These are some of the links from all over the Web that I enjoyed the most this month:
Ned Batchelder - People: The API User’s Guide. A long time ago I was taught that communication involves no less than three potentially fallible stages: what you mean to say in your own mind, the message as it gets transmitted, and what the receiver hears and interprets. This keynote from PyCon 2023 goes into some of the ways that the reception and interpretation of a message can become distorted, and how to optimize the messages you transmit to get better results. Surprise surprise; as with so many really very difficult things about human interaction, it boils down to being kind.
Minnen Ratta - The emptiness at the extremes. I think this is something I regularly do that annoys some people: When asked for a clear dividing line or rule on some topic, I always hedge and add the caveat “use your judgment”. This goes over poorly with a lot of engineering types, but I’m unrepentant. Sure, there are guidelines and there are things that are generally good ideas, and you can often find patterns that work most of the time… but there’s no substitute for actually thinking about the situation and making an informed judgment.
Defector - The Internet Isn’t Meant To Be So Small. I think about this fairly regularly (and get sad). My hope, though, is that the old Internet hasn’t gone away, it’s just that the new Internet is so vastly larger that it looks like the old one has disappeared… but I hope it’s still there, thriving as much as it ever was, just eclipsed by everything that has grown up around it.
Carta - State of Private Markets: Q1 2023. Interesting hard data on how some of the frothier aspects of the startup equity market are being pared back, and some of the compensating changes happening as a result.
rust-lang/cargo - Incident postmortem. A nice public example of a fairly thorough investigation and how to go about making systems more robust. I might’ve also included some examination of the release process itself and the question of how to get more eyes on nightly builds, but that’s a nitpick since I don’t have a concrete proposal to make anyway.