John Barton
Yep, a newsletter
Yep, a newsletter

Happy Wednesday fellow tech/maritime enthusiasts.

Quite a few interesting reads this fortnight that I hope you enjoy. Not a lot of big news for Hecate the past couple of weeks. The development focus has been on polish and smaller quality of life features. If you check out app.hecate.co you might notice a fresh lick of paint there. For those of you with somewhat left-of-centre branch naming habits on the team there’s now a setting for custom base branches on Dispatch.

Catch you again in a couple of weeks.


Dijkstra’s in Disguise
Proper computer science! Graphs and maths. Reasonably accessible (not a cakewalk but not obscurantist either) for regular programmers. Pour a strong coffee, furrow your brow, and learn some really valuable concepts for your programming career.

Books on Computer Science for Data Scientists, recommended by Hadley Wickham
Another newsletter, another list of book recommendations.

Clear defensive programming with Go using Verifier library
Tidy little library for cleaning up all those error checks you’re writing in Go.

In Pursuit of Production Minimalism
A very nicely articulated variant on the “choose boring technology” meme. Minimalism! It’s what millennials crave. Way cooler than “boring” technology.

Dev vs. Ops, DevOps, and SRE
Dev, Ops, DevOps, and SRE categorised by the underlying philosophy of separating work. Short but provides a useful mental model.

A response about dep and vgo
One thing I love about the high amount of public drama in the the dep vs vgo tool choice is that it’s creating a large body of primary evidence (in the historian’s sense) about the social aspects behind the winning and losing tools in tech.

Ruby 2.6 Introduces Dir#each_child and Dir#children instance methods
One of those little hyper-specific standard library changes that will probably add up to hours and hours of time saved in all the little adhoc scripts I do.

Business & Management

Code Review Review is the Manager’s Job Yeah, I’m plugging my own blog post. What of it? I worked real hard on it. Literally hours of work. I lay out why management can’t afford to neglect the code review process and then plug my own product near the end. It’s called content marketing. Look it up.

Entrepreneurs Are The New Labor
Long but worthwhile read on the change in power dynamics between investors and entrepreneurs within the broader context of labour relations history. Parts one and two are must reads, part three not so much.

How Blockbuster, Kodak And Xerox Really Failed (It’s Not What You Think)
Some great mythbusting on overly simplistic narratives of strategic failures in once great businesses.

From Zero to $13 Million in 12 months - Koala.com’s Growth Strategy
Amazingly in-depth analysis of all the little tactics Koala used to sell a metric shitload of mattresses in their first year. If consumer marketing is your thing there is a lot to learn in there.

Slack Copywriting: What They Say to 9.6 Million Pageviews Every Month
A case study of Slack’s market positioning over time based on their copywriting. Of particular interest are the common threads that were refined over time vs the general repositioning of the product as they grew more successful.


The British Heat Wave and Aerial Archeology
The upshot of Britain’s heat wave is the perfect conditions for mapping subterranean structures long hidden. Hopefully we can learn a bunch about other past, dead cultures while ours enters its own sunset.

In Praise of Defensive Football
Haven’t had such a comforting, intellectualised read about soccer since Fever Pitch. I don’t know if that’s because these kinds of essays are rare or because I don’t seek them out.

Inside The Culture Of Sexism At Riot Games
Long article in a long series of exposes that big gaming studios have garbage cultures full of abuse. Most interesting takeaway was an internal survey finding toxic behaviour in online gaming was strongly correlated with toxic behaviour in the workplace.

VCF West: Homebrew Lisp Machines And Injection Molded PDPs
If you don’t think lovingly recreated homages to classic vintage computers is culture then this is the wrong newsletter for you, friend.

How to Fall Asleep in 120 Seconds
We were taught a version of this at high-school and it works. Ask my wife how infuriatingly fast I can fall asleep.

Finding Mr X: The story of an anti-cycling hate page (and the cyclist behind it)
Facebook is a toilet fire. Here’s a really in-depth look at one of the (many) Facebook pages where regular humans feel like it’s OK to advocate running other humans over.

Contractually Obligated Nautical Fact

Empty shipyard and suicides as ‘Hyundai Town’ grapples with grim future
There’s a worldwide glut of shipping container capacity that’s having knock-on effects through logistics companies all the way down to shipbuilders. Hyundai have historically been one of the biggest players but have laid off close to 30k workers in the past few years and it’s having huge effects on their local economy.

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