Links and strange finds from the World Wide Web

Hello there!


  • “I spent my early childhood in a 15-minute city. It was called the 1950s.” Here.

  • “a cybercriminal selling data from these breaches told its researchers that they had been able to compromise a Snowflake employee’s ServiceNow account using credentials stolen via infostealer malware, bypassing SSO provider OKTA.” // Security in 2024. What a bowl of dropped pasta. Here.

  • Money is real: “Engineering leaders, especially at large companies, are managing a team of a couple hundred people. That team might cost $50 to 100 million in salary a year. So as a CEO, when you hear from your eng leaders that ‘Engineering is an art, and you can’t predict how it’s going to work,’ it’s frustrating. They’re sitting there thinking, ‘They’re telling me this is art, but I’m spending $100 million on this art each year.’ That’s not reassuring.” Via.

  • “suddenly everything is a bit of a glitched-out swirl” Warren.

  • “CEOs holding a chip on stage in 2024 is like the latest TikTok trend.” Brian.

  • A nursing home as a refrigerator to keep people until they die. A Man With Two Faces.

  • “my trusty AI-free sunglasses.” Bag check.

  • Sunday shopping list: “Bike nut. 48 Bottom of chair leg felt pads.”

  • Nancy Barbato Sinatra died in 2018 at the age of 101.”

  • And: “I can remember times when she would be on the phone with her ex-husband [Frank Sinatra], and the next thing I knew some eggplant was coming out of the freezer to thaw so that she could make him some sandwiches when he showed up.”

  • “the single finest collection of mood songs ever recorded” This.

  • They’re like the hippies of Northern Europe.

  • I only use slide builds for jokes.

  • “Such risk, so diversify, much portfolio theory.” The Crux #96.

Relative to your interests

  • Urgent/Optimistic Meeting Matrix - So many business bullshit terms here!

  • How (some) good corporate engineering blogs are written - Fast to post, few approvals, technical peer review. // My experience: in general, you’re better to post on your own, and let whoever owns the blog figure out if they want to report it, rewrite it, or link to it. Besides: better to own your content and have to be part of your own “brand.”

  • I have a beef with “content” - I think what they mean is “the cost of buying content is near zero.” Creating it has always been expensive, and always will be. Creators just are underpaid. // “I would argue, that the cost of creating content is not close to zero.”

  • Developer Experience: What not to do - In summary: don’t be enterprise software. Less crass: be easy/instant to install and run, and have good docs that explain how to do [I’d say 2 to 3 example apps/uses]. Even better: be a SaaS, at least have that as an option. All of this advice is pretty difficult for a full on, private cloud platform to do. You can’t just “install a cloud” in a few minutes and mess around with it. Let alone, like, multi-region, etc. I think. Maybe someone could figure it out? That would actually be a good sign: if your platform is easy to install for demo’ing, it will probably be easy to install for reals.

  • 3 traits of an entrepreneurial mindset - Yes, and…how can executives setup a system where behaving like this is possible, encourages, and continuously improves? That type of work is often bundled under the phrase “psychological safety” which can come off as too…humane? A system like lean presents as more cold-blooded and analytical: something you can manage in spreadsheets. You know, “business friendly.” I don’t know: need something here.

  • Against optimization - The idea that you need slack in the system intuitively makes sense, but it feels hard to prove ahead of time. The powers that be have to believe that things will go wrong, but they’re usually so focused on things going right (sometimes hubris, sometimes too much trust-by-ignorance) and pre-optimize. // “A truly optimized, and thus efficient, system is only possible with near-perfect knowledge about the system, together with the ability to observe and implement a response. For a system to be reliable, on the other hand, there have to be some unused resources to draw on when the unexpected happens, which, well, happens predictably.”

  • How to build a successful agile development culture – and why your business needs one - An overview of agile development I co-wrote. The most distinct thing about the Pivotal Labs (now Tanzu Labs) methodology is following XP. The second most distinct thing is balanced teams. The third: actually following the practices.

  • Cloud Native App Platforms: New Research Shows Struggles and Hope - Building your own (Kubernetes) platform takes a long time: “61% of respondents indicated that at least one of their platforms is custom-built, the journey from concept to implementation is far from smooth. Alarmingly, 41% of these organizations took more than a year to develop a minimum viable product.”

  • Study finds 1/4 of bosses hoped RTO would make staff quit - Also, people on the office feel the need to “look busy.”

  • 9 Questions to Help You Figure Out Why You’re Burned Out - This is concise and good. Yes, and: what to do? How do you determine when you are “too good” of a worker, sacrificing yourself for the good of the company without proper compensation? “Too good” here means that you yield a high profit to the company. What is the proper profit? What are the morals of the company (which is, really, just people) taking too high? The employee? Should you quit a six figure job because you’re burned out? Then you have the stress of falling from the middle, especially when you’re older and need a high wage: see Barbara Ehrenreich’s Fear of Falling.

  • Zoom CEO envisions AI deepfakes attending meetings in your place - AIs “are terrible tools for delegating decision making to. That’s currently my red line for using them: any time someone outsources actual decision making authority to an opaque random number generator is a recipe for disaster.” // I would go a step further: if you can replace the office work with AI, it probably shouldn’t have been done in the first place. It was “bullshit” work. Or! It was work that person asking for it could have done on their own.

  • Developer Productivity Metrics at Top Tech Companies - Good stuff! Lots of emphasis on happiness/satisfaction. These are all from tech companies, though: no tradition enterprise responses (right?). Yes, and: what would it look like if you surveyed the top three organizations in manufacturing, banking, pharmaceuticals, and tax ministries?

  • How to Evaluate Video Performance in Developer Relations - The answer: track CTAs.

Conferences, Events, etc.

Talks I’m giving, places I’ll be, and other plans.

NDC Oslo, speaking, June 12th. DevOpsDays Amsterdam, June 20th, speaking. SpringOne/VMware Explore US, August 26–29, 2024. SREday London 2024, September 19th to 20th.

Discounts. SREDay London (Sep 19th to 20th) when you 20% off with the code SRE20DAY. And, if you register for SpringOne/VMware Explore before June 11th, you’ll get $400 off.


I’m in the middle of three weeks of speaking engagements. The first was directly for the company - our own conferences that we do either for the general public or tailored to just one customers/prospect. The second are ones that I submitted talks to. I’m finding speaking at conferences difficult, topic wise. The CFPs are so far in the future that, often, the topics and talks I submit are no longer relevant or, at least, interesting to me.

Comically, this year at cfgmgmtcamp, Adam Jacob was like: I’m not longer interested in whatever I proposed, I’m just going to do a talk I want instead. And, fuck it even more, not even slides, just sticky notes in Miro. You get to do this when you’re a famous speaker.

Using that maneuver has mixed results. Adam did OK with it: his mix of entertaining/enrapturing and trend-marginalia (sort of like Bryan Cantrill, but in aphorisms) is good. However, as with many otherwise good presentations, I suffer from the plumber problem: seeing every seam, every compromise, every missed opportunity in a talk. You (which is to say, I), have to turn off the “keynote expert” part of my brain and enjoy the vibes despite the misaligned smart art of infinite loop gifs.

I am no perfect talk maker either!1

Which is to say, here’s a new talk - rather, the slides for it. I’m giving it at NDC Oslo this week, then DevOpsDays Amsterdam. I proposed this long ago, back then the McKinsey PDF got the nerds all upset.

At the time of CFP’ing, I think I was thinking, “this nerd fight is annoying.” Since then, as published here a lot, I’ve been looking at all sorts of surveys about developer productivity, Kubernetes/platform use, etc.

Now, the conclusion I come to is the one I often do: If you want to be productive, stop trying to be productive, and just focus on putting in place best practices. As preface, I layout the history of developer productivity, mostly in my career.

I don’t know. I think it’ll be good. Maybe. Probably.


Also from that same conferences: perhaps a close, practiced eye can see that I didn’t pace myself well enough in this presentation and had to skip about 1/4 of my intended content, skipping over the closing point I wanted to make.,, @cote,,