2021-03-28

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Massive link dump today. I’ve been hoarding links in my Things inbox and it was time to clean it up!

A 1.5° celsius pathway to climate leadership for the US

Energy Innovation’s report, A 1.5° celsius pathway to climate leadership for the United States does indeed show a pathway (validated by their model), but it’s a difficult one. It requires huge efforts across many industries, and is the right thing to do.

How Hashicorp Works

First of all, I appreciate that Hashicorp made their working style public. Their writing practices are implemented a bit differently from ours at Khan Academy, but I think some of the guiding ideas are similar. For example, they have a PRD template. At Khan, we have 1-pagers and 6-pagers that represent our thinking around an opportunity early in the process. They have an RFC template and we use ADRs.

The other sections of How Hashicorp Works are also quite interesting and worth a read.

Better architecture diagrams for agile teams

Sébastien Portebois wrote a very solid collection of tips with examples around creating architecture diagrams. A key point from the article that I’ve come to truly appreciate: A diagram needs to serve one purpose. My biggest struggles in creating diagrams come from not having a clear idea of the audience and what the diagram needs to show them.

Baserow: open source Airtable alternative

Built on Django and Vue, Baserow looks like a promising, self-hostable alternative to Airtable. They’re going for an “open core” model, and I wish them luck with what can be a very difficult business proposition.

Two on software project estimation

Estimating software projects can be hard, but it’s something that people have always had to do and have come up with tricks for it. Project Management often requires having a sense of when we’ll finish. Dan North describes Blink Estimation, which involves getting experienced people in a room and facilitating a quick discussion to get an order of magnitude estimate on the work. At the other end of the spectrum, Erik Bern looks at some statistics behind why software engineers are pretty close on the median size for tasks, but are off on the mean and, therefore, the overall.

Fishiness of Piscine Birds…

Jerry Coyne wrote an article discussing two funny papers that appeared in scammy journals: “What’s the deal with birds?” and “Fishiness of Piscine Birds Linked to Absence of Poisonous Fungi but not Pizza”. These papers are awesome, but the journals are decidedly not.