John Barton
Yep, a newsletter
Yep, a newsletter

Welcome to this fortnight’s edition of the Hecate fortnightly.

I really need to find some thought-leadery blog post about fortnite so I can triple down on the word.

Not a lot of Hecate product news to share this issue. I’ve got the private beta of Heartbeat in the hands of some early testers and the ongoing focus is on adding features and polish in that area. If you’d like to learn more or pre-register for the wider beta, go put your email address in the form on the Heartbeat product page.


Fairness without demographics in repeated loss minimization Really fascinating research in how to make machine learning solutions fairer for minority groups. If you’ve read Weapons of Math Destruction you’ll know how big an issue this is and it’s great to see some practical approaches towards mitigating it.

SEO for Developers: Reaching the Front Page of Google without being Spammy
Through my career I’ve benefited from working with some pretty high powered SEO consultants. Based on that experience I’m pretty confident recommending this post to any dev starting out with a product. It’s directionally correct and good fundamental advice.

Lenovo Launches Ultra-Thin ThinkPad P1: X1 Carbon Meets Workstation
Just putting it out there - the era of Macbook Pro as weapon of choice for software dev is coming to an end. Linux is way less shitty than it was and non-apple hardware is getting better and better.

The X-Files: Avoiding Concurrency Boilerplate With golang.org/x/sync
My fave post from the Golang weekly last week - handy guide to concurrency patterns in Go. I spotted at least one example of now-redundant boilerplate I’d written in my own Go code in the past.

C Is Not a Low-level Language
Great essay suggesting that our industry’s hidebound devotion to C as the low level building block of systems is causing us deeper harm than we think.

Business & Management

Why U.S. Corporate Boards Don’t Include Workers
Co-determination is in the news! Very interesting historical look at the divergence between US & German corporate pratice. I’ve pulled at least one book recommendation out of this one.

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction and Negative Churn
I’m pledging to never, ever report on negative churn as a metric because it’s a bullshit term. This post explains very well why.

Solving the cash problems from self-funding rapid growth
How can a rapidly growing company that charges money be out of cash? Easier than you think. Nathan’s post is a great example of some of the cash flow problems high growth businesses can bring and shares the story of his path out of it.

Are you being micro-managed? Manage your relationship with your manager instead.
Being micromanaged sucks, and you can wait for your manager to get better or you can nudge them towards change sooner. Given managing up (and sideways) is such a strong component of management roles, how you deal with this situation could be a good early indicator of your own management aptitude.


Sir Paul Tucker on the legitimacy of the central bank
Great podcast interview with Sir Paul Tucker on the appropriate role of unelected governing bodies within the democratic system. I’m definitely going to buy the book.

An Oral History of ‘GoldenEye 007’ on the N64
For those of us in a particular demographic memories of playing GoldenEye against your friends on the lounge room floor in front of a bulging CRT TV have been long cherished. Good story about how that game came to be.

The Case for Applied History
I will never tire of sharing essays that suggest more people should learn more history.

The Abandoned, Apocalyptic Architecture of One Bold 1970s Retail Chain
U.S. Centric 1970s capitalism seems like a wild trip. These are some pretty amazing buildings.

Moonlight (Clair de Lune) from NASA
Throw all your meditation apps in the bin and rub this on your gums.

Contractually Obligated Nautical Fact

The Derelict
I’m not going to say too much for risk of spoilers, but this is a rollercoaster of a story. Shout out to Fenn for sharing it with me.

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