John Barton
Yep, a newsletter
Yep, a newsletter

Two big news items this week. Let’s get the obviously big one out of the way first.

Hecate’s now in open beta, and I’ve just added daily summary emails of merged pull requests to the feature set. You can see how the config works here and go get yourself set up at hecate.co if you aren’t already. A few people have been asking me how to pronounce Hecate, and I’d like to direct you to this handy youtube

The other thing that happened this week: the GitHub & Microsoft thing. As per Patrick’s request this edition’s nautical facts will all be about yacht buying for the new money in town. It’s down the end.


Fear and Loathing in Legacy Code
Good post outlining some of the organisational and cultural issues that legacy code can create in an engineering group. Gives a few warning signs to keep an eye out for.

30 years later, QBasic is still the best
Really nice story about a dev teaching their child how to program using QBasic, a language and editor that was popular back when I was in high school. Keeping this in my back pocket for when my daughter is old enough.

Go: From Godep To vgo, A Commentated History
The Go programming language is going through a controversial change in package management tooling and practice. This is the post to get you up to date and have you longing for the good old days of hashtag rubydrama.


Profit sharing for bootstrapped startups
I’d bookmarked this for the newsletter before the GitHub news broke this week. What other, regular companies can do instead of being bought by Microsoft.

Productivity in the age of hypergrowth.
Indepth look at how a lot of process and management assumptions fall down in rapidly growing companies and suggested tactics to handle it. Lots of graphs, so it’s got to be legit.


Weezer - Africa
Toto: how we made Africa
A Toto double header: Weezer releases an A+ cover of Africa, listen to that, and then learn all about how the song was inspired by TV documentaries.

Star Wars is not a Rebellion
One of my favourite security writers poking holes in Star Wars canon with comparisons to the IRA and Communist Internationale. Does not say anything mean about any women in the Star Wars cast, which is more than can be said of a lot of the rest of the big stupid internet.

Douglas Hofstadter - Person Paper on Purity in Language
Satirical and devastatingly effective takedown of the kind of arguments people use about man vs humankind, policeman vs police officer, etc.

Q218 Vacation Reading
More book recommendations from Brad Feld. I usually find good books in his vacation reading posts, but can’t vouch for these yet.

What I Learned After Watching 24-Hour Surveillance Footage for a Week
Change your security camera’s default password or you too may get caught up in the millenial press’ philosophical musing on life.

Yachting for the Nouveau Riche

Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere
This is my go-to guide for daydreaming about yachts to buy. Which I would definitely do if I had the money, lived near the water, or knew how to sail. But I don’t. But you, the long serving GitHub engineer, would meet at least one of those preconditions.

Mine’s Bigger: The Extraordinary Tale of the World’s Greatest Sailboat and the Silicon Valley Tycoon Who Built It
Tom Perkins of Kleiner Perkins VC fame spent a very large chunk of his billions of dollars making a stupidly big yacht and this book is all about it. I don’t think any of the hubbers will be in this territory but it’s handy to know how far this Silicon Valley excess can go.

The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story
Written by Michael Lewis of Moneyball and Liar’s Poker fame just before the dotcom crash, this biography of Netscape founder Jim Clark is well worth a read. A lot of the story centres around the stupidly big yacht he built (and the software he was trying to write for it) but it’s a great snapshot of the tech bubble days and could probably be written again today.

Thaks for reading. You can find this issue online here.If you know anyone who might enjoy these emails, feel free to send them to the subscribe form