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

So, this tweet

https://twitter.com/__apf__/status/867751153026482177

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.

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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.

Seven ways to consistently ship great features (Ben Balter)

Seven habits I admire in developers that I see consistently shipping great, user-centric features.

The Thing About Tools

We have to try out new apps and new versions of old ones, of course. Who knows when you might stumble upon a clever idea that makes you more productive or the app that you’ll use for the next eight years. I’m going to fully enjoy exploring Things 3 this week.

Then, I hope I forget about it again for a few years.

I’ve wanted to reach this point with a “producity app” forever. I did look at Things 3, and liked what I see. Just not sure it’s $50 better than what I’m using now.

The Thing About Tools (superyesmore.com)

Improving the webmentions directory

Just wanted to clarify, WordPress core functionality doesn’t convert a reply webmention to a standard comment, that is done with the webmention plugin. I believe part of that is so you can do a webmention reply to a reply, and as mentioned, the fact that custom comment type isn’t fully fleshed out. There was work on it, a feature plugin for it, but it has since languished, despite David Shanske’s attempts to move the needle forward.

I don’t think we will see much movement on it until webmentions reach a crtiical mass, hopefully https://micro.blog will help with that.

Improving the webmentions directory (Social Thoughts)

Improving the webmentions author directory to work around WordPress' shortcomings.

Rough Day – RIP Chris Cornell

Been trying to put into words today my emotions on the news that Chris Cornell committed suicide last night. My teen years were a mix of punk, FM rock & MTV 120 minutes. By my early 20’s, what is now called ‘grunge’ was my wheel house. I’d argue most people think Nirvana’s Nevermind was the birth of grunge, but anyone who was around at the time knows better. Hell, I saw Soundgarden open for fucking Guns ‘n Roses in the late ’80s [edit my memory isn’t what it used to be, seems that show was 91]. Do yourself a favor and go listen to Ultramega OK and Lounder than Love, I’ll wait here.

I spent a very formative year living in Denver and Badmotorfinger was on heavy rotation on my Walkman as I trudged through my one and only frozen winter from Capital Hill to downtown. Couple that with my other favorite band from that era, Mudhoney, I had finally found an identity.

Truthfully, I didn’t listen to much of the new Soundgarden after that period, but I appreciated that Chris Cornell continued to create and broaden his influence. A very dear friend of mine experienced Cornell’s later catalog, and has been shaken at his core by the loss.

It is this rare ability to reach multiple generations that sets great artists apart.

Meanwhile, I’m going to stop now, with tears streaming down my face, listening to Outshined. Be well friends, and if anyone who reads this ever feels so lost they want to end it all, I will stop everything I’m doing to come and let you know you aren’t alone in this shit hole of a world.