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.
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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.

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”