#64

If the software doesn’t have to work, you can always meet any other requirement.
— Gerald Weinberg, American computer scientist

The Speed Dial - An abbreviated set of articles for the reader who has limited time.

The Lie That Perfectionists Tell Themselves
[hbr]

Many of us hold principles that keep us from pursuing a more productive lifestyle. For example, one of the most common ones is the belief that increasing productivity, or getting the most out of your time, will decrease the quality of your work, or your ability to do tasks perfectly.



Full Cycle Developers at Netflix — Operate What You Build
[medium]

The year was 2012 and operating a critical service at Netflix was laborious. Deployments felt like walking through wet sand. Canarying was devolving into verifying endurance (“nothing broke after one week of canarying, let’s push it”) rather than correct functionality. Researching issues felt like bouncing a rubber ball between teams, hard to catch the root cause and harder yet to stop from bouncing between one another. All of these were signs that changes were needed.



The Untold Story Of Robert Mueller's Time In Combat
[wired]

Robert Mueller’s job is to make sense of how Russia hacked the 2016 election. But to make sense of Mueller, you have to revisit some of the bloodiest battles of Vietnam.



What is the most sophisticated piece of software/code ever written?
[quora]

The most sophisticated software in history was written by a team of people whose names we do not know.


 

Management/Culture

How to Use Stretch Goals to Increase Innovation
[lizkislik]

Have you ever been asked to define your own stretch goals? They’re still remarkably popular, despite a steady stream of articles and research that debunks the value of this approach altogether. It’s not so much the concept that falls to the ground, but rather its execution: Leaders require too much stretch, while providing too little support for advancing the goals themselves.



Effective Teamwork - a One Page Guide
[andreykurenkov]

So below is a one-page summary of all the lessons I have learned having done these many team projects (and having been a culprit in bad teammwork innumerable times). Enjoy!



Building a Growth Framework
[blog.songkick]

At Songkick, we’ve recently finished developing a Growth Framework for the Technology team — a clear and simple document we all own, that helps answer the question “How do I progress in my career?”.


 

Development/Releases

When to fold 'em - how to avoid the sunk cost fallacy
[madetech]

Some years ago, I worked as part of a development team on a project to upgrade a tangled legacy system managing a company’s payment systems. Two months in, and we had very little to show for it - pages of diagrams that looked like spiderwebs, a few outages caused by failed attempts to untangle the pile, and a rising level of frustration.



Fully Automated Standups
[artsy.github]

When I began working at Artsy four years ago, remotely, I really didn't like the weekly engineering standup. I'd sit in front of my computer and strain to hear a dozen people gathered around a laptop with Google Hangout. They'd discuss implementation details for projects I wasn't familiar with, and then I'd do the same to them (our mobile team was still very separate from our web team). Twenty minutes would pass and I didn't feel like my work experience at Artsy had been enriched in any way.



Crash! Bang! Wallop! Practice makes perfect
[engineering.skybettingandgaming]

Our story begins on what can have been no more than my third day at Sky Betting and Gaming. The Head of Platform for Core Tribe mentioned that my mentor would be hard to get hold of that morning, as he was “setting up and running a firedrill”. I made my confusion known. How would one set up a firedrill, and why? My confusion, and images of people standing on chairs with lighters held under sprinklers, turned to intrigue when I was given a little context, and told about how firedrills are the training exercises done to work on incident response, disaster recovery testing, and chaos engineering. Welcome to Sky Betting and Gaming, where a firedrill isn’t always what you think it is…

 

 

Technical

Event Sourcing made Simple
[kickstarter.engineering]

tl;dr: Event Sourcing is to data what Git is to code. We’ve implemented a minimal event sourcing framework at Kickstarter to power d.rip. It’s simple and it has made our life so much better! Read on!



Automated Company Keyword Extraction
[eng.datafox]

Across all company lists created by DataFox users, approximately 40% utilize the keyword filter. Given this high usage rate, we decided to focus on improving the result set for any given keyword search.



Differentiable Plasticity: A New Method for Learning to Learn
[eng.uber]

To give our artificial agents similar abilities, Uber AI Labs has developed a new method called differentiable plasticity that lets us train the behavior of plastic connections through gradient


 

News/Other

How Game Theory Explains the Leaks in the Trump White House
[newyorker]

In 1950, Albert Tucker, a mathematician at Princeton, gave a talk to a group of Stanford psychologists about the rapidly developing science known as game theory. To illustrate one of his arguments, he invented a story about two criminals who had been arrested for a crime they had committed jointly.



Are My Friends Really My Friends?
[nytimes]

The quantity of human interactions has increased, but the quality is arguably diminished.



Four Women Accuse New York’s Attorney General of Physical Abuse
[newyorker]

Eric Schneiderman has raised his profile as a voice against sexual misconduct. Now, after suing Harvey Weinstein, he faces a #MeToo reckoning of his own.



How killing the nuclear deal could make it easier for Iran to pursue the bomb in secret
[washingtonpost]

In the three years since the start of the Iran nuclear agreement, a cluster of buildings near the Austrian capital has served as an unblinking eye over Tehran’s most sensitive factories and research labs. But perhaps not for much longer.



Man Allegedly Used Change Of Address Form To Move UPS Headquarters To His Apartment
[npr]

As federal crimes go, this one seems to have been ridiculously easy to pull off.



Artificial Intelligence Is Cracking Open the Vatican's Secret Archives
[theatlantic]

A new project untangles the handwritten texts in one of the world’s largest historical collections.



The First Saudi-Iranian War Will Be an Even Fight
[foreignpolicy]

What happens when the Saudi military's massive budget meets Iran's mastery of asymmetric warfare? Here's a preview.



‘I had to guard an empty room’: the rise of the pointless job
[theguardian]

Copying and pasting emails. Inventing meaningless tasks for others. Just looking busy. Why do so many people feel their work is completely unnecessary?
 


Think innovation will save the economy? That’s probably an illusion.
[washingtonpost]

We now have a new paper from economist Robert J. Gordon of Northwestern University that seeks to answer a great puzzle of our time: “Why has economic growth slowed when innovation appears to be accelerating?” In the process, Gordon illuminates a dispute between the Trump administration (which thinks growth can be increased) and its critics (who are dubious).



The NSA is Not Made of Magic
[schneier]

I am regularly asked what is the most surprising thing about the Snowden NSA documents. It's this: the NSA is not made of magic.



Impress the Algorithm. Get $250,000
[bloomberg]

A venture fund's experiment in human-free investing could alleviate bias. Or make it worse.
 

 

Books/Podcasts/Videos

The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact
[goodreads]

The New York Times bestselling authors of Switch and Made to Stick explore why certain brief experiences can jolt us and elevate us and change us—and how we can learn to create such extraordinary moments in our life and work.



Crazy/Genius
[theatlantic]

Big questions and provocative conclusions about technology and culture. A new podcast from The Atlantic with Derek Thompson.



Why sports sound better in your living room
[youtube]


Audio engineers are the unsung heroes of the live sports broadcast.