Friday, June 15, 2018

Meetup Architecture Principles | Lara Hogan

I like everything about this – the method they went about doing it and the outputs. I think it’s a very good idea to have these sort of aligning principles for technology teams.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Bash One-Liners

This is a gallery of why Unix is awesome. 😍

Say the Hard Thing – Rands in Repose

Some very practical and useful suggestions for giving and receiving candid feedback.

Your goal in life is to make feedback in all directions no big deal. You and your team never start in this state, they earn it. They start with small spoken observations that slowly turn into more useful feedback. They watch to see if each other are listening to the feedback and eventually acting on it.3 Once everyone has seen that feedback is both shared and acted on, they begin to feel more comfortable sharing large, more complex, and harder feedback. Why? Trust.

This sentiment definitely resonated with me.

We exacerbate the problem because we don’t want to say the hard thing because we have the same voice in our head telling them, “It would be hard for me to hear this, so I don’t want to say it.”

It’s hard to give and get candid feedback. I tend to think we all feel we are better at it than we are. Leaders particularly have to focus on this all the time.

Why Do We Care So Much About Privacy? | The New Yorker

In a recent dialog about privacy I was asked “Why do you care so much about privacy?” and I my argument kept going back to “because it’s my right”, which wasn’t doing it for the person I was talking to. This article, and this argument, resonated with me.

Possibly the discussion is using the wrong vocabulary. “Privacy” is an odd name for the good that is being threatened by commercial exploitation and state surveillance. Privacy implies “It’s nobody’s business,” and that is not really what Roe v. Wade is about, or what the E.U. regulations are about, or even what Katz and Carpenter are about. The real issue is the one that Pollak and Martin, in their suit against the District of Columbia in the Muzak case, said it was: liberty. This means the freedom to choose what to do with your body, or who can see your personal information, or who can monitor your movements and record your calls—who gets to surveil your life and on what grounds.

I care about my privacy because I care about my liberty!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Quitting Nail Biting Can Be Harder Than It Seems - Racked

I used to bite my nails, at times badly. Very clearly correlated with stress. I kicked the habit only three years ago or so.

“Ironically, nail biters may be more perfectionist and more prone to be dissatisfied with themselves and their performance,” O’Connor said. “This may trigger biting.”

No comment. 🙃

The Psychology of Dread Tasks - Daniel Gross

We all have stuff that we don’t want to do but need to do, and if your like me you tend to procrastinate those items. I like the suggestions here.

Thankfully, these predictions are frequently wrong. All you need to do is reverse engineer your thought patterns. Here are some strategies I find useful for tricking myself into doing what I need to do.

I also like the style of this website with the highlighting in the post.

Shortcuts: A New Vision for Siri and iOS Automation – MacStories

Viticci is one of the most advanced Workflow users I know. It was by looking at his use cases that I realized I could do so much more with Workflow. Now that I’ve built capability on it I was very glad to see this:

In conversations I had last week, it appears that Apple’s goal is to offer full compatibility with existing workflows previously created in the Workflow app. My understanding is that Apple is very much aware of the fact that a sizable portion of the pro/prosumer community relies on Workflow to enhance their iOS experience in key ways; they don’t want to change that relationship for the worse.

If your curious to know as much as possible on the Siri Shortcuts, Shortcuts app evolution this is the definitive read.

Monday, June 11, 2018

How Siri Shortcuts Can Revolutionize iOS Automation — macsparky

A lot of what I do with automation I’ve learned from macsparky and his enthusiasm for Siri Shortcuts is good to see. I use Workflow a lot. I have entire projects that run on Workflow. So, I’m eager to see the new Shortcuts app and also a little anxious that it doesn’t drop support for any features I rely on.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Living APIs, and the Case for GraphQL — Brandur Leach

Thoughtful reasoning for using GraphQL as your API structure of choice.

A vanilla installation of GraphiQL is a more powerful integration tool for users than what 99% of REST providers have, and it’s available automatically, and for free.

I’m not sure if this happens in other industries, but this does seem to argue for a REST v. GraphQL. Does it have to be versus? It would seem likely that we could suggest REST is better for what it does, representational state transfer, and GraphQL would be best for what it does, deal with connected data?

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2.0 | WebKit

Thorough breakdown of how Safari is helping protect your privacy. Just reading about some of the scenarios highlights how nefarious this activity is on the web.

The Piggyback Guy — Rhoneisms

A very good illustration of what depression feels like from my friend Patrick Rhone. He achieves his goal of informing you what it feels like to live with depression.

Friday, June 8, 2018

How to Organize a Working Group | Lara Hogan

I liked the structure and specificity in this how-to guide.

“Working groups” is a hand-wavy term that can mean a lot of things; I use this term to describe a small group of people who come together with a common goal/deliverable, acting as representatives of the larger organization.

Planning this part of a working group is necessary to be successful in the outcome.

Laziness Does Not Exist – E Price – Medium

This article is written from the position of a psychology professor understanding students, but it caught my attention and make me remember Do The Work by Steven Pressfield as well.

If a person’s behavior doesn’t make sense to you, it is because you are missing a part of their context. It’s that simple. I’m so grateful to Kim and their writing for making me aware of this fact. No psychology class, at any level, taught me that. But now that it is a lens that I have, I find myself applying it to all kinds of behaviors that are mistaken for signs of moral failure — and I’ve yet to find one that can’t be explained and empathized with.

I read this in the context of leadership and it is a good reminder that as a leader and manager you need to start with the assumption that people are trying to do the right thing. Most people want to do the right thing and be successful.

People do not choose to fail or disappoint. No one wants to feel incapable, apathetic, or ineffective. If you look at a person’s action (or inaction) and see only laziness, you are missing key details. There is always an explanation. There are always barriers. Just because you can’t see them, or don’t view them as legitimate, doesn’t mean they’re not there. Look harder.

This is a great call to action for leaders. If you see a lack of progress, what might you be missing that is inhibiting that progress?

Performance Reviews Are a Waste of Time – Bradfield

Formal feedback mechanisms in companies are hard. I’ve come to think of performance reviews as an organizational insurance policy. The process and mechanism for them insures that a bare minimum of dialog is happening. I really don’t know of anybody that feels that they are an effective way of leading and managing teams. I think that is summarized in the common refrain that there should be nothing new learned in a performance review.

Microsoft Just Put a Data Center on the Bottom of the Ocean - Motherboard

This is just cool. Microsoft put a bunch of servers in a tube and put it in the ocean! 💦 They highlight that the cooling provided by the water is a big benefit, and that makes sense. In most data centers half of the energy is used to cool equipment. It’s just goofy to think of a bunch of servers floating around under the water. 🤯

The Secret Reason that Development Teams Struggle to Deliver On Time, On Budget, or On Scope – 7pace Blog

I think this article oversimplifies the problem, but it does highlight at least one type of problem when estimating software effort. Software teams far too often skip the planning process. Using data for planning, specifically velocity metrics, is also key. This article doesn’t track the issue of progressive discovery of your requirements, which in my opinion is a bigger issue, but this is a good read nonetheless.

Leadership Principles

Leadership principles from the US Marine Corps. I like the lists in the “develop” side of this. If you’re looking for topic areas to focus on, this would be a good place to inventory your skills and decide where to invest.

How to be a Manager

An attempt at an overall guide to all things about managing. Expansive in scope, and certainly has some gems to pick from.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

AI at Google: our principles — Google

Google recently withdrew itself from a Pentagon contract because of internal pressure from employees. Now the CEO of Google is framing up how they will use AI technology. We are getting into ethics here, which is a good thing. AI will force technology companies to make some hard decisions on the application. I hope we do a better job than we did with privacy.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Intro to Graphs

Introduction to graph vocabulary and types.

Monday, June 4, 2018

macOS Mojave: The MacStories Overview — MacStories

Apple announced the next major release of macOS. This has all the big features in it. I don’t see a lot in here though that gets me really excited. Everyone should upgrade, but it feels like polishing and not a lot of innovation.

watchOS 5: The MacStories Overview — MacStories

Overview of new features in watchOS 5. Continuing to push on fitness features. The Walkie-Talkie app looks interesting. Siri watch face improvements look great. You can see a path where Siri watch face is the main way that you interact with your watch. WebKit coming to watchOS is new, but not sure how useful that will be.

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