Weekend Reading — Yelling logistical instructions
This week we explore humans of flat design, renew our .org domain, design a truck out of divs, help people find a job, and stop stressing about sleep.
Astronomy Picture of the Day (November 19, 2019)
7 Questions with CPO Gijo Mathew What's a memorable opposite of “we've always done it this way”?
One of my key principles is Always Remove Orange Cords. I remember when a colleague joined a company and noticed an orange extension cord in the office lobby. He assumed it was important and stepped over it. The cord was still there every day that week. He never questioned “why is this extension cord going across the lobby?” Another person visits and notices the extension cord. He follows the extension cord and realizes it’s not plugged into anything! I always look for these “orange cords” especially in my first couple of months at a new company.
Microsoft went all in on accessible design. This is what happened afterwards “The tech giant took a big step by developing an Xbox controller for people with disabilities. Now that work is leading to changes in the industry at large.”
Allison Grayce 👇 This thread lists the different design career tracks. Find the space that works best for you:
What kind of design gig are you going after next?
mcclure111 👇 Sun invented a lot of things ahead of their time (including cloud computing and tablets), yet couldn't make it work in the marketplace. This thread explores why that happens, what's the lesson, and why that might be the future of Google's Stadia: no compelling user story.:
A long time ago— like 15 years ago— I worked at Sun Microsystems. The company was nearly dead at the time (it died a couple years later) because they didn't make anything that anyone wanted to buy anymore. So they had a lot of strange ideas about how they'd make their comeback.
Tools of the Trade
LocalStack For developing and testing applications using AWS services:
LocalStack provides an easy-to-use test/mocking framework for developing Cloud applications. It spins up a testing environment on your local machine that provides the same functionality and APIs as the real AWS cloud environment.
Internet world despairs as non-profit .org sold for $$$$ to private equity firm, price caps axed FYI if you have an
.org domain (I do), you have the option to extend registration up to 10 years. There's no telling if/when prices will go up.
Nuria Lago “Basic Linux commands”
Bruno Simon Now this is a personal web site! Take it for a ride!
Jay Phelps “This is one of most noncommittal APIs to ever exist. It’s impressive.”
Lines of Code
Delete Your Code and Other Reflections from Coderetreat Day This is a fantastic way to learn different development and testing techniques, and something you can do at home, or with coworkers:
In the version of Coderetreat that I participated in, there were 5 iterations, which were ~40 mins. chunks of time to attempt to solve the problem. For each iteration, we were provided with different constraints, deleted all of our code and switched to pair with someone new.
Great exercise, if you get to attached to your first solution:
I may want to incorporate this into my workflow by spending more time exploring various solutions to a problem and being okay doing a
git stashand then trying a different approach.
coworker: hey can you help me understand this code? i saw your name on the git blame from 2016...
me: docs and prayers 🙃
Peter Cooper “It says a lot about me that I found this bit on Computer Chronicles about "changing" a C program to C++ quite funny.”
Don’t measure how often the build gets broken. Measure how quickly it gets fixed. That’s a better predictor of stability @RoyOsherove #GOTOcph
Making Work Less Stressful and More Engaging for Your Employees This is an article on how to avoid burn out. It has useful tips for contributors and their managers:
When employees connect the impact of their work back to the real world, daily tasks, which once seemed tedious, gain meaning. Start by making purpose a part of your business plan. Even if it’s not declared in your mission statement, help your team understand by showing them the impact their work has both within the company, in other departments, as well as outside the organization, on society. You should also share your purpose during recruitment, and search for candidates that support it.
Burnout ratio = (how strongly you care) / (ability you have to change or influence)
Pointless work meetings 'really a form of therapy' Well, that seems easy enough to fix:
"Many managers don't know what to do," he says, and when they are "unsure of their role", they respond by generating more meetings.
"People like to talk and it helps them find a role," says the professor.
Many of these people can spend half of their working hours in meetings, he says.
Adam “There are only 4 types of developers in meetings.”
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Phase 1: 🐣 Crack the Chicken-and-Egg Problem “Rare insights from 17 of today's biggest marketplaces”
Alexandre Lebrun “Breaking! Google Translate adds new language, VC Speak.” 😭
Data Enrichment, People Data Labs and Another 622M Email Addresses Another day another breach. This one comes from a data enrichment vendor I've never heard of before. Until Friday … when I get the ‘have i been pwned’ alert in my email … and an Instagram ad from PDL in the timeline … creepy.
Common sense tells you this isn’t possible, and AI experts would agree. This product is essentially an elaborate random number generator.
It’s not covered much in art classes, but Van Gogh went through a period of poverty and desperation in the late 1880s that led him to sell out and paint training data for machine learning researchers.
Available To Hire
Signal boosting people looking for a job. If your company is hiring, or you know someone who is, reach out to them.
None of the Above
Pablo Rochat “I made life-size AirPod stickers and stuck them on the ground, all over the city 🤡”
Marriage is a lot of yelling logistical instructions across rooms and floors twice because they didn’t hear you the first time.
Working remote from a vacation like destination is great for a couple hours then I'm like...
- I wish I had my extra monitor
- This chair makes my butt hurt
- My neck hurts from my laptop actually being on my lap
- I can't see my screen in this sunlight
- Where's a power outlet?
Jake Maccoby “A+ correction”
If women were allowed to get mad and men were allowed to get sad we’d all be a lot happier overall.
Matthew Walker's "Why We Sleep" Is Riddled with Scientific and Factual Errors I applaud Alexey Guzey's dedication (130 hours, 6,000 words) to debunking these oft-cited myths about sleep.
🛌 Especially, the 8 hours paradox: not everyone needs 8 hours of sleep. Paradoxically, stressing that you're not getting enough sleep could lead to insomnia. If you're not feeling sleep deprived than don't worry about it.
The Human Experience “A 72 year old retired man from Britain found out that a little mouse was tidying his tools, nobody believed him so he decided to record what happened and this was the result.”
Online Cesspool Got You Down? On the "luxury internet", offering people a better experience, for a price:
Well, check your credit-card statement. Today’s internet is full of premium subscriptions, walled gardens and virtual V.I.P. rooms, all of which promise a cleaner, more pleasant experience than their free counterparts.
Billions of people still use the free internet every day, of course. But it feels increasingly like wading into a sludge pit of algorithmically promoted misinformation, privacy-invading apps and subpar user experiences.
The entire issue is pretty great and appropriately designed.
How America’s Elites Lost Their Grip Time magazine predicts a backlash to American capitalism:
You can already see glimpses of how an age of reform is being dreamed up. Higher taxes on the very fortunate, to be sure; more regulation and worker protections and the like. An attack on climate change almost as dramatic as climate change itself. Programs to give workers greater security. It would be an age in which it was cooler, more thrilling, more admired, more viable to change the world democratically.
Sean Bartley “You little shit”