Intrigued by Alexa & Apple Integrations

I have an Amazon Fire TV stick, but haven’t used the Alexa on the remote much at all, but news that the Echo & Alexa now integrates with Apple Calendar & Reminders has me intrigued. I know there are rumors Apple may be entering the market with their own competing device, and I’ll certainly hold off on pulling the trigger, but definitely shifts me into may buy column if Apple doesn’t actually enter the fray. WIll be an interesting June.

Why Are They Doing it That Way? That’s Dumb.

So, this tweet

reminds me of a lesson taught by a chef early in my career. For one, he came on to the team not introduced as the new chef, just another cook. It wasn’t until a week later was that announced. It wasn’t a trial, it was what he requested.

One night over a beer and a heated chess match, I asked him why did he do that. The primary reason was he wanted to see how people worked naturally, not “being on their best behavior.” The other reason was the one that has always stuck with me.

He said often chefs come in and want to change everything. Often that’s why they were hired, a failing restaurant, be it critical failing, finacial, or usually, both. But he said knowing why something is done a way is often the key to knowing what to fix.

That has stuck with me in every aspect of my professional life. It’s easy to say something is broken, or being done wrong, but unless you understand how it got to that point, you aren’t wholly solving the problem. Understanding the underlying issues that created the undesired result prevents you from repeating the failure.

So next time you read some code, or start a new job and see someone doing it wrong, don’t jump to conclusions. Rather, if you truly want to fix it, follow it to its source and know why first.

Windows in Git

The largest Git repo on the planet

The scale the system is operating at is really amazing. Let’s look at some numbers…

There are over 250,000 reachable Git commits in the history for this repo, over the past 4 months.

  • 8,421 pushes per day (on average)
  • 2,500 pull requests, with 6,600 reviewers per work day (on average)
  • 4,352 active topic branches
  • 1,760 official builds per day

Truly amazing. Kuddos for the efforts Windows engineering has put into this.

Seven ways to consistently ship great features

Some great tips here from Ben, especially “over communicate”, especially true for distributed teams.

When it comes to feature development, there is no such thing as over-communicating. What problem are we solving? Who are we solving it for? Why are we solving this problem? What solutions were proposed? Which was selected? How are we implementing it? What product or design considerations did we make? Do we have to make technical tradeoffs? Are there any outstanding questions? Does it actually solve what we set out to solve? What’s the current status? Are there any blockers? What do we need to do to ship it? Make it all explicit, memorialized, and discoverable.