Monday Links 11

Two years ago GitHub archived all the open source repos they host along with copies of StackOverflow and Wikipedia on 188 reels of archival film inside a decommissioned coal mine in the arctic. Last week they talked about the why and how.

Gina Trapani talks about why senior leaders sometimes seem less engaged than you’d expect and presents some tips on how to get your message across to them

Charity Majors’s latest post, The Hierarchy Is Bullshit (And Bad For Business), is chock-full of good stuff like this:

Power flows to managers by default, just like water flows downhill. Managers have to actively push back on this tendency by explicitly allocating powers and responsibilities to tech leads and engineers. Don’t hoard information, share context generously, and make sure you know when they would want to tap in to a discussion. Your job is not to “shield” them from the rest of the org; your job is to help them determine where they can add outsize value, and include them. Only if they trust you to loop them in will they feel free to go heads down and focus.

Hades - Developing Hell

Noclip are a tiny studio who create documentaries about video games. They concentrate on diving deep into the history of studios or the development of specific titles. Entirely funded by Patreon, Noclip’s documentaries are hight quality and fascinating viewing.

In 2018 Noclip published the first episode in a series about the development of Hades, starting just as Supergiant Games were getting ready to put the game into Early Access. The series chronicles the process of developing and iterating a game, responding to and incorporating feedback from eager customers with high expectations, and, as development rolls into 2020, figuring out how to work on a game during a pandemic. The final episode was released in 2021 and documents what happens when the Hades finally reaches 1.0.

If you liked Double Fine Adventure then this documentary will be right up your alley.

Monday Links 10

Techniques for managing your time and cognitive load as a senior leader

The constant context switch is part of the job for most leaders. If you manage to keep the type of activity similar for a longer period of time it will have less impact on your cognitive load and energy level.

I am a fan of time blocking and bundling up work, as this article suggests. Not so sure about doing all the 1:1s on the same day, though, I find that too draining.

(via Pat Kua’s Level Up newsletter)

Cal Newport on time blocking

Sometimes people ask how time blocking can work for reactive work, where you cannot tell in advance what obligations will enter your life on a given day. My answer is again simple: periods of open-ended reactivity can be blocked off like any other type of obligation. Even if you’re blocking most of your day for reactive work, for example, the fact that you are controlling your schedule will allow you to dedicate some small blocks (perhaps at the schedule periphery) to deeper pursuits.

Dave Farley describes the London and Chicago schools of Test Driven Development

Did you know there are two schools of thought when it comes to Test Driven Development? I didn’t until Dave Farley’s video Are You Chicago or London When It Comes To TDD landed in my feed last week. The title piqued my interest and I was delighted to find a great discussion of approaches to TDD and how they complement each other.

If you’re a seasoned test driven developer, or merely TDD-curious, this is a really good refresher.