John Barton
Yep, a newsletter
Yep, a newsletter

Yep. It’s an email full of links and hasty commentary. Exactly what you’re here for.


Magic Numbers and second guessing SLOs
This is a really useful way to think about SLOs. If you need to sell management on some much needed infrastructure work in your codebase I’d almost guarantee it’d work. Only thing it’s missing is comparing the extra revenue against opportunity cost.

Game Boy Camera Canon EF Mount
Of all the pointless retro computing hobby projects kicking around at the moment, this is possibly the coolest. That moon photo is a chef’s kiss.

How Discord achieves native iOS performance with React Native
I loved this post. Super in-depth look at tracking and improving performance in a react-native app. My battery and I wish that more teams put this amount of care into their mobile apps.

Scaling in the presence of errors—don’t ignore…
Excellent advice on scaling up software by paying proper, close attention to the errors the software spits out.

Deploys: It’s Not Actually About Fridays
I’ve outsourced all anger I have on a topic I care deeply about to Charity. Not deploying on Fridays is totally fine, but treating it like a rule or even a habit to be lauded is a definite engineering maturity smell.

Business & Management

Sequencing Business Models: Can That SAAS Business Turn Into a Marketplace?
Having worked on a few successful marketplaces I’m often invited to coffee meetings to weigh in on some company’s plan to pivot into a marketplace. Most times, it’s not gonna work. This post does a great job showing how much a hail mary it is to pull it off.

Rock climbing and the economics of innovation
A very interesting look at the history of technical innovation in equipment for rock climbing and how it’s driven some amazing human results in recent years.

Make Great Decisions Quickly with TOMASP
Decent framework for making decisions. Doesn’t even mention Bezos’ dumb door analogy.

Selling Engineering Brand
If you’re struggling to hire engineers read this and double check you’re not making any of the big mistakes it points out.

How We Design Games Now and Why
Even if you’re not super into games there’s some food for thought about how the economics of the labour pool influences the structural practice of a particular design skill. Reinforces why my dream to make video games is dumb and I’ll never do it.


The Dating Market
This is the single best thing I’ve read all month. So many zingers it’s hard to choose just one for the pull quote. How about “0% of men rated most attractive makes sense. Women know all men secretly own at least one pair of cargo shorts.”

‘Baby Shark’ Smells Money Onstage - The New York Times
While the previous article was more fun this one touches on my lived experience. As my child and I watch baby shark for the millionth time I wonder “did the people behind this make mad bank?”. Yes, but not as much as you might think.

For Fathers of Daughters
Again, relevant to lived experience. A handy todo-list if you’re directionally correct morally but lack the imagination to turn it into concrete action.

A Fresh Look at The Smashing Pumpkins’ 1998 Album Adore
Fun fact: this was equal first album I ever bought with my own money. If gift vouchers you got for Christmas and discharged the very next day count as your own money.

Like a Dog
I hear people like dogs. This is an essay about them. I found it interesting despite no real care for the subject matter. You may like it more, or less.

Contractually Obligated Nautical Fact

BOKA Vanguard loading Carnival Vista
This is a timelapse video of a really big ship being lifted out of the sea by an even bigger ship. You will either watch it, or you won’t, and anything further I say about it is unlikely to change that.

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