John Barton
Yep, a newsletter
Yep, a newsletter

Ahoy there dear readers!

Couple of bits of Hecate news:

On to this fortnight’s links…


Understanding Latent Style at Stitch Fix
Lots of maths I don’t understand showing how to use ML to figure out the style of different clothes on different people. I like the approach of augmenting humans in the loop here too, something I’m a big fan of.

Brand New Model F Keyboards
I don’t have any money right now otherwise I’d be all over these fancy retro keyboards. Can someone close to me buy one so I can live vicariously through you?

The NES turns 30: How it began, worked, and saved an industry
My love of the original N.E.S. knows no bounds. Lots of interesting facts about it in here, both historical and technical.

I discovered a browser bug
A real deep-down in the weeds story about finding a browser security bug. A+ would read again.

The 39 most powerful female engineers of 2018
Found a lot of new role models in here. Reflects poorly on both me and the industry at large at how few names I knew before reading it.

A Case Study in Not Being A Jerk in Open Source
In this week’s edition of “only Nixon could go to China”, known internet asshole suggests how to be less of an internet asshole using a bigger, better known internet asshole as an example.

Telling Stories About Little’s Law
How to mix your maths with your storytelling to think and communicate effectively

Leveling up: why developers need to be able to identify technologies with staying power
Your team ever back the tech that everyone turned away from six months later? No? Me either.

How not to structure your database-backed web applications: a study of performance bugs in the wild | the morning paper
An academic paper of utility in industry. Stop the presses. Great overview of avoidable performance issues through the use of popular ORMs. Strong recommend.

Business & Management

How (and why) Should Managers Code?
Yes, I’m plugging my own blog post here. In it, I outline why I think it’s important for tech leaders to be both managers and engineers and give some rules to help make that work. Make sure you give it lots of “claps” on the medium dot com. Thanks!

My Lessons from Interviewing 400+ Engineers Over Three Startups
Lot of good stuff in here about interviewing engineering candidates.

Building a First Team Mindset
Inclusion Interviewing
Two great posts from Jason Wong in one fortnight. Both worth a read, but if you’ve only got time for one, make in the Inclusion Interviewing one.

The Random Ticket Game
Looks like a really helpful technique for debugging teams and how well their work connects to the overall organisational goals. Something I’d definitely try out if I still had a team.

Balancing Time
A bunch of handy, tactical time management tips.

Holding the Shop Together
One reader of the newsletter as boring as I am asked me to expand on German corporate governance in this issue. Co-determination is the interesting thing for me over there - employee participation in governance via the board or “works councils”. Holding the shop together was the best book I could find on the topic. I’m wondering if there’s a sweet spot in a blend between German and Silicon Valley style capitalism that could be win-win?


Pixar’s Sexism Under John Lasseter Ruined My Dream Job
This is what we do to people when we let bad behaviour go on and on and on.

Revolution at 3.5″: Inside Vaporwave’s Mini-Boom of Floppy Disk Releases
More pointless physical artefacts of my youth repackaged for cultural cachet. Sign. Me. Up.

Mathematics Shows How to Ensure Evolution
Using graph theory to demonstrate different group structures that promote an optimal rate of evolution for fitness. I’m wondering if there’ll be a way to use this model to structure internal teams and funding at company to ensure you keep evolving fit new products.

Philosophy shrugged: ignoring Ayn Rand won’t make her go away
I would really appreciate if someone made a “how to argue about Ayn Rand” page like all those climate-change-christmas-dinner prep sites.

Contractually Obligated Nautical Fact

Ecological “law” turns out to just be the result of us fishing
Fish count as nautical right? I say yes. Fascinating read about how a long held law of nature (that big fish go deep) is really just the fact that we eat the big ones near the surface. Sounds obvious in retrospect.

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