On 3rd March, Jason Fried, co-founder of Basecamp (a company that runs an online project management tool and Hey, a privacy-focused email service) tweeted:
Company culture is not written down, it’s acted out. A company’s culture is a 50-day moving average of how it is, not how it thinks it is, wants to be, or was supposed to be.
Fifty-five short days later, on 26th April, he would publish a long and baffling blog post entitled “Changes at Basecamp.
In 2014, a Tumblr post featuring an implausible anecdote involving a homeless man dancing to Gangnam Style and a miserly rich man being shamed in front of a crowd of applauding strangers was posted to Reddit, where it was roundly mocked. Over the years, Oppa Homeless Style, as it became known, became an infamous part of the ‘Tumblr canon,’ a widely-acknowledged example of the absurdity of a platform at the time famed for hosting naïve teens and ‘social justice warriors’ (a term used by people who think opposing social injustice and oppression is a bad thing, for some reason.
I’ve removed gaug.es visitor counting from this website, for the following reasons:
this blog receives nowhere near the number of hits necessary to justify it; although I trust gaug.es to be less invasive than (e.g.) Google Analytics, there’s still no good reason to really be tracking what kind of devices people are using and where they’re coming from—even if it’s anonymous. The double advantage of this is that there are now literally no cookies on this website, and therefore, there is no need for a cookie warning any more.
Here are three disturbing ideas:
There is more infrastructure in the world than you think; The infrastructure you rely on is more vulnerable than you think; The people in charge of managing that infrastructure either don’t realise that it’s infrastructure, or don’t care. What do I mean by ‘infrastructure’? The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as:
infrastructure (noun) The basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g. buildings, roads, power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.
Today is Pride in London. Many tech firms have been festooned in rainbow bunting for the last week, and some app developers have even changed their apps’ icons to suggest solidarity with LGBTQ+ people.
It’s important to remember that Pride is, fundamentally, a protest. This year marks 50 years since the Stonewall Riots, when the queer community in New York City rose up against the police’s violent oppression—an uprising led by drag queens and queer people of colour.
I’ve written an article for a book! Machines, Code, People is a compilation of articles written by people at Zuhlke, and I’ve contributed a short article: “If you like it then you shouldn’t put some code in it.” It discusses the tendency for us to think we can solve everything with code.
You can read the whole book online, or you can buy a dead-tree version of Machines, Code, People at Amazon Germany.
I mostly write Swift in Xcode these days. I can’t say I miss Java. I do, however, miss IntelliJ IDEA, and specifically, the little CamelHumps option:
This changes the behaviour when using the arrow keys to navigate between words (⌥+→, ⌥+← on MacOS) so that it respects CamelCase—i.e. it treats the word CamelCase as two words, rather than one. This certainly made it easier for me when it came to renaming variables with long names:
A recurring theme in the two conferences I’ve attended in the last fortnight (Agile Manchester and BeyondTech) has been psychological safety, people’s perception of being in a safe place to take risks: to bring up new ideas, to raise concerns, to admit your own mistakes. Amy Edmondson found that it was the most important feature of effective teams, findings corroborated by Google’s Project Aristotle.
A key point of Gitte Klitgaard’s excellent talk Psychological safety: overprotection or not?
I attended the inaugural BeyondTech conference in London this week. It was great! I found out about the conference from a colleague, and I’m really glad they pointed it out to me.
My particular highlights were:
Sapphire Mason-Brown’s Just Add Diversity—why a diverse tech industry isn’t enough. Particularly alarming to me were the statistics from the survey of people leaving the tech industry: a quarter of people of colour experienced stereotyping; 1 in 10 women had received unwanted sexual attention; 20% of LGBTQ folk had been bullied.
New year, new website? Not really.
I haven’t updated my old website, rothwell.im, since 2015, when I (still at university) got cross about the Government’s scheme advertising fibre broadband. Four years ago! That’s before the Brexit referendum was even a twinkle in David Cameron’s eye.
This website, as you may guess from the .dev TLD, will mainly be talking about software development. Since the last time I blogged, I’ve been in a new job (almost four years, now!