Notes for September 1st 2023

  • Work has been quiet on the hiring front lately. Largely due to a RIF (reduction in workforce; which itself is an inhumane way to put a tumultuous experience) last year and a general "cooling off" period post-covid. But I've been thinking a bit about my experience in hyper-growth hiring phases. And while we got a lot of this right, some of our decision making was poor.
    • We tend to think of attracting talent, interviewing well and retaining talent is the bar we set ourselves. And there's a lot of nuance that drives good behaviour there. But as a team, particularly a hiring manager team, scales up, that can become inhumane numbers-driven awfulness.
    • Selecting people, welcoming them and developing talent is the way to think about it. In those very specific words.
  • I wonder if the machine that ran the shared U-drive in DIT from when I was a student still exists. It should be dumped up to Internet Archive. But then I worry most people‚Äôs drive contained CS1.6 cracked rather than interesting computer science lab work or research.
  • UK airspace was interrupted unceremoniously this week, leaving some family members stuck at home in Copenhagen when they should have been in Ireland. It also stranded some friends of mine in London. All were obviously fine, but inconvenienced. But I can only imagine the nightmare that caused families trying to get home, etc.
    - Interestingly, the system that collapsed was warned against by European aviation bodies when the UK probed the idea of migrating. The hubris of Brexit knows no bounds.
  • IRC turned 35 years old this week. As someone who is 38, and started using IRC in the fledgling era of the internet when I was about 10 or 11 years old, finding IRC early on and using it to this very day is an exercise in being aged aggressively. The fact that the core tech and features haven't moved far is both impressive but also sad. It needs some proper open source TLC. It has thousands of active users across thousands of servers around the world.
    • I know it's leanings are in gaming and open source technology communities, but there's a lot out there. I wish apps were more accessible, and the business value was more clearly articulated by companies to compete against Slack monopolisation. In saying that, I'm just as unlikely to do anything about it as anyone else!
  • It's now September, which means we'll hit the grim window when the night time pulls forward to earlier and earlier times in the day. It's gone from 11pm sundown to 9pm really quickly. And that'll draw closer to 7pm soon.
  • I was in London this week. And it's always interesting to people watch on trains. A city with such a massive population dispersed over such a wide plot of land with a wide gamut of backgrounds and diversities makes it both warm and cold at the same time, vibe-wise. And while there's plenty to see and do, somehow London culture means the entire thing shuts down at about 10pm.
  • Everyone whinges about internal documentation, wiki's, etc. And a lot of it is valid and almost impossible for solve for without having humans directly managing content as it ages, cleaning tagging/structure, and applying rigour to style guides. But wait until AI gets into this field and absolutely obliterates the utility wiki's and the like provide.