bookmark_borderFive for Friday – June 2, 2023

Friday again – and it’s a beautiful day in Seattle. Here are some things I found today that maybe you want to know about too.

  • Most people know that I’m a big fan of AI. A lot of people also know that I think most people are using it wrong. Something I’ve also thought a lot is that The AI Hype Cycle Is Distracting Companies – and this article from HBR is spot-on!
  • I’m in a new role (well, it was new two months ago). I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s important and how to be effective, and was happy to read that I haven’t yet fallen into any of the traps in this article on How To Fail as a Leader, but it’s also a reminder of what I need to do purposefully to be successful.
  • For better or for worse, I spent some time debugging (mostly) and writing (a little) x86 assembly language in my career. I thought this tutorial / walkthrough on Learn x86-64 assembly by writing a GUI from scratch was easy to follow, and helpful. Even if you think you don’t want to know assembly language, it’s worth a read.
  • It’s that time – the 2023 State of DevOps survey is open. I enjoy the results more than the survey, but you can’t have one without the other. Go fill it out.
  • When Wordle first came out, I played it every day. Then, the (old) day job got gross, and I stopped. But – I’ve started playing again, and it’s still a lot of fun for me – and only 15 more days before I tie my old streak.

…and yes, I do feel bad about those two puzzles where I couldn’t solve the word.

Anyway, I thought this analysis on wordle letter usage was really well done – and interesting.

Have a great weekend everyone.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – May 26, 2023

Another week, more at least partially interesting articles and links to share. You don’t read this sentence anyway, so let’s get to the bullets.

  • I was on the Mobot How It’s Tested podcast telling stories about testing – and depending on where you are in your software development journey, either telling you what you already know, or spouting complete bullshit. Give it a listen and let me know.
  • I like this lens on 1:1 meetings – A 1:1 Tool to Keep it Light & Intentional. It’s similar to the ACM model I frequently use (and both the author and I draw from Csikszentmihalyi for inspiration)
  • I really enjoy the Two Wrongs blog series. It’s well written and full of fun information. This week’s post – The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Conditional Probabilities – is a fun dive into statistics, but I recommend you check out some of the articles on systems thinking as well.
  • I LOVE a good debugging story, and this story on Debugging a FUSE deadlock in the Linux kernel is (to me) a great read.
  • Finally, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again (or the writers at HBR will) – AI can help you ask better questions. I use chat GPT as a collaborator – not an answer-bot, and my experience has been great.

Once again – thanks for reading. Let me know if I missed something important. Enjoy your weekend.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – May 19, 2023

Oh hey – it’s Friday again already. Things are a bit…busy for me, but my random bits of reading still led to a few things I thought were worth sharing.

  • Abi Noda, Margaret-Anne Storey, Nicole Forsgren, and Michaela Greiler just published a fantastic paper on developer productivity – but rather than link directly to the article, I think a better starting point is Abi’s post about it – A New Approach To Measuring Developer Productivity
  • I can’t not share this post with a little info about the new gig. This article on engineering at NBCU came out this week.
  • I just started reading A New Way to Think. So far I like it – and can see myself recommending it, but it’s also not (yet) as awesome as the reviews make it out to me. I’ll update y’all when I finish it.
  • Every once in a while, someone forwards me the Choose Boring Technology post from Dan McKinley – which I like…but I often push back on it a bit. It’s like I learned in college music theory courses – we spend almost two years learning rules (choose boring), but then talked about breaking the rules (i.e. taking risks – of course based on the rules. Anyway – that’s a whole blog post.
    This week, I found an article from last year that says “Boring” is just one strategy. And it’s right.
  • And finally, this Indian tea shop is the first (as far as I know) to ride the wave of Chat GPT. No, they don’t use AI for their recipes, they just have a cool name.

And that’s all. Time to go play in traffic or something else unhealthy. Have fun this weekend.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – May 12, 2023

Summer is here – or summer is here in spring – not quite sure what it is, but it’s hot. Speaking of hot, check out these hot links I found this week.

  • The folks at Tricentis are spinning up a new community called ShiftSync It looks like a great community for everyone involved in software delivery. My article on The Testing Mindset Myth is posted if you want to re-read and discuss
  • I’m still really enjoying Pop! OS on my system 76 laptop. Also really cool to see what they’re doing with the UI and Rust in their latest update.
  • Aamir Siddiqui pinged me on linkedin this week to share this really cool article on Testing GPT-Based Large Language Models. In a world where a lot of folks spend way too much time automating user workflows, it’s great to see a proper application of automation.
  • One of my former employers published an article that one of my other former employers should read. The Best of Both Worlds: Unlocking the Potential of Hybrid Work for Software Engineers is a highly interesting look into the worlds of in-person, remote, and hybrid work for software engineers.
    Here’s the kicker (note: my current role is fully remote!)
  • I read this article on Why Agile Isn’t For Me thinking it would be yet another article on someone completely misunderstanding Agile. It turns out, the author does get it – and shares the same frustrations about what Agile has become in many organizations as I do.

And that’s it for this week – I hope you found something in these links that you like.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – May 5, 2023

Kind of a weird week. I left sunny and hot Seattle to visit Los Angeles for a few days – where it was cloudy and rainy. And now that I’m back in Seattle, it’s cloudy and rainy here too. At least the new Guardians movie is out so there’s something good to do indoors. Meanwhile – here are a few links to things I found this week that I thought were interesting.

  • I was bummed to read that Unity went through another round of layoffs. I don’t have insights into much on this one (and too much on the last one), but I hope my old colleagues are all doing well. It’s tough for a company to do three rounds of layoffs in a year.
  • Speaking of corporate ugliness, I just gave Orbiting the Giant Hairball a re-read. It is THE book, in my opinion for putting some sense into navigating the workplace when the workplace feels like a giant hairball.
  • I liked (and cringed at?) this article on a Tale of Two Interviews. Nothing destroys me more than giving a candidate a bad experience. Hiring teams need to do better.
  • This is interesting – Amazon Prime moved from Serverless to EC2 and ECS to Save Costs. This quote is something I think more development teams need to notice:
    We realized that distributed approach wasn’t bringing a lot of benefits in our specific use case, so we packed all of the components into a single process.
  • I’ve been a happy customer of Underground Cellar for several years. It was a great place to get highly drinkable wine at a reasonable price – PLUS, they’d store your wine for you until you wanted it. It was a great idea, of course, until they abruptly went out of business. Now they have several cases of wine that I’m likely never going to see again.

And on that note, I’m going to sign off from this blog post and get back to my day job. Have a good weekend.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – April 28, 2023

So. Much. Going on. – But still, the internet never fails to provide interesting info. Here’s some stuff I latched onto this this week.

  • I don’t think I’ve ever watched more than one episode of a reality TV show – except maybe The Real World in the early(?) 90s. I’ve been watching Alone on The History Channel, and I’m oddly addicted. I l.o.v.e. camping alone…although maybe not in the circumstances of the “contestants” on this show. It’s a good reminder of how much I don’t know about survival.
  • After sitting in my to-read list for months, I’ve finally been reading Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals. It’s about time management, and it’s not about time management, but I’m enjoying it a lot.
  • In a topic that may be part of tomorrow’s (or at least an upcoming post), this article on How Managers Can Make Feedback a Team Habit is fantastic.
  • I thought this was a helpful article – Collaboration Across Departments: A Guide for Engineering Managers
  • And lastly, this is a wonderfully relevant and appropriate article that I really liked this week. How To Kill A Fly With A Shotgun.

Spring is getting closer, and I’m feeling good. See you all next week.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – April 21, 2023

It is trying to be spring in the pacific northwest – but mostly failing. I’m trying to get out more, but it’s still wet and muddy on the trails, but I expect I’ll be complaining about the heat in another month or two. I did spend a little time on the internet this week, and here are my usual almost-half-dozen things that I thought were interesting.

  • Today’s obligatory AI / Chat GPT article is important to read – The New Risks ChatGPT Poses to Cybersecurity
  • I’ve been thinking about API guidelines recently, and it made me think of Pact – which is awesome for API contracts – but then I saw this article from two years ago that made me smile. Glad I’m not the only one barking up this tree – Proving E2E tests are a Scam
  • I really enjoyed this post on If You See Something, Say Something. I like the idea of asking, “what makes you say that?” when someone says something that…isn’t quite right.
  • It’s been a while since Mike Cohn has made an appearance on FfF, but his latest article on Concurrent Engineering & Overlapping Work on Agile teams captures a lot of important points – and asks a few good questions. So few teams “doing Agile” are actually agile, and Mike always has good tips to get out of this rut.
  • I worked on the guts of Windows enough to now be a Linux and Mac advocate – and also enough to know that this article is worth pointing out. The weird world of Windows file paths.

And that’s the list for this week. Have a good weekend everyone.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – April 14, 2023

It’s been a funky Friday for me this week – one of those days where I feel like my head isn’t quite on straight. I’m sure it will be fixed by tomorrow. Here are a few links I thought were worth sharing this week.

Thanks again for reading – see you next week.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – April 7, 2023

Hey – it’s April. It’s still a bit cold and wet in Seattle, but a few extra birds are around, and Todoist reminded me to take the snow tires off of my car, so it must be spring. Here are a few links I found this week that were fun to read.

  • If you’re not aware, the Internet Archive (way back machine) is in the middle of some legal issues. If we lose the Internet Archive, we’re screwed.
  • Don’t know how you could have missed this one, but in Chat GPT news, Samsung workers made a major error by using ChatGPT
  • Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory released a free mini-book this week on Holistic Testing. I’ve read it, and it’s excellent – perhaps even more interesting for developers than testers, but fun for the whole family.
  • Ben Northrop wrote an interesting post on the gray area between doing what you’re told, and doing what you want. It’s about developers, but I think the premise is true for any knowledge workers.
  • Part of the “fun” (for me) of running Linux is that you can configure everything. Of course, I forget how to configure almost everything, so how2 is pretty awesome – and I think I’ve only tapped the surface. It works for other operating systems too, but definitely a tool worth checking out.

Thanks again for reading (again). See you next week.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – March 31, 2023

This has been an interesting week – both in world news, and my life (probably more on that on my weekly substack posts, which you should sign up for). Here are a few things I found interesting this week.

That’s it for cool links this week. Thanks for reading – we’ll try this again in a week.