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Culture

Beliefs, behavioral patterns, thoughts, and institutions of the developer community.
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Luca Florio florio.dev

A letter to myself as a fresh software engineer

This “letter to self” from Luca Florio is a great example putting down in writing what you’re optimizing for and front loading (which we talk about on Brain Science) so that future you can make choices more easily.

Dear Self,

You just graduated and you are ready to start your career in the IT field. I cannot spoiler anything, but I assure you it will be an interesting ride. I’m writing you this letter because I want to give you some advice that will help you be a better professional. Nothing you won’t learn by yourself in the next few years, but it is something that I wish someone had told me when I started my career. They are not ordered by any means and are all equally important.

Go blog.golang.org

Go and the Go community during this pandemic

In this post Carmen Andoh, Russ Cox, and Steve Francia share important notes about how the pandemic is affecting the Go community, what they’re doing to help, what you can do to help, and upcoming plans for Go itself.

Go always comes second to more basic concerns like personal and family health and safety. Around the world, the past couple months have been terrible, and we are still at the start of this awful pandemic. There are days when it seems like working on anything related to Go should be considered a serious priority inversion.

But after we’ve done all we can to prepare ourselves and our families for whatever is coming, getting back to some approximation of a familiar routine and normal work is a helpful coping mechanism. In that spirit, we intend to keep working on Go and trying to help the Go community as much as we can.

O'Reilly Media Icon O'Reilly Media

O’Reilly Media shuts down in-person events division

From Laura Baldwin (President, O’Reilly Media):

Today, we’re sharing the news that we’ve made the very difficult decision to cancel all future O’Reilly in-person conferences and close down this portion of our business. Without understanding when this global health emergency may come to an end, we can’t plan for or execute on a business that will be forever changed as a result of this crisis.

…and they are making the move to online-only.

…we believe the stage is set for a new normal moving forward when it comes to in-person events. We also know we are poised to accept that challenge, having already delivered a version of our Strata event on-line to over 4600 participants last week. With over 5000 companies and 2.5 million users on our learning platform, we look forward to innovating and bringing together the technology communities and businesses we serve in new and creative ways.

Dan Shipper superorganizers.substack.com

Seth Godin hates being organized 😱

Fantastic read. Hear from Seth on his thoughts on organizing, being productive, and shipping work that is important enough.

When I think about organizing I think about two things: who’s it for and what’s it for? To answer the first question: it’s for you.

To answer the second question, usually people say: it’s to lower the noise level in your own head.

And I think that definitely makes sense for some people.

But lowering the noise level is just not something I need. I need the noise. If there isn’t noise, I make some.

Seth Godin hates being organized 😱

Sequoia Capital blog Icon Sequoia Capital blog

'Brace for turbulence,' Coronavirus is the black swan of 2020

I’m bracing for turbulence. To me, that doesn’t mean panic — it means prepare for change and potentially discomfort as a result of that change. Be adaptable.

This is the note the Sequoia Capital team sent to its founders and CEOs last week to provide guidance on how to ensure the health of their business while dealing with potential business consequences of the spreading effects of the Coronavirus.

Coronavirus is the black swan of 2020. Some of you (and some of us) have already been personally impacted by the virus. We know the stress you are under and are here to help. With lives at risk, we hope that conditions improve as quickly as possible. In the interim, we should brace ourselves for turbulence and have a prepared mindset for the scenarios that may play out.

It will take considerable time — perhaps several quarters — before we can be confident that the virus has been contained. It will take even longer for the global economy to recover its footing. Some of you may experience softening demand; some of you may face supply challenges. While The Fed and other central banks can cut interest rates, monetary policy may prove a blunt tool in alleviating the economic ramifications of a global health crisis.

We suggest you question every assumption about your business…

If you have BI Prime, then read this too.

Chris Herd linkedin.com

Remote work is about the future of living, not the future of work

Chris is pumping out a ton of ideas on LinkedIn and his company blog on the topic of remote work.

Unshackling people from sitting in a pollution emitting metal box for 2 hours a day commuting to a distraction factory adult kids club where you waste your days not doing anything and padding out an 8 hour day before you go home and have no time left.

The office is great because of reasons that have nothing to do with work. Remote is great because you get work done while living your life.

Millions of people are about to realize how much easier it is to do great work quicker when you’re not in an office, which is going to make it incredibly difficult to go back to the office.

Matt Mullenweg ma.tt

Coronavirus and the remote work experiment no one asked for

Matt Mullenweg, on the potential industry-changing affect that Coronavirus is having:

This is not how I envisioned the distributed work revolution taking hold.

For those asking for tips, my Distributed Podcast has a wealth of advice and stories about how we operate. But here are four good ones to start with

TLDR: Minimize real-time meetings, invest in audio/video quality (yes!), your blog is your new office, and chat tools like Slack and Matrix are a must-have.

Lauren Gardner arcgis.com

COVID-19 (2019-nCoV) real time dashboard

This interactive dashboard was created by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University to visualize and track reported cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in real time. The data collected and displayed are freely available on GitHub.

Below are a few notable pull-quotes from this correspondence on The Lancet’s Infectious Diseases journal.

The dashboard, first shared publicly on Jan 22, illustrates the location and number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, deaths, and recoveries for all affected countries. It was developed to provide researchers, public health authorities, and the general public with a user-friendly tool to track the outbreak as it unfolds.

The dashboard reports cases at the province level in China; at the city level in the USA, Australia, and Canada; and at the country level otherwise. During Jan 22–31, all data collection and processing were done manually, and updates were typically done twice a day, morning and night (US Eastern Time). As the outbreak evolved, the manual reporting process became unsustainable…

Given the popularity and impact of the dashboard to date, we plan to continue hosting and managing the tool throughout the entirety of the COVID-19 outbreak and to build out its capabilities to establish a standing tool to monitor and report on future outbreaks.

For more updates and resources follow Lauren Gardner on Twitter or read the readme.

COVID-19 (2019-nCoV) real time dashboard

Culture commoncog.com

To get good, go after the metagame

I absolutely loved this piece by Cedric Chin about games and their metagames. Fascinating stuff to think about.

Every sufficiently interesting game has a metagame above it. This is the game about the game. It is often called ‘the meta’.

I’m a fan of games (who isn’t?), and every game I’ve ever really gotten obsessed with has had an even more interesting meta. Oh, and if you’re looking for some kind of a direct link to software development, here you go:

My closest cousin is a software engineer. Recently, his frontend engineering team hired a former musician: someone who had switched from piano to JavaScript programming with the help of a bootcamp. He noticed immediately that her pursuit of skills (and the questions she asked) were sharper and more focused than the other engineers he had hired. He thought her prior experience with climbing the skill tree of music had something to do with it.

Dave Evans linkedin.com

How to quit your job spectacularly well

Everyone eventually quits. So, what kind of quitter are you? Are you a bridge burner, the 2-week lame duck, or a generative quitter?

Here’s what Dave Evans, co-founder of Stanford Life Design Lab, has to say about quitting.

Whether your next quit is years away or you wish it were tomorrow—there is no avoiding it. You are going to be a quitter. What kind of quitter, though, is all up to you.

The two most common types of quitter are the Bridge Burner and the 2-Week Lame Duck. But we have a radical third option—the Generative Quitter.

But what’s this Generative Quitter about?

The Generative Quitter is a radical third option. Most people think of quitting as a negative, destructive thing. It means leaving, ending, bailing out. But quitting is also the critical turning point between finishing well and starting anew. Let’s re-frame quitting into a chance to refresh and renew things for the company and a chance for you to author a great final chapter of your old job en route to a great next job.

Career jarednelsen.dev

The horrifically dystopian world of software engineering interviews

Jared Nelsen tells a story that we’re all too familiar with. Nothing new there, but the analysis and concluding thoughts are worth sticking around for. My favorite:

There is a fundamental mismatch between the public square’s claim that companies are absolutely desperate to hire software engineers and the brutal reality of being a software engineering candidate. These do-or-die high pressure coding challenges seem like more of a hazing mechanism rather than a valuable evaluation tool. Using them is like hiring a police officer by shooting at him before you ask him what he knows about the law.

Brad Fitzpatrick bradfitz.com

Brad Fitzpatrick is leaving Google

But why?

Little bored. Not learning as much as I used to. I’ve been doing the same thing too long and need a change. It’d be nice to primarily work in Go rather than work on Go.

When I first joined Google it was a chaotic first couple years while I learned Google’s internal codebase, build system, a bunch of new languages, Borg, Bigtable, etc. Then I joined Android it was fun/learning chaos again. Go was the same when I joined and it was a new, fast-moving experiment. Now Go is very popular, stable…

Chris Coyier CSS-Tricks

JAMstack vs. Jamstack

Chris Coyier:

The “official website” changed their language from JAMstack (evoking the JavaScript, APIs, and Markup acronym) to Jamstack. It’s nothing to be overly concerned about, but I care as someone who has to write the word in a professional context quite often. If we’re going to “Jamstack,” so be it.

I prefer JAMstack, myself, but I think the Ajax analogy he quotes is an apt one. Aside: if this trend continues, Chris and the team might need to rename the site to “Jamstack-Tricks” soon.

Oh, and while we’re here: It’s Changelog not ChangeLog 😄

Alex Hudson alexhudson.com

The "no code" delusion

Alex Hudson:

Increasingly popular in the last couple of years, I think 2020 is going to be the year of “no code”: the movement that say you can write business logic and even entire applications without having the training of a software developer. I empathise with people doing this, and I think some of the “no code” tools are great. But I also thing it’s wrong at heart.

We had a great dialog about this topic on our 2020 predictions episode of JS Party. I tend to agree with Alex’s analysis, which is in-depth and well-reasoned. What do you think about the “no code” movement? Hype or reality? Somewhere in between?

Ars Technica Icon Ars Technica

Iowa man plans armed home invasion instead of paying $20k for domain name

This story comes from Ars Technica, not The Onion:

In June 2017, Adams drove Hopkins to the domain-name owner’s house “and provided Hopkins with a demand note, which contained instructions for transferring the domain to Adams’ GoDaddy account,” the DOJ said. The heist didn’t go as planned, and both the domain-name owner and Hopkins ended up suffering gunshot wounds.

Can you imagine transferring a domain name at gun point?

Twitter Icon Twitter

Twitter wants an open / decentralized standard for social media

Jack Dorsey:

Twitter is funding a small independent team of up to five open source architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media. The goal is for Twitter to ultimately be a client of this standard.

Color me surprised and impressed. My first thought was, “why create something brand new when smart people have been working on open standards for a long time already?” Then I read on:

For social media, we’d like this team to either find an existing decentralized standard they can help move forward, or failing that, create one from scratch. That’s the only direction we at Twitter, Inc. will provide.

Verrry interesting, indeed. What do you think will come of all this?

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