bookmark_borderFive for Friday – April 12, 2024

Another week – a few more interesting discoveries from the internet.

  • First off – the 2024 DORA survey is out. I look forward to seeing the results and analysis when they’re available.
  • I continue to be a fan of Steve Denning’s writing – and of simple heuristics as well. His latest article on A Powerful Tool That Sees Behind The Financial Headlines is really interesting.
  • I found Sad Servers this week. It’s like a CTF – but for debugging linux servers.
  • I dropped using Windows when I left Microsoft (and used a Mac laptop my last year there). But it’s taken me until this week to discover RayCast, and I’m an insta-fan.
  • Finally, HBR hit it out of the park with this short – and painfully accurate article on 4 Reasons Why Managers Fail.

That’s Five, so I’m out. Have a great weekend.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – April 5, 2024

It’s been another too-full week – but here are a few things I’ve found worth sharing.

  • First – I don’t often use these posts to talk about the podcast, but this week was both the 10th anniversary, and our 200th episode. I promise to try to not talk about the podcast until we get to 250.
  • There’s a lot of good advice in this article on How to Self-Manage Even if You Have a Manager – just about everyone I know who’s been successful in knowledge work has inherently followed most of this advice early in their career
  • Raymond Chen’s blog is the only Microsoft blog I read. Every so often there’s yet-another-entry in his wrong-side-of-this-airtight-hatchway series where someone discovers that as an administrator, they can mess up their system. Makes me shake my head, but always still a fun read. It rather involved being on the other side of this airtight hatchway: System corruption caused by an administrator
  • It still pains me how many people “test” LLMs without any idea how they work. This quiz – Exploring LLM Weirdness: A Quiz Game has you interact with an LLM until you can teach it the right answer – and in doing so, explains the limitations of LLMs and provides a few insights into how they work.
  • Finally, I’ve been taking a break from Starfield and Baldur’s Gate to play Bloodstained. I’m always a sucker for metroidvania games, and this one has been a lot of fun so far

Once again, thanks for reading – see ya’ in a week.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – March 29, 2024

Happy Friday everyone – read on for some potential interest…

  • First, an announcement. Wednesday, April 3 is the Tenth Anniversary of the AB Testing Podcast – and it’s also our 200th episode. We’re going to record it live at 6:00pm PDT – it’s basically a podcast / webinar.
    If you want to take part, join our Slack group and you’ll find a gcal link in the #general channel – or if you don’t do slack, I’ll plan to post details on linkedin beginning on Monday.
  • I’m a little late in posting today, because I took the day off for first hike of the spring. The Wallace Lake Loop was perfect – with a few side trip, it was a fun ten miles.
  • As a current remote worker – and an advocate, I found a lot of interesting points in this 2024 State of Remote Work.
  • This article is targeted at Quality Engineers, but everyone should read it – RAG for Quality Engineers
  • And…I stumbled this article from Ryan Peterman that was clear, accurate, and valuable The Tech Lead’s Playbook.

That’s all for this week, and that’s all for March 2024. Hope to see some of you (virtually) Wednesday night.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – March 22, 2024

I journeyed into public last weekend…and caught a cold. Fortunately, I’m well on the mend, but after a whole lot of isolation over the last four years, being sick is rare – in face, other than my one time bout of COVID last August, this has probably been the only time I’ve been sick since 2019 or earlier.

Anyway – I still had a lot of time to find a few interesting things worth sharing.

Time for me to go take a power nap – see you all next week (or tomorrow if you read the other blog).

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – March 15, 2024

How did it get to be the middle of March already? Here are a few things worth sharing this week.

  • I just finished reading Hidden Potential by Adam Grant. I’ve read everything Grant has written, and this could be his best book. My highlights are extensive, but I’ll just share two quotes.
    In life, there are few things more consequential than the judgments people make of our potential.
    Impostor syndrome says, “I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s only a matter of time until everyone finds out.” Growth mindset says, “I don’t know what I’m doing yet. It’s only a matter of time until I figure it out.”
  • Speaking of highlights, I’ve mentioned before that I use Obsidian for all of my notes. The Kindle Highlights plugin for obsidian pulls all of my highlights into Obsidian – which means I can quickly find what I highlighted, or search my highlights for specific phrases. It’s not a lot, but given how much I read, it’s wonderful.
  • Lisa Crispin has a great post this week (which I would say even if she didn’t call out the AB Testing Podcast on A look back at release engineering.
  • One of the reasons a team may not need extensive manual testing is if they extensively dogfood their product. Sometimes, some portions of the product need fresh sets of eyes, so I really like this idea from Graphite on Onboarding roulette: deleting our employee accounts daily.
  • And finally, I always enjoy an article that draws from Dan Pink. This post on building autonomy as a CTO makes a lot of great points.

That’s it -a busy weekend coming up in weasel-ville, but I should be back with 5 more bits of random trivia when I return.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – March 8, 2024

So much cool stuff going on that I’m not even going to talk about the State of the Union speech last night. Instead – slightly less controversial, and more geeky stuff for me to share.

That last editorial aside, this week’s FfF is complete. Have a great weekend, enjoy yourselves, and stay safe (and warm).

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – March 1, 2024

It’s Friday (again). Here are a few links I think you’ll like.

  • A great post from Janet Gregory this week on Quality Coaches.
  • Yesterday was that stupid day that happens every four years when stuff breaks that shouldn’t. Tech can’t handle dates.
  • So. Many. Great. Points in this article by Johanna Rothman on the continued quest for silver bullets.
  • Probably just a head-nodder for most of the FfF readers, but I liked the summary of these theam Productivity Hacks – especially the Ditch The Useless Meetings tip.
  • Last weekend I watched All the Light We Cannot See on Netflix. You can look at it as a four-part miniseries, or as I did, as a single four-hour movie. I thought it was fantastic.
    Yes, I know there’s a book too, and that the book was probably better (they always are), but I highly recommend this one.

And that’s all. Happy March – see you in a week.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – February 23 2024

It’s the time of year in Seattle where we see a little sunshine and briefly think that Spring is near…but it’s a trap. It will be raining and 40f next week.

Here are a few things I read this week worth sharing.

  • As I’m writing this, I’m listening to Paramore’s cover of Burning Down the House for the 900th time. Everything I love from TH magically transported to the 21st century.
    Hayley Williams and David Byrne for president!
  • As regular readers know, few things irk me more than people describing why Agile “doesn’t work” and then explaining that their process isn’t Agile at all. Anyway – this article on Agile is a tainted term contains this gem of a quote.
    There are some takes out there that agile is dead. I don’t think that’s quite true, but the word “agile” is certainly dead dead. It’s devoid of any meaning because it means everything and nothing all at once. The principles of agile development are still wonderful and useful, but there is no longer a singular word that can helpfully convey them. Maybe there really never was, but for sure none exists today.”
  • In my never-ending quest to understand enough about LLMs and GenAI to not sound like as much of an idiot as the self-proclaimed experts on linkedin, I read this article on Large Language Models Are Drunk at the Wheel
  • Will Larson has a new book – The Engineering Executive’s Primer. I’ve read the first few chapters, and as is typical with Larson’s writing, it’s packed full of relevant and pragmatic information.
  • Finally – It’s that time of the year again – it’s time for the mediocre sports league that I love anyway (MLS) to kick off another season. If you’re reading this blog / newsletter thingy from outside the US, here’s a write up on the only match you care about. Lionel Messi skill lights up Inter Miami’s MLS season opener.

And that’s it for another week. See you in March!

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – February 16, 2024

Wow. This week went quickly – but the internet never fails to provide interesting things for me.

Hope you found something interesting – see ya’ in a week.

bookmark_borderFive for Friday – February 9, 2024

Another week, another five things I found that I though were worth sharing.

  • Last week, I posted a link to a great article on writing good commit messages. Joshah then showed me Better Commits – a cli that locks you into good commit messages. Super cool!
  • Speaking (sort of) of commits, I found out about jujitsu – which seems like some cool frosting for git.
  • And while we’re still on the command line, I heard about Sudo for Windows yesterday. I haven’t used windows regularly in nearly a decade, but when I did, I never ran as admin, and wrote an “as-admin” script that allowed me to easily elevate my access for specific commands. I’m sure a million other people who weren’t dumb enough to run as admin all of the time did the same. Now I guess it’s part of windows and someone was arrogant enough to call it Sudo for Windows. You do you, Microsoft.
  • I heard about The Friction Project when Bob Sutton was on Adam Grant’s podcast a few weeks ago, and it was an instant buy for me (Suttons research on assholes is impeccable). I’m a few chapters in, and my neck hurts from nodding.
  • It’s time for one of the few times a year anyone actually watches commercials. This year, I’m prepared for funny-commercial Sunday with this set of previews.

Stay safe this weekend – see ya’ next week.