Curated Content April 2022

A few pieces of content I thought were worthwhile in the month of April.


How can you tell if the company you're interviewing with is rotten on the inside?

How can you tell if the company you’re interviewing with is rotten on the inside?
How can you tell the companies who are earnestly trying to improve apart from the ones who sound all polished and healthy from the outside, whilst rotting on the inside? This seems to be on a lot o…

Charity Majors (@mipsytipsy) is an engineering leader you're probably already following, but if you're not you need to be. This article in particular is a must read both for folks who are interviewing and hiring managers.

Folks interviewing can use this to have a list better questions to ask to gauge companies and the culture.

Hiring managers can use this to understand what they need to be proactively addressing to signal a healthy organization to candidates.

Some benefits of simple software architectures

Some benefits of simple software architectures
Wave is a $1.7B company with 70 engineers1 whose product is a CRUD app that adds and subtracts numbers. In keeping with this, our architecture is a standard CRUD app architecture, a Python monolith on top of Postgres. Starting with a simple architecture and solving problems in simple ways where poss…

Dan Luu (@danluu) wrote an article on how simple architectures are a better bet for your organization, rather than more complex ones. Something that's needed to be said, and better said than other similar articles I've read. Stop fetishizing complex architectures.


Pair Programming Illuminated - Laurie Williams & Robert Kessler

An excellent summary of the research on pair programming, manual on how to do it well, and explanation of where the research hasn't gone far enough. Dr. Williams work makes a very compelling case for pair programming as a more effective way to operate high performing software engineering teams.

This is a technique we probably need to adopt wholesale in the industry, but has been missed in our cargo-culting.

This one is currently out of print, so you'll have to get it on Amazon/Ebay, or in ebook.

Conference Talks

The Repeat Incident Fallacy: What Jurassic Park can teach us about DevOps - Emily Ruppe

Seriously one of the most entertaining, but also educational, conference talks I've had the pleasure of watching. Emily Ruppe (@themortalemily) illustrates how we can't really prevent and incident from ever recurring again, because even if we learn from it and adapt, the system that we're learning to manage is also constantly changing and evolving.

We're going to experience failures that look the guests are getting eaten by the dinosaurs again because we didn't learn anything from last time, even though significant improvements have been made.


Leading GitHub to a $7.5 billion acquisition - The Changelog

Leading GitHub to a $7.5 billion acquisition with Jason Warner, CTO at GitHub (The Changelog #395)
Jason Warner (CTO at GitHub) joined the show to talk with us about the backstory of how he helped to lead GitHub to a $7.5 billion acquisition by Microsoft. Specifically how they trusted their gut not just the data, and how they understood the value they were bringing to market. We also talk about J…

This older episode of the Changelog was shared with me by a member of my team. It helped me to understand how CTOs of significantly larger organizations like GitHub think about their role and strategy. It also highlighted ways of thinking that could be used for finding opportunities for startups.


While not rocket science, a great thread how to broadcast your team's progress on any given week, and build trust in your organization.