Thursday, July 19, 2018

ACM Affirms Obligation of Computing Professionals to Use Skills for Benefit of Society

Nice to see ACM update it’s Code of Ethics. Amazing that it hadn’t been updated in 26 years. Consider how much the world of computing has changed in 26 years.

After a two-year process that included extensive input from computing professionals around the world, ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, has updated its Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. The revised Code of Ethics addresses the significant advances in computing technology and the growing pervasiveness of computing in all aspects of society since it was last updated in 1992.

I applaud the continuing discussion around ethics in computing. It’s nice to see privacy included in the code.

Mark Zuckerberg: The Recode interview - Recode

Kara Swisher interviewing Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Swisher is a tough interviewer. Zuckerberg has gotten a lot of training on how to keep on message.

I think the interview gives a picture of an earnest and canny tech leader who is also grappling with the darker side of his creation. At one point, I asked him who was to blame and who should pay the price for the Cambridge Analytica controversy and he rightly named himself, as the person who invented Facebook. “Do you want me to fire myself on this podcast?” Zuckerberg joked. Spoiler alert: He did not.

Zuckerberg is very thoughtful. I’m not a fan of his service, but it was interesting to hear the discussion.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Python post-Guido []

It is interesting to watch the self-organizing starting around governance of Python and it’s future direction post Guido Van Possum. Governance, constitutions, voting, quorum all come into play.

GraphQL on Postgres | Hasura

Have Postgres? Add water and you have a GraphQL interface.

Hasura GraphQL Engine is a blazing-fast GraphQL server that gives you instant GraphQL APIs over Postgres. Hasura helps you build GraphQL apps backed by Postgres or incrementally move to GraphQL for existing applications using Postgres.

There are a number of these solutions out there. I’m not sure they are good for real applications, but it would definitely be an easy way to concept something out.

Designing a GraphQL API

Shopify sharing their internal best-practices on creating GraphQL interfaces. There is a lot of good learning in here for anyone designing a GraphQL API.

Omni Calculator

Custom calculators for all sorts of different scenarios. Interesting idea.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The P Rules

Everything in this post is awesome.

Well, my leadership team and I soon learned that people hated our reviews. Folks who hadn’t even been to one feared them by reputation. Why? We were overzealous about our own contributions and under-appreciative of the presenting team, which was disrespectful. Luckily, several regular attendees gave us that feedback and we were able to turn things around with what I call “The P Rules,” which I left written on our whiteboard for years.

This is great advice for teams and for leaders.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

An Illustrated Proof of the CAP Theorem

If you have heard of the CAP Theorem but aren’t sure what it is, this is a clear rundown.

This guide will summarize Gilbert and Lynch’s specification and proof of the CAP Theorem with pictures!

The more you know! 🎓

Hindsight - Matt Gemmell

Matt Gemmel sharing regret and lessons learned from the most popular article on his blog.

It’s not enough to be sure of your own intent (not that I even was, in this case, which makes it worse). You also have to consider the likely scenarios of use - or misuse - before putting something out into the world.

Let’s be mindful of what we put in the world.

Sizing engineering teams

Good overview of how to think about team size. I’d agree with all of it.

These questions were the gateway to the obscure art of organizational design. As I’ve gotten more exposure, I’ve come to believe the fundamental challenge of organizational design is sizing teams.

I have come to learn there is a lot more to organizational design than just this, but it is one important aspect of it.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Melatonin: Much More Than You Wanted To Know | Slate Star Codex

I take melatonin very regularly via REM Caps.

Melatonin works on both systems. It has a weak “hypnotic” effect on Process S, making you immediately sleepier when you take it. It also has a stronger “chronobiotic” effect on the circadian rhythm, shifting what time of day your body considers sleep to be a good idea. Effective use of melatonin comes from understanding both these effects and using each where appropriate.

This read goes into more depth on the uses for melatonin.

Google Cloud Platform - The Good, Bad, and Ugly (It's Mostly Good) - Deps

Thorough comparison of GCP based on real-world usage.

I haven’t seen too many experience reports on Google Cloud, so I wanted to share how I’ve found it, what went well, and what still needs improving. I’ve split my thoughts below into good, meh, bad, ugly, and opportunities for improvement. I have compared and contrasted with Amazon Web Services (AWS), the other hosting provider that I have the most experience with, and GCP’s biggest competitor.

Good overview.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The rise of 'pseudo-AI': how tech firms quietly use humans to do bots' work | Technology | The Guardian

I wonder how many AI services are augmented or in some cases just done by people.

“Using a human to do the job lets you skip over a load of technical and business development challenges. It doesn’t scale, obviously, but it allows you to build something and skip the hard part early on,” said Gregory Koberger, CEO of ReadMe, who says he has come across a lot of “pseudo-AIs”.

Skipping the hard part could be a cost optimization to get validation quicker, or it could invalidate your entire business model.

Managing Digital: Concepts and Practices

New-ish book from Charles Betz, published in the open on the web.

My answer would be that there is something different happening this time — digital delivery is becoming core, not context. The convergence of an abundance of computing resources, improving software development management, combined with a change in market focus from the supplier to the customer is changing the way we view Enterprise Architecture and IT management, and identifying the need to develop a digital workforce. The defining characteristics of a digital enterprise are becoming clear:

  • Products or services that are either delivered fully digitally (e.g., digital media or online banking), or where physical products and services are obtained by the customer by digital means (e.g., online car sharing services)

  • A “digital-first” culture, where the business models, plans, architectures, and implementation strategies start from an assumption of digital delivery

  • A workforce who is digitally savvy enough to execute a digital-first approach

I met Charles once at the Chaos Day event here in Minneapolis. He has a comprehensive and deep view on technology.

Leadership Style Colors | Lara Hogan

This article instantly made me think of Insights which I have used through Discovery Yourself many times. I’ve seen teams get value out of having shared language around colors and style. This suggestion is to build on that to be more comprehensive, and also to try operating in other colors, which I think is something you have to do from time-to-time. I lead red/blue myself.

Road Trip

Interesting web app that highlights points of interest as you drive around.

You are your Metadata: Identification and Obfuscation of Social Media Users using Metadata Information

More research that shows how precise identification cane be on metadata alone.

We demonstrate that through the application of a supervised learning algorithm, we are able to identify any user in a group of 10,000 with approximately 96.7% accuracy. Moreover, if we broaden the scope of our search and consider the 10 most likely candidates we increase the accuracy of the model to 99.22%. We also found that data obfuscation is hard and ineffective for this type of data: even after perturbing 60% of the training data, it is still possible to classify users with an accuracy higher than 95%.

I still don’t think this message is widely understood. When people are told that only metadata is kept on their activities, they assume some level of anonymity. You should assume none.

Tones | Katharos Tones

Cool collection of notification sounds. Nice $10 upgrade for your phone.

Relentlessly Turning Input Knobs To 0 - Feld Thoughts

I feel like I’ve been doing this for a few years now. I would add another thought though, which is I would start with turning the input channels as low as possible, and then reduce the number of things in those channels. Right now I only have three channels that are meaningful: email (traditional, regular email), messages (95% iMessage) and feeds (all via Feedbin). Note that social media isn’t a channel. Then I filter inside those channels.

REST vs GraphQL APIs, the Good, the Bad, the Ugly | Moesif’s Musings on Software

I love the conclusion in this overview.

In fact, GraphQL vs REST is like comparing SQL technologies vs noSQL. There are certain applications where it makes sense to model complex entities in a SQL Db. Whereas other apps that only have “messages” as in high volume chat apps or analytics APIs where the only entity is an “event” may be more suited using something like Cassandra.

We always do this in tech it seems, too much “versus” as opposed to it’s just different and serves a different solution. Again, pick the right tool for the job. 🔨

Betamagic - News Explorer

Brand new RSS Reader for the Mac, uses iCloud to synchronize. I’ll be sticking with Feedbin but I like to see innovation in this space.


Web browsers running in a terminal have always been a thing, but this is a pretty different take on that. This is using Firefox underneath, and then sort of painting the display in text? Weird.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Currents: A quarterly report on developer trends in the cloud

Some interesting data on the state of a number of technologies and the industry.

Currents is a quarterly report on developer cloud trends that we created to share our knowledge with the broader community. For the fourth edition, we surveyed nearly 5,000 respondents from around the world about themselves, the tools they use and the challenges they face.


Sunday, July 8, 2018

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Thursday, July 5, 2018

All code is technical debt

I’ve often shared with technical teams that what we do everyday in technology is create tomorrow’s technical debt. I often think it’s wrong that we consider software an intangible asset in most companies. As a CTO, I tend to think of software as a liability that will inevitably need help. The asset against that liability is the team of people that build, run and maintain that software.

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