Curated Content August 2023

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

Curated Content August 2023
Photo by Jan Canty / Unsplash


Selecting the right product metrics

Selecting the right product metrics
A novel system for selecting and presenting product KPIs, satisfying not only the product team, but also stakeholders, executives, and customers.

Jason Cohen is another writer that I probably end up citing far to frequently on my curated content list (or if I don't, I probably should).

This article on his framework for selecting product metrics is most worthwhile for me because of his two axes, one of “time, immediacy, and control” and the second of “hidden, internal, external, and strategic”.

Furthermore, some internal activities are close to the customer (e.g. releasing new features), while others are far away (e.g. applying a security patch). If all our work is invisible, we have a problem: Customers perceive a stagnant product, competitors appear to be moving faster, sales doesn’t have new things to say. On the other hand, if we value only the visible things, we end up with a bad product, with tech debt and unhappy engineers with slow delivery due to an under-invested foundation. The diagram makes this clear, honoring all of these important types of work.

(Emphasis mine)

The ideal PR is 50 lines long

The ideal PR is 50 lines long | Graphite
Graphite is modern code review for fast-moving teams - we help engineers write and review smaller pull requests, stay unblocked, and ship faster.

While this one is obviously tied into a product pitch, (and one for stacked diffs, a solution that I believe is fundamentally the wrong approach, a technical "solution" to a social problem), it's an interesting one to me.

Smaller commits and PRs constantly being reviewed and merged into the mainline seems to be a net good based on everything I can see, but I'm not sold on stacked diffs being the right solution compared to more collaborative forms of code creation, even with some of git's new functionality to make rebase hell less bad.

How You Can Help Build the Elixir Development Community, Even if You Don't Use it at Work

How You Can Help Build the Elixir Development Community, Even if You Don’t Use it at Work
How You Can Help Build the Elixir Development Community, Even if You Don’t Use it at Work

This one is geared at the Elixir community specifically, but it's a good article on how to contribute to open source communities and ecosystems generally.

Squeeze the hell out of the system you have

Squeeze the hell out of the system you have
When complexity leaps are on the table, there’s usually also an opportunity to squeeze some extra juice out of the system you have. By tweaking the workload, tuning performance, or supplement…

Dan Slimmon advocating for something I fundamentally agree with, which is before taking on additional complexity in your solution to tackle a given problem, see what you can do to get a little bit more out of your current solution, whether that's a monolith before microservices, vertical scaling before sharding your database, or whatever, it's almost certainly worth it, especially as a startup.


Light Bringer - Pierce Brown

I've apparently been all about the fiction rather than non-fiction this year, and Light Bringer is no exception. It's an excellent 6th entry in the Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown, continuing the sci-fi story of Darrow and the fruits of the revolution.

Conf Talks

No conf talks this month.


No podcasts this month.


Right now I don't love the way Mastodon embeds in Ghost, so we're going with screenshots and links.

Not an insightful post right here, but one that genuinely made me laugh, that I had to share:

Software development is like being the hero of an open world RPG. Image of Shrek and Donkey saying finding another bug when you're in the middle of fixing one: "Quest? I'm already on a quest"

Also, I'm still trying to find my bearing in Mastodon/the Fediverse, so if you've got recommendations for folks to follow send them my way -