John Barton
Yep, a newsletter
Yep, a newsletter

How do these fortnights roll around so fast?


Choose Boring Technology
Classic essay/talk and a must read. Love the innovation token approach. My favourite reformulation of it is “one miracle per project”. Trigger warning for all engineering managers.

Mistaeks I Hav Made: Mistakes we made adopting event sourcing (and how we recovered)
See above. Seriously though, valuable lessons both in specifically adopting event sourcing, and in the risks from splitting the difference in architectural approaches.

Technical Debt: Poor System Understanding While Time Constrained
This is a really interesting alternative mental model of what technical debt is.

A Rails middleware to change the log level at runtime
One of those super niche small quality of life tips that really adds up over time.

How Does Spotify Know You So Well?
Deep dive into all the kinds of machine learning Spotify use to generate your playlists. I actually learned things about ML from this because I care about music than whether something is a hotdog or not.

Business & Management

Development Cadence
Minimum viable product/project management to get your team shipping product on a more regular cadence. Really useful for startups hitting that handful of engineers and first slowdown.

How I Survived Insane Hypergrowth at Airbnb
Some really useful career advice wrapped in a personal story of working at Airbnb through the rough and tumble growth years.

Startup idea checklist
Great checklist for a quick sanity check before kicking off a startup. Some of them are a little too “dent in the universe” for my taste but overall pretty good.

Key B2B SaaS Lessons from SaaStr Europa 2019
Lots of useful information in a well written summary of this years SaaStr conference. Even more time efficient than watching the talks at 3x speed for all you lifehacking sociopaths.

Why Founders Clash With The Investors on Their Boards
While this post is aimed mostly at investors with board seats, it’s got some good general pointers on delivering feedback and worth a look for anyone.


Top chefs share insanely good instant noodle hacks
For all the talk of startups getting to “ramen profitable” too much of it is about the profit and not enough about the ramen.

The Wonders of Industrial-Supply Catalogs
My Dad’s a mechanic and there were many of these kind of catalogs present in my childhood. Strong feels for this one. Your mileage may vary.

Playlist: The Drones Rage Guest Programmers
All the Aussies of a certain age will understand the cultural significance of a rage guest programming slot, but for the rest of you wikipedia will sort you out. This playlist has been on heavy rotation this week.

How William Gibson’s lost Alien 3 script became 2019’s strongest audio drama
I know I’m in a minority as a person who enjoyed Aliens 3 but I’m now really looking forward to getting stuck into this alternative take from one of my favourite authors.

The Middle Eastern Thirty Years War?
It’s been said that history doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme, as evidenced in this essay comparing current middle east conflict with the thirty years war in Europe.

Contractually Obligated Nautical Fact

When Pepsi Had a Navy
Pretty amazing story of how Pepsi were the temporary custodians of a portion of the Soviet navy. I don’t actually fact check these nautical facts by the way. Huge if true, fun if not.

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