Weekend Reading — Enter a compelling CTA

This week we learn how to use a clothespin, defend our life from work, freak out about 2038, take the introvert test, annoy our neighbors, and take a trip to the post office.

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r/gifs - If Instagram would’ve existed 20 years ago When I watch this video, I can hear the screeching modem voices in the background.


Hey Weekend Readers. Sorry for this week's delay. I spent the weekend in sunny Cabo with bunch of extroverts. 🏖 It was tons of fun, highly recommended. It also fried up all my brain circuits 🧠, so needed some time to recover.


Design Objective

Bobby Goodlatte 🤔

Design is more important than ever for startups. One theory why: almost everything else has gotten easier.

Basic tech stacks are a commodity—automation enables smaller, focused teams—capital is abundant.

Product design is a larger percentage of what’s left.

Max Wendkos 🔥

Design leader interview tip:

Nothing impresses non-designers more than casually mentioning "design thinking" and showing them a photo of a wall covered in different colored sticky notes.

It doesn't even have to be your photo. Here, use this one.

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Joe Morrison That is not wrong …

So much of the world’s knowledge is hidden behind hamburger menus.

Marc Randolph “I’m an Imperfectionist. I’m always trying a cheaper, faster, easier way to test my ideas. Any time spent polishing a test is wasted time. Just get it out.”

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Eryk Salvaggio “In case anyone thinks I know what I’m doing, here’s how I tell Photoshop to batch resize 1400 images when I don’t want to manually confirm the JPEG quality options for 1400 images”

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Tools of the Trade

Paul Henschel This is the magic we were promised many many years ago:

first time im trying react-refresh and the experience is crazy. notice how all components stay safely mounted, counter keeps on ticking, threejs stuff just stays put. not a single page refresh i could see. hmr never felt that safe and fast. 2 lines added to my build config. 👏

LifeWork Calendar – Defend your life from work I love the title: “Defend your life from work“. A simple app that blocks time on your work calendar for personal events, but without revealing what those events are.

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Don't Ditch the Laptop Just Yet: A Direct Replication of Mueller and Oppenheimer's (2014) Study 1 Plus Mini-Meta-Analyses Across Similar StudiesTL;DR the latest scientific finding says that we can use our computers to take notes in class/meetings, it's just as effective as pen & paper:

Exploratory meta-analyses of k = 8 similar studies revealed large effects of note-taking condition on word count and verbatim overlap but near-zero effects on quiz performance. Results do not support the idea that longhand note-taking improves immediate learning via better encoding of information, at least not with no opportunity to study.

(Of course, only if you turn off your Slack notifications)

Castro Podcasts Love this feature. Easy way to listen to talks:

Ready for another hidden gem?

Plus subscribers can listen to audio from YouTube in Castro.

  1. Open the video in Safari

  2. Tap the Share button

  3. Tap "Sideload to Castro"

John Cutler 👍

pmtip ...

97.5% of ideas/options/things don't need to be in a "ticketing system". The "ticketing system" is not a great place for interrelated ideas, concepts, research, maps, etc.

None of them are built for that.

Wrong tool for the job.

Kilian Valkhof “AWS accidentally sent me their email newsletter template, and it's kinda great.”

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Lines of Code

Goodbye, Clean Code It's good practice and part of the learning experience. Everyone should go through this phase, but you also need to know when to stop:

Obsessing with “clean code” and removing duplication is a phase many of us go through. When we don’t feel confident in our code, it is tempting to attach our sense of self-worth and professional pride to something that can be measured. A set of strict lint rules, a naming schema, a file structure, a lack of duplication.

John Feminella 👇 2038 sounds far off, but bugs will start showing up years earlier. Is your code ready?

⏲️ As of today, we have about eighteen years to go until the Y2038 problem occurs.

But the Y2038 problem will be giving us headaches long, long before 2038 arrives.

I'd like to tell you a story about this.


Architectural

Daniel Vassallo “Once you realize that a monolithic app running on a few "medium" servers can get you a Top 40 website, you start seeing unnecessary complexity all around you.”

Nick Craver: If it helps, Stack Overflow is more than capable is running through one CentOS machine as load balancer (a very “medium” server and ~300-500M hits a day) without much tuning or breaking a sweat. I really don’t understand most of the “we need F5”. You’d need to be massive.

Imogen 🎡🤡

someone I work with uses "circus factor" instead of "bus factor", as in how many people would need to run away to join the circus for a project to fall apart, and it's super cute and I'm gonna steal it

Mark Dalgleish “"Don't worry about this tech debt, we'll clean it up next sprint." Senior developer:”

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Peopleware

Jayson J. Phillips 👇 How do you work/life balance when working from home? This thread makes several good points, in particular take sick days!

I’ve been working remote, managing teams/projects for a couple of years now (with a brief stint back in an office at a hyper growth startup), and @kf’s tweet re: remote employees taking sick days (please do!) reminds me of a few tips I have...

Remote work will get more popular, and with it, I expect we'll witness a form of “remote work burn-out”. Don't know what we'll call it, or how we'll deal with it. For now all I can say is watch out and take care of yourself.

Mean Fat Girl 👍 You most likely have ADHD in your work/social circle:

If I could ask neurotypical people to do one thing to help people with ADHD

It would be to stop treating someone forgetting something like it is a personal and deliberate crime against you

Middle Age Misery Peaks at Age of 47.2, Economist Says So I do have a few questions: a) how did they guess my age? and b) why is the guy in the picture wearing the same shirt as me?

Middle age is miserable, according to a new economic study which pinpoints 47.2 years old as the moment of peak unhappiness in the developed world.

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The medications that change who we are We use Paracetamol for pain relief, and don't think of it as psychoactive, and yet:

“Just like we should be aware that you shouldn't get in front of the wheel if you're under the influence of alcohol, you don't want to take paracetamol and then put yourself into a situation that requires you to be emotionally responsive – like having a serious conversation with a partner or co-worker.”

Turns out a lot of drugs for different conditions are psychoactive, at least for some people. Asthma medication can increase hyperactivity and the development of ADHD. People on antidepressants score more highly for extroversion (this could be a good thing). And drugs for treating Parkinson’s can have unexpected side effects:

Consequently, the drug can have life-ruining consequences, as some patients suddenly start taking more risks, becoming pathological gamblers, excessive shoppers, and sex pests. In 2009, a drug with similar properties hit the headlines, after a man with Parkinson’s committed a £45,000 ($60,000) ticket scam. He blamed it on his medication, claiming that it had completely changed his personality.

Alex “I just found a quiz called “Are you an introvert, an extrovert, or a sea monster?” and it’s the best thing I’ve read all week.”

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Teamwork

Corey Quinn 👇 If you are going to speak at a conference, local meetup, or a company meeting, I suggest you read this thread and pick up from Corey's experience. It will save you time and embarassment. For example:

  • Never, ever, read the comments on videos of your talks.

  • The first 45 seconds of your talk are when I'm figuring out whether I'm going to listen to what you say or read Twitter instead. Are you sure you want to use those seconds to say "Hi, I'm X, I work at Y, and I'm going to talk about Z?"

  • At most corporate events, if you don't charge a speaking fee you look like a rube. At most community events if you charge a speaking fee you look like an asshole.

  • The key to giving a lot of great talks is to give a lot of shitty talks first. Try not to do those in front of huge audiences.

Andy Johns 👇 This has been my experience as well:

Two methods of recruiting fantastic product managers that startups commonly overlook: (1) hire founders of recently shut down startups (2) cross-functional transfers from within. Both methods often yield higher quality PMs than external recruiting of "career" PMs. Here's why...

People who run a business have a vantage view of how businesses work. People who come from a different role, bring that other part of the business with them. Ironically, career PMs are often so focused on one side of the business — their silo — that they miss the basic premise of the job: working across teams and business areas 🤷‍♂️

Allison Grayce If you really want to work for a company, increase your chances by getting to know them, and personally addressing the hiring manager:

turns out companies are flattered when you take the time to do something unique for them and show that you've put time/energy into it... remember it's a person on the other side of that screen just looking for a great reason to bring you in!

BTW this totally works on me, people who personally reached out were more likely to get interviewed/referred to hiring manager. We're all human.

Jacque Schrag Async communications is a form of accessibility:

It’s not even just potential language barriers, but differences in ways of thinking too. Some people need more time to process & get their thoughts in order. In a fast moving conversation, they can lose the opportunity to share their thoughts.Async comm helps w that. #DevDiscuss

The Remote Work Report by Zapier — predicting that office space will be obsolete by 2030 Interesting that saving money (not time) is the top reason.

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Today In Business Models

Kyle Tibbitts 🤔

One reason you know product-market fit is forged and not discovered is the market almost never knows what it wants next until a team with a vision delivers it.

The Top Five Myths About Building Billion-Dollar Startups Some myth busting here, for example:

92% of companies were developing a product that was offering either incremental or radical innovation compared to incumbents, with incremental innovation comprising 58% of companies.

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Locked Doors

Kashmir Hill Shady:

The privacy paranoid among us have long worried that all of our online photos would be scraped to create a universal face recognition app. My friends, it happened and it’s here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/18/technology/clearview-privacy-facial-recognition.html

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Joel Winston 😱 It was only a matter of time before your personal finances and health data were merged together, so they could easily be leaked on the internet:

Ever wonder what credit reporting agencies are up to? “Experian Health announced today that every person in the U.S. population, of an 328 million Americans, have been assigned a unique Universal Patient Identifier, powered by Experian Health.” https://www.experian.com/healthcare/products/identity-management

Brock Wilbur 👇 OMG. This is an epic design fail!

Short Thread: staying with some friends and last night after everyone went to bed I could not figure out how to turn off the large ceiling light in their living room. There is a wall controller that seemed fairly straightforward.

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Available To Hire

Signal boosting people looking for a job. If your company is hiring, or you know someone who is, reach out to them. If you'd like to get included next week, email me at assaf@labnotes.org

David Raffauf Senior Software Engineer (JavaScript, Unity C#, Ruby, Elixir). Interested in feature development with collaborative teams and possibly leading a team. Remote. https://www.youtube.com/c/DavidRaffauf

logan Decade of experience as a developer and two as a teacher. PDX or preferably remote. https://pgood.dev

Dan Levy Programmer, teacher, mentor, and leader. Over 15 years of software development experience.  https://danlevy.net/


None of the Above

Jeannette Ng 🤔

Speakeasies are apparently really easy escape rooms where the prize is a bar

Matt Haughey 😭

find someone that loves you as much as reddit loves to insist I download their mobile app before proceeding

Adrian Hon “Why does every Hacker News discussion on dating sound like it’s between a bunch of Ferengi?”

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Hosuk Lee-Makiyama “Ever again”, and you must be thinking, who would try such a thing?

Yamaha (instrument makers) issue a warning on social media: “somewhat belatedly, and for reasons that cannot be mentioned, please don’t try to fit human beings into our flight cases ever again. They are made for instruments, not people. Thank you.”

Related, here's how one could escape house arrest.

Harriet Williamson 👇 Don't feel bad. Other people had worse job interviews than you:

Twitter, what’s the worst job interview you’ve ever had?

Forget Top Gun: Maverick—let’s settle Blue Thunder vs. Airwolf once and for all Ars Technica does the really really important research – watching hours of VHS tapes is dedication to the art — to find out which of our childhood helicopters would win head to head. And, just in case you thought your job lacked meaning:

In short, season 4 is not meant to be good. It's not even meant to be watched. It's just a means to more easily sell all the episodes of Airwolf that were already in the can.

There's something... if not admirable, then at least relatable about pumping out one more season of Airwolf just to reach syndication. Sometimes you gotta stay at the office until 5pm.

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Jenks Peoples is weird:

Just had a very weird experience in the Post Office. It's not funny or amusing. Just weird. There's no humorous ending or anything like that, it was just...odd.

So anyway, I'm standing in the Post Office, with about 5 parcels to mail, and I've been in there for about 20 mins.

cowboy sally “anyway here’s how to get the barnacle off of your car”

What's funnier? That this unnecessarily complex device is easy to remove (with a credit card)? Or that people take it apart and use the SIM card to tether for free? 😭

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Sam Barlow 😭

Just showed my son The Matrix. He loved it.
"Are there any sequels, dad?"
"No, son. They were happy to make just one great movie."

Zoe Hong 👏

Y'ALL.
I was watching that new Netflix show "Cheer" and the coach said something like, "Practice until you get it right and then practice until you can't get it wrong" and that's my new motto.

Brian MacDonald 👇 Good to know:

Here's a story: When people find out I'm an editor, they assume I have some kind of mastery of grammar, honed through extensive training and constant practice, and that seeing grammatical errors in public is like sandpaper on my nerves.

It's actually the opposite.

...

But if you write "utilize" when you mean "use," yes, I will judge you for that. I mean, I'm not made of stone here.

𝕃𝔼𝔼 👇

There are only 10 types of movies. (A short thread)

  1. Orange and blue action”

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