Five for Friday – June 7, 2019

It’s time for another week of random – and sometimes useful info

  • This is an excellent write up on the curse of flaky tests. Tests that sometimes fail
  • I’ve learned JavaScript enough that I pretty much despise JavaScript. I use it begrudgingly, but it drives me crazy too. Regardless, this is a wonderful post on Learning how to learn JavaScript
  • It’s not complete, but it’s a wonderful resource for this times you say Oh shit, git!
  • Yet another nice article from Martin Fowler – this on on TechnicalDebt
  • I’m making my one and only public speaking appearance in November in Malmo, Sweden. Come see me at Oredev.

Five for Friday – May 31, 2019

Since last week, I’ve been to Helsinki and back – but still found a few things I think are interesting.

Five for Friday – May 24, 2019

Another dreary wet day in the pacific northwest. Here are a few things I found interesting this week.

  • FocusMate is an interesting idea. It connects you with an anonymous person over video, and you each just work on your stuff. The idea is, that if someone is watching you, that you are less likely to goof off.
  • I’m liking Go (the programming language) more and more for services. If you also like Go, this article on an upcoming error package is probably interesting to you too.
  • Steve Denning appears yet again in FfF with an article on Fake Agile
  • MMA (Midi Musical Accompaniment) is a command line program that takes plain text input and turns it into a midi file. It’s a slightly nerdier alternative to the Band-in-a-Box software I used ~20 years ago.
  • I was a guest on the Test & Code podcast recently. Just me rambling about the normal things, but worth checking out to see if I say anything controversial.

Five for Friday – May 17, 2019

Here we go again…

  • The Heisenbug Conference call for papers is open. These folks treat speakers like rock stars, and I highly recommend the conference.
  • Speaking of conferences, it’s almost time for the Online Test Conference. The lineup is incredible (and I’d say that even if Brent Jensen and I weren’t speaking), it’s free, and you can attend from home.
  • Here’s a secret – I’m a fan of almost everything Al Shalloway writes. This article is no exception. The Five Whys of Lean as an Answer to the “But” of Scrum (note – he recently republished this – it was originally written in 2009).
  • This week I found the Jira Python library – which, for better or for worse, is something I expect I’ll use to some extent (the library is great; it’s Jira that I worry about).
  • If you’re like me, when you hear someone talk about “cultural fit”, you either cringe or stop and ask, “wtf do you mean by cultural fit?”. This article on What’s the Difference Between Cultural Fit and Cultural Impact? cleared up a lot of my worry and confusion.

Five for Friday – May 10, 2019

Still loving my new role at Unity. As I look at the links I saved this week, I’m wondering if an analysis of my FfF posts over the last 18 months will show trends in my actual day-to-day work. I’ll leave that random thought for those smarter than me to investigate.

  • If this isn’t the first time you’ve read something of mine, you know that I think testing is evolving into something that isn’t the testing of 10 years ago. #oneofthethree listeners of AB Testing has this nice post on good activities for testers.
  • At the same time as testers are doing more than testing, developers are doing a lot more testing. I liked this post on writing testable code.
  • A colleague posted a link to How Amazon Uses Agile Team Structures and Adaptive Practices – and I think there’s something there to learn
  • One of my smoke alarms for teams using kanban is the “In Test” column. Jit Gosal has some good ideas for thinking about this in this post.
  • Someone seriously needs to post an internet counter that shows Days Since Someone has Posted Anything About Open Workspaces. This article is from 9 days ago, so I guess the current number is 9. Slack’s head of workplace design thinks open floor plans “suuuck”

Five for Friday – May 3, 2019

It’s been another incredibly busy week – many many meetings to help me ramp up – but I managed to find a few things worth sharing attempting to use the internet as a learning vehicle.

  • It’s no coincidence that this article on Leaders and Time found its way into my queue
  • I’m surprised I didn’t share this article already. How great managers give and receive feedback
  • I’ve thought for a long time that there must be reasons why comedians make good leaders – now there’s an article about this exact thing. I don’t agree completely with the appoint about using comedy to soften criticism, as it may prevent the message from being “heard”, but there’s value in all eight of these reasons
  • I’ve been listening to the Tech Talk Y’all podcast for a few months now, and it will stay on my download list. The show is just a quick recap of tech stories from the last week along with a few recommendations from the hosts daily life. They try to have fun, and manage to do so without being annoying.
  • I read Strategize by Roman Pichler last week. It’s written for product managers, but I think it’s a great book for anyone who wants to create (or be part of a team creating) software for people.
    This line could be right out of The Lean Startup:

    A product roadmap is not a guarantee; it is a high-level plan that describes the likely growth of your product based on what you currently know.

    My new role involves some product and program planning tasks, and keeping this line in mind has been helpful.

Five for Friday – April 26, 2019

Five for Friday – April 19, 2019

It’s FfF time again

  • I think (hope) everyone knows that this blog series is based entirely on Tim Ferris’s Five Bullet Friday posts. I listen to some of Tim’s podcasts – and his recent interview with Eric Schmidt is fantastic. If you don’t like podcasts, there’s a transcript here.
  • I’ve been thinking about interviewing and hiring – so of course, I’ve found a few good articles. This one from hackernoon on How to Hire the Best Developers is interesting.
  • It’s Game of Thrones week, so the internet inevitably produced an article on Game of Thrones styles of leadership.
  • A disclaimer: I often find good blog articles on commercial sites. If I think they’re worth reading, I share them anyway – even if I don’t endorse the company. That said, The Ten Qualities of a True Leader.
  • I’m reading Brave New Work – which is one of those books I love because it agrees with my principles and philosophies so much. Consider this harsh – yet accurate quote about managers.

    After a broad workforce analysis, [Gary] Hamel and his coauthor, Michele Zanini, claim that roughly half of the 23.8 million management roles in the United States are unnecessary. They found that a new wave of companies (including many featured in this book) have managed to cut their manager-to-employee ratio in half while keeping performance up.

Five for Friday – April 12, 2019

Here’s some stuff I found to share this week.

Five for Friday – April 5, 2019

Before the bullet points, I want to remind everyone that the 100th episode of AB Testing will be done live (via Zoom) at 8am PDT next Friday (April 12). If you want to listen in or participate, drop me a note (on twitter – @alanpage, in the comments, or email alan at <the domain where this is hosted>.

OK – off to the five interesting things I have to share…

  • I’m still neck deep looking for good articles on feedback – this one isn’t bad. How to Deliver Constructive Feedback in Difficult Situations
  • I have not-yet-read The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhuo – but this article about the book made me buy it.
  • Shhh – I sort of don’t like Scrum. Not because it doesn’t work – for some reason it’s just too easy to do wrong. Nevertheless, I still read a lot about where it works and doesn’t work, and sometimes I find an article that hits a lot of the good points about Scrum on the head. Why most Scrum Masters are destined to fail
  • If you don’t know me, you may be asking, “if you’re not into Scrum, what’s your deal?” I prefer kanban – it’s simple and focuses on flow. And as usual, someone else described a lot about what I like better than I could have. Running a Kanban Standup Meeting
  • I often wonder how many people who freak out over the concept of “Test is Dead” ever watched Alberto Savoia’s original talk.

    Albert says: “Of the 50,000+ people who saw the video, 90%+ (based on thumbs up/down ratings) got the message. But a small minority focused too much on the title and too little on the message.”

    If you’ve understood the nuance behind the statement and the underlying message all along, congratulations. For the rest of you stuck on the three words in the title of his talk over substance and discussion, hopefully this video from Alberto himself will give you something to chew on.