Lukáš Linhart

Friday Readings

written by Almad

This is part of Friday Readings series: commented readings I find worth sharing. If you want more, follow me on Pocket.

Technology

Why I No Longer Use MVC Frameworks questions the current standard of using MVC everywhere. It remains to be seen whether proposed alternative called SAM (State Action Model) will gain any traction, but I welcome the push to simplicity. Article spawned dedicated SAM page worth exploring as well. Especially for people in the functional / reactive / event sourcing camp, this may be worth modeling around.

Sandi Metz arguing about the cost of abstraction vs. duplication sounds to me like identifying Architecture Astronauts

Leadership and Company Building

Dan Luu again; Normalization of deviance in software: how broken practices become standard is basically an analysis of how company culture is engraved. I can only concur the adaptability of human mind on what "standard" is, totally not exclusive to software. When you are at that stage, fighting inertia gets really hard.

Totally don't skip linked paper The normalization of deviance in healthcare delivery from an environment where mistakes mean that people die.

The Tools Early-Stage Startups Actually Need to Understand Their Customers gives fair overview of tools that help you turn your users into customers.

World around us

Kenneth Reitz writes on his mental illness, and it's a courageous and great writeup everyone should read. Unfortunately having more than a few of people with mental health problems, I think there is a lot of need for more writeups like this one and much more awareness.

The Full History of Board Games in case you like them. Had no idea they start to get mainstream.

Published on 2016-03-04

Being Idea Killer

written by Almad

Trade-off: exploring possibilities vs. focusing on getting current objective done.

Gist is best captured by Tim Fishburn's Chief Idea Killer cartoon that resonates: I have a lot of awesome ideas, but nobody listens to me, especially the people above me. Somehow, I found myself on the other side.

There are two extremes, both of them hurtful: either you stay too focused on your current goal without questioning if it still makes sense to go into that direction, or you are changing your direction every other day and nothing actually gets "done done". In this case, analysis paralysis is your friend as well, together with "we don't have enough data to decide".

In order to be successful, generating ides should have two phases: analysis/divergence (exploring possibilities and looking at possible solutions, creatively looking for new approaches) and synthesis/convergence (crafting a plan from explored possibilities and agreeing on a plan). The key is to know in which phase the particular project or idea is and to communicate it properly.

The last part is the common problem: if convergence is done in different group than people actually executing the plan (or doing the convergence), they may easily feel missed out.

There is another word for "no" focus. It is the hardest currency available. Everybody begs you for one and giving it inevitably limits what you can do with the rest.

Make it shorter

I found the right balance in having explicit stages, keeping iterations short and insisting on done state. I found most people tend to use divergence state of the next project as a form of procrastination from the current one and then using the urgency of the upcoming project to finally bury the unpopular tasks.

Not adding more tasks to the queue helps to push yourself.

Having focus cycle gives you room to say "no", and to finish.

Keeping it short means everyone can wait with their value proposals and don't try to disturb the focus.

But when you are in, the ship is sailing. Help it reach the haven quicker, and let's talk about the next stop there.

Published on 2016-03-01

Friday Readings

written by

This is part of Friday Readings series: commented readings I find worth sharing. If you want more, follow me on Pocket.

Technology

Comparing problem-solving and problem-gardening developers as nomads vs. settlers. I disagree in a lot of points, but those behaviour patterns are worth thinking about.

Why MLs are better than Haskell because of modules from the perspective of functionaldom.

Algorithms are taking over our world and lives, quite literally. In Pakistan, we use machine learning to decide whom to kill, and I expect more of those to appear in the future. Big problem: nobody actually knows all the variables involved, and if you don't know which properties are measured, you can easily be misattributed based on similarity that looks like nonsense if you know broader context (that the algorithm doesn't have).

Leadership and Company Building

Good description on the difference between Manager, Director and VP in terms of expectations (not necessarily titles). Also good guidance in terms of "what to learn next".

On importance of integrations and implementations if you are a startup with enterprise customers. Can be also summed up as "get your hands dirty until you can afford not to".

If you are into how our mind works, 52 Concepts To Add To Your Cognitive Toolkit is a good summary / miniportal to look at. And related to that, some insight into our System 1 aggressive responses.

World around us

The Secret Life of Tumblr Teens gives a good insight into how certain groups use Internet. Some things have changed, some not; introverts and "teen outsiders" always prefer pseudonymous environment; everyone is looking for social validation; creating something worth attention of other people is starting to be part of your identity and if you decide to trade it for money, you may lose both.

Putting information in the hands of people can save lives quite literally. This is intriguing story of dedication, focus, effort and happy ending; story of how one mutation in combination with another produces dramatically different results in the body, the self-diagnostics and thorough research.

Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn fame apparently views most of the world as trade-offs, view that resonates with me a lot. His co-worker shares his notes about the ones he saw, and how Reid decided about them.

Waking Up to the Reality of Fascism isn't good reading because of Trump, but because it properly identifies the danger of fascism on more relatable events than century ago (warning: you have to filter out significant libertarian bias). In similar vain, on "how this was possible" I'd strongly recommend Milton Mayer's They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45.

Published on 2016-02-26