In the last post, I shared the books that I found worth recommending that I read in 2022. The next post shares podcasts that I found valuable. In this (longer) post, I will share links to the blog posts from 2022 that I think are recommendation worthy. I’ve broken it into sections based on content.
- Company/Team Culture
- Remote Work/Return to the office
- Web Technologies
- Web3/Decentralized Web/Metaverse
- Software Engineering
- Machine Learning
- Building Communities
- Music Industry
As a CTO, I spend a lot of my time thinking about building effective technology organizations, and I’m always looking for new approaches or lessons in the space.
The pandemic has caused nearly two years of collective trauma. Many people are near a breaking point.
An airplane passenger is accused of attacking a flight attendant and breaking bones in her face. Three New York City tourists assaulted a restaurant host who…
If you are wondering why people are such jerks now…
How Flat Should An Organization Be?
Musk Restructures Tesla… Many books and articles have documented the relationship…
I didn’t necessarily agree with everything here, but I think it is worth reading if you are responsible for organizational structure at any level.
How HashiCorp Works
Learn about the How HashiCorp Works project and why there are links to internal HashiCorp materials in this article. Our…
I like the movement in making how companies work transparent. It is useful to read as a leader and a great recruiting tool for those companies. I always wonder how much reality matches the shared documents. If you know you will share with the public, you are likely to be a bit more aspirational than actual, but it is still useful to read.
Medium sees more employee exits after CEO publishes ‘culture memo’ – TechCrunchhttps://techcrunch.com/2021/06/03/medium-exodus-culture-memo/
by Natasha Mascarenhas @nmasc_
By now, every CEO should know better than to publish a “Culture memo” to address employee behavior. Have any of them gone over well?
Netflix to Its Techies: Shut Up
by Zoë Schiffer
The sign that Netflix’s culture had irreversibly started to…
The genius of Netflix as an employer was that it has always been very upfront about who it is and how it works, with the understanding that anyone taking a job there knows what they are getting into. This works great until the culture starts to change, so this isn’t about an individual employee being unhappy. It will be interesting to see how Netflix navigates this (or doesn’t).
Culture as a Product: How HubSpot Built its Famed Startup Culture
Around Boston and beyond, HubSpot is known for its strong entrepreneurial culture . The company has received many awards over the years and was recently named…
Hubspot is an interesting company. Having read Disrupted (https://www.amazon.com/Disrupted-Dan-Lyons/dp/0316306096) I am a bit skeptical of how they talk about themselves, but of course, one always should be. That said, even if the public face of companies’ cultures is more aspirational than real, there is still something to be learned. I didn’t decide that the 37 Signals books were worthless because when under stress, the company didn’t live the values they proclaimed.
Bolt Loaned Employees Thousands to Buy Stock—Then Laid Them Off
by Condé Nast
The challenge of startup options is that employees rarely are allowed to sell them. When a startup has been around a long time, and startup options are starting to expire, but employees have had the liquidity event necessary to have ready cash to exercise their options, what are they to do? A company I was in also considered a loan program for employees but decided it was potentially problematic. Bolt learned that lesson the hard way, and their former employees are worse off for it.
A big 32-hour workweek test is underway. Supporters think it could help productivity
by Wynne Davis
I keep hearing that the 4-day workweek is imminent. Maybe someday, but I doubt it will be soon.
Etsy Engineering | Leading your engineering team through an unexpected…
By Najla Elmachtoub May 26, 2022
This article was originally written for LeadDev . In tech, we talk a lot about failing fast: implementing small, incremental…
I talk a lot about failure, failing fast, etc… This article is an actual case study in how to recover when your team has a big failure. I always like real-life stories instead of vague opinion pieces.
Career Development: What It Really Means to be a Manager, Director, or VP
It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of big-company HR practices. I’m more of the First Break all the Rules type. Despite my general skepticism of many standard…
There are tons of posts and books about being a line manager. There are substantially less about levels beyond that. I’m always looking for informative articles or books about more senior leadership levels. This was a decent one.
Tech’s Talent Wars Have Come Back to Bite It
by Erin Griffith
What Tech People Should Learn From This Era of Excess
by Martin Peers
We’re in the Finding Out part of the FAFO scale-up tech boom/bust cycle. We didn’t learn in 2001 or 2008. We probably won’t learn now, either.
Twitter is suffering from mad bro disease
by Rupert Goodwins Mon 14 Nov 2022 // 09:30 UTC
There is a euphemism in rocketry often heard at SpaceX – Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly. A catastrophic explosion, in other words. Until now, it was not…
The speed of Elon’s decline from “genius who can see a better future and bring it about” to “asshole snake oil salesman with a narcissistic personality disorder” was sudden by any measure. How do we keep people like this from ruining our favorite apps/sites? By keeping ownership and infrastructure distributed…
Remote Work/Return to the office
For the last couple of years, the push and pull of remote vs hybrid vs back-in-the-office has been a major story in the work press. I’ve already made my decision that I’m going to keep working remote and will choose companies that allow me to do that, but in all of this discussion I’m also looking to understand how other companies are approaching things.
Why workers are calling BS on leaders about returning to the office
by Kimberly Merriman and David Greenway and Tamara Montag-Smit
There have been SO MANY TAKES about returning to the office post-pandemic, but I found this one decent.
Remote-working jobs: Disaster looms as managers refuse to listen | ZDNet
by Owen Hughes
This may be losing some of its value as it ages, but speaking as an all-remote company CTO, if you don’t listen to your employees about how they want to work, I’ll be happy to take them off your hands.
The Future of Work Isn’t Fancy Tech. It’s Remote Work and Smarter Management
The remote/office debate is dying down any time soon. There is more pressure on returning to offices now, but there is also more resistance. Given the layoffs, employees may not feel empowered to resist the call to return to the office, so maybe that will gain ground.
The Worst Part of Working From Home Is Now Haunting Reopened Offices
by Alison Green
Few people are as knee-deep in our work-related anxieties and sticky office politics…
If a primary driver for bringing people back to the office is better collaboration, you may want to consider how your hybrid remote/office system is set up.
How to embrace asynchronous communication for remote work
How to get started with async GitLab believes that…
The secret to successful remote work (especially if the team is spread across time zones) is moving to be asynchronous first. The companies that have been distributed for long periods and have scaled have embraced this, but it is harder than it seems, and many companies struggle. Even those that have always been distributed. This GitLab guide is very helpful.
I spent much of 2022 learning more about WebAssembly as we launched PyScript at Anaconda. I think that it has some amazing potential and is one of the most important technologies of the last few years.
The rise of WebAssembly
by Scott Carey
WebAssembly Concepts – WebAssembly | MDN
This article explains the concepts behind how WebAssembly works including its goals, the problems it solves, and how it runs inside the web…
If you are in technology, you need to understand WebAssembly and how it can be used. It can potentially be more transformative than many of the technologies we depend on for software development today.
A short history of Flash & the forgotten Flash Website movement (when websites were “the new emerging artform”)
This post is a transcript of a talk I gave at UCSC. Thank you for inviting me! I’m sharing it here because It’s a GOOD summary of the history of a technology…
If you were active on the web in the 90s and early 2000s, you will remember the explosion of massively creative web experiences propelled by the Macromedia/Adobe technology Flash. While you can still create those kinds of experiences using modern web technologies, it now requires a level of coding expertise that puts the programmers in the driver’s seat instead of the artist/designer and requires a team instead of a single creative person.
The genius of Flash was that it made complex interactivity and visuals easy for many artists to create, and the result was beautiful chaos. The web is just a bit more boring for the death of Flash.
Spotify’s grand plan to monetize its open source Backstage project via premium pluginshttps://techcrunch.com/2022/12/15/spotifys-plan-to-monetize-its-open-source-backstage-developer-project/
by Paul Sawers
Backstage was created when I was at Spotify. Even in its earliest days, it solved many problems for us in a massively micro-service architecture. It’s cool to see how it has developed over the years, and it was also cool to see that Spotify had open-sourced it. I think it is interesting that Spotify is doing this experiment, but also disappointed because I know of at least one company formed by ex-Spotifiers that were trying to build companies on top of Backstage.
Google: The Model Your Site Was Built On Is No Longer Feasible
SEO is tough, and Google can accidentally kill your site, and if it happens, they will tell you it is your fault.
Why Elon Musk Is Blowing Up Twitter’s Business
by James Surowiecki
Hours before Elon Musk closed his deal to buy Twitter, he published an open letter to advertisers. Musk knew that big companies, in particular, were anxious about…
“Free speech” and an advertising-based revenue model are incompatible.
When blockchain emerged, I spent some effort to really understand it. Then I realized that it was a technology searching for a use case fueling a tulip-like baseless speculative market. When Web3 started to emerge, I delayed judgment until I could understand it better. While I believe that there are people who believe that it can fuel a world where creators have more ways to be paid for their work and other such lofty goals, the practicality of it is that very little of those schemes require the blockchain, and most of the people in the space are just trying to make a quick buck before the tulip market collapses.
Web3 is Bullshit
by Stephen Diehl
You’ll probably hear the fuzzy term web3 bandied about in the press if you read tech journalism. Sprinkled around, all these articles are all manner of…
The title says it all.
Crypto and Twitter Are Imploding at the Same Time and It Is Glorious
Many good takes: eating popcorn, and watching the crypto bros burn down their empire.
5 key lessons after a week on Mastodon
by Sandra Gutierrez G.
I’ve been on Mastodon since 2017, but my usage really increased since the acquisition of Twitter. There have been a lot of stories talking about how people are abandoning Mastodon, but even if it doesn’t become what Twitter was, it is still a vibrant community.
There’s No Fixing Meta’s Metaverse, Scrap It, Start Over
by Paul Tassi
I spent 6 years working on the metaverse at Microsoft during the 90s. While the technology has drastically improved, the reason we didn’t get the metaverse back then is that no one could figure out something to do in the metaverse except shoot each other or have sex with each other. All the folks working on metaverse now have learned nothing from the multiple generations of attempts that preceded them. There is still a smug belief that “if you build it, they will come.” The problem is that there is still nothing to do once they show up.
The Battle for the Soul of the Web
by Kaitlyn Tiffany
If these problems are intrinsically linked to consolidated tech giants like Meta, Google, and Amazon, why not embrace technologies that decentralize power? This has become a key issue for Brewster Kahle, the 61-year-old founder of the Internet Archive…
Having participated in various forums and working groups for decentralized web stuff over the last few decades, I’m consistently excited by the possibilities and enthusiasm of the folks who work towards those goals and disappointed by their naivete about what people are willing to put up with and how commercial entities are incentivized to coopt and pollute the technologies that do gain some momentum.
Your organization should run its own Mastodon server
by Martin Fowler
Whether you are a large company, a political party, an international news agency, an NGO or a government institution, you should seriously consider running your…
What is the point of having a decentralized web if you don’t own your own part of it?
Twitter Turmoil: We Need an Open Protocol for Public Discourse
by Richard MacManus
Do we want to stay on a social network that shows such callous disregard for its own people? That is the question many of us have been asking as news hit this…
Protocols > Platforms
Maybe it’s time we re-think docs
by Kathy Korevec
GitHub Docs are open source, and you can contribute to the project by visiting the GitHub repo . You’ve probably heard…
I liked this approach to documentation.
Agile Projects Have Become Waterfall Projects With Sprints
by Ben “The Hosk” Hosking
All the agility has been sucked out of agile projects Doing agile is not the same as being agile Agile projects have become bloated, lazy waterfall projects…
One of my biggest pet peeves is people deciding that a bad experience they had with a poorly implemented framework or process must mean that that framework or process is clearly bad and that anyone who had a good experience is lying. So many of the “I was involved in a poorly run agile project and so agile must all be a lie” or “my company tried to do the Spotify model, and it didn’t work; therefore, it must not work at Spotify either” type posts just show the ignorance of their authors and nothing else. While I was worried this article was just another one of those, the author is concerned more about poor agile processes and not agile itself. He even gives some good advice. So worth a read.
Mozrt, a Deep Learning Recommendation System Empowering Walmart Store Associates with a Personalized Learning Experience
by Qixin Wang Nov 4
We developed Mozrt, a deep learning recommendation system for Walmart Academy App, the training content portal for Walmart store and Supply Chain associates.
Walmart built a massive technology team in its fight with Amazon. It is good to see them sharing their work.
Will Julia surpass Python in popularity?
by Sreejani Bhattacharyya
Short answer, probably not, but it will be interesting to see Julia evolve.
How to play with the GPT-3 language model
by Simon Willison
ChatGPT and the Google and Microsoft chatbots get all the attention now, but before that was GPT3, which also remains the only LLM with the ability to train on your own corpora.
Why Communities Are the New Business Currency | HackerNoon
July 6th 2022
We’re no longer content with one-way interactions with businesses. We want to feel like…
If you can’t tell from the previous post, I spent some time updating myself on building virtual communities last year. This is a good starting place for folks looking to understand the value.
Your words are wasted
It needs to be said again, perhaps this time more strongly. Your Blog is The Engine of Community . Dammit. Blog More You are not blogging enough.…
Scott Hanselman thinks developers should be blogging more, and when they do blog, it should be on their own platforms. And he’s right.
I’ve been involved in music as a musician, radio DJ, label owner, and streaming software creator since I was 15. I was delighted to rejoin the music industry in December when I took on the role of CTO at DistroKid.
With 100K tracks uploaded a day, a longtail music cull is coming – Hypebot
by Music Business
Lucian Grainge doesn’t like that people aren’t listening to Universal Artists as much, so he’s putting pressure on the streaming services to remove content he doesn’t think is good. The problem is deciding what content is good and what content is bad. Streamers already remove fraudulent content. So, who decides if your band shouldn’t be on Spotify because you might take a stream away from Justin Bieber (who himself was discovered because he uploaded his songs to YouTube). Gatekeepers are all about protecting their interests at the cost of innovation and getting others a shot.
Why Amazon VP Steve Boom just made the entire music catalog free with Prime
by Nilay Patel
It’s never been clear how much Amazon cares about music streaming as a business. It’s always been an also-ran in the streaming wars that only has listeners because it is an add-on to Prime and is the default service with Alexa. Amazon hasn’t invested much in the service, but maybe that is changing now…