It’s easy to agree we should be ethical in our work, but often harder in the moment when you’re asked to do something (or not do something) that crosses your ethical boundaries. In this thoughtful piece, Nikola Đuza explores these decisions and provides resources of the existing material on developer ethics.
Once again, Sahil Lavingia shared proof that we can think differently about the future of work. Sure, not every company should operate the way Gumroad is operating, but there are plenty of insights to be drawn from their experience.
Recently, I pitched the whole company about going full-time, because it felt wrong to grow any larger without full-time staff.
I realized then that I was trying to copy the status quo–to try and fix something that wasn’t broken–so that I could feel better about doing things the “normal” way. But the deal we already had in place was better for what our people prioritize: freedom over growth, sustainability over speed, life over work.
I recently spoke with Sahil on Founders Talk #66 about failing to build a billion-dollar company. I highly recommend that episode.
It may be Monday, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a bit of fun, does it? If fun to you is ordering pizza by writing some YAML… step right up and place your order:
$ kubectl get pizzastore store-123 -o yaml kind: PizzaStore metadata: name: store-123 spec: address: | 51 Niagara St Toronto, ON M5V1C3 id: "10391" phone: 416-364-3939 products: - description: Unique Lymon (lemon-lime) flavor, clear, clean and crisp with no caffeine. id: 2LSPRITE name: Sprite size: 2 Litre
How do you know if you’re on your way to burning out? Ben McCormick has one question he uses when he’s concerned that himself or one of his teammates is headed down a path to burnout:
If you take the pace & quality of the last 2 months of your life and repeated it again and again, how long would you be able to sustain it?
As we begin the process of closing out the year, and what a year it has been, and start planning for what might be in 2021 — consider how this question impacts you now and how you can shape your future with this question in mind.
Today we’re sharing a full-length episode of Command Line Heroes from Season 6 for you to check out. We hand picked this episode for you to listen to.
Many of us grew up playing cartridge-based games. But there’s few who know the story behind how those cartridges came to be. And even fewer who know the story of the man behind them: Jerry Lawson. Before Jerry, a gaming console could only play one game. Jerry quite literally changed the game. This episode shares Jerry’s story of inventing the cartridge-based system for gaming consoles.
Gergely Orosz joined Adam for a conversation about his journey as a software engineer. Gergely recently stepped down from his role as Engineering Manager at Uber to pursue his next big thing. But, that next big thing isn’t quite clear to him yet. So, in the meantime, he has been using this break to write a few books and blog more so he can share what he’s learned along the way. He’s also validating some startup ideas he has on platform engineering. His first book is available to read now — it’s called The Tech Resume Inside Out and offers a practical guide to writing a tech resume written by the people who do the resume screening. Both topics gave us quite a bit to talk about.
If you missed the news…Salesforce is buying Slack for $28 billion. To be clear, the deal is $27.7 billion in cold hard cash plus Salesforce stock. But who cares about money, amirite? Why does this deal even make sense?
Ina Fried for Axios:
[Salesforce] CEO Marc Benioff characterized the move as a bet that the pandemic-driven shift to remote work isn’t a temporary blip but rather a permanent transformation.
Slack has the lead in its still-nascent space, but was facing a challenge of its own — namely that Microsoft’s rival Teams was bundled into Office subscriptions. As a standalone company, Slack couldn’t easily manage such a move, nor could it afford to get into a price war.
I liked what Aaron Levie (Co-founder and CEO of Box) said about this deal and the future of work:
What’s amazing is that even though the current wave of enterprise software to power the future of work has been going strong for 10+ years, we’re still in the very earliest of stages in this market. The last decade has been about building the tools that power new ways to work from anywhere, collaborate with anyone, and automate workflows and business processes in the cloud. The next decade will be the era when organizations adopt these technologies en masse and transform their enterprises. While many of us in Silicon Valley and similar ecosystems have been using tools like Slack for years now (and even Microsoft Teams, more recently), 90%+ of the world’s digital workers are still not leveraging these modern platforms for the majority of their work. While it’s hard to imagine, we’re still in the early innings of this market.
This post to the BusyBox mailing list from back in 2010 was a fun read to get the backstory on
You know how Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie created Unix on a PDP-7 in 1969?
Well around 1971 they upgraded to a PDP-11 with a pair of RK05 disk packs (1.5
megabytes each) for storage.
When the operating system grew too big to fit on the first RK05 disk pack (their
root filesystem) they let it leak into the second one, which is where all the
user home directories lived (which is why the mount was called /usr). They
replicated all the OS directories under there (/bin, /sbin, /lib, /tmp…) and
wrote files to those new directories because their original disk was out of
space. When they got a third disk, they mounted it on /home and relocated all
the user directories to there so the OS could consume all the space on both
disks and grow to THREE WHOLE MEGABYTES (ooooh!).
Jaana Dogan, now working at AWS, reflects on her (long) time at Google:
My time was up for one exact reason. I no longer had no clue what the life outside Google felt like. My actual superpower was gone. I remember sitting in meetings only bringing insights from what I hear from customers without truly understanding how things worked outside of our bubble end-to-end.
Thoughtful reflection is a powerful tool in your life. Sharing that reflection with others, like Jaana does here, can be a powerful tool in other people’s lives. 💪
Envoy’s open source community is amazing. I looked the other day, and at least on GitHub, just from a code contribution perspective, we’re almost at 600 contributors. Which for a fairly low-level C++ project… that is freakin’ incredible. It just blows my mind. And then you look at all of the vertical products and all these other things that are built on top…
There are many factors that contributed to this success, but one thing I did early on stands out as the most important thing I could’ve done. In this post I share my secret with you.
Git is actually sooo hard. Not just to learn, but also to use consistently. And I say that as a person who used it for probably over ten years. Here’s my thoughts on the matter.
We’re joined by George Neville-Neil, aka Kode Vicious. Writing as Kode Vicious for ACMs Queue magazine, George Neville-Neil has spent the last 15+ years sharing incisive advice and fierce insights for everyone who codes, works with code, or works with coders. These columns have been among the most popular items published in ACMs Queue magazine and it was only a matter of time for a book to emerge from his work. His book, The Kollected Kode Vicious, is a compilation of the most popular items he’s published over the years, plus a few extras you can only find in the book. We cover all the details in this episode.
Thanks to Alex Williams over at The New Stack for doing a great write up remembering Dan Kohn and the tremendous mark he has left on open source and Cloud Native. Of course Dan had help along the way, but by-and-large the CNCF and “cloud native” as we know it are the direct result of Dan’s vision and leadership.
Thank you Dan. You will be missed.
We knew little in 2016 about what Dan was up to but we soon got a hint. The CNCF was already established but what it represented was still a bit unclear. If anything, Dan was a businessman and a computer scientist. He knew the economic importance of at-scale computing and the technical complexity that made it so fascinating.
The technical community was ready for someone like Dan — they needed help. Open source cloud native projects were growing but the resources were essential to keep progress moving. He was there to make sure the work got done that technologists should not have to do: Building awareness, supporting the publicity of new projects and perhaps most of all, smoothly running the conferences.
By now it is clear that the RIAA’s takedown notice backfired badly. With the ‘Streisand Effect’ in full swing, there are now probably more copies of YouTube-DL online than there ever were.
We’re joined by Elisha Goldstein, PhD - one of the world’s preeminent mindfulness teachers, a clinical psychologist, founder of the Mindful Living Collective and, creator of the six-month breakthrough program - A Course in Mindful Living. If you’ve ever used the Calm app, you might be familiar with his voice as he walks you through mindfulness practices to help calm negative emotions and anxious thoughts. He has extensive expertise in mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) and today he’s sharing his wealth of knowledge using mindfulness to naturally reduce anxiety and be more present and aware in our lives.
Gergely Orosz shared advice that he’d give to himself 10 years ago. It’s interesting how hindsight is always 20/20…it’s easier to connect the dots looking back vs looking forward.
As I look back to over a decade ago, there are a few things I wish I’d started doing sooner. Habits that could have helped made me grow faster and in a more focused way. This is the advice I’d give my younger self, who has just landed their first professional software engineering job.
1. Take the time to read two books per year on software engineering … Every time I took the time to slowly and thoroughly read a recommended book on software engineering, I leveled up. By properly reading, I mean taking notes, talking chapters through with others, doodle diagrams, trying out, going back, and re-reading…
We’re helping Atlassian to promote Season 2 of Teamistry. If this is the first time you’re hearing about this podcast, Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian that tells the stories of teams who work together in new and unexpected ways, to achieve remarkable things. Today, we’re sharing a full-length episode from Season 1 which tells the story of the team that fashioned the Apollo 11 spacesuits.
When Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon for the first time, we don’t actually see his face. We see his moonsuit. That moonsuit — in effect — is Neil Armstrong; an inseparable part of this historic moment. While the spacesuit kept him alive to tell that story in his own words, what went unnoticed is the extraordinary team that stitched it together.
Antirez on the strange relationship between money, open source, and the code we write on the job:
Open source is different, it’s an artifact, it’s a transposition in code of what you really want to do, of what you feel software should be, or just of all your fun and joy, or even anger you are feeling while coding… It’s not about money. You can ignore bugs if you want, and ignore their complains, you can do that since you don’t have a contract to do otherwise, but they are helping you, they care about the same thing you care: your software quality, grandiosity, perfection.
Most of us have heard how important “self-care” is and how important it can be for healthy living. But what exactly IS self-care? In this episode, not only do we define what self-care is, but we talk through the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of what’s involved in self-care and why this can so often be misunderstood and challenging. While we might be familiar with this term, many may not consider how they can be deliberate around managing themselves by both reflecting on and engaging in activities that help support their brains and bodies. It isn’t enough to simply know that self-care is important, rather discovering practical actions you can take to improve both how you feel and how you engage with the world.
Gitter is exiting GitLab and entering the Matrix…ok, we couldn’t help ourselves with that one. Today we’re joined by Sid Sibrandij (CEO of GitLab) and Matthew Hodgson (technical co-founder of Matrix) to discuss the acquisition of Gitter. A little backstory to tee things up…back in 2017 GitLab announced the acquisition of Gitter to help push their idea of chatops within GitLab. As it turns out, the GitLab team saw a different path for Gitter as a core part of Matrix rather than a non-core project at GitLab. We talk through all the details in this episode with Matthew and Sid.
Stress is something that we will inevitably encounter throughout our lives. It isn’t all bad or maladaptive, but how we manage it can make a significant difference in our lives. The degree of stress we feel impacts how we show up in the world including both how we relate and how we do the work before us each day.
In this episode, Mireille and Adam discuss the impact of stress on our systems including the role of different stress hormones on our immune system, cardiovascular system and our metabolism. Like many other conversations on previous episodes, we provide research relative to the value of relationships as having close connections helps us all combat the stress that loneliness can cause as well. When we utilize resources to support us as well as set limits on what we expose ourselves to and focus our attention to, we have the opportunity to better navigate the stresses of our lives.
I enjoyed reading what Anna had to say about the advice she had been given and the process she created for doing introduction one-to-one meetings with her new team.
When I joined the Financial Times as Technical Director for FT.com, I inherited a team of around 50 engineers. One of the first things I did was meet each of them for a one-to-one. I was initially resistant, but it was extremely valuable, I’m glad I did it, and I would definitely do it again in a future role. I ran each meeting in the same way. Firstly I ran through everything I planned to cover, and then stepped through it…
It has become even more clear to me during the era of COVID-19 that poor communication is the reason systems and relationships fail. Every time I’ve failed to get what myself, my team, or a community wanted out of an engineering team was because I neglected to communicate why and how it would be impactful to them in a digestible way.
In this post, I share a few lessons learned as a non-technical launching hardware and software products over the last decade. We’ll explore tactics and skills teams can use to communicate more effectively.
Helping people online is difficult. We expect technical questions and discussions, but everyone involved are just people, so it doesn’t always go smoothly. There’s no way to guarantee a good outcome, but there are things we as helpers can do to improve the interactions.
Ned shares a dozen ways we can work to be more helpful online. Excellent stuff. 👌
Here’s a fun rabbit hole to go down if you have some free time to spend.
After a fellow named Zikubi beat the speedrun record for Super Mario Bros 3 by about 8 minutes with a time of just over three minutes, speedrun analyst Bismuth made the video above to explain how he did it…by changing the game with the gameplay itself.
The first couple minutes go exactly as you’d expect, but the speedrun takes a weird turn when, instead of using the second warp whistle to go to level 8, he uses it to go to level 7. And once in level 7, Mario races around randomly, letting opportunity slip away like a blindfolded birthday boy unwittingly steering himself away from the piñata. It’s only later, during the explanation of how he got from level 7 to the final screen so quickly, that you realize Mario’s panicky idiot behavior is actually the player actively reprogramming the game to open up a wormhole to the ending.