Hi, I’m Jamie Thingelstad, and this is the Weekly Thing. Isn’t that witty? I send this weekly, and it is full of various things. What would I call it if my last name didn’t start with thing? I have no idea!
We are in the final stretches of the election season and the news cycle is in constant overdrive. I don’t engage in social media, but I suspect that is also in complete chaos. This week I was talking with a couple of friends and I shared my approach to engaging with the news. It’s worked well for me and allows me to be informed but not get sucked in spending too much time and getting anxious.
I’ve taken Cal Newport‘s recommendation and expanded it by one. He suggests subscribing to one local newspaper, and one national newspaper. I’ve added a third, an international newspaper. For me that means subscriptions to the Star Tribune, The New York Times, and The Economist.
Now, how to engage with them? Do not install any mobile apps from any of these services. Also, do I subscribe to any event driven breaking news bulletins. I limit my engagement to a daily email newsletter from each. The Economist Espresso email is my favorite (the email, don’t touch the app for it). This daily email has a series of brief updates from around the world, along with a couple of slightly longer things. It takes no more than 10 mins to read. I wish they all had something exactly like that, but the Morning Brief from the Times and Talkers from the Star Tribune are close enough. I’m happy to click through to read something on the sites, but I try hard to just be done then. No clicking around and getting lost.
By doing this I get to stay up-to-date and informed, but control when the information comes to me. It also feels, in a very good way, sort of like reading a morning newspaper in your email. Your in control, not some algorithm.
Good article that uses VP of Engineering as the position, but is equally fitting for any VP or CTO level role leading a technology team in a company.
As VP of Engineering we spend most of our time translating between two groups of people in two parallel universes. We’re citizens of both while not fully belonging to either.
There is a lot of truth in here and many lessons that I’ve learned over the years. The common lexicon section made me chuckle since I’ve found sharing stories of how great sales teams work, and the parallels to great technology teams, to be very effective. Sales teams close deals. Tech teams ship. Sales teams commit to a quarterly objective with a lot of unknowns. Technology teams estimate and build out plans, but ultimately are committing with a lot of unknowns.
The translation role as leader is a big one, and one that can be hard to keep front and center at all times.
Buying: I’m making the leap to a high-end microphone for my video conferencing needs. The Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB Cardioid Dynamic Microphone is on the way along with a foam windscreen, and a boom arm with a table clamp. I can’t wait to set it up and see how the sound is. 🎤
Drinking: Fall is officially here and I’ve tried my skills at making an Old Fashioned to enjoy in the crisp air around the fire. I’m pretty pleased with the outcome. Heavy on the orange and the bitters, as well as extra cherries!
Watching: We’ve returned to Anne with an “E” for the 3rd and final season. This is a good family show for us.🧷
Old Fashioned while enjoying a fire. 🥃🔥
Thank you for reading! 🤓
Please share this with a friend. Cool, thanks!
Interesting thoughts on effective teams and the keys to achieving and maintaining Effectivenss.
- Generate positive results over time.
- Work through challenges and bounce back from adversity.
- Maintain energy, vibrancy, and resources needed for future success.
I took Crucial Conversations training at SPS. This article about applying these skills to a conversation with your child was really good.
In order to help your son and restore your relationship, remember to:
- Start With Heart: Know what you really want for him.
- Validate His Feelings: Let him know it’s okay for him to feel the way he does.
- Be Curious: Ask, listen, mirror, listen, prime, listen, ask…
- Declare Your Intent: Let him know what you really want.
Be patient. It won’t happen overnight. It will take time, consistency, and persistence.
This would be a good article to go and read when needed.
This could be a fun thing to work through with your kids.
A comprehensive and FREE Online Python Development course FOR KIDS utilizing an official BBC micro:bit Development Board and later an Expressif ESP32 Development Board going step-by-step into the world of Python for microcontrollers.
Minnesota was impacted by this 911 outage. It was highly suspicious that it was at the same time as a major Azure outage. However, it sounds like it wasn’t related.
Intrado did not respond to multiple requests for comment. But according to officials in Henderson County, NC, which experienced its own 911 failures yesterday, Intrado said the outage was the result of a problem with an unspecified service provider.
Having a single company dependency across 14 different state 911 services seems like a bad idea, no?
Managers and leaders could use some more time talking about and reflecting on their wins.
As I scan through this list of themes and examples, it strikes me that a lot of them occurred when things (project work, organizational culture, global changes) were hard.
It’s a manager’s job to address inequity and unfairness. To create clarity out of ambiguity and cycles of unending change. To identify a plan for growth when things are stagnating, or when roadblocks appear. To shift team culture and mindsets so that psychological safety and good work can happen.
Without serious workplace challenges, there wouldn’t be a lot of work for managers to do. :) I’m being glib, but I’m eager to remind you that during these awful times, there is a LOT of work you can do as a manager. And that work leads to big, important wins on behalf of your teammates.
A good read on optimizing your gear and configuration to make video calls work as best as possible. I decided to take this articles advice and ordered a microphone to use, although I went with the newer Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB version. The audio samples are helpful here.
I like the Small Tech term. Related would be the Indie Web as well, or at least a tangent.
Role models matter. So I made a list of small companies that I admire. Neither giants nor startups - just people making a living writing software on their own terms.
Now, for business use these solopreneur services may not be great solutions. When just one person runs the service you cannot expect 24x7 support for example. But I have biased my personal services toward these. All of the services I use to publish my blog, send my newsletter, and manage my bookmarks are all solo companies.
Article talking about engaging with people that agree with the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Beliefs in QAnon and the deep state are unified by one basic factor: their reliance on deep memetic frames. As Ryan Milner and I have explained, these are sense-making orientations to the world. Everyone, regardless of their politics, has a set of deep memetic frames. We feel these frames in our bones. They shape what we know, what we see, and what we’re willing to accept as evidence.
As I read this I’m left feeling like you are talking to someone that has been programmed by a cult, and you have to careful deprogram that and be sure to not reinforce the cult programming that has been adopted already.
Tim Bray is probably one of the most authoritative people there are to write on the new Google Cloud Workflows. He designed much of AWS Step Functions after all. This is a good overview and highlights some of the key differences.
While I haven’t been to the mat with GCP to do real work, at the moment I think the AWS approach is a winner here. First of all, I’ve hated global variables — for good reason — since before most people reading this were born. Second, YAML is a lousy programming language to do arithmetic and so on in.
Third, and most important, what happens when you want to do seriously concurrent processing, which I think is a really common workflow scenario? GCP doesn’t really have parallelism built-in yet, but I bet that’ll change assuming the product gets any traction. The combination of un-typed un-scoped global variables with parallel processing is a fast-track to concurrency hell.
Overall, it’s just good that Google has added workflows to GCP as it is a critical core service for any cloud provider.
I shared what I believe is the core of Ring’s marketing strategy. This product for commercial use makes sense. Having drones surveil commercial real estate at night makes a lot of sense. Having them fly around my house reporting everything they see to Amazon? That’s a hard no.
A surveillance drone that flies around your home—in your home!—is the stuff we could only have imagined 30 years ago, or even just a few years ago. To hear Amazon tell it, it was designed to be a problem solver, a solution for wanting a camera in every corner of your home. A techno-utopian vision of safety. Look at this freaking drone. If only someone could have imagined that our 2020 problems would be much greater than this—and in fact, tangled right up in it.
Whatever people that buy this think they are getting, they should also factor in that it is a trivial extension for this thing to inventory all your appliances in your kitchen, send that data to whoever will pay, and then let them market to you knowing everything they ever would want about your household.
Finished a much needed organizing and upgrading of my home office setup. This is working much better on every dimension.
Amazon’s marketing strategy with Ring seems to be:
Delicious plate of tomatoes grown by our old neighbor. 🍅
Enjoying this home brew Belgian Witbier with Coriander and Orange Peel that my friend Garrick gave to me. Refreshing. Tastes like summer. 🍺
Hit a new 60-min PR in Matt Wilpers Power Zone Endurance Ride this morning! 653 kJ, a 10% jump over previous 591 kJ. It was a Zone 2/3 ride but I felt my zones were a little low so I rode more ¾. Should do a new FTP test. 🙌🚴🏼♂️🏆
Mazie cross country meet today In Chanhassen. Running 5k. 👏
Definitive read on all the new capabilities in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14.
Interesting read from the CEO of Coinbase clarifying how they apply their mission and the intersection with political and social causes. In part this is an interesting read because Coinbase is actually creating an entirely new financial system that could have so many good effects, as well as negative use cases.
FTP is everywhere and this headline is overly sensational. I don’t know who uses FTP in their web browser. I’m guessing pretty much nobody. Chrome dropping FTP won’t mean a thing. But this is a fun writeup on the history of FTP, created in 1971!
Big congrats to Donnie Berkholz on this new role!
I was happy to be able to be part of this effort. Creating avenues for kids that do not have the infrastructure to effectively engage in distance learning is critical to keeping the learning gap from spreading even more. 👏
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I’m a fan of the lawn game Kubb and play on the Kubbchucks. Together with a friend of mine, we created the very first scoring & notation system for Kubb so that games can be recorded like a baseball box score. Here is an example of a game-winning turn
3ir 2f f - b b K!