Five for Friday – June 21, 2019

Between the job kicking my butt and trying to watch both the Gold Cup and the Women’s World Cup, I haven’t browsed much past Grafana dashboards and Google docs this week. So this week, I’m sharing a few sites that aren’t new to me – but are sites I use a lot.

  • The EV Trip Planner is essential for electric car owners. I use it for even minor road trips to make sure I have a good plan for places to stop
  • I use the Pomodoro technique frequently, and use this Tomato Timer app to help. It’s simple, easy, and does exactly what one needs to Pomodoro
  • I played Dungeons and Dragons in my pre-teens and teens, and then picked it up again a year or two ago. DnD Beyond is an awesome companion and saves me from remembering to do all of the math
  • I’ve been lifting weights regularly for about two years now. The symmetric strength site is a fun tool to use to estimate lifts, and see how your lifts compare.
  • Ok – one new article this week. Interesting article on banning coding books from prisons

Five for Friday – June 14, 2019

  • I’m reading the Lean Product Playbook – which has this quote (similar to the Poppendiek quote I also frequently mention.
    As Dave McClure of 500 Startups said, “Customers don’t care about your solution. They care about their problems.”
  • Here’s an article on two of my favorite things – Kanban and Crossing the Chasm – Crossing the Kanbasm
  • A few weeks old, but the Unity blog has a profile of my skip-level boss
  • I was vegetarian for about 15 years but began eating meat again about 5 years ago. Butcherbox has been a great way for me to get quality meat on a regular basis. The link above is not a promo link, but ping me if you want to join and get a free package of bacon in each box, because I think I have a link for that.
  • The 2019 State of Testing report is out – check it out.

Five for Friday – June 7, 2019

It’s time for another week of random – and sometimes useful info

  • This is an excellent write up on the curse of flaky tests. Tests that sometimes fail
  • I’ve learned JavaScript enough that I pretty much despise JavaScript. I use it begrudgingly, but it drives me crazy too. Regardless, this is a wonderful post on Learning how to learn JavaScript
  • It’s not complete, but it’s a wonderful resource for this times you say Oh shit, git!
  • Yet another nice article from Martin Fowler – this on on TechnicalDebt
  • I’m making my one and only public speaking appearance in November in Malmo, Sweden. Come see me at Oredev.

Five for Friday – May 31, 2019

Since last week, I’ve been to Helsinki and back – but still found a few things I think are interesting.

Five for Friday – May 24, 2019

Another dreary wet day in the pacific northwest. Here are a few things I found interesting this week.

  • FocusMate is an interesting idea. It connects you with an anonymous person over video, and you each just work on your stuff. The idea is, that if someone is watching you, that you are less likely to goof off.
  • I’m liking Go (the programming language) more and more for services. If you also like Go, this article on an upcoming error package is probably interesting to you too.
  • Steve Denning appears yet again in FfF with an article on Fake Agile
  • MMA (Midi Musical Accompaniment) is a command line program that takes plain text input and turns it into a midi file. It’s a slightly nerdier alternative to the Band-in-a-Box software I used ~20 years ago.
  • I was a guest on the Test & Code podcast recently. Just me rambling about the normal things, but worth checking out to see if I say anything controversial.

Five for Friday – May 17, 2019

Here we go again…

  • The Heisenbug Conference call for papers is open. These folks treat speakers like rock stars, and I highly recommend the conference.
  • Speaking of conferences, it’s almost time for the Online Test Conference. The lineup is incredible (and I’d say that even if Brent Jensen and I weren’t speaking), it’s free, and you can attend from home.
  • Here’s a secret – I’m a fan of almost everything Al Shalloway writes. This article is no exception. The Five Whys of Lean as an Answer to the “But” of Scrum (note – he recently republished this – it was originally written in 2009).
  • This week I found the Jira Python library – which, for better or for worse, is something I expect I’ll use to some extent (the library is great; it’s Jira that I worry about).
  • If you’re like me, when you hear someone talk about “cultural fit”, you either cringe or stop and ask, “wtf do you mean by cultural fit?”. This article on What’s the Difference Between Cultural Fit and Cultural Impact? cleared up a lot of my worry and confusion.

Five for Friday – May 10, 2019

Still loving my new role at Unity. As I look at the links I saved this week, I’m wondering if an analysis of my FfF posts over the last 18 months will show trends in my actual day-to-day work. I’ll leave that random thought for those smarter than me to investigate.

  • If this isn’t the first time you’ve read something of mine, you know that I think testing is evolving into something that isn’t the testing of 10 years ago. #oneofthethree listeners of AB Testing has this nice post on good activities for testers.
  • At the same time as testers are doing more than testing, developers are doing a lot more testing. I liked this post on writing testable code.
  • A colleague posted a link to How Amazon Uses Agile Team Structures and Adaptive Practices – and I think there’s something there to learn
  • One of my smoke alarms for teams using kanban is the “In Test” column. Jit Gosal has some good ideas for thinking about this in this post.
  • Someone seriously needs to post an internet counter that shows Days Since Someone has Posted Anything About Open Workspaces. This article is from 9 days ago, so I guess the current number is 9. Slack’s head of workplace design thinks open floor plans “suuuck”

Five for Friday – May 3, 2019

It’s been another incredibly busy week – many many meetings to help me ramp up – but I managed to find a few things worth sharing attempting to use the internet as a learning vehicle.

  • It’s no coincidence that this article on Leaders and Time found its way into my queue
  • I’m surprised I didn’t share this article already. How great managers give and receive feedback
  • I’ve thought for a long time that there must be reasons why comedians make good leaders – now there’s an article about this exact thing. I don’t agree completely with the appoint about using comedy to soften criticism, as it may prevent the message from being “heard”, but there’s value in all eight of these reasons
  • I’ve been listening to the Tech Talk Y’all podcast for a few months now, and it will stay on my download list. The show is just a quick recap of tech stories from the last week along with a few recommendations from the hosts daily life. They try to have fun, and manage to do so without being annoying.
  • I read Strategize by Roman Pichler last week. It’s written for product managers, but I think it’s a great book for anyone who wants to create (or be part of a team creating) software for people.
    This line could be right out of The Lean Startup:

    A product roadmap is not a guarantee; it is a high-level plan that describes the likely growth of your product based on what you currently know.

    My new role involves some product and program planning tasks, and keeping this line in mind has been helpful.

Five for Friday – April 26, 2019

Five for Friday – April 19, 2019

It’s FfF time again

  • I think (hope) everyone knows that this blog series is based entirely on Tim Ferris’s Five Bullet Friday posts. I listen to some of Tim’s podcasts – and his recent interview with Eric Schmidt is fantastic. If you don’t like podcasts, there’s a transcript here.
  • I’ve been thinking about interviewing and hiring – so of course, I’ve found a few good articles. This one from hackernoon on How to Hire the Best Developers is interesting.
  • It’s Game of Thrones week, so the internet inevitably produced an article on Game of Thrones styles of leadership.
  • A disclaimer: I often find good blog articles on commercial sites. If I think they’re worth reading, I share them anyway – even if I don’t endorse the company. That said, The Ten Qualities of a True Leader.
  • I’m reading Brave New Work – which is one of those books I love because it agrees with my principles and philosophies so much. Consider this harsh – yet accurate quote about managers.

    After a broad workforce analysis, [Gary] Hamel and his coauthor, Michele Zanini, claim that roughly half of the 23.8 million management roles in the United States are unnecessary. They found that a new wave of companies (including many featured in this book) have managed to cut their manager-to-employee ratio in half while keeping performance up.