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Dan Luu danluu.com

How (some) good corporate engineering blogs are written

For those out there that lead or contribute to a corporate engineering blog, Dan Luu interviewed folks at Cloudflare, Heap, and Segment, as well as folks at three different companies with “lame corporate engineering blogs” to get a sense of what makes them interesting or lame.

I’ve been comparing notes with people who run corporate engineering blogs and one thing that I think is curious is that it’s pretty common for my personal blog to get more traffic than the entire corp eng blog for a company with a nine to ten figure valuation and it’s not uncommon for my blog to get an order of magnitude more traffic.

In order to have a boring blog, the corporation has to actively stop engineers from putting interesting content out there. Unfortunately, it appears that the natural state of large corporations tends towards risk aversion and blocking people from writing, just in case it causes a legal or PR or other problem.

Todd Kulesza blog.golang.org

Go developer survey 2019 results

Good news! For 2019 there were 10,975 responses to the survey — that’s almost twice as many as last year. Here are few major findings from the results, but of course, you should dig in because they make it really easy to scan and grok the details.

  • The demographics of our respondents are similar to Stack Overflow’s survey respondents, which increases our confidence that these results are representative of the larger Go developer audience.
  • A majority of respondents use Go every day, and this number has been trending up each year.
  • Respondents are using Go to solve similar problems, particularly building API/RPC services and CLIs, regardless of the size of organization they work at.
  • Most teams try to update to the latest Go release quickly; when third-party providers are late to support the current Go release, this creates an adoption blocker for developers.
  • Almost everyone in the Go ecosystem is now using modules, but some confusion around package management remains.
  • VS Code and GoLand have continued to see increased use; they’re now preferred by 3 out of 4 respondents.

Drew Devault drewdevault.com

How to store data forever

It’s certainly interesting to ponder how to store data for as long as you possibly can, which Drew highlights very well. But I really enjoyed the questions at the end on “actually storing data forever”…

Let’s say you’ve managed to keep your data around. But will you still know how to interpret that data in the future? Is it in a file format which requires specialized software to use? Will that software still be relevant in the future? Is that software open-source, so you can update it yourself? Will it still compile and run correctly on newer operating systems and hardware? Will the storage medium still be compatible with new computers?

Brain Science Brain Science #17

Start with gratitude

It’s been said that happy people are thankful, but maybe it’s the other way around. Thankful people are happy. In this episode we discuss the value of and the way that practicing gratitude can improve your overall outlook and mental health. Mireille and Adam talk through some of the underlying neuropsychological aspects of this habit including the key brain structures and neurotransmitters that are affected by practicing this routinely. This is one show that will pay–over and over again–that is, if you’re willing to put the knowledge into practice. Just how “happy” do you want to feel?

Eduards Sizovs sizovs.net

Developers don't need ping-pong tables

Some of the particulars in this article don’t feel relevant during the coronavirus-lockdown phase of history, but the overarching message is solid:

Companies waste millions on building the environment they think makes developers happy, without understanding what actually makes developers tick.

What does make developers tick? What motivates us? The answers aren’t always the same, but they often aren’t all that different either. Eduards argues that autonomy, mastery, and purpose are at the heart of it.

JavaScript dutzi.party

Userscripts are fun and are still very much relevant

I couldn’t agree more with this sentiment! Customizing your web experience is what the web is all about. Who remember Greasemonkey?! ✋

Here’s the quick how to for today:

Creating a simple Userscript is pretty simple, you simply install ViolentMonkey (on Chrome, use TamperMonkey for other browsers), hit the Create Userscript button and you will be preseneted with a pretty decent code editor showing a userscript template.

Brain Science Brain Science #16

Developing a mental framework

The quality of your thinking depends on your mental framework. To become a better thinker you need to have an understanding of this mental framework and how you view the world. But, what exactly is a mental framework? How have we all been programmed throughout our lives? In what ways have you been programed that you like, don’t like, or want to change? Join us as we explore and examine the key components of developing a mental framework.

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.

Brain Science Brain Science #13

Brace for turbulence

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak being declared a global pandemic and a national emergency here in the United States as well as many other countries around the world, it would be extremely difficult to have a serious conversation here on Brain Science that’s not colored by today’s very serious events. Mireille and Adam discuss the anxiety, fear, and panic that many may be facing. How do we navigate the unseeable unknown? How should we respond to change and the state of the world we are now living in?

Don’t panic. Prepare for change. Be adaptable. Be resilient.

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.

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