bookmark_borderFive for Friday – May 24, 2024

Finally back in the Emerald City after some time away. I have many stories to tell, but only five links to share.

See you next week.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – May 17, 2024

This week has been…a week. But here are a few things I found worth sharing.

  • I’m thoroughly enjoying the latest season of Welcome to Wrexham on Hulu. While I’m generally interested in anything soccer related, I’m fascinated by the joy and pain that comes with promotion/relegation in the English football system. And, it’s a pretty well done documentary.
  • Not sure how new this is, but I discovered that Slack is going to train AI based on data from your workspace. You can opt out which is weird, but I pick up on what they’re trying to do.
  • This article on exposed company secrets in private repos shows how easy it is to do dumb things. It reminds me of a quote that stuck with me from an underrated book called Release It! – keep in mind that the book was written several years ago.
    GitHub currently shows 288,093 commits with the title “Removed password.” Tomorrow that number will be higher.
  • I feel like someone writes this article every year – and every year I nod my head and think that more people should read articles like this. You probably don’t need microservices
  • I’ve been thinking a lot about recently about “Done is better than perfect”, and this article was a good reminder of why that quote is true.

We’ve done it again – see you all in a week.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – May 10, 2024

It’s Friday, and there’s a lot going on in the world. I am finding the latest (and current) Trump trial interesting, and there’s big news in the Swifty world this week – but I’ll keep my links this week to the tech and leadership adjacent topics I usually try and stick with (just kidding – it’s almost all AI)

  • First up is a shout out to my new favorite terminal – warp. It’s sort of perfect for me, and massively customizable. I haven’t had this much fun with a terminal since I used 4DOS in 1991.
  • If you’re like me (and the data say you are), you rarely go to now that you have ChatGPT. Stackoverflow is run by smart people – so they’re partnering with OpenAI to make sure that they have the best answers.
  • Of course, nothing to do with AI is without drama and hype,. Within a day, a bunch of folks on Stackoverflow rebelled.
  • BUT – if you’re want to rise above it all and use AI responsibly, there’s this aptly named article on How to Implement AI — Responsibly
  • Finally – every pointy-haired boss who pays for github co-pilot for their teams wants to know if it makes teams more productive. This is the only article I’ve read that has a research based bias. –Measuring GitHub Copilot’s Impact on Productivity. Of course none of those metrics are available to the pointy-haired bosses, but GitHub released a bit of the API in beta recently.

That’s all – or that’s AI – whichever works best for you. See you in a week.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – May 3, 2024

Another week has flown by. This week, I have a mix of fun things I’ve found, plus just some random stuff I felt like telling you about.

  • I’m a long time ToDoist user. It’s the way I make sure my dumb brain doesn’t forget to do important things. I’ve tried a lot of the alternatives, but none work as well for me. On Tuesday, ToDoist showed me this message:
    5 years, 5 months, 3 weeks, 5 days after you first started your Todoist journey on Nov 3 2018, you’ve joined just 0.05% of all Todoist users to ever reach Todoist Karma Enlightenment.
    So now we can say that I’m Enlightened!
  • I bought another computer this week. I picked up a Lenovo X270 this week on ebay for about $200, and it’s remarkably beefy (i7, 16 gb ram, 512 SSD) for the price. I wanted a computer that I would feel comfortable bringing to the floor at DefCon, but fast enough to have fun and do some damage at CTF events, and it should be perfect.
  • As a long time linux (mostly Ubuntu) user, I wanted to try something different, so I loaded Fedora onto the X270, and it runs absolutely perfectly. Every device works, and it’s fast. While installing software, I came across GPU Screen Recorder – which may be the best screen recorder I’ve ever used.
  • I’m kind of not surprised with the stories in this article on how the rush to “do AI” is burning people out. I’ve seen it happen with a lot of the new things throughout my career.
  • On a much more sensible note, Ethan Mollick has an entire book of sensible advice on using AI (disclaimer – perhaps I see it as sensible because it aligns with the stories I’ve been telling about use and mis-use of AI). Definitely worth checking out – Co-Intelligence: Living and Working with AI.

And there we have it – another list of five things i thought were worth sharing this week.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – April 26, 2024

Back again for another week of interesting things that I think are worth sharing.

  • I’m guessing everyone already knows that IBM is buying Hashicorp – which is interesting, but maybe inevitable. We’ll see how this plays out.
  • I spent a chunk of time reading some code in the recent release of the MS DOS 4.0 source code, and it certainly brought back some memories. I don’t think I ever looked at this while I was at msft (I joined in 1995), but I was certainly a heavy user of DOS4 when it came out.
  • A fantastic article from Johanna Rothman this week on How to Move from Story Points and Magical Thinking to Cycle Time for Decisions
  • I’ve worked on internal-facing tools for most of my career. Many times in the past few decades, I’ve been asked if something I or my team wrote should be sold (or given) externally. This article on Productizing internal tools does a wonderful job discussing when this is – or isn’t a good idea.
  • Lastly – I was asked a few times recently about the recording platform we use for AB Testing – we use – which so far has been near perfect, and a huge upgrade over zencastr. Hopefully it continues to deliver.

All for now – see you in a week.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – April 19, 2024

I’m back for another week of weird – or sometimes interesting things I’ve found on the internet.

  • First up, is Fallout on Amazon Prime. Fallout 4 is probably my favorite video game of all time, so I was a little hesitant to watch the series…but it’s fantastic. It’s a great story, and has a nice amount of pulls directly from the game while building on the Fallout world.
  • This week, Dan Ariely wrote In Defense of Mistakes – which is really just another article advocating to learn from mistakes, but it’s still worth reading.
  • I stumbled on this article about whether or not you really need to store all that telemetry. I remember talking to a developer on the Exchange team ~15 years ago, and at that time they had a lot of similar struggles – but nowhere near as elegant of a response as in this article.
  • This article has a retrospectively obvious title with a great support story. Most micromanagers are blind to being seen as one.
  • I’ve been reading Move Fast and Fix Things, and enjoying it. It reinforces the necessity of trust building when driving organizational change. It’s on the money with some good ideas.

And that wraps up another week. Hope you found something interesting.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – April 12, 2024

Another week – a few more interesting discoveries from the internet.

  • First off – the 2024 DORA survey is out. I look forward to seeing the results and analysis when they’re available.
  • I continue to be a fan of Steve Denning’s writing – and of simple heuristics as well. His latest article on A Powerful Tool That Sees Behind The Financial Headlines is really interesting.
  • I found Sad Servers this week. It’s like a CTF – but for debugging linux servers.
  • I dropped using Windows when I left Microsoft (and used a Mac laptop my last year there). But it’s taken me until this week to discover RayCast, and I’m an insta-fan.
  • Finally, HBR hit it out of the park with this short – and painfully accurate article on 4 Reasons Why Managers Fail.

That’s Five, so I’m out. Have a great weekend.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – April 5, 2024

It’s been another too-full week – but here are a few things I’ve found worth sharing.

  • First – I don’t often use these posts to talk about the podcast, but this week was both the 10th anniversary, and our 200th episode. I promise to try to not talk about the podcast until we get to 250.
  • There’s a lot of good advice in this article on How to Self-Manage Even if You Have a Manager – just about everyone I know who’s been successful in knowledge work has inherently followed most of this advice early in their career
  • Raymond Chen’s blog is the only Microsoft blog I read. Every so often there’s yet-another-entry in his wrong-side-of-this-airtight-hatchway series where someone discovers that as an administrator, they can mess up their system. Makes me shake my head, but always still a fun read. It rather involved being on the other side of this airtight hatchway: System corruption caused by an administrator
  • It still pains me how many people “test” LLMs without any idea how they work. This quiz – Exploring LLM Weirdness: A Quiz Game has you interact with an LLM until you can teach it the right answer – and in doing so, explains the limitations of LLMs and provides a few insights into how they work.
  • Finally, I’ve been taking a break from Starfield and Baldur’s Gate to play Bloodstained. I’m always a sucker for metroidvania games, and this one has been a lot of fun so far

Once again, thanks for reading – see ya’ in a week.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – March 29, 2024

Happy Friday everyone – read on for some potential interest…

  • First, an announcement. Wednesday, April 3 is the Tenth Anniversary of the AB Testing Podcast – and it’s also our 200th episode. We’re going to record it live at 6:00pm PDT – it’s basically a podcast / webinar.
    If you want to take part, join our Slack group and you’ll find a gcal link in the #general channel – or if you don’t do slack, I’ll plan to post details on linkedin beginning on Monday.
  • I’m a little late in posting today, because I took the day off for first hike of the spring. The Wallace Lake Loop was perfect – with a few side trip, it was a fun ten miles.
  • As a current remote worker – and an advocate, I found a lot of interesting points in this 2024 State of Remote Work.
  • This article is targeted at Quality Engineers, but everyone should read it – RAG for Quality Engineers
  • And…I stumbled this article from Ryan Peterman that was clear, accurate, and valuable The Tech Lead’s Playbook.

That’s all for this week, and that’s all for March 2024. Hope to see some of you (virtually) Wednesday night.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – March 22, 2024

I journeyed into public last weekend…and caught a cold. Fortunately, I’m well on the mend, but after a whole lot of isolation over the last four years, being sick is rare – in face, other than my one time bout of COVID last August, this has probably been the only time I’ve been sick since 2019 or earlier.

Anyway – I still had a lot of time to find a few interesting things worth sharing.

Time for me to go take a power nap – see you all next week (or tomorrow if you read the other blog).