Tech Debt and Shipwrecks

Hecate Fortnightly

2018-04-26

Ahoy there loyal readers. Apologies for the delay in this edition of the Hecate Fortnightly, but yesterday was ANZAC day and I was busy binge-watching The West Wing as a kind of MAGA palate cleanser. Enjoy the links and see you again in a fortnight. As always, feedback is very welcome, just reply to this email!

Management

My Manager Toolkit – John Cline
A handy bunch of spreadsheets and the like to make the nitty gritty parts of managing go easier.

Beyond Black Box Management
An interesting thesis on how the next generation of management theory will be much more about psychology and effectively managing how much attention a knowledge worker can bring to bear on their tasks.

How Patreon Levels Engineers
If you're designing a career ladder for your team, here's another useful datapoint of how other teams are doing. Just don't cargo cult it into your team.

How To Decide What To Work On - Daniel Gross
More startup advice than management but didn't want to make a subheading for one post. Helpful advice on picking what to build in the MVP early stage of a startup.

Programming

Making Wrong Code Look Wrong
An old post on coding standards and the misunderstood hungarian notation and how your stylistic choices in code standards should help code review.

Designing very large (JavaScript) applications
One of my favourite talks from JSConfAU has been transcribed now. I really like the interplay between dependency inversion and generated code he advocates.

Mathematics I Use
A list of all the kinds of maths that you might use in the course of your computer programming career.

Migrations: the sole scalable fix to tech debt.
A really good post on how to handle the transition from old broken technical choices to newer, yet to be called broken, technical choices properly.

A Taxonomy of Tech Debt
How Riot Games categorises and prioritises the different kinds of tech debt in their software.

Re: Configuring sql.DB for Better Performance : KLabGames Tech Blog
Pleasingly specific advice on database connection settings in Go.

Design

Pitfalls of Card UIs
All the common challenges you'll hit designing and building a card UI and tips for dealing with them.

Refactoring UI: Bad About
Very watchable screencast of how to radically improve a web apps design without deep strucural change. Good for devs doing their own design work, the before/after and discussion made a lot of design concepts more accessible to non-designers.

Culture

The Book No One Read
Turns out Stanislaw Lem (one of my favourite science fiction authors) predicted a lot of current tech in a book only recently tranlsated. I will be reading that book.

21 Books You Don’t Have to Read
A guide to skipping the popular classic in a genre and instead read the lesser-known "better" examples.

Solved: A Decades-Old Ansel Adams Mystery
Using maths, maps, and astronomy to figure out the precise time and place a famous landscape photo was taken.

What we say vs what we mean: what is conversational implicature?
A short primer on how what's not said says so much.

Nautical

Mystery shipwreck found off West Australian coast a thrill for mapping team
Title says it all.

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