Issue #364

1 November 2022

Issue #364
Tuesday 1st November's issue is presented by PostHog

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Get Straight To The Point
- James Stanier

tl;dr: "In a world of continual context-switching and distraction, if you’re able to make it as easy as possible for others to understand what you want, what the next steps are, and whether or not you have a strong preference, then you’ll find that your interactions are far, far better." James digs into this with examples and the following framework: (1) Make it clear up front what you want. (2) Make the next steps obvious. (3) If you have a recommendation, say it up front.
Reminiscing: The Retreat To Comforting Work
- Will Larson
#Leadership #Management

tl;dr: Will discusses the concept of a type of work called "reminiscing": when under pressure, most people retreat to their area of highest perceived historical impact, even if it isn’t relevant to today’s problems. "When you see your capable CEO start to micromanage words in a launch email, or your talented CTO start to give style feedback in code reviews, take it for what it’s worth: they’re reminiscing. If you dig deeper, they’re almost certainly panicking about something entirely unrelated."

How To Run A Transparent Startup
- James Hawkins
#Leadership #Management

tl;dr: James covers topics around how to: (1) Avoid context overload. (2) Share financial performance. (3) Build product openly. (4) Share strategy. (5) Be open around people topics, such as pay structure, hiring and firing decisions. And more. 
Promoted by PostHog
7 Estimation Anti-Patterns
- Willem-Jan Ageling
#Management #CareerAdvice
tl;dr: (1) Estimates because “we have to.” (2) Neglecting different estimation opinions. (3) One estimator to rule them all. (4) Estimating takes forever. (5) Estimates need to be “correct.” (6) Estimates are turned into commitments. (7) Others do the estimation.
Editor's Note

If you are actively or passively searching for your next senior engineering or engineering management role, click on the link below to learn more about how Pointer can help:
Shell Script Best Practices
- Shrikant Sharat Kandula

tl;dr: "This article is about a few quick thumb rules I use when writing shell scripts that I’ve come to appreciate over the years. Very opinionated." 15 rules in total, including: (1) Use bash. Using zsh or fish or any other, will make it hard for others to understand / collaborate. Among all shells, bash strikes a good balance between portability and DX. (2) Just make the first line be #!/usr/bin/env bash, even if you don’t give executable permission to the script file.

Faster Hardware Is A Bad First Solution To Slow Software
- Itamar Turner-Trauring

tl;dr: How do you decide if faster hardware is the correct solution to your software performance problems? This article discusses: (1) What money can buy you in terms of hardware. (2) Why hardware won’t always help. (3) Why faster hardware shouldn’t always be your first solution even when it does help. (4) Changing the tradeoff by making it easier to create efficient software from the start.
Structured Error Messages For HTTP APIs
- Nicolas Fränkel

tl;dr: Nicolas identifies 2 problems: (1) HTTP status codes were specified for human-to-machine interactions via browsers, not for machine-to-machine interactions via APIs. Hence, selecting a status code that maps one-to-one to the use case is rarely straightforward. (2) The error payload's structure is unimportant if a single organization manages the client and the API provider. However, the issue occurs when a team decides to use a third-party API.

tl;dr: "This book does not cover the topics in depth, it covers just enough to get you ready for the interview. The assumption here is that the person using it is already familiar with the topic and is here to brush up on the same. Additonal resources for someone eager to explore the topic in depth is added. In short, don’t use this as text book, use it as a revision note."
Recommended Reading: Quastor

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