Weekend Reading — Can we get on a quick call?

This week we welcome new subscribers, guess which song is playing, use AI to eat for free, lose a domain name at gun point, and explore the deep blue see.

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Jesse Morgan “Going to tell my kids this was ABBA.”


🙌 Welcome new subscribers. Glad you signed up. You’re in good company.

Once a week I post interesting stuff I find on the internet. I hope you’ll find this edition of Weekend Reading interesting and funny.

No spam. No ads. But if you’re looking for a job in tech, email me a short “looking for” and link to your online profile, and I’ll include it in next week’s newsletter: assaf@labnotes.org

It’s free to subscribe, and did I mention no spam? So share with your friends. Link to subscribe: labnotes.org.


Design Objective

The State of UX in 2020 Another great yearly exploration from UX Collective.

It's time we stopped drawing lines around who is a designer and who is not. UX is a fast-growing discipline, and we need to enlist everyone's superpowers in order to deliver the experiences people really need.

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scott belsky ‼️

for perspective on just how long it takes for product defaults to change despite how important (and time saving) proper defaults are: address book still defaults phone number field to “home,” not mobile.

when’s the last time you entered someone’s home phone number?

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Nafnlaus 👀

Design Skill: A Comparison

Tesla: Cutout is sized for the cable to fit inside, sheltered, and follow its contours

Lincoln: Rips off Tesla's design, but makes the cutout a little too small for the cable, so it sticks out awkwardly.

Ford: "I'm not even going to try"

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Untitled

Kelly Moran That's one way to solve design indecision …

You can not be serious. You're asking users to rate the spacing on your website? This must be a terrible place for designers to work. #badsurvey

Artëm Chistyakov “Apple iTunes is like an app designed by someobe who’s never used a computer app but read a Microsoft Access 2000 manual cover to cover. Which song is playing?”


Tools of the Trade

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Alfredo Lopez 👇 On the difficulty of contributing to open source for the very first time. Too many unwritten rules.

I've been hesitant to post this, but after contributing and attempting to contribute to a few open source projects; I've found there are several unwritten rules that prevent first-timers from contributing regardless of their level/experience. Allow me to explain...

Matthew Green 🔥

Reminder: never close someone’s Linux laptop. They may never get it to wake up again.

Amber Slack.

What would you use 1.5 TB of RAM for?

How I Eat For Free in NYC Using Python, Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Instagram Cool hack. I guess that count as “passive income”:

I was able to go about my life; work at my job, go out with friends, see a movie— never having to worry about spending any time manually growing my page. It had the formula to do its thing while I did my thing.

Andromeda Yelton 😹

Current laptop model:

  • two retina screens

  • crashes infrequent but hilarious

  • not a lot of memory

  • excellent ambient light sensors

  • not much activity before power nap is required

  • speakers sound staticky when multitouch in use

  • very fuzzy

  • actually a cat

Archillect “Computer Angel”


Web-end

Case Study: lynnandtonic.com 2019 refresh What an amazing web site.

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Tomasz Łakomy “Backend developer attempting to fix a CSS issue”


Devoops

Taylor Swope 👇 Fixing the elusive bug. Story time:

We released patch 1.2 of #TheOuterWorlds today, and it includes a fix for the dreaded "the game thinks my companions are dead" bug, which I believe I spent more time investigating than I have for any other individual bug in my career (1/18)

sleepy bit rot 🤔

i'm not a network engineer, i'm a relationships counsellor for computers who don't wanna talk to each other anymore


Teamwork

Emily Key “Can we get on a quick call? A workflow 👇🏼”


Startup Life

Product Zeitgeist Fit: A Cheat Code for Spotting and Building the Next Big Thing Good ideas and execution are only successful if they come at the right time. Here's a framework for understanding “product zeitgeist fit”.

Balaji S. Srinivasan This has been pretty much my 2019:

A founder starts as lead engineer and ends up chief psychologist.


Locked Doors

Failed plot to steal domain name at gunpoint brings 14-year prison term 😬

Q: “What's your threat model?”
A: “Someone will break into my home, and force me to do a domain transfer at gun point”

What’s yours is ours This will make for an interesting TV drama:

On Thursday, December 12, Russian law enforcement raided the Moscow office of the IT company “Nginx,” which owns the eponymous web-server used by almost 500 million websites around the world. According to several reports, Nginx co-founders Igor Sysoev and Maxim Konovalov spent several hours in police interrogation.

Christina Farr 👇 How public is your health data:

THREAD: A lot of folks are rightfully worried about tech companies like Amazon and Google gaining access to their health data.

But here are some legal, and very common, ways that health care companies are already taking advantage of your data:


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.

Amy If you’re looking for a Kubernetes application developer skilled in... • crying over client-go • reading kubebuilder & k8s docs • measuring indents & deciphering YAML • & fuqin around with gRPC / proto files  https://www.youtube.com/AmyCodes

Jesús Ferretti Full-stack JavaScript dev: React.js, Next.js, GraphQL, Prisma, GraphQL Nexus, serverless deployment with ZEIT Now, API integrations, CSS-in-JS. Looking for remote work. https://github.com/jferrettiboke

Žan Anderle Consultant, full stack web engineer (Python, Django, Angular, UX), training/mentoring. https://zanderle.com/hire-me/

Elizabeth Product-obsessed start-up support expert: improve your processes from customer experience to internal training and tools.  https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizposadas/


None of the Above

Kimberly King Parsons I'm in good company:

Took Me Eleven Minutes to do That Thing I've Been Avoiding for Three Months: A Memoir

Dad's Puns So sorry. I couldn't resist.

When does a joke become a dad joke?

When it becomes apparent.

Catherine na Nollag 🤦‍♀️

i still think my favourite thing that's ever happened to me on the internet is the time a guy said "people change their minds when you show them facts" and I said "actually studies show that's not true" and linked TWO sources and he said "yeah well I still think it works"

How You Can Actually Read One Non-Fiction Book Every Week “A realistic guide to getting the most from any book you choose in record time”

Best of Nextdoor I know that dog!

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How To Leave Toxic Diet Culture Behind And Pursue Actual Health You can also listen to the podcast.

The result has been nothing short of miraculous in my life. I finally felt like my body and I were a well functioning team, my weight stabilized, and I felt healthier and happier than I had ever felt both mentally and physically. I had a ton of time, money and energy to devote to things other than weight loss attempts, and I used it to do things that I had always wanted to do.

The Other Shoe Drops: Away Fires CEO Steph Korey After Months-Long Search for Her Replacement A plot twist to the Away drama from last week. Apparently the board was looking for a new CEO, and the Verge story just happened to drop at the righ time.

Shann Biglione “Finally a brand that's right for the meme. French supermarket chain Carrefour.”

TWTR: Enough Already 🔥

Few people have benefited more from Donald Trump’s election than Jack Dorsey.

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The Deep Sea Amazing visualization.

Weekend Reading — No idea what you did online

This week we attend a cloud LAN party, help friends with adulting, deal with emotional baggage, watch toddlers race, and get drunk at Peloton’s expense.

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Programmer Humor “days since last timezone issue”


Design Objective

Product Value: Hands, Shovel, or Tractor? “Product value is the perceived value your product adds to a user’s life.” This is a good framework for looking at products (and features) from the user's point of view.

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dburka Most business models are pretty simple:

Designers are pushing each other to learn more about business, which is a great. But, keep in mind that you don't need to need an MBA or an economics degree to ask "How does my organization make money?" and work backwards from there to learn how most decisions are made. 💸

Kelly Sutton Interesting take:

Design tools are outside the critical path of a finished software product.

You can build an app without Sketch or Figma, you can’t do special effects without AE or equivalent.

Mike Rundle: The current era of UI design tools we use daily are a joke compared to the power and flexibility of other professional software like SolidWorks, RenderMan, Maya, Unity, Ableton Live, After Effects (and others) used by design professionals in other fields. Why is that?


Tools of the Trade

obiwankimberly “As all programmers know, estimating is hard.”

lemire Knuth did it: The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 4, Fascicle 5 is out!!! (Was supposed to come out in 1960.) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0134671791/

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Sara Vieira “GraphQL and Rest Differences explained with burgers 🍔”

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axbom 👇 A reminder to calibrate your tests:

  1. In 2008 a salmon (yes the fish) was put through an MRI scanner. The salmon was shown a series of photographs of humans in social situations, and asked to determine the emotion of the person in the photo (yes, really).

foone Just a reminder of how far things have come:

OK SO let's say it's 1962 and you're lucky enough to be a programmer working somewhere that has an IBM 7090.
This is a top of the line transistorized revision of the IBM 709, capable of 100,000 floating point operations per second.

But how do you code for it?

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cats can have a little salami “I'm gonna tell my kids this was the cloud” (context)

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Web-end

Guy Bedford How come I just learned about this?

Periodic reminder that await import('//dev.jspm.io/[pkg]') allows you to import anything from npm in the browser instantly. I often use this in the console to test things out.

Star Simpson 🤯

This is my new favorite galaxy brain stackoverflow answer: abusing double-precision float behavior to make discontinuous CSS rules. It works and I truly hate it. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/40528290/how-to-implement-max-font-size/53146935#53146935

Web Bloat Score Calculator “WebBS” is such a fitting name:

Page web bloat score (WebBS for short) is calculated as follows:

WebBS = TotalPageSize / PageImageSize

TotalPageSize is the size of all requests, and PageImageSize is the size of a full-page screenshot.


Lingua Scripta

Dylan Beattie 😂

It's not that JavaScript is broken, you understand.

It's just that the language specification contains plot twists.

ES2020 Speaking of plot twists, optional chaining (foo?.bar) and nullish coalescing (foo ?? bar) are now part of ES2020, and enabled by default in Babel.js.

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Architectural

Local-first software: you own your data, in spite of the cloud This is an interesting problem to solve. If anyone working on it, let me know:

The authors coin the phrase “local-first software” to describe software that retains the ownership properties of old-fashioned applications, with the sharing and collaboration properties of cloud applications.

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Peopleware

Some tips for supporting friends in executive dysfunction crisis 👍

Executive function is a broad term for the cognitive system humans use to start and stop tasks, direct goal-oriented effort, and make decisions in our self-interest, among many other things. 99% of what people call "adulting" is actually an exercise of executive function.

There are two main ways to help a person in an executive dysfunction crisis:
• Don't put things on their plate.
• Take things off their plate.

Jesse Noller 👍

Random thought: I’ve stopped worrying as a (leader, person, parent) about the people who speak up and express themselves.

People who speak up are invested, mentally and emotionally. Worry about the ones who used to talk, or who simply don’t.

Ethan Mollick That's a significant sample size:

Experiment with 60,000 job applicants to Uber shows that the words used in a job description changes who applies. Optional language in descriptions appear to be taken more seriously by women then men, leading to more credentialed women than men applying. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YKifRzy_kWuIIdB3MLS4VHht3okJa8pa/view


Teamwork

The most important thing Dropbox did to scale Product Management This I find super helpful. I wish more people would operate this way:

Separated getting agreement on the problem from getting agreement on the solution.

It’s hard for me overstate the importance of getting agreement on the problem you’re trying to solve before beginning work on the solution, particularly once there are many stakeholders from different parts of the business.

Grinding 👍

If given a choice between a flashy operator or a grinder, I will take a grinder every time. It is a much higher percentage bet. It requires faith and patience and the results are sometimes hard to see. But if you look at the results from grinding it out over a long enough time frame, you can see the power of that approach.

johncutlefish

Really love this. 60+ companies represented. 150+ ppl

  • Experiments that resulted in increased momentum

  • Experiments that "failed", but that taught the team something new

You can explore the board here

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Startup Life

Emotional Baggage Verge goes to town on the toxic work environment at ~luggage~ travel company Away. And people have opinions about it. This thread has a varied collection from founders and VCs.

My opinion? All of this can be true at the same time:

  1. Away has a toxic work environment, I mean seriously, cancelling PTO is a ‘lesson in accountability‘? These Slack messages are prime example of gaslighting.

  2. But also, CX is a difficult job: they make up for deficiencies in other teams (that's the job); and direct-to-consumer companies get extra busy during holiday season.

  3. Not all business models are high margin, it's common to be stretched thin and way under-staffed and make bad judgement calls at 3AM.

  4. This article is a hit piece — this burnout culture is an industry playbook, pinning it on a single company is exactly what a ‘hit piece‘ means.

  5. This is both a takedown of Away, and indirectly a jab at Slack.

  6. The lesson may well be: “Never work for your dream brand”

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David Rogier 👇 Thread:

I don’t know the secret to starting a great company. I am not sure there is one. But a few things that helped me starting out:

  1. Picking a few constraints. They fueled my creativity. My first one: pick an idea that even if it fails, I’ll be proud of it.

VC Starter Kit “If you assemble enough people wearing Patagonia vests, a venture fund spontaneously forms around them.”

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(Don't now if anyone is buying these, but proceeds go to All Raise, so that's good)


Locked Doors

Firefox Year In Review 🔥

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How Facebook Avoids Ad Blockers Winner of the obfuscated HTML competition.


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.

Jessica Joy Kerr Available for consulting (or contracting, or full time work). “Help your team become a learning system of learning parts.”  https://blog.jessitron.com/consulting/

Dan Klinedinst Senior security person ~20 years experience. Pittsburgh or remote. Would love to stay in robotics/AI.


None of the Above

Andrew Myers 🤔

In mathematics, the purpose of the prefix co- is to turn something you don't really understand into something you really don't understand.

No Quarter Will Be Given 🚌 What a story …

Oooff. Overhearing this relationship in trouble on the shuttle bus and the guy just told the girl, "I love you and I want to make us work but you're mean AS FUCK and it's wearing me down."

She's just looking at him like she knows he's right but doesn't know what to do about it.

rands 📦 this gift doesn't cost money or add to pollution:

Early Xmas gift. Go to your TO DO list and delete that TO DO that has been there forever and is never going to happen. AhhhhhHHhh.

jaycaspiankang 👇 This. So much this. 😬 If you're working on a podcast app that automatically edits-out the narcissist host, send link:

Someone should write an essay comparing first person journalistic intrusions in print/articles/books and first person journalistic ‘hosting’ in podcasts. Seems like there is a lot there that touches on how modern narcissism operates.

Theo “Give me fucking strength.”

mykola 👇 This thread will ressure you that every field/industry has dark secrets:

Please quote this tweet with a thing that everyone in your field knows and nobody in your industry talks about because it would lead to general chaos.

Casey Newton “Sometimes Google goes two or three months without launching a new messaging app and I get worried. So this news comes as a great relief”

Google’s Double OGs Step Down at Alphabet I mean, this happened years ago, Google only remembered to announce it publicly this week. Speaking of monopolies, did you know Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates once made an Austin Powers parody? (h/t Jon Erlichman)

James O'Malley 🔥 DC Films still doesn’t know how to make Superman “relevant to modern audiences”, well …

Lex Luthor realises he can’t physically out-match Superman, so instead uses a disinformation campaign to destroy not just Superman’s reputation, but the idea of Superman.

The twist is that it isn’t Superman that can beat Luthor… It’s journalist Clark Kent. 

Disappearing Polymorphs Revisited - Bučar - 2015 Know the feeling when the build starts failing for no reason … imagine manufacturing a drug, and one day it changes into a different crystal form, and you can’t re-produce the old crystal again.

Someone please help the woman from Peloton's awful new ad So the Peloton ad was really … ugh … everyone's talking about it so clearly the ad got visibility but … this thread explains so of the reaction.

‘Peloton Girl’ Stars as Herself in the Greatest Sequel Ever: An Aviation Gin Ad Shout out to Aviation Gin for this delightful chaser ad 😂

Weekend Reading — Tip the server

This week we're reminiscing on Up, sorting like a crab, minimizing tickers, helping in a medical emergency, skating while blind, and stepping on a truck.

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ding bat “Don't forget to tip your server”


Design Objective

Land-book A cool website for landing page inspirations. (h/t Kuda Paradzayi)

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Michelle Oh my …

“Our site is responsive. No problems.”

Me: that looks cheap for that hotel.

Turns phone landscape.

Oh. #testingmatters

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Tools of the Trade

Fibery Interesting tool for building your own collaboration workflows. It's like if you could mix and match features from Asana, Trello, Notion, etc based on how your team likes to work.

One more thing to like. It has four different landing pages, and one of them is an “anxiety” landing page: it lists all the reasons not to use this product. And I'll admit, the reverse psychology worked on me.

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Alan Wolfe 👇 Lots of different — some interesting and thought–provoking — replies to this thread, and in the quoted tweets:

Quote this tweet with an opinion about programming that will get you unjustly dunked on.
(I'm going first)

Now, most of these are opinions informed from personal anecdotes, no research cited. But there's something to learn from other people's experiences. Especially when it's different (language, tech, field, etc) than yours.

Tatiana Mac 😭

HTTP status codes give us all the vocab to talk about dating

300 multiple choices
303 see other
400 bad request
404 not found
408 request timeout
409 conflict
410 gone
412 precondition failed
413 request entity too large 😳
417 expectation failed
500 internal server error

Mar Hicks “holy fucking shit its a crab bubble sort”


Lines of Code

5 Things I’ve Learned in 20 Years of Programming Learning from other people's experience.

mountain_ghosts Every team needs a senior developer in this role:

hire me, a senior dev, to your team, where my main contribution will be going "I don't know" "I don't get this" "can you explain that in more detail" "why"

Mark Dalgleish 🤔

Developers during hackathon: We built an entire application in just 3 days.

Developers after hackathon: Adding that icon is going to take 3 weeks.

Contribution Throw Blanket “Snuggle up with a blanket that puts your GitHub contribution history to shame”


Architectural

Jean-Michel Lemieux 👇 What it takes to run Shopify on Black Friday:

How about some nerd stats for #BlackFriday2019 with @ShopifyEng?

128,000 Unicorn workers served 90m unique sessions at a steady 17M RPM (requests/min) throughout the day. Over 1b webhooks sent, transformed 280m webp images at the edge and 34b requests to CDNs. 74m Flows ran.

Code less, engineer more Less code > no code > bespoke:

Bespoke software development should be a last, rather than first, resort. We must set up our teams and companies to reward impact from reusing code rather resume-driven whole-cloth development. Write less code. Do more engineering.


Peopleware

Andrew Wilkinson The holiday season is good time to consider slowing down and taking it easy:

I’ve come to believe that minimizing tickers and the rate at which you have to make decisions is key to happiness.

Ticker = any indication of the current status of your goals/problems. Graphs. Charts. Red lines. Green lines. KPIs. Especially up to the minute, hour, or day.

Sandra Newman Not wrong:

THE SEVEN SECRETS OF HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

  1. Private school

  2. Legacy Ivy admission

  3. Nepotism hire

  4. Seed capital from family

  5. Club memberships

  6. Personal assistant, nanny, ghost writer

  7. Journalists who ask, "What's your secret?" and uncritically publish the answer


Teamwork

increment: Teams Increment is a fantastic “magazine about how teams build and operate software systems at scale.” The latest issue is all about building, managing, and supporting teams. Highly recommended.

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John Cutler How do we solve this?

observation

  • vague is easy

  • prescriptive is easy

  • being crystal clear w/o being prescriptive is hard

Leaders often equate being vague w/empowerment, but IME ppl crave powerful, coherent context. And they want to have autonomy to solve the problem. Hard!#leadership

Laura Gao 😭 This tweet blew up like crazy:

Flight attendant: Is there a doctor onboard?

Dad: nudging me that should've been you

Me: Not now Dad

Dad: Not asking for a Product Manager to help, are they?

Me: Dad, there's a medical emergency happening right now

Dad: Go and see if “let’s have a follow-up meeting" helps

Here's to software developersgraphic designers, and many more.


Locked Doors

California DMV makes $50M a year off selling drivers’ data: Report Because, of course.

… sell personal data to the likes of the data broker LexisNexis, consumer credit reporting bureau Experian and many private investigators who advertise services trailing spouses suspected of cheating.


Techtopia

The ‘Silicon Six’ spread propaganda. It’s time to regulate social media sites. Goodwin's law and all, this has to be said:

Under this twisted logic, if Facebook were around in the 1930s, it would have allowed Adolf Hitler to post 30-second ads on his “solution” to the “Jewish problem.”

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That Uplifting Tweet You Just Shared? A Russian Troll Sent It Just a reminder that online trolls and disinformation campaigns don't have a political view. Sowing discord is bipartisan. They play everyone. Be careful what you share:

Rather, Melanie’s audience was made up of educated, urban, left-wing Americans harboring a touch of self-righteousness. She wasn’t selling her audience a candidate or a position — she was selling an emotion. Melanie was selling disgust. The Russians know that, in political warfare, disgust is a more powerful tool than anger. Anger drives people to the polls; disgust drives countries apart.

WeWork Founder Adam Neumann 'Helped Kushner Craft Mideast Peace Plan' Man got a lot of con·fidence:

In this vein, the executive said, Neumann ended up “discussing the Syrian refugee crisis with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and urban planning with London Mayor Sadiq Khan.”


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.

Kumail Hunaid Looking for a full-time product engineering role. Skilled in building entire products - from visual integration testing tools, form builders, online marketplaces, and more. Remote/relocate. http://kumailht.com

Nikolay Talanov Front-end dev with 6 years of experience: React, Apollo GraphQL, CSS magic and animations. Located in Singapore, willing to relocate.  https://codepen.io/suez

Swapnil Ogale If your product or system needs a Tech/API Writer, user advocate, or just someone passionate about docs. Freelancing, remote or contract.

Matt Dupree Primarily Android, but experience with React Native, React, Node, and iOS. Interested in building tech that helps people learn and/or make better decisions. https://philosophicalhacker.com


None of the Above

One Devloper Army 😭

Hi, I'm Bill gates and today I will teach you how to count to ten:

1
2
3
95
98
NT
2000
XP
VISTA
7
8
10

Kristofer Helgen 👇 Some good answers in this thread:

What is the wisest thing anyone has ever said to you

Like knock your socks off wise

Nic Sampson “Jesus it’s enormous”

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David Spinks I do believe so. The future of brick & mortar is to zig when online retail zags. Online increases social isolation, so solve for that:

Retailers will survive Amazon by focusing on in-person community.

GameStop is converting their stores into gaming hubs.

Barnes and Nobel opened cafes.

REI is offering classes.

People are craving real connection and experience. Physical spaces offer a massive opportunity.

LEGO “The evolution of the truck is here. Guaranteed shatterproof”

Weekend Reading — Yelling logistical instructions

This week we explore humans of flat design, renew our .org domain, design a truck out of divs, help people find a job, and stop stressing about sleep.

LighthouseMilkyWay_Salazar_960

Astronomy Picture of the Day (November 19, 2019)


Design Objective

Humans of Flat Design So this design aesthetics has a name — “humans of flat design” — and a Twitter account to document it for posterity. (via Vicki Boykis)

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7 Questions with CPO Gijo Mathew What's a memorable opposite of “we've always done it this way”?

One of my key principles is Always Remove Orange Cords. I remember when a colleague joined a company and noticed an orange extension cord in the office lobby. He assumed it was important and stepped over it. The cord was still there every day that week. He never questioned “why is this extension cord going across the lobby?” Another person visits and notices the extension cord. He follows the extension cord and realizes it’s not plugged into anything! I always look for these “orange cords” especially in my first couple of months at a new company.

Microsoft went all in on accessible design. This is what happened afterwards “The tech giant took a big step by developing an Xbox controller for people with disabilities. Now that work is leading to changes in the industry at large.”

p-1-90432365-when-a-tech-giant-invests-in-accessible-design-more-great-products-follow

Allison Grayce 👇 This thread lists the different design career tracks. Find the space that works best for you:

What kind of design gig are you going after next?

Consulting 🧐
In-house 🧐
Startups 🧐
Contracting 🧐
Freelance 🧐
Entrepreneurship 🧐

mcclure111 👇 Sun invented a lot of things ahead of their time (including cloud computing and tablets), yet couldn't make it work in the marketplace. This thread explores why that happens, what's the lesson, and why that might be the future of Google's Stadia: no compelling user story.:

A long time ago— like 15 years ago— I worked at Sun Microsystems. The company was nearly dead at the time (it died a couple years later) because they didn't make anything that anyone wanted to buy anymore. So they had a lot of strange ideas about how they'd make their comeback.


Tools of the Trade

Hero35 “1700+ educational talks on React, JavaScript, and their ecosystems … More stacks (frontend, backend, machine learning, & mobile) on the way!”

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LocalStack For developing and testing applications using AWS services:

LocalStack provides an easy-to-use test/mocking framework for developing Cloud applications. It spins up a testing environment on your local machine that provides the same functionality and APIs as the real AWS cloud environment.

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Internet world despairs as non-profit .org sold for $$$$ to private equity firm, price caps axedFYI if you have an .org domain (I do), you have the option to extend registration up to 10 years. There's no telling if/when prices will go up.

Nuria Lago “Basic Linux commands”

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Web-end

Bruno Simon Now this is a personal web site! Take it for a ride!

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Jay Phelps “This is one of most noncommittal APIs to ever exist. It’s impressive.”

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Mark Dalgleish “Believe it or not, but this car is made entirely out of divs.” (or a single div!!!)

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Lines of Code

Delete Your Code and Other Reflections from Coderetreat Day This is a fantastic way to learn different development and testing techniques, and something you can do at home, or with coworkers:

In the version of Coderetreat that I participated in, there were 5 iterations, which were ~40 mins. chunks of time to attempt to solve the problem. For each iteration, we were provided with different constraints, deleted all of our code and switched to pair with someone new.

Great exercise, if you get to attached to your first solution:

I may want to incorporate this into my workflow by spending more time exploring various solutions to a problem and being okay doing a git reset or git stash and then trying a different approach.

amy nguyen 🙏

coworker: hey can you help me understand this code? i saw your name on the git blame from 2016...

me: docs and prayers 🙃


Architectural

Dave Karow 👍

Don’t measure how often the build gets broken. Measure how quickly it gets fixed. That’s a better predictor of stability @RoyOsherove #GOTOcph

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Peopleware

Making Work Less Stressful and More Engaging for Your Employees This is an article on how to avoid burn out. It has useful tips for contributors and their managers:

When employees connect the impact of their work back to the real world, daily tasks, which once seemed tedious, gain meaning. Start by making purpose a part of your business plan. Even if it’s not declared in your mission statement, help your team understand by showing them the impact their work has both within the company, in other departments, as well as outside the organization, on society. You should also share your purpose during recruitment, and search for candidates that support it.

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Jorge Ortiz :

Burnout ratio = (how strongly you care) / (ability you have to change or influence)


Teamwork

Pointless work meetings 'really a form of therapy' Well, that seems easy enough to fix:

"Many managers don't know what to do," he says, and when they are "unsure of their role", they respond by generating more meetings.

"People like to talk and it helps them find a role," says the professor.

Many of these people can spend half of their working hours in meetings, he says.

Adam “There are only 4 types of developers in meetings.”

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Startup Life

How to Design a Better Pitch Deck TL;DR

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How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Phase 1: 🐣 Crack the Chicken-and-Egg Problem “Rare insights from 17 of today's biggest marketplaces”

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Alexandre Lebrun “Breaking! Google Translate adds new language, VC Speak.” 😭

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Locked Doors

Data Enrichment, People Data Labs and Another 622M Email Addresses Another day another breach. This one comes from a data enrichment vendor I've never heard of before. Until Friday … when I get the ‘have i been pwned’ alert in my email … and an Instagram ad from PDL in the timeline … creepy.

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Electric Sheep

How to recognize AI snake oil Unfortunately, the people who need to see this presentation the most, are not going to read this. (Remember, from last week)

Common sense tells you this isn’t possible, and AI experts would agree. This product is essentially an elaborate random number generator.

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Vicki Boykis 😭

It’s not covered much in art classes, but Van Gogh went through a period of poverty and desperation in the late 1880s that led him to sell out and paint training data for machine learning researchers.

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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.

Tracy King Looking for: front-end engineering. 5+ years experience. Loves Angular and Vue. Speaker, blogger, community organizer. Based in DC.  http://tracyking.me

Alejandro Oviedo Looking for: remote-first company to work on scalability, observability, and Node.js. Starting January.  https://github.com/a0viedo

Kate Dameron Experience in JavaScript, React/Redux, Node.js, agile, a11y, MongoDb. Portland or remote.  https://t.co/AP6cl9et74?amp=1

TaelurAlexis Interested in: developer advocate, accessibility, content creating. 1 year experience in JavaScript, React, GraphQL, Vue. Remote preferred/open to relocation.  https://codeeveryday.io


None of the Above

Pablo Rochat “I made life-size AirPod stickers and stuck them on the ground, all over the city 🤡”

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MsPackyetti 😭

Marriage is a lot of yelling logistical instructions across rooms and floors twice because they didn’t hear you the first time.

Molly Struve 🏖

Working remote from a vacation like destination is great for a couple hours then I'm like...

  • I wish I had my extra monitor

  • This chair makes my butt hurt

  • My neck hurts from my laptop actually being on my lap

  • I can't see my screen in this sunlight

  • Where's a power outlet?

Jake Maccoby “A+ correction”

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emrazz 💯

If women were allowed to get mad and men were allowed to get sad we’d all be a lot happier overall.

Matthew Walker's "Why We Sleep" Is Riddled with Scientific and Factual Errors I applaud Alexey Guzey's dedication (130 hours, 6,000 words) to debunking these oft-cited myths about sleep.

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🛌 Especially, the 8 hours paradox: not everyone needs 8 hours of sleep. Paradoxically, stressing that you're not getting enough sleep could lead to insomnia. If you're not feeling sleep deprived than don't worry about it.

Online Cesspool Got You Down? On the "luxury internet", offering people a better experience, for a price:

Well, check your credit-card statement. Today’s internet is full of premium subscriptions, walled gardens and virtual V.I.P. rooms, all of which promise a cleaner, more pleasant experience than their free counterparts.

Billions of people still use the free internet every day, of course. But it feels increasingly like wading into a sludge pit of algorithmically promoted misinformation, privacy-invading apps and subpar user experiences.

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The entire issue is pretty great and appropriately designed.

How America’s Elites Lost Their Grip Time magazine predicts a backlash to American capitalism:

You can already see glimpses of how an age of reform is being dreamed up. Higher taxes on the very fortunate, to be sure; more regulation and worker protections and the like. An attack on climate change almost as dramatic as climate change itself. Programs to give workers greater security. It would be an age in which it was cooler, more thrilling, more admired, more viable to change the world democratically.

Sean Bartley “You little shit”

Weekend Reading — No code November

This week you'll learn about the core narrative, how to find a UX design job, make a better Escape key, stop buying ads, and watch the best Tiktok ever.

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You Had One Job “Squirrels look like superheroes when they land.”


Do you enjoy Weekend Reading?

🙏 Then do me a favor.

📣 I want to reach more people with helpful information about software design, development, and management.

📨 Forward this email and share with your friends.

✍️ Tell them to do sign up for the email.

💡 And let me know what you think. What would you like to see more of? What could I change to make better? Help me make it better.


Design Objective

Why some designs look messy, and others don’t Incredibly simple rule:

Then just visualize all of the boxes and apply the Extendabox-rule: extend their lines and see a grid appear. This way you’ll be able to really understand what the designer went through getting to that specific end result.

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Sell Something Bigger Than Your Otherwise Boring Business Find your core narrative:

Your core narrative is what you sell beyond your product. It’s the broad idea behind your otherwise selfish brand.

6 SaaS Retention Strategies to Maximize Growth Incentives, onboarding, engaging with customers, and pricing.

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Outcome Based Roadmaps : Unleash the Power of a Shared Vision and Purpose What is product strategy, how it differs from release roadmaps, and how to avoid the trapping of feature factory.

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iOS vs. Android App UI Design: The Complete Guide Same but different.

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UX Design for Boring Companies Tip for finding a job where you'll be appreciated:

Because their brand isn’t “cool,” it can be harder for these companies to attract top talent. So if you are top talent, they are really happy to have you there, and they will do more to keep you around, respect your expertise, and listen to what you have to say.

RaquelDesigns 👇 Thread for designers looking for a job:

I'll be reviewing a LOT of design / illustration job applications today, as I have been for the past few weeks, and I'd like to start a thread about things I see and notice, and recommendations to improve your applications across the board.

Sebastian Markbåge “When non-tech savy people try to use Facebook features.”

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Tools of the Trade

Visual Regression Testing in Design Systems An intro to visual regression testing, and a few tools you can use to automate that.

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restlesshead Software development be like:

I think non-technical professionals would be surprised at how much of my work consists of typing a line, hitting return and then watching text scroll by very, very fast

nodebestpractices The largest Node.js best practices list (November 2019). There's also a Twitter timeline.

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Serverless computing with Pascal? Everything old is new again:

Want to see what 1974 (the year the program I’m using was published) looks like in Roman numerals? Just call the RESTful service via https://roman.engelke.dev/1974 to find out.

Space-grade CPUs: How do you send more computing power into space? Why do space crafts have such slow CPUs?

Curiosity, everyone’s favorite Mars rover, works with two BAE RAD750 processors clocked at up to 200MHz. It has 256MB of RAM and 2GB of SSD. As we near 2020, the RAD750 stands as the current state-of-the-art, single-core space-grade processor. It’s the best we can send on deep space missions today.


Web-end


Lines of Code

Build your own React What a great way to present code/algorithm!

Check it out, even if you don't care about React, I promise this is worth a few minutes of your time.

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Ben Nadel This is how you learn about clean code and over-engineering:

Nothing makes you more humble than having to maintain a single codebase for years. Only then do you really get see the full extent of your poor choices and ill-informed thinking. I feel lucky to have this learning opportunity.

stephanie “please join me in my new tech awareness initiative, no code november”

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Ben Halpern “2 unit tests. 0 integration tests.”

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Teamwork

Navigating Software Engineering Career Paths Understand the different engineering career paths, and choose the one that's right for you.

Jennifer Kim 👇 Hiring is hard to get right:

Skilled hiring is not about perfection, but the ability to continually learn & improve your process—to surface relevant data, interpret it, & make decisions w/ reasonable risk.

Getting good at hiring starts with accepting you'll never be "done" and allowing room for mistakes. /3

Narcissistic CEOs Weaken Collaboration and Integrity “Some may be bold leaders, but they create a dangerous corporate culture.” From personal experience, I can attest this is true.

Emily Kager Be the Slack conversation you want to see in the world:

There are two types of people on @SlackHQ

  1. People who type long, cohesive, edited messages for you to consume at one time and reply at your leisure.

  2. People who
    msg u
    👋🏻
    like this
    and ask a question (edited)
    add more info 🤔
    then thank you 🤗 (edited)
    bump

Rich Rogers 🔥

“When can you do it?”

Two weeks

“We need it next week”

Then I suggest you ask again last week.

michael vazquez “whoever made this deserves a medal of honor”

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Startup Life

The 4 Big Ways That “Founder” and “CEO” Are Different Jobs It's no surprise only a quarter of founders manage to hold on to the title of CEO by the time the IPO comes around. These are different skillsets.

The skill set required to imagine a product and move a small devoted team to build it is very different than the skill to successfully manage a company as a freestanding entity — comprised of hundreds (or even thousands) of brains.

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Andy Johns 👇 Choose the strategy that works for your business scale:

Most startups should not have a growth team. It leads to incremental thinking at a time when you’re expected to grow 3x+ every 12-18 months. In most cases, a bunch of a/b tests won’t give you that velocity of traction. Your best bet is big bets on new feature innovation.

How raising a $2+M Seed Round really, actually went Persistence.

It took me about 10 more weeks, but I closed the round. There’s actually still money trickling in for the next week or so, and we’re “oversubscribed.” I closed three biz dev deals last week. We’ll have enough money for a while — certainly to get to our next major milestones. I’m not quitting.


Locked Doors

Five months after returning rental car, man still has remote control Sigh. One more thing to worry about when renting a car:

That's because, five months after he returned the vehicle on May 31, his app continues to have control over the vehicle. Despite multiple other people renting the SUV in the intervening months, FordPass still allows Sinclair to track the location of the vehicle, lock and unlock it, and start or stop its engine.

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Catalin Cimpanu This advise doesn't come out of nowhere. Something happened. Pay attention.

LA officials publish warning about the dangers of using public USB charging stations -- as they can hide malware

Their advice:

  • use the AC charging socket, not the USB one

  • bring your own USB charger from home

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Techtopia

Sarah Mei 👇 The classic gig economy playbook:

We’ve all heard this story before.

Gig workers start off make reasonable money doing something useful on their own schedule.

Then after workers get invested in the platform & the tools, the company drastically cuts pay rates.

TheWrongNoel 👇 AI hiring systems that are no better than a coin toss:

A friend of mine has been trying to hire a new employee for her department in a medium-sized org. After advertising several times with few applicants, and a couple of rounds of interviews, the new employee is less than great. Then she discovered there were other applicants ...

Viral Tweet About Apple Card Leads to Goldman Sachs Probe Speaking of algorithms that make the wrong decision, and companies hiding behind “but … the algorithm”:

“Goldman and Apple are delegating credit assessment to a black box,” Hansson said. “It’s not a gender-discrimination intent but it is a gender-discrimination outcome.”

How Google Interferes With Its Search Algorithms and Changes Your Results Related, Google's algorithm is backed up by a lot of black-box human curation.

The new dot com bubble is here: it’s called online advertising According to this article, online advertising is only effective in that it creates money for adtech companies:

The experiment continued for another eight weeks. What was the effect of pulling the ads? Almost none. For every dollar eBay spent on search advertising, they lost roughly 63 cents, according to Tadelis’s calculations.

The experiment ended up showing that, for years, eBay had been spending millions of dollars on fruitless online advertising excess, and that the joke had been entirely on the company.

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None of the Above

Celeste Labedz 👇 Make it work, or purr trying:

Hello friends, today I will be using my expertise as a seismologist to tell you how to make an earthquake early warning system out of cats.

Kontra “Volkspod”

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MaryKMcKenzie That is so me:

apple watch buzzes: meeting in 10
phone calendar pop up: meeting in 10
desktop calendar pop up: meeting in 10
slack reminder: meeting in 10

YEAH OK I GOT IT, MEETING IN 10

11 minutes later:
OH FUCK MY MEETING

Moto Razr hands-on: the flip phone, reinvented as a folding Android phone! I didn't believe they could, but looks like Motorola managed to deliver a flip phone with folding screen. Your move … everyone else.

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Big Business Is Overcharging You $5,000 a Year The argument in favor of breaking up monopolies (big tech and otherwise).

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