Taking a bath outside while worm-mushrooms sing to you and steal your clothes

From Dungeon Magazine #41, May/June 1993.

Relative to your interests

  • Sometimes, Lipstick Is Exactly What a Pig Needs! - Abby Bangser, Syntasso & Whitney Lee, VMware - How can you start to take a design/UX-driven approach to building your platform (you know, your pile of Kubernetes stuff to pull it all together for app developers)? Whitney Lee & Abby Bangser have a good mind-model to think about designing the interfaces (how people use parts of that stack). Thinking through how you design your platform “interfaces” for app developers is especially important if you’re building your own stack instead of buying one of the already integrated ones.

  • “Designing for Success: UX Principles for Internal Developer Platforms,” Kirsten Schwarzer, KubeCon EU, March, 2024. - Good tour of applying design-think to platforms. That is, what do designers do on platform engineering teams. Some items: (1) Do at least one hour long user interview a week. This gives you an idea of what your users (developers) are doing, struggle with, how your improvements are helping or not, and give you data to decide what to do next. The last is especially useful for fending off The Boss and others who have suggestions that are not helpful: show them the data about what is, at least that you do things driven by analysis, not hunch. (2) Progressive disclosure - only show what people need for a given talk, not everything the tool can do. Can help with cognitive (over)load. (3) Errors are a good source for finding what’s wrong.

  • “Boosting Developer Platform Teams with Product Thinking,” Samantha Coffman, KubeCon EU, March 2024. - A lot of good commentary and advice on product managing the platform, some techniques, mindsets, etc. Chief among them: focus on the value/problem you’re solving first, then how you solve it second…also trying to quantify what the problem is so you can measure if it’s fixed, and prioritize it.

  • State of Platform Maturity in the Norwegian Public Sector - Hans Kristian Flaatten - If you’re interested in how the Norwegian government is using cloud native stuff (like Kubernetes), this is a survey readout circa 2023/2024. The Q&A section is pretty great for walking through the usual concerns for a platform, especially compliance/governance.

  • Ex-technology companies. - “Organizations that spun up dedicated in-house build and deployment infrastructure have fixed engineering costs to maintain that infrastructure, and the math that convinced executives earlier–some sort of argument about the multiplicative effect on the impact of other engineers–doesn’t make as much sense anymore. But often you can’t just stop maintaining those investments, because that would require slowing down to decommission the existing systems, and ex-technology companies have little capacity for maintenance. Instead they’re focused on survival or roleplaying the motions of rapid product development despite actually spending the large majority of their time on maintenance.” // This is pretty great! Finally, a business strategy model for deciding build vs. buy. Look at the costs of building, running, and maintaining your own stack over (whatever, let’s pick a number) 3 to 5 years. Is it higher than buying, assuming revenue is single digit growth? Put another way, with software, it’s the maintenance that kills your numbers. // Also, to ponder: “They no longer believe they can change the business' outcomes through R&D efforts, and as a result they shouldn’t include engineering as a major stakeholder in business decisions.”

  • “Analogpunk, or, Tools, Shoes and Misery,” Bruce Sterling SXSW 2024 - He has a skill for turning mundane objects into lectures and relating them to culture. Put in direct link to MP3.

  • How B2B Organizations Can Win With Younger Buyers - What the kids are up to. This feels like a description of youth of all generations. As the kids age in power, they both get tired, have their own kids, or otherwise just get tired and want to delegate, have help, or just coast. Until then: so much energy! So much flat hierarchy! So much energy! So much caring!

  • Untranslatable - “We’ll let him do a trial run for a week first, to see what kind of meat we have in the tub.”

  • 101 things I would tell my self from 10 years ago - “You are high in neuroticism, a trait that correlates with worse social relationships and an unhappier life. Sorry; there’s not much you can do about it other than be aware of it. Its saving grace is that it means you are attuned to what is wrong in the world and driven to fix it.” // Typical listical, but, sure, some fun stuff.

  • The Justice Department Accuses Apple Of Smartphone Monopoly - ’When you’re as big as Apple, there’s a target on your back. The company’s market capitalization flirts with three trillion dollars, but more importantly, it commands a resounding 60%+ share of the smartphone market in the U.S. Therein lies the rub – our phones are the primary portal into how we live every moment of our waking (and sleeping) lives. What Apple chooses to allow or disallow has outsized implications for every provider hoping to get in through the portal and play a role in the digitally addicted lives of American consumers.’ And: “Apple’s obsession with its customer experience leads it to control the experience tightly, make decisions on its customers' behalf, and maintain an ecosystem that consistently delivers on the experience the brand promises. That philosophy limits choices for consumers. To that end, there is no dearth of people who are irked by this handcuffing and choose not to frolic in Apple’s walled garden. Then there are others who are part of the Apple family precisely because of the carefully managed ecosystem’s ease of use and intuitiveness.”

  • A few thoughts on the Apple DOJ antitrust case, from someone who isn’t riding his first rodeo - “In organisations that are under antitrust pressure, ideas that might get put forward are held back, because people would rather not spend the time having them checked through legal and compliance teams. Acquisitions which a company might make don’t happen, because it would rather not appear rapacious or that it’s stifling nascent competition. And contractual clauses with partners can’t be as aggressive in locking them out of doing business in a way which doesn’t favour you.”

  • AI means it’s Springtime for open source, says CNCF - “Bold words, alongside a prediction from the keynote stage that the cloud-native development market will be worth $2.3 trillion worldwide by 2029, up from $547 billion in 2022 – a 320% increase in less than a decade.” // Seems like a lot, especially when IDC forecasts the Kubernetes (“Container Infrastructure Software”) market to be $5.56bn in 2027. But, if you look at the CNCF “landscape” is basically all of infrastructure software now (a rewrite of the existing stack used to run applications), I mean…sure?

  • From Here to GitOps and Back Again - GitOps as a feature of CI/CD.

  • How People Are Really Using GenAI - It makes jargon-based work more accessible, and complex things easier to understand. Also, just some everyday uses. And: an alternative to the garbage filled results you get from search, a way to filter the Internet. // “just 10% use ChatGPT which enjoys 60% market share regularly”

  • Late Night With the Devil: why people are boycotting the indie horror - “I’m not going to boycott an indie movie and the work of everyone else for what amounts to 20 seconds of AI title cards, because that doesn’t help artists either”

  • Exit, Voice, and Loyalty - “The Exit, Voice and Loyalty model states that members of an organization, whether a business, a nation or any other form of human grouping, have essentially two possible responses when they perceive that the organization is demonstrating a decrease in quality or benefit to the member: they can exit (withdraw from the relationship); or, they can voice (attempt to repair or improve the relationship through communication of the complaint, grievance or proposal for change).”

  • First custom brand font for TJ Maxx built by McCann Design - ‘The Maxx typeface has a family of four weights and is apparently “chock-full of little gems in the Open Type features”. Typing out two X’s will bring up the option of the famous XX ligature that appears in the logo. There are also alternative shorter glyphs for the I and J, “to close the leading more naturally in tight typesetting”.’

  • Battle of the Redis forks? - Commercialized open source is a mess right now…for the past 3 years. Like other types of software, cloud has really been, uh, “transformative.”

  • Content Editing: How To Handle Major Rewrites - Pretty detailed guide to editing (corporate) content that isn’t good enough.

  • Platform Maturity Model with Abby Bangser - Good framing: providing internal (dev) services to internal (dev) customers. (Abby has been doing a great job, devrel wise, in the past year+.)

  • The Unbundling of ChatGPT (Feb 2024 Recap) - AI is a feature, not a product.

  • KubeCon + CloudNativeCon - if you build it, your customers might not come. Why? - Platform as a product!

We’ll tell you what’s up with my work now. All the cloud, platform engineering, Java, development, cloud native, yadda-yadda you know you like stuff. April 3rd, coming up soon! You can watch in LinkedIn or YouTube. Register (for free!) at one of those two and you’ll get notified when it’s started and reminded after it happened.


  • “Full Stack IT Elimination.”

  • I’m sorry for your loss/thank you for your service/thank you, please drive through.

  • “toddler-led walks” Here.

  • “Richard Stallman, too. He is our hero. Stallman does not visit our Brain Dump hackerspace, because he refuses to use Google Maps on principle.” bruces.

  • “I don’t believe in most recycling. I may believe in recycling cans, though I know it takes much higher heat to smelt. I may believe in non-intermingled paper pulp recycling. I may believe in glass recycling. I say may believe because I don’t know enough about it. It is possible it is all a sham. I do believe in French wine and the money it requires to buy it so I took a load of cans to my local recycling center on the way home from the swapmeet.” Coco’s Dispatch.

  • “It’s so quiet, I can hear my hair grow.” Here.

  • “Judy says the problem with lentil loaf is the word ‘loaf.’” Alex.

  • “not an expert on the day of the week.” RoTL, #530

  • “Essentially, level five is utopia.” Cloud Native Maturity Model.

  • She is the only person who is more me than me.

Korean-flavored, American Soul food sold in the Netherlands, delivered by Internet-enabled courier. Back when my peers were throwing bricks into McDonald’s windows, they had no idea what was hurtling towards them - some real cyberpunk shit, man. Now, we’re the ones ordering this stuff. Plus: it’s damn good chicken. Their Korean chicken-fried cauliflower is amazing too.


The solo D&D with AI has been rocky of late. I’ve hit the problem of the AI not being able to move to the next action. It lingers on a sort of “what will happen next?” cliff. Instead, I’m looking for it to take that active roll of moving the plot forward that a DM would.

I’ve been looking at the Plot Unfolding Machine (PUM) for some inspiration. It seems to be built around this problem in solo role playing. Instead of the usual oracle mechanics, injecting random plot twists, and inspiration for the solo-player coming up with a new story…PUM tries to get closer to saying exactly what happens next.

Also, I’ve tried Gemini Pro (I have a two month free trial). I don’t have the ability to upload files (because I’m on the EU…or just can’t find it), which is very limiting: you have to start all over. I thought the huge context window would help, but I’m not sure.

All in all, I haven’t been able to capture that wonder and awe of the first week of doing AI driven solo role playing. The work continues!,, @cote,,