It’s been a while since I rolled up some links here. I’ve collected quite a few it seems, so buckle up, and give them a read if they tickle your fancy. Or, read them because I said so. Whatever.
- The Age of AI has begun: Bill Gates does a good intro to high level thinking of the impact of AI. Good, or bad. Efficient or inefficient, it fits my view on some of the opportunities and end-use of the current crop of AI. I’m not sure I’m bullish on it, or optimistic, but the story is something I agree with.
- Why chatbots are not the future: A text box isn’t the future of UI. I enjoy this thoughtful, and reasonable walk through of the realities & challenges of ‘TaaUI’.
- You are not a parrot: From a researcher who boldly out that language isn’t just parroting syntactically correct words. It’s backed by so much more — and how if we forget that, we’re going to be caught like the emperor with his new clothes.
- Catching up on the weird world of LLMs: What was the technical development journey got us to the current LLM situation? This talk — and its transcript — is great at trying to wrap it up and put a bow on it.
- Cargo Cult AI: So many have jumped on the bandwagon of AI Doom / AI is magic, and they’ve lost sight of the wood for the trees. This is a nice taking a step back and looking at this from a less loaded angle.
- AI isn’t good enough: AI is hailed as replacing many job. Yet, in many situations is far from even barely getting by. A look at this from a jobs perspective.
- Unbundling AI: We’ve been presented with the omnipotent chat agent. We are beholden to an unadorned box of opportunity and infinite possibility. But, this is unlikely to be how it really plays out — we’re going to unbundle it!
- Big Tech’s Biggest Bets (Or What It Takes to Build a Billion-User Platform): Ever thought about how much money, time, and sTrAteGy goes into the big bets of the decade? Cars, AR, Search, AI… a good (long) read on this topic.
- Parallel futures in mobile application development: What are the parallel futures of ‘native’ app stacks? Do they all look the same, siloed by the seed that spawned them? Is there a monoculture ahead of us? A look at some of the interesting paths for ‘native’ app development in the future.
- We have left the cloud: I find this interesting because while there is clearly survivorship bias here, I think there is a nugget of value in ‘maybe we don’t all end up in the cloud’. I think, in my limited experience, this speaks to there being a gap in the cloud infrastructure, pricing wise, that makes the cloud too expensive, and on-premises cost effective. But below a certain size, the cloud is the winner.
- Will AI become the new McKinsey: What if AI isn’t the greatest leveler, the great bicycle mind, but — effectively — the management consultancy distilled into its purest form, and weaponised against us? I dunno. But I thought it was interesting to think about how the LLMs will be deployed to accelerate things that are already in place, not change the game — at least in the short term.
- The Next Larger Context: Often it’s said “understand one more level of abstraction”. This is a good read on a more pragmatic telling of that — here it’s framed as ‘what is the context that your solution sits within’.
- Choose boring culture: It’s often said ‘choose boring technology’ — e.g., tried, tested, reliable, don’t go spicy (I subscribe to this thinking). But what about culture? People seem to be trying to ‘innovate’ with their culture — but as the article boldly states: No one wants to work in an “exciting” culture.
- Software and its discontents: “software engineer” / “tech, from inside” has been negatively vibing in different ways for a while. From early in career to cynical old farts, theres been a greater sense of ‘theres something not right’. This series of posts are well worth a read — the author has tried to drill into this. It’s a thought sparking read. Give it a shot. Part 2, Part 3
- My 20 Year Career is Technical Debt or Deprecated: We spend a lot of time saying ‘we should avoid technical debt’. We make processes, systems, cultures to avoid taking on too much, and to ensure we pay it down. But, ultimately, the truism is that all code is tech debt. All. Of. It.
- How platform teams get stuff done: Not everything is — or should be — a platform, but when you have one you could do a lot worse than follow this set of organizational & process patterns to make sure you’re meeting your (internal) customers needs as the platform they need to depend on.
- My Approach to Building Large Technical Projects: Side projects, large projects - all face the challenge of staying motivated when faced with a multitude of parts, and wanting to see progress. This article tells a story of how one person breaks down a large technical project to stay motivated.
- In the middle of planning: Planning is a thing in many organizations. Some do well at continuous planning. Some work better with annual planning. Some are in the middle. But if you’re a middle manager, you gotta show two plans - up to the PHBs, and down to the peeps who really do the work. This is a good article providing a practical view.
- How to communicate like a GitHub engineer: This pretends to be about how GitHub uses GitHub to do its thang. But it’s really about how they communicate & information. It sounds fantastic!
- Bottlenecks vs Bandpass: Most applicable to platforms, but has relevance elsewhere where. Tl;dr: don’t try to review & support - look at the things that most likely to go off the rails
- We need more women founders on offense: Glossier is an interesting cosmetics company, coming from the startup world rather than the big cosmetics companies. Founded by a woman, and somewhat had the press telling an odd narrative. This article is from their former head of communications, and is a great insight into the way narratives about women are just told differently. Loved reading this.
- ‘The creative process is fabulously unpredictable. A great idea cannot be predicted’: This is an interesting interview with Jony Ive — I love the reframing into creating not just designing. Because thats what we really got in to this thing for — creating something new. It’s also a lovely philosophical walk through a positive way of thinking.
- Multi layered calendars: A common nerd trope is note taking, can capturing of everything we do so we can find it again in the future (See rewind.ai, for example). But often you’ve gotta make sense of it all. I love this article as a way to think about calendars differently, and how given that time is such a defining aspect of our lives, maybe temporarily through layers is a great way to think about that?
- We can leave the Solar System, but arriving anywhere is not happening soon: Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how large the universe is.
- Buy my course and make 6 figures: Former colleague Claudio Guglieri wrote a lovely short article about the ‘Grift’ that has followed the embracing of ‘design’. Although, with the recent perception that ‘design is dead’, I wonder if these grifters can really survive?