John Barton
Yep, a newsletter
Yep, a newsletter


Hello, production
I super strongly endorse the walking skeleton approach when standing up brand new projects from an ops perspective. I’ve used this approach consistently for around eight years by now and it’s always paid off.

Return of the Obra Dinn: Dithering Deep Dive
Obra Dinn was one of my favourite games this year and peering behind the curtain at exactly how the developer created the amazing and unique visual style was mind blowing.

First IC
Last issue I shared an OS project that assumed when the world went to crap we’d be scavenging chips out of smart fridges to survive. Nuts to that, someone’s gone and figured out how to build integrated circuits in a home garage.

Test Desiderata
A list of desirable qualities in software tests from the godfather of software tests. Should prompt good discussion in your dev team.

How we failed, then succeeded, at migrating to TypeScript
This is a really solid example of how to run a mid-to-long term tech migration. A lot of focus on the human factors and finding a downward slop where conversion work naturally begets more conversion work.

Business & Management

Nobody cares about quality
If you’ve ever sat down in a 1:1 with your boss, slumped in your chair, and said “Nobody here cares about X” this is your best intro into figuring out if that’s true and how to try and fix it if it is.

The (Real) 11 Reasons I Don’t Hire You
Interviewing at early stage startups can be a really jarring experience if most of your past interview experience had been in more established companies. This is a really honest explanation of the other side of the decision making process which should hopefully make you feel better. Or at least better informed.

Exec 101 - First 30 days
Really good guide to your first month as an exec hire. Most of this can be adapted to middle management roles too. Rands’ Ninety Days is another good post in the genre.

Scaling Product Development (for Startups)
No frills guide to the essential activities and principles in scaling up your product process alongside your startup.

Pricing niche products: Why sell a mechanical keyboard kit for $1,668?
I love mechanical keyboards and esoteric methods of price discovery and if you like one or both of those topics you will enjoy this too.


The lines of code that changed everything
An overview of some of the pieces of software that had the biggest impact on human history. Written for and definitely accessible to non-coders. Good read and you’ll learn a lot.

Neon Genesis Evangelion - Fonts In Use
Get an really deep intro to Japanese typography via the most 90s of things 90s tech nerds care about - the sad kids, big robots variety hour.

Earth and Sun
I was amazed and transfixed by this. It’s a really well put together interactive piece all about the relationship between the Earth and the Sun. I learned so much about how days and years and seasons really work.

Why are Restaurant Burritos Better than Homemade?
This is a newsletter that is not afraid of the hard questions.

How David Lynch’s Twin Peaks Influenced The Legend Of Zelda Series
I’m very tired. I like both of these things and this post about these things. Pretend I was wittier about it.

Contractually Obligated Nautical Fact

Rebuilding TALLY HO
If you’re overburdened with spare time or under-burdened with self control I can highly recommend this youtube series about fixing up a hundred year old wooden gaff rigged schooner. Thanks Justin for both ruining and improving my life.

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