Five for Friday (or Saturday) – March 20, 2020

One thing that I’ve found interesting now that all of my coworkers are working from home is that they schedule more meetings. I think this is a good thing – but wow has my calendar exploded.

I still found a few things worth sharing.

  • The media and blogs are filled with articles on Covid-19 – so much so that am limiting the time I spend reading about it. Sometimes, however, I find an article that is sensible without being alarming. This article on Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance speaks a lot of sense and is crammed full of charts and graphs for all of us data-nerds
  • I don’t share Unity links here that often, but when I do, it’s because I think they’re worth reading. This one on experimentation and data to optimize a game is worth the read. Will the grass be greener with interstitial ads?
  • I often get annoyed with people who blame management for their own inability to influence. Now I wonder if managers really are the problem. This survey data on managers and their teams is frightening.
  • I’ve been playing Ori and the Will of the Wisps a bit lately – I normally don’t like platformers, but it’s so beautiful to play that I find it the best way to unwind from a day at the (home) office.
  • In news that wouldn’t have made any sense at all just a month or so ago, Restaurant giving out toilet paper with take-out orders over $25

Stay safe out there


Five for Friday – March 13, 2020

It’s the WFH edition of FfF – which isn’t really any different from any other edition of FfF

  • Ministry of Test had to cancel two of their conferences this week. They are such a fantastic resource for anyone interested in quality – if you don’t have a Pro membership with them (ridiculously cheap at ~$300), please look at the benefits and consider it.
    Brent doesn’t know it yet, but I think we’re going to figure out how to give away a Pro membership at some point to someone deserving.
  • Speaking of supporting good stuff with $$, I finally bought a membership to Medium. I was getting around their article limits by reading in incognito windows – or avoiding articles I didn’t think would be worth my 3-per-week limit, but I realized that I could just save myself a few hundred or more dollars worth of time by buying a year membership for the price of a craft cocktail in Manhattan.
  • This article on what to do with an employee obsessed with promotion brought back a lot of memories of msft – but had some good advice as well.
  • I love (LOVE!) this article on Building a Culture of Experimentation from HBR. I may have to subscribe there as well…
  • I’ve had a lot of fun this week playing Guess My Word. Good luck with your binary searching. My record this week is finding a word in 9 guesses in just under a minute (normal).
    Good luck.

Five for Friday – March 6, 2020

I hope everyone is staying healthy and staying at home as much as you can. While you’re at home, here’s some stuff for you.

Five for Friday – February 28, 2020

  • I read Outcomes over Output on a plane ride to the bay area yesterday. It’s a quick read, and full of great information and reminders on delivering customer outcomes and behavior changes (which ultimately result in business and customer value).
  • I also just read Radical Focus – it’s a book (a business novel) about effective use of OKRs to drive goals. It’s also a quick read, and another I can recommend to anyone who wants more effective OKRs, or just a better way to focus their teams work against results.
    I didn’t plan it, but these two books are highly complimentary – ymmv
  • What is a platform anyway? Read the article for a good answer.
  • Because it had to exist – a radial visualization of Corona virus infection.
  • I think Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is bad-ass – but I love that Ted Cruz tried to call her out this week for voicing her disappointment in Pence’s corona virus credentials. Here’s a recap.

Five for Friday (ish) – February 21, 2020

I spent a big chunk of yesterday driving back from my yearly visit to Whistler BC, but still have a few things to share.

Five for Friday – February 14, 2020

Once again, I’m a day late, but who am I kidding – you read these on Monday anyway.

Five for Friday – February 7, 2020

  • I just finished a re-read (or the first read of the second edition) or Release It! It is crammed full of things that everyone working on a website or software service should know – including this painful nugget:
    GitHub currently shows 288,093 commits with the title “Removed password.” Tomorrow that number will be higher.
  • Sometimes I don’t remember how I found an article, but I do know that it resonates. This article on Systems Thinking for Product Design aligns a lot with my approaches
  • Yet-another – but probably the best list of how-to-git is here
  • I’ve become one of those people who ocassionally uses icons as small graphics in their presentations. I’m sure I’ll bore of it soon – in the meantime, The Noun Project is the best source I’ve found for CC-licensed icons.
  • In years of helping teams improve, one consistency I’ve noticed is that teams usually don’t recognize all of their technical debt. This article on a Wall of Tech Debt is one way to help with that deficiency

Five for Friday – January 31, 2020

Early edition this week before I jump on a 10 hour flight home.

  • An interesting article on the dark side of expertise
  • Mot of you have heard of Google’s Testing on the Toilet initiative (one pagers on testing and engineering posted on stall doors). Now, here’s an academic paper on the topic
  • For a decade (or two?), I’ve found value in code check-in metrics. Noah Sussman has a fantastic article exploring this topic
  • I attended an internal conference this week, where I gave presentations on achieving quality without qa, developing a quality culture, and co-presented a root-cause analysis workshop. You can get a brief recap by viewing the #unityqweek hashtag on twitter
  • I don’t agree with this article – Monoliths are the future – but there are interesting points. Coincidentally, I recently read Team Topologies (I’ll share quotes in a future FfF), and for me, it definitely set my frame for reading this article.

Five for Friday – January 24, 2020

This is the special time travel edition of FfF (I lost a day – mentally – while traveling).

Five for Friday – January 17, 2020

  • It’s that time of year again. It’s time for folks to fill out the annual State of Testing Survey. Remember that testing is an activity, and not necessarily a role, so if you’re involved in software, you probably have valuable input.
  • I’m a bit of a Michael Lopp (Rands) fanboy – Managing Humans remains one of my favorite books on management. Here’s an interview with him posted this week.
  • I’m not really a remote worker, but I sometimes end up working from home four days a week. Although this article on How to work from home and actually get stuff done is a few years old, I find it quite applicable.
  • I’ve been taking the Brave browser for a spin for the past week – so far, I’ve been mostly impressed. There are some issues with emoji display on my Linux browser, but the speed is noticeable on many sites. It’s chromium based – which means that most Chrome plugins work perfectly as well.
  • Like most people who travel a bit, I occasionally run into networks that are difficult to connect to – usually because the redirect is puking (that’s a technical term). Sometimes I get around this by attempting to directly connect to the access points IP address, but NeverSSL is pretty handy too. It allows connections over the most basic vanilla http possible (thus bypassing a lot of redirects that the browser or network may otherwise attempt).