Weekend Reading — Get really good at spreadsheets

Weekend Reading — Get really good at spreadsheets

“Totally here for classic muscle cars with little stuffed animals on the front grill”

I was restless this morning, so I decided to leave the house and walk a mile, grab some coffee and catch up on my emails. Not sure why I thought coffee would help with restlessness.

Didn't know it's classic car weekend in Alameda. Which means mostly well preserved muscle cars from the 60's. Like the one above.

Also, while my MacBook is getting repaired (screen issue on the 2016 models), I'm writing this week's edition on the 10" iPad. It's cramped. The multitasking is still limited and buggy. But iPadOS 13 is finally good enough as a computer replacement. Not great, but good enough.

Design Objective

10 things I learned from Jason Fried about Building Products Or listen to the episode:

You can only iterate on a shipped product
… All the revisions prior to launch are done to an unfixed, WIP version of your product, and the thinking that motivates those changes is guesswork. The first time you get actual feedback is when your product is live: that’s your threshold for iteration.

cindyalvarez 👏 How to frame a problem:

Every time I make myself write out

We are doing _____
Because we see the problem of _____
We know it's a problem because _____
If we don't fix it, we'll see _____
We'll know we've fixed it when we get _____

the rest of the conversation/project/doc goes SO much easier.

allisongrayce The skill they don't teach you in school:

A judo move you should regularly make as a designer:

Quietly mock up or sketch on a whiteboard while everyone else is relying on words to hash it out.

“So this is what I’m hearing-“ ✨

LissaKEvans When less is more:

I've spent the last two days refining a paragraph of extended metaphor - tweaking, prodding, sanding, trimming, varnishing - and now I've just deleted the whole thing and, honestly, the resultant gap is a thing of genuine beauty.

random_walker Why enterprise software is so often poorly designed:

OK, back to Blackboard! It’s actually designed to look extremely attractive to the administrators (not professors and definitely not students) who make purchase decisions. Since they can't easily test usability, they instead make comparisons based on… checklists of features. 🤦🏽‍♂️

Tools of the Trade

aschrock I endorse this recommendation:

My students often ask me what skills will help them in a job setting.

Sometimes I tell them "get really good at spreadsheets."

They think I am joking. I am 100% not joking.

Any industry. Any position. Being a spreadsheet god is transferable knowledge.

anniesqueedle These little things are big part of the job:

Had a fun pairing session last week with a dev who's familiar with coding, but just now learning JavaScript. There's little things we learn to do, like messing around in the console to see what methods are defined on an object, that aren't apparent when you first start out.

iPadOS review: The iPad is dead, long live the iPad iPadOS brings the iPad one step closer to an everyday computing device.


mjb2kmn 🤔

How did "sandbox" come to mean something isolated and controlled? Who coined this term? Have they ever seen children playing in a sandbox?


What is the German word for: "It only works when I try to show you how it does not work"? TIL

The word is "Vorführeffekt", which translates to "presentation effect". It's used in both cases. Something works fine all the time until you show it your boss / parents / friends. Or something broken magically works again when you are showing it the technician.

kvlly 😳

'twas the night before launch day
and all through the app
not a thing was working
so much for my nap


spikebrehm This is why middle management exists:

In my experience (n = 3), reporting to an executive is very much like not having a manager at all. They simply don't have the time or bandwidth for coaching. It puts more of a burden on the employee to self-manage and figure their own shit out. It's easy to feel unsupported.

ReinH 🤔

I've started saying this when helping teams define new processes:

We should expect that these rules will be broken in healthy and adaptive ways, and we can learn a lot by examining this normal and natural rule breaking behavior, rather than attempting to punish or prohibit it.


bratterz And the gold medal goes to Blizzard for this amazing display of mental gymnastics:

Blizzard frantically spinning the orc statue outside the main entrance, hoping it’ll land on a company value that can explain away this mess:

soledadobrien 🔥

I wish that just one corporate entity would just say, “look we get gobs of money from China, it’s an important market for us, and that is more important than any values we pretend to hold.”

At least you’d have to give points for honesty.

monteiro Facebook isn't interested in democracy. 👇 Thread:

“…if a claim is made directly by a politician on their Page, in an ad or on their website, it is considered direct speech and ineligible for our third-party fact checking program.”

Locked Doors

macOS 10.15 Vista 😭 We used to laugh at Windows for building the most annoying UI instead of a better security architecture. Well …

Ken Thompson's Unix password Cracking passwords for fun and historical lessons.


manuelkiessling "unintentionally"

I guess all my fellow developers can relate to this - when you stumble on the way back from lunch, your arm hits a lot of keys on the keyboard, and voilá, you've unintentionally written and deployed a service that matches account mail addresses with advertiser's mailing lists.

None of the Above

timsneath “You are NOT just a number. In fact, your value cannot be defined. ”

kathyra_ 😂

when we die i hope they show us cool stats. like how much time we spent in meetings that could have been slack messages, or googling things for people that could have googled it themselves

engineering_bae There's no risk in trying:

Job hunt tip: even if you don’t meet all of the criteria, still apply.

If you make an impression on the team, they may open a position just for you or hire you into the original position if they think you’re strong enough.

Rainmaker1973 “This 29.5 by 7 meter wide wall LED display has been recently installed at the Nexen University, Magok R&D Center lobby in Seoul, South Korea”

CNRush 🔥

I’m tired of y’all continuing to lie about who is working in fast food.

“The typical burger-flipper is an independent adult of about 29, with a high school diploma. Nearly a third have some college experience, and many are single parents raising families on $9 an hour.”

HelenYoung16 Part of Extinction Rebellion. Still the replies to this tweet are funny:

It's an eventful day at work. A guy has glued himself on top of a plane at London City Airport just across from me. #londoncityairport

Andy Rubin’s New Phone Thing Isn’t Just a New Phone Thing Glad to see tech journalism evolved from uncritically covering shiny objects to understanding the human toll:

In that earlier era, tech enthusiasts and journalists would have no reason not to take that statement at face value—to give the unabashed benefit of the doubt that this shiny, colorful object and new user interface might usher in a new phase of mobile computing. …

But if you happened to scroll through Rubin’s timeline, you’d see that his most recent prior tweets, from October 25, 2018, were in response to a thoroughly reported New York Times article. The story chronicled the sexual misconduct allegations made against Rubin during his time at Google, which Google reportedly investigated and found credible. …

dsquintana “Rabbits love getting stroked on their nose”

The Rise and Fall of Democracy(.com) Well, there's a metaphor for you:

The domain name is being auctioned off this month, and it can be yours for a hefty price. The bidding, hosted by Heritage Auctions, which specializes in the sale of collectibles, begins at $300,000 and closes at 5 p.m. on Oct. 25.

bedwardstiek 👇 This is what monopolies do:

Hello everyone who's mystified by all the blackout posts coming from California's #Powerpocalypse , here's an explainer thread:

Supreme Court hands victory to blind man who sued Domino’s over site accessibility Good news. ADA is here to stay.

“The blind and visually impaired must have access to websites and apps to fully and equally participate in modern society - something nobody disputes,” he said. “This outcome furthers that critical objective for them and is a credit to our society.”

The best Untitled Goose Game memes So that explains the random goose sightings in my timeline.

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