Whatsapp Is Too Expensive for Me Sep 19, 2022 Plenty of my friends and colleagues use WhatsApp and enjoy it. But I think few people are really considering the information pricetag they’re paying for a chat client. It comes up frequently enough that I thought I’d catalog the information you give Meta/Facebook/Zuckerberg by installing WhatsApp. I imagine collecting metadata over a period of a few years to glean these insights. This is all extracted from “metadata”, by the way. You don’t need access to the contents of someone’s messages to know all about them. ...
Four Drupalists Sep 08, 2022 Recently some of my work on prenotes came up, and reminded me that I’ve wanted to post favorite moments here for some time. For those who don’t know, a prenote is a session before the keynote of a conference or event. During that session, notables from across the community put on a humorous show of parody lyrics karaoke, terribly scripted dialogue, and general silliness. It’s a great way to kick off an event, and really sets the tone if you’re into flat-hierarchy and openness for newbies. ...
The purpose of Music Notation and Theory Apr 25, 2022 I talk a fair bit about the connections between music and engineering, and a discussion on Hacker News came up about one of my favorite points. I’ve adapted my comments here. Classical musicians are overwhelmingly taught that their art form is about reproducing the notes, dynamics, and composer’s intention as accurately as possible. This is mistaking the finger for the moon. Music, of any genre, is never about reproducing the notes and dynamics accurately. ...
Time Management Advice for Effective Leaders Mar 17, 2022 I coach a number of leaders of various stripes around tech, and one issue that comes up for everyone is time management. I think of it more as “obligation control.” As any kind of leader, you are the the first resource people tend to call, not just for obstacles, but for FYIs and general information. Your job may involve knowing what’s happening across a broad set of projects. Just think of the math: if you have a small team of 5 people to lead, you are managing 200 hours of work per week. ...
Starting a New Role: Global Partner Strategy ISV CTO for Red Hat Feb 16, 2022 This month I start a new challenge at Microsoft, as Global Partner Strategy ISV CTO for Red Hat. Translated: I am taking on technical leadership of the Microsoft/Red Hat partnership. I had a wonderful and fruitful 4 years as a technical and team lead in the Commercial Software Engineering department, continuing my project-based work with some of Microsoft’s biggest commercial customers. I got to build interesting projects with brilliant engineers, working in close collaboration with Volkswagen, Daimler, E. ...
Building blocks for autonomous driving simulation environments Nov 12, 2021 My team’s work with Volkswagen on an autonomous driving simulation environments just turned into a new Azure Well-Architected page, which makes this a good time to add some behind-the-scenes commentary from real world experience. The architecture recommended there came from a lot of discovery and experimentation work, and suits quite a broad case that I think is not well represented (yet) in cloud computing products. The challenge Testing and CI-style validation in autonomous driving development are a tricky challenge. ...
The Cluster in My Closet - Advice for running kubernetes at home May 15, 2021 What do most people do with their old computers? I’ve never been good at getting rid of mine. They were all repurposed into servers, running whatever key services for my household I could think of at the time. This year I decided to move out of the “old sysadmin” patterns of my roots, and try running my homelab in a more modern way. That’s right: I set up a kubernetes cluster. ...
5 Project Manager Comments That Out You as an Amateur Mar 22, 2021 A lot of the project managers you’ll meet in technical consulting are new. That’s OK! The number of developers - and correspondingly, their project managers - is growing exponentially from year to year. Even if we could assign everyone a mentor with at least a year of experience, there wouldn’t be enough mentors to go around. A lot of people are learning as they go, and land in a role because someone thinks they have an aptitude. ...
How to Format Video for Fast Playback on the Web Nov 11, 2020 It’s a pain in the ass to get your video optimized for web. Not only do you have to work out codecs and their support across browsers, but even within codecs there are tricks to help it stream more easily. Here’s the short version. In terms of format, there are some really great options if you only care about compatibility with the most popular browsers (ahem - chrome). webm/VP8 is the way to go here, or webm/VP9 if you really only care about chrome. ...
Chinese censorship, values decisions, and free software Oct 08, 2019 Chinese censors are in the news this weekend: Blizzard banned a grandmaster Hearthstone player for supporting Hong Kong in an interview, South Park was added to the “banned” list for their critique of Chinese censorship in Hollywood, and an NBA franchise owner’s job was on the line for a pro-HK tweet. Increasingly, Western companies are finding themselves up against the wall to prioritize western liberal values against access to the enormous Chinese market. ...