Five for Friday – October 18, 2019

Happy Friday – here’s stuff you should read.

Five for Friday – October 11, 2019

  • I left a few of my Nest devices in the old house, but after some shopping around, decided to re-up my Nest usage with a v3 thermostat, and a Nest lock to augment some of the replacement devices. We’ll see how it goes.
  • Other than soccer, I don’t watch a lot of TV. But I started watching the latest season of American Horror Story, and so far, it’s been fantastic. It’s a throwback to the 80s, so it’s over the top and sometimes flat out stupid – but that’s why I like it.
  • I really like Poka Yoke – here’s a good article on it.
  • Even though I stopped using Windows over a year ago, I’m far from an Apple fan boy. But the amount of whining and complaining about the recent Catalina update has rivaled the complaints about Windows Vista. Here’s a tame example. Apple has warned users about the end-of-life for 32-bit support for at least a year, probably longer. I just don’t get why people are freaking out so much about their 8-10 year old apps being deprecated.
    Oh well, the internet is going to internet
  • Just a random story about doing dumb and effective stuff with javascript on web pages. How my butt helped fix font problems on the web

Five for Friday – October 4, 2019

  • I recently re-read (skimmed) Steve McConnell’s Software Estimation, Demystifying the Black Art. When I met with Microsoft Press to pitch HWTSAM, they gave a hot-off-the press new copy, and while some of the book feels “old school”, it’s still filled with foundational estimation knowledge.
  • I work at home, and absolutely need a quiet PC – my old power supply was acting up, so I picked up a Corsair HXI 750 – not only is it quiet, it’s so quiet that there’s a button on the power supply to manually spin up the fan in case you’re wondering if it’s working.
  • One of the cool things with the Corsair is that it plugs into an open USB interface on the motherboard (or, if you must, you can run a cable outside the box to an external port) in order to read temperature and load levels. Of course, their app is windows only, but there’s a nice command line app for viewing and controlling the drive on github.
  • One reason for WiP (work in progress) limits is to reduce multi-tasking. Another is to make sure we finish things so we can get feedback. This article – The Cost of Waiting for Feedback in Software Development talks about why.
  • No intro needed – Agile vs. Lean – Explained by Cats

Five for Friday – September 27, 2019

Happy Friday everyone – here’s some stuff to dump from my head to yours.

  • As I type this, I’m listening to Dead Man’s Pop – the remixed version of the Replacement’s Don’t Tell a Soul. I was/am a big Replacement’s fan, and these recordings are all kinds of excellent.
  • This article on how Boeing’s Managerial Revolution Created the 737 Max Disaster is fascinating, with far too many parallels to software disasters than this frequent traveler is comfortable with.
  • I liked this infographic on Agile Team Dynamics.
  • Not sure why HTTP/2 can be problematic, or how TCP and UDP fit intot he equation. And what’s this about HTTP/3 – here’s a fantastic summary of HTTP 1, 2, and 3 in a Nutshell
  • Another profoundly true quote from Drift Into Failure
    Murphy’s law is wrong: everything that can go wrong usually goes right, and then we draw the wrong conclusion.

Five for Friday – September 20, 2019

Here we go again…

  • I’ve once again fallen into the trap of reading too many books at once. I will carve some time out soon to get caught up. The latest book to join my “in progress” queue is Software Estimation Without Guessing by George Dinwiddle. Our views on estimation line up quite a lot, and this book has already been invaluable in a few conversations I’ve had in the last week.
  • Yet another article on generalists vs. specialists. A generalist is born when a specialist becomes bored
  • I’ve been Linux and Mac exclusively for over a year now, but I’m still learning my way around the shell sometimes. I’ve been going through yet-another unix shell tutorial this week – and while a lot of it is a review, I’m still finding it valuable.
  • Given my interest in data analysis to understand customer usage, I’m pretty excited to have deltaDNA join Unity this week.
  • My favorite tweet of the week:

Five for Friday – September 13, 2019

It’s the Friday the 13th edition of FfF. Here’s some stuff to read.

Five for Friday – September 6, 2019

As you may or may not have noticed, I took a few weeks off from FfF. I moved houses, then I traveled, then I went on a short vacation, and then I got sick. But now I’m mostly settled in and back on my regular routine.

Here’s some stuff I found.

  • I’m reading Drift Into Failure – and it’s fascinating. Here’s the first of what probably won’t be the last of quotes I’ll share from the book.
    But in stories of drift into failure, organizations fail precisely because they are doing well – on a narrow range of performance criteria, that is – the ones that they get rewarded on in their current political or economic or commercial configuration. In the drift into failure, accidents can happen without anything breaking, without anybody erring, without anybody violating the rules they consider relevant.
  • For numerous reasons, I’ve been talking more and more about testing without testers. This is a post from a few years ago (but new to me) that speaks to my cause. The Breakup
  • Most of you know this, but a lot of teams do bad things under the guise of ‘Agile‘, and fail. Here are some reasons why – How Agile Fails In Practice
  • Now that you know you have things to fix, read John Culter’s post on So You Want To Fix Something
  • While I recommend you just read all of Johanna Rothman’s posts, her post on the fit of management in Agile recently is quite good and worth reading.

Five for Friday – August 16, 2019

Here we go again…

  • If you’re a regular reader of these Friday links, you may wonder how I keep track of things I want to share. I use Pocket to save things I like. Without it, I’d have to reboot the series as One for Wednesday.
  • Steve Denning is back in FfF with an article on Understanding The Agile Mindset
  • I love static analysis tools, and here’s a story on static analysis at Instagram (which I learned is almost entirely Python on the back end)
  • A lot of my job is coaching, so I liked this article on bad ways to be a coach.
  • Finally, for the stats lovers, check out this site full of sports team stats. I only look at the soccer stats, but you may find others interesting.

Five for Friday – August 9, 2019

Back again for five more things you may or may not find interesting

  • I received an advance copy of 7 Rules for Positive, Productive Change by Esther Derby, and it’s fantastic and highly recommended. The book is low of fluff and high on pragmatic advice.
  • A few weeks ago I had just installed DashLane and was happy with it – my interest, however, has waned. I initially skipped LastPass because it mangled my passwords on import, but I exported/imported from CSV to get around that problem, and it’s growing on me.
  • I came across a nice article on Pair Programming worth sharing (buried in the sea of bad articles on Pair Programming)
  • Similarly, this story on Why our team cancelled our move to microservices is insightful and helpful
  • I bought a new (used) mountain bike. I hadn’t upgraded in ~15 years or so, and oh-boy does the new tech make a difference. I’ve only had it out for a few short rides, but hoping to put some mileage on it before ski season starts. It’s a 2016 Occam Orbea – pic below.

Five for Friday – August 2, 2019

Here is my this week’s version of five things I think are worth sharing.

  • I’m moving (about 6 miles away). Our realtor told me about Moving Link – it’s a service that takes care of bidding on the move. They come out and walk through the house, and then go work with movers to get quotes. Super easy, and a great service to have when there’s so much other crap going on
  • A big part of leadership is good decision making. Like anything else, the way to get better at decision making is to practice by making lots of decisions – then reflect on the bad decisions as an exercise for getting better. Along those lines, this article on 6 Reasons We Make Bad Decisions, and What to Do About Them is worth reading
  • We’ve all seen and used career models or ladders that differentiate between manager and IC (individual contributor) paths. One of the few flaws with this twopath approach is that we frequently expect high level non-managers to be tech leaders, even if that role doesn’t quite fit. I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of the Trident Model of Career Growth before, but I will refer to it often now.
  • One of my favorite plugins is the Checker Plus plugin. I don’t get a lot of email, and what I get is 80% shit I don’t care about. With checker plus, I can quickly glance at the new messages across my inboxes and see if anything needs attention (my loan guy at the bank, for example, needs me to reply to something when I’m done here).
  • Lastly, you can now play the original Diablo in your browser