I hope you have had a great summer! ☀️
It is great to be back and sending you an email on a Saturday morning. Fall is coming, the kids are back in school, and the Weekly Thing is rolling again. 🤩
It always feels a bit like I’m breaking the rust off when publishing the first Weekly Thing after the 2-month summer break. A couple of squirts of WD-40, and a full cup of coffee, get the gears going again. ☕️
While taking a break this summer we moved to a new house 📦, went to Iceland and had an amazing two weeks driving the ring road 🇮🇸, and had many adventures with family and friends. ❤️
It has been a bit, but let’s jump right into it okay? 👌
“There’s lots of ways to be, as a person.
And some people express their deep appreciation for their species in different ways.
But one of the ways that I believe people express their appreciation to the rest of humanity is to make something wonderful and put it out there.
And you never meet the people, you never shake their hands, you never hear their story or tell yours — but, somehow, in the act of making something with a great deal of care and love, something’s transmitted there.”
— Steve Jobs, 2007
Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, has long been an atypical founder.
Rather than selling the company or taking it public, Mr. Chouinard, his wife and two adult children have transferred their ownership of Patagonia, valued at about $3 billion, to a specially designed trust and a nonprofit organization. They were created to preserve the company’s independence and ensure that all of its profits — some $100 million a year — are used to combat climate change and protect undeveloped land around the globe.
I love Chouinard’s comment at the end of the article.
“I feel a big relief that I’ve put my life in order,” Mr. Chouinard said. “For us, this was the ideal solution.”
It will be interesting to see how this works out. I suspect it will work very well. Patagonia has always been driven by its values. This structure will allow it to continue to do that.
The provocative title of this article draws attention right away. As I read Kaiser’s thoughts I noted that his reading list is very similar to mine. I’m a big fan of Peter Drucker and I like that he starts and ends this assessment with Drucker’s thinking on knowledge work.
It is then management’s job to ensure there is enough context for everyone on the team to be able to pursue the correct results. They do this by gathering, and then distributing context for the team. This ideally empowers the team to lead themselves, directing their efforts to the most effective outputs, given the current situation at hand.
The points in this article are valid. A side note, I prefer the term Software Development over Software Engineering because I believe the term engineering implies a precision that is lacking. In fact, leading a team of developers is more akin to leading a team of artists. It is fundamentally a creative process.
I would add more to Kaiser’s conclusion, but I think he hits the big parts right.
Going back to Drucker, a manager’s job is to prepare people to perform, and to give them freedom to do so.
Creative people need psychological safety in order to perform. An effective manager provides this, along with coaching to help reports become more effective versions of themselves. This should then allow them to reap long term rewards.
An effective manager builds trust and space for their reports to execute, along with guidance for where their efforts will have the largest impact, helping them to continue growing in their career.
An effective manager cares for their team, their work, and its effect beyond the immediate organization. They are stewards first, realizing that much is beyond their control.
Vitalik Buterin is an impressive person. He reminds me of Matt Mullenweg, another technologist that I have immense respect for. What connect Vitalik and Matt in my mind is that they are both incredibly humble, have a tremendously broad view, and are working on enabling technology. For Mullenweg that means making it easy for people to publish and host websites. For Vitalik that means enabling a complete platform that a wide range of solutions can be built on. They share a strong push for decentralization. And while they have both done well economically, neither wants tremendous wealth.
This interview with Vitalik is interesting to me because it is so focused on specific topics that are most notable. It assumes a bit of knowledge of Ethereum, but the main points still come through.
Cloudy and cool day for skaters. 🛹
Sep 10, 2022 at 12:22 PM
Great recap of the successful Ethereum transition to Proof-of-Stake, away from mining.
At 2:43 AM Eastern Time at block 15537393, Ethereum’s Proof-of-Work era came to an end, ushering in a new age of Proof-of-Stake Ethereum. With no downtime and in the course of just 12 seconds, Ethereum block production successfully transitioned from a globally-distributed group of miners running specialized hardware to a globally-distributed group of validators staking ETH.
I stayed up late to watch this event live. It was a fun bit of history to be part of.
This is a bit mind-blowing. 🤯 Depoorter used publicly available webcams and then used ML to match it to Instagram photos. What you get is surveillance footage of the Instagram shot. It is creepy to watch, highlights the ridiculous “gloss” of Instagram, and is a reminder of how connected data can get. Take a moment to think through all the Door ring bells out there capturing video. Creepy…
The central thesis of this article resonates with me, while the specifics I might debate or disagree with. Piechocki chose to write it using “Junior Engineers” and “Senior Engineers”, which may make it harder to parse as many would consider those job titles. If I read this as “Less experienced” and “More experienced” engineers, it resonates better. The primary point is that just writing code is not even close to all you need to be successful. Experienced engineers know where things will break, what situations will happen in a year that you need to plan for now. Bringing those insights to less experienced engineers in a helpful way is one of the most valuable things an experienced engineer can do.
I rely on MacStories reviews to keep up-to-date on all the new features in Apple releases. Most of these changes in watchOS 9 really don’t do too much for me. It’s continuing improvement and iteration.
I still struggle with Twitter. Should I syndicate to it? Should I engage with something that I commonly refer to as a “dumpster fire of hate”. I do know that your experience on Twitter is disproportionately impacted by who you follow, more than anything else. This tool is a great way to prune that list, and probably give you a better experience. Hat tip to Patrick Rhone for repeatedly highlighting the value of this.
Viticci is out again with another massive review of the latest version of iOS! I like the framing he starts with:
iOS 16, launching today for a variety of iPhone models dating back to the iPhone 8, marks Apple’s triumphant return to user personalization, with a twist: while in 2020 customization might have felt like a happy consequence of Apple’s engineering, this time the company has intentionally marketed iOS 16 as an update that will make an iPhone feel truly your own.
I’m a bit skeptical at the moment because at least in my experience some of these features are just too complicated. Apple is continuing to build out Focus Modes, and tying those into Lock Screens and additional widgets. I’ve yet to understand the mental model that this is built on, and if I can’t see that I have no idea how your average user is going to figure it out. We’ll see. Also check out Viticci’s iOS 16: All the Things I Didn’t Like list.
Beautiful, simple, and fitting website to archive and honor Steve Jobs. There are many in tech that were inspired and even want to emulate Jobs, but there is a lot of cherry picking. Given that Jobs was a well known tyrant to get his way, and also it probably serves Jobs well that Twitter didn’t exist during his life. Perhaps he would come off as poorly as some other billionaire Tweeters. I don’t know. But I do have an incredible amount of respect for what Jobs created, and by and large, even the way that they created it. He had a very clear vision.
Even if you have never heard of Eckersley, you have benefited greatly from the work that he led with many others at the EFF and Let’s Encrypt. I believe that Let’s Encrypt should be recognized for the amazing impact it has had to make the web more secure. Before Let’s Encrypt setting up HTTPS was hard and expensive. Let’s Encrypt changed that entirely.
As of today [Let’s Encrypt] has issued over a billion certificates to over 280 million websites.
The web is a safer, more secure, more private place because of the work that Eckersley led. Also see message from the Let’s Encrypt Community.
I’m a fan of Larson’s writing and was particularly curious when I saw this one. His previous article on presenting to executives is spot on. I found his ontology of types of executive one-on-ones interesting: Fact Finding, Loyalty Check, Meet and Greet, Mentorship. I think that is pretty accurate, and I would concur with Larson that the Loyalty Check one should be uncommon or rarely ever.
An argument for the use of the
:= operator in Python, but also a great set of “Pythonic” examples of the cool things you can do with Python.
This feature ended up getting pushed out to iOS 16.1. This is something that I think many families would like to have, sharing all (or mostly all) of the photos that we take on our phones into one big shared library. However, it is a hard problem to work through and figure out the specific rules for an incredible number of edge cases. This overview is a good primer on how Apple is addressing those edge cases.
I gave up running my own mail in 2007. Largely because of spam managing email servers is a terribly tricky business. In the intervening years the software has gotten better, but the problems have gotten even worse. This article highlights some of the modern challenges, which are yet different these days. I still have one technical friend who runs his own mail (👋 hi Hadar!) and I know he can validate these same issues.
There is this view, I’ll call it Agile Purist, that I find frustrating in software. There are more than a handful of folks, including some very smart people that I highly respect, who seem to believe the only thing we need to know to build great software is the Agile Manifesto. Frankly, I’ve never seen that be enough to organize anything more than a trivial size team creating a small number of things. It is a frustrating argument to get into too, since inevitably the purist will refute all your arguments to the contrary with “Your doing it wrong”.
The Agile Manifesto was a good solution for the time but it misses a lot of dimensions. There were no marketing, sales, or customer teams writing that manifesto. There were also no operations people making sure stuff works 24 hours a day. There also weren’t any women authoring the manifesto.
This is a thought provoking read. It made me think of one of my favorite DevOps sayings, “If it hurts, do it more until it stops.” The point being that if releasing software is hard for your team, you need to do it more often not less. You can replace a lot of different actions in that statement, and if running incidents is hard for your team, maybe you should do it more?
We created a new severity type of “triage” with the simplest possible runbook condition: Create a Slack channel. This ensures that if something simply feels off, the engineer who spots the problem has a place to write down stream-of-consciousness or play-by-play notes and see what happens next.
As I think about my own use of incident management in teams we have gradually increased the scope of it to include more “types” or “severities” of incidents. If you have a good process, and it clearly helps you communicate, structure response, etc. there can be benefit to using it.
I’ve had to figure out enough of SPF in order to configure mail for thingelstad.com, and when you start doing a newsletter the mail settings for your domain get much more important to avoid spam folders. This dig into SPF was a fun rabbit hole. I actually LOL’d for real when I got to the section on macros. I had no idea SPF supported macros! 🤣
Ethereum is now Proof-of-Stake!
Waiting for the Ethereum mainnet merge? Make your Gitcoin grants!
I supported ENS Fairy, POAPin, Internet Archive, EFF, and ethstaker in Grant Round 15.
My grants were matched 10x! 💰 I love how you can see the direct transfers in the transaction.
Participated in my first POAP Art canvas tonight as part of the merge call. Painted my “Thing” moniker in the lower right part of the canvas. 🤩
Here is the final completed canvas. I had to defend my pixels many times when people tried to take them over. Thing FTW! 🤩
Excited to watch the Ethereum merge happen live tonight!
We had our 4th annual TeamSPS Kubb Tournament today. We were graced with impeccable weather to throw some Kubb. We had 16 teams of five or six people. The tournament format we used was very similar to last year, and simple to play. We had four round robin groups of four teams each. They played three single-game rounds, time limited at 25 minutes. At the end of 25 minutes the team with the most baseline Kubbs standing was declared the winner. A throw off would have been used on a baseline tie, but that wasn’t even needed.
After the round robins were completed we ranked each team first to fourth in their group, and then went out into four simple brackets to get a winner from each.
We did have a bit of a surprise when the sprinkler system at SPS Tower turned on while we were still playing. It continued and interfered with one final game, but everyone was a good sport about getting a little wet. 💦
Final results of the #LeadTheWay bracket gave the overall with to Rubiks Kubb!
This is such a great event and everyone has a wonderful time. I can’t wait to direct the 2023 Tournament!
Meow Wolf seems impossible to describe. They describe their mission as
We create immersive and interactive experiences that transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of story and exploration.
They certainly are doing that. Tammy and I found Meow Wolf incredible at every turn. We could have spent much more time here, and will definitely return with the kids at the earliest opportunity. It felt like we were walking inside of an art experience. There are hidden gems everywhere, and even better it is all connected with an overarching story. Simply incredible. If you are in Denver, Santa Fe, or Las Vegas — GO!
We saw these Pedego bikes at the Minnesota State Fair and Tammy saw they had a rental option in Denver. We got a couple of Element Fat Tire bikes and took Cherry Creek Trail to the city limit and back, just over 20 miles.
This was Tammy’s first time on an electric bike and she thought it was fun. It was also a much more “assisted” ebike than I had used before. We didn’t love the Element, mostly because the geometry was super compact, but it was still an awesome time.
We stopped at the Cherry Creek shopping area on our way back. Twenty years ago when we went there it had a bunch of art galleries and such. Sadly, it didn’t have any of that unique character anymore.
We have seen Brandi Carlile play many times. Tammy discovered her years ago when she performed at showing of Wits. After we heard her a couple of more times we declared that if she was playing within 100 miles of us, we were going. When Tammy heard that she was playing at Red Rocks, we had to get on a plane and go much further than 100 miles. Brandi Carlile is an epic performer, and Red Rocks is an epic venue. Epic ^ 2!
The Indigo Girls opened for Brandi which was amazing. Tammy is a big fan of the Indigo Girls, and Brandi shared with the audience that the Indigo Girls were a huge help to her early in her music journey. There was a lot of love on the stage and in the audience. Allison Russell was the first opener and what we saw of her was also incredible!
We had a fun time experiencing the “Beyond” show at the International Church of Cannabis. I tagged the new graffiti wall, and Tammy crushed it in the Ms. PAC-MAN console that was set to hyperspeed.
Denver Milk Market.
The view from our hotel room. 😕
First time returning to Hotel Monaco in Denver since our Honeymoon 20 years ago.
9:08pm Flight got pushed back to 10:08p at 6:22p.
Delayed heading to airport, and flight restored to original 9:08p departure at 7:25p.
Quickly departed to airport, and 12 min from house realized we didn’t have passports.
Return back home for passports, depart for airport with ETA of 8:07p.
Got to airport and parked strategically to get to gate fastest, North security closed. Detoured to South security.
TSA Pre closed. So many CLEAR passengers.
Clear security at 8:28p. Very fast walk to F12.
Walked directly onto plane on our boarding group.
48MP ProRaw images coming off an iPhone are incredible. I keep wondering where the limit on mobile photography is, and it seems to just get further away. The shots in this article are incredible. → iPhone 14 Pro Camera Review: Scotland — Travel Photographer - Austin Mann
Technical details of the new iPhone 14 Pro camera. The disclaimer at the top about computational photography is of growing importance. It seems that Apple can make even bigger changes in the computational side versus the specific details of the sensors. → iPhone 14 Pro Camera Preview: The Hardware Changes – Lux
Interesting to see IKEA using sophisticated ontology and knowledge graph approach to thinking about products, and perhaps many additional concepts. The article is a bit vague on the intended use cases, but will be curious to see what may come of this. → IKEA’s Knowledge Graph and Why It Has Three Layers | Flat Pack Tech
Powerful tool to visualize your JSON data and navigate through it quickly. 🛠 → JSON Hero
Amazing to see the Ukraine army taking back so much territory from Russia. 🇺🇦 → Ukraine seizes the initiative in the east | The Economist
I’ve had my Oura Ring for several months now and I have been impressed with how good it is at tracking sleep, and providing usable information that you can action. I’ve found several other sleep devices and apps that fail on both of these accounts. → How Does the Oura Ring Track My Sleep? - The Pulse Blog
I’m a big fan of Vitalik Buterin, and the fact that he travelled in person to this event in Kyiv, in the midst of Russia’s attacks on Ukraine, is incredible. 🇺🇦 → Ethereum Co-founder Vitalik Buterin Appears at Kyiv Tech Summit to Support for Ukraine
This list from Rockwell is a good checkpoint for any leader, and applies at various levels. All three of these are things I have struggled with or considered at times. → The 3 Secret Blunders Leaders Make
Here is your fortune…
You have an ability to sense and know higher truth.
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I’m a focused practitioner of the Getting Things Done methodology and am focused on it as a lifelong skill to continually improve my productivity but even more important to give me the mental space and clarity to focus on what I want to focus on at any time.