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

Five for Friday – July 26, 2019

Another blurry week in the books, but I found a few things I liked.

Five for Friday – July 19, 2019

Here we go again…

  • You know how I always rave over Cindy Sridharan’s articles? Well, it turns out she curates a collection of awesome articles on github. Be like me make a clone now.
  • Apparently, Google is paying up to $30k for Chrome bugs.
  • Here’s yet another reminder on using failure as an opportunity to reflect on strengths
  • I’m working through the latest season of Designated Survivor on Netflix and thinking that Kiefer is a far better choice for a celebrity president
  • I had an internet “discussion” with someone a few weeks ago about Major League Soccer – they insisted it was a top ten league in the world, and I insisted it was barely top 20, if that.
    Now, there’s data (and I love data). According to this web site, MLS is the 19th best (by calculating the “Average Power Index” of each league).

Five for Friday – July 12, 2019

It’s smack in the middle of summer in Seattle – which means it rained most of the week. Here’s what I read while watching the clouds.

  • Cindy Sridharan is back with another fantastic blog post – this time on Distributed Tracing
  • There are few things I loathe more than a status meeting. Here’s an article on how Jeff Bezos (supposedly) fixed that problem with his (brilliant) memo system
  • Yet-another-great-article on why Generalizing is better than Specializing. I could rant, but I won’t
  • I’m still working my way through Trillion Dollar Coach, and it’s still fantastic. Some quotes just sing out to me.
    Bill told the poor product manager, if you ever tell an engineer at Intuit which features you want, I’m going to throw you out on the street. You tell them what problem the consumer has. You give them context on who the consumer is. Then let them figure out the features. They will provide you with a far better solution than you’ll ever get by telling them what to build.
  • For the locals (or the visitors), two of my colleagues and I went out for a day last weekend with Seattle Mountain Bike Tours, and it was fantastic and worth every penny. I especially recommend it to visitors, because it will partially explain why I love living in the Seattle area so much.

Five for Friday – July 5, 2019

It’s the July 4th holiday weekend edition of FfF – here are five links worth reading.

  • Jeff Nyman is back yet again (seriously, once I know all of you read his blog regularly, I’ll stop linking to his posts). This time, he answers the question, Should Testers Own Quality
  • A cool article on the time a user researcher tried to ruin Halo 2
  • I always enjoy a good hacking article – here’s one on how to break into your neighbors house
  • I made a full switch this week from Chrome to Firefox for use as my “main” browser. I took the opportunity to use a proper password manager and so far have been mostly happy with dashlane (there will be another post here in the future about password management my opinion changes)
  • Lastly, a short article from someone who has figured out the future of test – From gatekeepers of quality to enabling teams

Five for Friday – June 28, 2019

  • I haven’t used a mechanical keyboard in years, but it’s been on my radar for a while, and now that I have a das keyboard, I’m bummed I didn’t switch back sooner. I have the most basic keyboard of their line, and from the feel and construction, I’m not sure if I’ll ever need to buy another keyboard.
  • This article from The Atlantic on Expertise Falling Out of Favor has uncanny parallels to the software industry. It’s largely about generalists (or specializing generalists), but check out this quote.

    The phenomenon is sped by automation, which usurps routine tasks, leaving employees to handle the nonroutine and unanticipated—and the continued advance of which throws the skills employers value into flux. 
  • Having worked on Microsoft Teams at one point, I enjoyed this article about how Slack’s Tech Stack has grown.
  • Chris Kenst had a nice post recently titled Move fast and make things better.
  • I switched to chemicloud for my web hosting about a year ago, and it’s been amazing. I get WordPress hosting for two sites, ssl, and all of the expected goodies for less than $75 a year. They also transferred all of my content from my old provider seamlessly.
    If you’re in the market for a new provider and want to support hosting of this blog and AB Testing, my affiliate link is here.
    Or, feel free to sign up directly through chemicloud if you prefer.

Five for Friday – June 21, 2019

Between the job kicking my butt and trying to watch both the Gold Cup and the Women’s World Cup, I haven’t browsed much past Grafana dashboards and Google docs this week. So this week, I’m sharing a few sites that aren’t new to me – but are sites I use a lot.

  • The EV Trip Planner is essential for electric car owners. I use it for even minor road trips to make sure I have a good plan for places to stop
  • I use the Pomodoro technique frequently, and use this Tomato Timer app to help. It’s simple, easy, and does exactly what one needs to Pomodoro
  • I played Dungeons and Dragons in my pre-teens and teens, and then picked it up again a year or two ago. DnD Beyond is an awesome companion and saves me from remembering to do all of the math
  • I’ve been lifting weights regularly for about two years now. The symmetric strength site is a fun tool to use to estimate lifts, and see how your lifts compare.
  • Ok – one new article this week. Interesting article on banning coding books from prisons

Five for Friday – June 14, 2019

  • I’m reading the Lean Product Playbook – which has this quote (similar to the Poppendiek quote I also frequently mention.
    As Dave McClure of 500 Startups said, “Customers don’t care about your solution. They care about their problems.”
  • Here’s an article on two of my favorite things – Kanban and Crossing the Chasm – Crossing the Kanbasm
  • A few weeks old, but the Unity blog has a profile of my skip-level boss
  • I was vegetarian for about 15 years but began eating meat again about 5 years ago. Butcherbox has been a great way for me to get quality meat on a regular basis. The link above is not a promo link, but ping me if you want to join and get a free package of bacon in each box, because I think I have a link for that.
  • The 2019 State of Testing report is out – check it out.

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.