinds 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 01, 2023

Friday Links 23-25

Cyclists time trialing at night in Barcelona

This time around I enjoyed the interviews with Simon Sinek and Olive Burkeman with Culture First.


Are You Being the Bottleneck or Building the Bridge? Lessons on Cross-Functional Leadership [Podcast] - lots of good stuff about communication and DEI

Simon Sinek on the power of putting culture first [Podcast] - older interview 

Measuring developer productivity? A response to McKinsey - Gergely Orosz and Kent Beck responding to McKinsey's post. (there is also a second part now)

TBM 238: Spinning Plates - "The quest for efficiency and high utilization is the same thing that stifles creativity and innovation and paradoxically slows us down and makes us less efficient."

Use OKRs to Set Goals for Teams, Not Individuals - I generally prefer to focus on teams and then how to make individuals successful in pushing the team goals. 

The Engineering executive’s role in hiring. - very detailed summary of hiring from a higher level. 

Who has the credentials to deliver design feedback? - "Designers shouldn’t disqualify feedback based on the person delivering it. "

TBM 236: The Paper-Cut Tax - "like juggling fickle priorities and rework, working around dependencies, putting out fires, writing and rewriting proposals, and fiddling with fragile tools."


‘The office is for socializing’: how work from home has revolutionized work

Oliver Burkeman on designing an employee experience for mortals [Podcast] - Good to hear him in an interview, but I prefer his book. 


30 years of Debian [Podcast] - with Red Hat currently misbehaving, I have been looking more seriously at a switch to Debian. 

Bugzilla Celebrates 25 Years With Special Announcements (Bugzilla blog) - we used Bugzilla as a project management tool in my misspent youth. It worked quite well for a while.

Explore FFmpeg From The Comfort Of Your Browser - just cool. 

Ditching Databases for Apache Kafka as System of Record - I wonder what you loose with this approach. 

HashiCorp, Terraform, and OpenTF - I really hope OpenTF works out. 

PineTime: a smartwatch for open-source software - this is amazingly cheap.


Burning Man attendees roadblocked by climate activists: ‘They have a privileged mindset’ - when pseudo fashion hippies meet real hippies. Also: defund the Rangers. 

Where will the tourists go? Europe’s winning and losing destinations due to the climate crisis - this seems conservative. I am pretty sure people will stop coming to Spain sooner. 

France to spend €200m on destroying excess wine as demand falls - do farm subsidies really make sense? 

Barcelona gives hats to homeless people as heatwave sweeps southern Europe - hats … that will fix it. 

G20 poured more than $1tn into fossil fuel subsidies despite Cop26 pledges – report - good job everyone.


Even Small Towns are Great Here (5 Years in the Netherlands) [YouTube] - every town seems to be brilliant there.

Random Cycling

Cycling in Catalonia – Riding hotspot Girona and La Vuelta kicks off from Barcelona [Podcast] - overview of the local cycling scene 

Grid movie posters - I discovered this posters, but I love all of his art.

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 18, 2023

Friday Links 23-24

Octopus illustration

I forgot to post Podcasts for a while. This makes this week Podcast Week! 


Follow the Leader: How to Be the Example and Transform Engineering Teams (with Jossie Haines, Executive Coach) [Podcast] - I like her focus on respect and empathy.

Wisdom for Work #16 - The Brightest Bulb Challenge: Moving From Individual Contributor to Team Leader [Podcast] - a common problem and I always enjoy the Reboot approach. 

Is That 100% True? Managing the Small Stuff to Prevent the Big Stuff (with Joanna Lord, Executive in Residence at Reforge) [Podcast] - I am still an Emotional Intelligence sceptic. In this case, I agree. 

80% of bosses say they regret earlier return-to-office plans: ‘A lot of executives have egg on their faces’ - will they change again?

TBM 234: Maintenance, KTLO, and BAU - a different approach to talking about these. 

There is no number one tip - for a new manager.


Generative AI and the future of knowledge work [Podcast] - Thoughtworks now has a Chief AI Officer!

The Science of Learning to Code [Podcast] - in my wild youth I was convinced that programming skills are in the genes … clearly a stupid idea. 

Introducing Immortal Objects for Python - TIL: Instagram uses Django!


Opening Transit Payments (with Urban Caffeine) [Podcast] - I think the main advantage of an integrated payment for all transit is the reduction in hurdles. The Dutch system sounds wonderful. Ideally, we would have something across the EU.  


RES197 Städte im Klimawandel [Podcast, German] - "Urban Mining" was a new one to me.

Why climate despair is a luxury - I am definitely joined the despair camp.

Random Octopuses 

The awe-inspiring intelligence of octopuses [Podcast] - I am a flexitarian, and I am still eating octopus. This and other recent news about them makes me reconsider.

26: The Bear - Carmen ‘Carmy’ Berzatto [Podcast] - The Bear is brilliant, this is a nice analysis of the characters.

30 years on, Debian is at the heart of the world's most successful Linux distros - since Red Hat is misbehaving I might be looking at Debian next. It seems to be the most free distribution right now.

Cycling Worlds Highland Coo Soft Toy - the UCI Championship was great … so is their webshop.

Wipeout Game Rewrite: How to Play it on Ubuntu - the leaked code is a bit of a mess, apparently.

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 11, 2023

Friday Links 23-23

Home taping is killing music (and it's illegal)
Lots of good stuff in the leadership section today, and lots of depressing stuff in the environment section.


How We Run Performance Reviews At Buffer And Why I Have Mixed Feelings About Them - it's tricky.

How To Measure the Value of Internal Tools - most companies are doing none of this. 

Manage your priorities and energy. - "you’re going to accomplish less in your career if you’re so focused on correctness that you lose track of keeping yourself energized."

Humanistic Leadership - this kind of answers my question about "people first" companies. 

TBM 233: Coffee & Complexity - I like the idea of starting to think about a FAQ right away.

Briefly: The Value of Meetings, and Some Alternatives - killing all meetings is just silly. 

Square’s Updated Growth Framework for Engineers and Engineering Managers - very detailed spreadsheet linked in the article. 

How platform teams get stuff done - good article about different approaches. I think platform teams can easily go wrong in plenty of cases. 

On Becoming a VP of Engineering, Part 1: The Path to VP - this is a great


Why carbon capture and storage will not solve the climate crisis any time soon - it's mainly for people who don't want to change. 

Gulf Stream could collapse as early as 2025, study suggests - headline is a bit misleading. It's anywhere between 2024 and 2095. 

Extreme weather: the climate crisis in four charts - I gave up worrying/hoping now.

It's hot out there


This town banned cars (except tiny electric ones) [YouTube] - still quite a few of them around 

Less space for cars, more for green. Utrecht's redesigned ring road [YouTube] - not too bad.

Ministers consider curbs on councils’ use of 20mph speed limits - UK going backwards, as usual.

Bristol’s low-traffic scheme stalls as row over Ulez spreads from London - no comment 

Sunak review raises question: what exactly is a low-traffic neighbourhood? - I remember them already being there when I lived in London. 

Designing Urban Places that Don't Suck [YouTube] - I have to say the cover picture still has too many cars in the "nice place". 

It's time to stop with the "bicycle highways"  [YouTube] - stop calling them this, not stop building them. 

Are Dutch Cities Really that Different? Debunking Cycling Myths [YouTube] - no

Random Recordings

Home Taping Is Killing Music: When the Music Industry Waged War on the Cassette Tape During the 1980s, and Punk Bands Fought Back - now I want one of those tapes.

Summer webcomics - collection by Charles Stross

Portugal’s bid to attract foreign money backfires as rental market goes ‘crazy’ - surprise!

12,795 possessions! Meet the woman who photographed every single thing she owns - i love this, and worry about my possessions. (I still think "The man who destroyed all his belongings" is even better and one of my favourite art pieces).

Style Guide: LGBTQ+ - I was looking for the use of "queer", this has been helpful. 

“It’s like I’m going into the void with no control”: Tour de France pro says he feels “completely paralysed” and “scared to death” on descents - worth a read, even if you don't ride yourself.

Other Links

Friday, July 14, 2023

Friday Links 23-22

Cargo bike with a panniers and boxes full of groceries

All the leadership articles are great this week and not too long.
If you want mostly downers, have a look at the environment articles.


Finding a buddy when you’re a team of one - if you can't avoid them.

Gelling your Engineering leadership team. - I think this should be read by a lot of C-level teams, but it also applies to most teams. 

Imposter Syndrome - I love Angela's writing.


Big Tech can transfer Europeans’ data to US in win for Facebook and Google - "US to monitor compliance"

AlmaLinux to diverge (slightly) from RHEL - and so it begins. 

SUSE to create a fork of RHEL - apparently they already had one? "SUSE Liberty Linux"


Europe’s Heatwave Death Toll [Podcast] - this is just the beginning after all. (also: Heatwave last summer killed 61,000 people in Europe, research finds)

The world just broke a stunning slew of heat records. Why right now?

Tuvalu – how do you save a disappearing country? [Podcast] - spoiler: you can't. 

UK poised to drop plans to replace home gas boilers with hydrogen alternatives - someone should tell Germany.

How to protect your heat pump from theft - I heard this is a problem in Germany too. Does this happen with air conditioning too?

Nuclear power too expensive and slow to be part of Australia’s plans to reach net zero, study finds - if you don't have nuclear power already, don't bother starting now. 

Pet problems: tropical fish are terrible for the environment – and dogs are a disaster - I am worried about the amount of food our pets consume. 

The orca uprising: whales are ramming boats – but are they inspired by revenge, grief or memory?


548. Why Is the U.S. So Good at Killing Pedestrians? [Podcast] - Freedom! Or maybe they are perfecting the issues other countries have. 

Cycles Outnumber Cars In City Of London

Slow cycling isn’t just for fun – it’s essential for many city workers - "By paying attention to slow cyclists, we can begin to plan our cities in ways that recognise and enhance the environmental and economic benefits they deliver."

‘They’re sticking the finger up at cars’: Amsterdam split by low-traffic roads - yes, yes we do. 

Starting to hate cars — even if you drive one? There's an online community for you.

Random Bicycles

10 tech trends to copy off the Tour de France pros — wide tyres, chain catchers and tubeless are in, slammed stems and narrow cassettes are out - I agree with most of this. 

Disruptive protest helps rather than hinders activists’ cause, experts say - “These sorts of tactics are uncomfortable for everyone concerned, but sadly this is how social change works.”

Study shows 87 percent of classic video games are unavailable to play right now - annoying! This will also get worse.

Devil's Advocate [Comic] - so true

The Pulse: VanMoof files for bankruptcy protection - they were not really my type of bike, but they are nice, and many people love them. See also:

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 07, 2023

Friday Links 23-21

Looking through a camera lens onto a park
Source: Lens Camera Taking Photos

Today I recommend the podcast about "Inclusivity and Leadership" and everything in Urbanisation. 

If you are just looking for a bit of fun, then check out the video about building a camera in 3D software.


Be a Door Opener, Not a Gatekeeper: Inclusivity and Leadership (with Karen Catlin, Leadership Coach) [Podcast] - you can't give good feedback if you don't delegate well, is an excellent point.


Tuesday was world’s hottest day on record – breaking Monday’s record - this is fine.

Extinction Rebellion plugs holes on 10 Spanish golf courses in water protest - eat the rich.


It's Time to Treat E-Bikes Like Vehicles - "suggesting that e-bikes and e-cargos cost 30 and 50 tanks of gas, respectively."

To Save the Planet, Should We Really Be Moving Slower? - "the city of Paris has made enormous investments in public transit, built hundreds of miles of bike paths, and closed many streets to cars. Car trips within the city dropped by almost sixty per cent between 2001 and 2018, car crashes dropped by thirty per cent, and pollution has improved. The city is quieter and calmer; test scores go up as the air around schools cleans up."

American Cities Have a Conversion Problem, and It’s Not Just Offices - “You’ve completely lost sight of what kind of city you’re trying to get with all those rules,” 

The Top Ten Bikes of Amsterdam in 2023 - the top two are Swapfiets! 

Amsterdam Just Closed their Busiest Road [YouTube] - Amsterdam still leading the way. 

The wrong track: remembering the embarrassing saga of Sydney’s monorail - that is a shame, but not worse than hyper-tunnels.

Random Cameras

Make Your Renders Unnecessarily Complicated [Video] - that is quite a rabbit hole.

Sierra Creative Interpreter – Scripts - I loved those games 

jira-lead-cycle-time-duration-extractor - "it enables easy calculation and visualization of cycle time, lead time, and velocity."

Alcohol-free beer: thirst for healthier options fuels jump in UK sales - if you are caring in any way for your health, reduce your alcohol intake. 

Roads to Ride: Steep, Steeper, Steepest [YouTube] - speaks for me.  

I tried to explain the ZX Spectrum to my son. It didn’t go well - “You had a computer as a kid? You told me you were poor.”

Who killed Google Reader? - It could have been great. On the other hand, we now have a good set of competing feed readers that are better than Google Reader.


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 30, 2023

Friday Links 23-20

A backpack and a bicycle travel bag at the airport.
Two great long reads this week: "The Case Against Travel" and "How to reduce the damage done by gentrification"


Platform Engineering Hype - I am not a big fan of these kinds of teams either. Maybe there is a scale where it makes sense, but not for most of the companies. 

climbing the leadership ladder: from manager to director to VP - interesting perspective about managing in different directions and "If the things that you love are communicating, unblocking, and coaching, you must do more of that at higher levels."

Senior Rotations"The basic concept is that every Senior Engineer and above (back then that meant Staff, Principal, and Distinguished) was entitled to a 4 week rotation with a different team once a year."


Meta developer tools: Working at scale - remember: you are not at Meta's scale

Emacs for Android [LWN] - this would be nice if I could get org-mode working and there were some reasonable way to work around the keyboard issues. 

Disabling SELinux's runtime disable - this won't affect many people, there are still many options to turn it off. 


546. Are E.S.G. Investors Actually Helping the Environment? [Podcast] - I don't buy the idea that one should invest in dirty companies in the hope to change them.

 ‘A war on nature’: rangers build mountain out of wildlife traps found in Uganda park - of how many which haven't been found?

Sweden abandons 100% renewable energy goal as EU reconsiders climate policies - adding more nuclear … good luck with that.


Is It Worth It To Confront Drivers? [Podcast] - no, it is frustrating, and you will just get more upset.

How to reduce the damage done by gentrification - "fairer housing, fairer public transport and fairer schooling"

I finally found a true Dutch bike in North America. Here's what you need to know  [YouTube] - these are really only useful in cities and relatively flat areas. Cool initiative, though. 

Still nurturing love and vines: the centenarian who built Barcelona’s first roof garden - this looks better than our proper garden.

Random Travel

The Case Against Travel - I am so off travelling.

Building atomic habits with James Clear [Podcast] - amazingly I still haven't read that book

Biniam Girmay: Africa’s new cycling hero [Podcast] - one more reason to look forward to the Tour.

National Geographic reportedly lays off its last staff writers - :-( 

McGrath: Red Hat’s commitment to open source - I am not happy.

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 23, 2023

Friday Links 23-19

Group of professional cyclists passing on top of a climb in Barcelona

The last two weeks I enjoyed the interview with S.A. Cosby (and his book) and the story about the right-wing looney on ecstasy.


Honor the Past, Present, and People: Creating and Managing Positive Change (with Esther Derby, Consultant) [Podcast] - "See the role of the middle manager as connecting the contextual knowledge from the top of the organization with the day-to-day operations at the bottom."

Ep - 26 - Should I be using the SPACE framework? feat. Abi Noda (CEO and Co-Founder at DX) [Podcast] - about the shortcomings of DORA & SPACE.

Ask Questions, Repeat The Hard Parts, and Listen - I think the title already says it all. 

Identify your controls. - relating different levels of control and alignment.

How We Connect Our Engineers Directly To Buffer Customers with Customer Engineering Days - bringing engineers closer to customers and other departments can only be good.


New Approaches For Detecting AI-Generated Profile Photos - websites who live off user contributed content are pretty buggered. 

An explosion in software engineers using AI coding tools? - I just dipped my toes into this, and not with a lot of success. This will change though, quickly.


Switzerland referendum: Voters back carbon cuts as glaciers melt - sadly this is an outlier. 

Spain drought forces Fuente de Piedra flamingos to find new home - and so do the tourists. 

Greta Thunberg takes part in her final school strike - warning: 'The fight has only just begun' - five years, 251 weeks! She probably learned more during this time than other people in a lifetime.


The Dumbest Excuse for Bad Cities [YouTube] - also good: "it's too new"

Neighborhood walkability as a remedy for childhood anxiety - I am uncertain if you should draw this conclusion, but I like the argument.

The Collboni Surprise - Barcelona's new mayor might not be as bad as expected, but still pretty bad. (see also: Socialist mayor in Barcelona for first time in 12 years after last-minute drama)

Can U.S. Cities Build Narrow European Streets? [YouTube] - spoiler: yes!

Bicycle theft and traffic nuisance: the main concerns faced by cyclists in Barcelona - surprise! 

We Keep Losing The Battle Against Traffic. Is This Inevitable? [YouTube] - sadly, yes

Random Cyclists

Leah Goldstein: the cyclist who raced men across America … and won 

S.A. Cosby [Podcast] - this made me buy and read "All The Sinners Bleed" right away.

Sperm counts [Podcast] - frozen peas on your testis?

Batman Reading Order - I was looking for inspiration, but this is too much.

Red Hat cutting back RHEL source availability - I guess one should have seen this coming after the CentOS Stream debacle. Is Fedora next?

Stud Lane Book Nook - I love book nooks, sadly I have no real bookshelf. 

‘Touch mic and shell it!’ How British freestyle rap videos became a global phenomenon - for some reason UK rap seems much more real to me. My time in London might be to blame.

BIKE24 invests 10 million euros for a robotic logistics center in Barcelona, creating 50 jobs - they are not specifically saying this is because of me, but it is because of me. 

How a dose of MDMA transformed a white supremacist - I bet things like these happened a lot in the 90s. 

Rocky Horror at 50: ‘A place for the marginalised’ - I'll file this under "anniversaries that make me feel old"

Who needs the Metaverse? Meet the people still living on Second Life - every couple of years I go: "What happened to Second Life?"

The curse of the Nuon [YouTube] - another fun odyssey in an obsolete technology that I didn't know existed.

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 09, 2023

Friday Links 23-18

Bird looking into a camera
I am skipping every second week currently, with the result that today is a bit long.

I loved the podcast about the U-Cycle initiative in Ukraine and one about the climate-grandmas in Switzerland.


Measuring Success & Performance of Managers - A Deep Dive [Podcast] - measuring individual contributors is already hard, measuring managers even more so.

Admiral Linda Fagan on servant leadership [Podcast] -  I usually skip military leadership lessons, this is great, though.

An alternative to NPS for dev tools - NPS is questionable, this is another approach. 

TBM 223: Why Aren't They Saying Anything? - there are many reasons, it's the leader's job to figure it out and avoid the obvious ones. 

Continuous Code Reviews using Non-Blocking Reviews - a case study


Should you optimize for all-cash compensation, if possible? - it depends.

Story: Quitting (And Then Rejoining) Stack Overflow [Podcast] - cool story about the site.

Work-Life Harmony: Karinna Briseno Shares Her Experience at Buffer  - hmmm.


Sci-fi writer Ted Chiang: ‘The machines we have now are not conscious’  - about "AI"

Apple Vision Pro Impressions! [YouTube] - this is a very reasonable review. It sounds like a nice toy, that is too expensive for me. 

Red Hat dropping support for LibreOffice - not good news. 

Open-Source LLMs - I haven't tried any of these, but I love to see projects built around them.

WezTerm - you can never have enough terminals, right?


The biggest climate case that ever was [Podcast] - older Swiss woman fighting to change climate laws. 

Germany’s forests under threat [Podcast] - I didn't realise that it was this bleak. 

BBC OS Conversations: Mount Everest [Podcast] - climbing this mountain is looking different as climate change happens. 

Testing New York Apartments: How Dirty Is That Gas Stove, Really? - pretty dirty. 

Drought-struck Barcelona quenches thirst with costly desalination - climate change is costing us already. 

Water war: Why drought in Spain is getting political - these are very peaceful wars at the moment.


Paved Paradise with Henry Grabar [Podcast] - parking again. 

Sadiq Khan [Podcast] - the Mayor of London about pollution in London and climate change. (also: Sadiq Khan Q&A [Podcast])

Stockholmer Radpolitik, ukrainischer Widerstand & Shimano CUES  [Podcast, mostly German] - both, the interview with the minister for traffic of Stockholm (in German) and the interview with U-Cycle in Ukraine (in English) are great. 

Car-Free Cities Are the Future, Biometrics Reveal - "sifting through these data we see that people do not like looking at cars"

Finnish businessman hit with €121,000 speeding fine - can we use this system worldwide, please? 

Sex Work Bollards: Not Actually Bollards - better than nothing! 

“Very conservative and unresponsive attitude towards bikes”: United Nations' delegates slam policy of allowing cars in HQ but not bikes - always the same.

Five easy ways to reduce bike theft in your community [YouTube] - easy if they let you do this.

Nick Offerman [Podcast] - just a pleasant chat.

Post-Colau Barcelona: Implications, ‘bikelash’ and opportunities - I am worried. 

Minnesota Legislature passes $1.3B transportation deal with gas tax hike, sending it to Walz - take from the cars and give to everybody else.

Random Birds

The Seagulls [Podcast] - turns out being homosexual is completely natural … who knew?

Why California is dismantling its death row [Podcast] - It is remarkable that this is even going on.

#167 Dr. Gina Poe: The Science of Better Sleep [Podcast] - this is all fine, if you have control over your environment. 

Concert for the 50th anniversary of the album 'Tubular Bells' by Mike Oldfield. 4K  [YouTube] - 50 years!?

‘Only 12 other people have completed it’: cycling the 7,600km European Divide - that looks beautiful. 

‘Deeply personal and very authentic’: how podcasts took over the world in 20 years - 20 years!? - a clickable timeline since the beginning of time. You can easily waste a few hours on this. 

Getxophoto festival – in pictures - they are all lovely.

Living and working from an all-electric VW ID Buzz - nice. 

Ditching a Phone Case Is the Latest Symbol of Stealth Wealth - it's a sign of rich or careful people.

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.