John Barton
Yep, a newsletter
Yep, a newsletter

Good afternoon to those of your in the Hecate HQ timezone of ‘Australia/Melbourne’ and a good whatever to everyone else. Two weeks have passed so it’s time for another 15 links and a compulsory nautical fact - this time about an iceberg turned into an aircraft carrier during WW2.


Book Review: Designing Data-Intensive Applications
In depth chapter by chapter review of what looks like a really good book about databases. Getting a solid understanding of data storage fundamentals is a very worthwhile investment of your time so definitely check this one out.

Fast and flexible observability with canonical log lines
I really like this pragmatic approach to logging to get an easy on-ramp into observability. Even if you’re using other vendors to do this job it looks like a good backstop/backup option to keep in the mix.

Why Kubernetes will disappear
Solid strategy take on Kubernetes and where it will end up. Best quote: “Unless you have deep pockets and a dedicated platform team, time, budget and stakeholder patience will run out before meaningful value can be delivered.”

Some items from my “reliability list”
An informal list of some technical and organisational patterns around building reliable software. Not particularly comprehensive but reasonable rules to live by.

Refactoring Legacy Code
Bookmark this one and every time you think you’re doing it tough working on some “legacy” code give this a re-read and count all your blessings.

Business & Management

The New Era of SaaS Forecasting
I like the SimSaas product and the founder’s underlying philosophy. This is a pretty good intro into a data/accounting maturity model for startups based on the history of weather forecasting.

White Rappers and Black Rappers Have Different Business Models
An interesting lesson in different kinds of distribution and marketing channels via the US hip-hop market and their knock-on effects. Not directly applicable to startups but a good example of how to really analyse channel opportunities.

Developing a management philosophy
This is kind of a more muted take on the manager readme approach where the document’s first duty is to help you in dialogue with yourself. Seems like a worth enterprise.

A Quantitative Approach to Product Market Fit
Always handy to know the kind of metrics investors look to to judge whether you’ve got the kind of product market fit that fits their growth expectations. Also handy for regular businesses, you just might want to weight a few things differently.

On Inequality and Risk Capacity
While this is more of a societal analysis of inequality there’s an interesting managerial lens to look at this through, where advancement within an org is tied to the amount of risk capital each individual has.


The Internet’s Old Guard
Interesting informal oral history of the early computing and internet scene. Making me hanker for a re-read of Hackers by Steven Levy, which was a big influence to me as a teenager.

Revealing the White Stripes: The inside story of the early years
The story of how one of my favourite bands came to be. So many fond memories of kicking around Geelong in my mate’s Camira listening to the White Blood Cells CD.

Mr. Darcy’s Ten Thousand a Year
This is wild - using Jane Austen novels to learn how 18th century British bond markets worked.

The Web Is A Low-Trust Society
A pretty compelling argument about the challenges of communicating or doing business online. Rings really true to me when I think about the amount of engineering effort I’ve poured into dealing with fraud over the years.

100 great books for an ambitious teenage reader.
Apparently my reading level must be “ambitious teenage reader” because I really like this list. Share it with the teens in your life or read them all yourself - it’s win-win.

Contractually Obligated Nautical Fact

Project Habbakuk: Britain’s WWII ice warship
I swear some of the wackiest shit got funded during the second world war.

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