Discover more from Coté's Wunderkammer
Feet on the desk in business suit emoji
Hot new epigraph for daily life: I don’t know man. I spend a whole lot of time not thinking about that.
Two trips this week: Prague and Brussels. I did one of those too frequent business traveler things and returns home to Amsterdam for six hours between trips to visit family. It was good! Now there’s no trips until VMware Explore EU in BCN. Hopefully this means finally getting back to tiny videos, content writing…and several online talks (webinars and conferences) I have. I should hustle these to you, but in the mean time, you can find them on our webinars page.
$200 of an awesome conference
Our annual conference, SpringOne is coming up, December 6th to 8th in San Francisco, CA. I have a talk on my upcoming book (pahmplet - whatever), The Legacy Trap. And there’s all sorts of other good talks on programming, DevOps, platform engineering, but also all that culture and process stuff. We should have the full content catalog posted real soon now.
You should come, it’ll be fun. When you register, use the code COTE200 to get, that’s right, $200 off.
The Woodman’s song
Current Mood Board
Software Defined Talk Episode 378: Email is not broken - This week we discuss Amazon’s “Builder Experience” Unit, Adobe buying Figma, Slack’s Status and Zoom gets into email. Plus, Coté embraces the defaults Notes lifestyle.
Tanzu Talk: Davanum ”dims” Srinivas on the CNCF and kubernetes SIGs at VMware Explore 2022 - This week it’s another interview from VMware Explore, this time about the kubernetes community and governance. Alex Williams and Coté talk with Davanum “dims” Srinivas. We cover lessons learned from other foundations, especially OpenStack; how new ideas are introduced into the CNCF; and otherwise talk about how the CNCF operates.
Don’t let developer toil affect your apps’ business value - Column by me on finding tech debt. And check out the overview of the developer toil survey in this paper.
Tech podcast content isn’t movie podcast content
Movies podcasts seem to have it easy, when it comes to finding a subject matter to publish about:
The subject matter is accessible to everyone. You’re talking about Star Wars movies, not developments in the cardboard manufacturing industry.
You only have the give an aesthetic reaction to it. You don’t need to know how movie making works or, worse, comment on the usefulness of one movie versus another. For example, you’re not discussing of Data Dog is better or worse than Honeycomb. Or whatever.
In the computer world I operate in, you could review conference talks and, I don’t know, white papers as things in of themselves. This would be fraud with critic-as-jerk thought: much of that content is made by passionate amateurs for free.
We tried something like this awhile ago. It was fun to make, but I don’t know if it was A Thing. That series of commentary, close readings, even, on tech works ephemera seems like it’d make a good tech marketing lecture series. It’s all dated now, but with work you could abstract some principals.
We drive by a bridge in the car to PRG, it has a deep gorge that goes down to train tracks. A mother and a stroller are there, looking over the bridge with a little boy standing there looking down too. I imagine that they stopped because of he boy wants to wait to see a train go by. Maybe the mother/lady stopped and said “would you like to wait to see a train?” and he enthusiastically agreed.
“a lot of rich society nonsense,” Summer Reading Follow Up.
Adobe buying Figma: maybe you can’t rewrite existing, successful applications to new “paradigms.” That is, “we will just code that application ourself” is much higher risk than most product strategists realize. You just have to rewrite the software or buy the new thing. Part of this is that you have to be careful with rebranding the squires thing, and that you can’t really fold the new thing into the old: it has the remain as a stand-alone product, as does your “old” app. Is this the case with other M&A? Apple bought NeXT and rebuilt their OS with similar apps, but still very different than the old OS? When I was at BMC, we rewrote PATROL instead of updating it. Consumer SaaS companies (FANG, etc.) rarely integrate acquisitions into the main product (Facebook: Instagram, WhatsApp; Twitter: Revue, TweetDeck…an exception is Nuzzle is used in Top Articles?). The theory is that: past, say, “version three” of your product, it’s architecture and “whole deal” can’t be changed. So if you want the software to do something differently, you have to start over. This is confounding.
One or the simple pleasures of European travel is that you get to hear the original of this at least once a year on the radio.
“You don’t even know how to know what you don’t know at that point!” podcast.
Seafood music! “Traditional Nordic folkmusik Plus more whistling than you’ve heard on any other album this year! This is Olsson at his most hi-fi epic in the most cinematic sense of the word. Seafood series #2.”
“The realm of second thoughts,” as a poetic phrase for “gulag,” A Gentleman in Moscow.
“I’m quiet found of being left behind. It always gives me a whole new perspective of where ever it was I thought I was leaving.” Ibid.
I don’t remember anything else about the dream, but I was wearing really cool, mirror shades sun glasses.
Airport Bus at Gate strategy: if you’re not careful, any status you have will be ruined. The key to “boarding” when a bus takes you to the plane is to stay as close to the bus door as possible. With status, you will go through the gate first. You will see seats on the bus that you can sit in, then. Do not do this! Everyone else after you will cram into the bus and you will be the last one off reversing the first on the plane advantage they status gives you. Then you’re right into the thick of finding space to put your luggage in the overhear bin. When you get on a bus: stay as close to the door as possible. (On the Schiphol buses, like this one to Brussels that I’m presently on, I stand at the further back door, right next to door. There will be people who get in the jet-stairs first, but it won’t matter: you’ll still get out and in the first ten or so people, and avoid the annoyances of boarding.)
“Don’t overlook deadly pig disease.” Sign in Prague airport customs.
Christmas morning circa 1990 - “Everything will be shut on Monday, and I discovered Saturday morning that the shops were already running out of stuff. It reminded me of the way Christmas used to be, weirdly. Back in The Old Days, the shops would shut on Xmas Eve and wouldn’t reopen for several days, and then would shut again around New Year. So you had to buy in ten days’ worth of food, and everybody either stayed home, visited family or went down the pub. I don’t know if Sandy Stores in St. Austell is still open, but I can’t tell you how weird it was to be able to pop down there on Christmas morning circa 1990 and pick up the last few bits for dinner. Open on Christmas Day! Insane!” - I joke in frustration that the Netherlands stores are closed too often. Our neighborhood drug store closes at like, 5pm! (I like to joke that “Kruidvat” is a Dutch proverb that means “never open when I need it.”) But, I too remember the comfortable feel of everything just being closed, or a city being just on total vacation, holiday, out. That said, I sure would like to go get flu medicine and a thermometer at 9:46om when my kids are feeling miserable.
Relevant to your interests
Amazon Built a New Unit to Fix Its Crumbling Engineering Culture - Amazon’s platform engineering/inter rail DevX team. Also, some stats on developer toil: “In a recent internal survey, seen by Insider, 34% of the engineers said they spent 4 to 8 hours on undifferentiated efforts weekly, or roughly 10% to 20% of their week on things that are not related to building new products. Another survey found that engineers spend 30% of their time on ‘repetitive tasks.’“
The road to cloud purgatory - “a handful of decisions: (1) Your stance on what to do with new business solutions (i.e. new apps) (2) Your stance on cloud migration (3) Your stack-ranked priority for business agility, short-term costs and long-term TCO (4) Your appetites for risk, transformation, and business independence from central IT. It’s not unusual for us to see 20-page, 50-page, even 100-page cloud strategies that contain no clear decisions about any of those elements, because they are the things that are controversial — so they’ve simply been left out. So the strategy contains worthless platitudes, thoughtful governance is impossible, and actual cloud adoption stalls out on endless arguments that constantly relitigate the same conflicts.”
Don’t Trust Your Gut, Part 2 - ‘By looking at WHERE artists displayed their art early in their careers, Stephens-Davidowitz found that artists who eventually became successful were far more likely to have exhibited their artwork in more venues across a wider territory. Effectively, every time an artist displays their work in a specific location, there is only a small percent chance they will “catch a break.” If an artist continues to display in the same locations over and over, they simply have fewer rolls of the dice.’ Which indicates: ‘Ultimately, the concept of “put yourself out there in different places” means that you should get more uncomfortable with short-term negative feedback, in order to maximize your long-term success.’
Diary: File-Selves, Sheila Fitzpatrick - A brief history of Russian passports, and the fun idea of the beuractic proxy-self.
Morgan Stanley Lost Some Hard Drives - Bloomberg - “3k lbs of [backup] tapes”
What happens when hockey players know each on other’s pay? - “When people feel undervalued, they prioritize the flashier parts of their jobs that are easier to measure, even at the risk of costing their organizations… Teams were ultimately hurt by underpaying players, he found, but they were not helped by overpaying them. That means the optimal strategy for companies is to pay employees precisely what they’re worth.” Apple News link.
Computer Love - “The Next Generation awakened in me a feeling of terrible and suffocating yearning — that hopeless childish escape wish that’s the wake of a certain kind of fantasy. That feeling that in a different world you’d be happy.” And: “The Enterprise crew was driving a misfiring IBM PC in the service of a quasi-neoliberal agenda…”
Looking at Notes in iOS 16 - Smart groups and Quick Notes. The philosophy of a “Quick Note” is still elusive to me. For example, why not just have all notes get the creation mechanics and behavior of Quick Notes? Meanwhile: “I don’t really want to unlock productivity gains and I’m getting too old to care that much.”
How is the newsletter doing for you? Please pick one: (1) Enjoying it? Then reply with “yes.” (2) Not enjoying it? DO NOT REPLY.