Polymath Engineer Weekly #79
Stock Options, Public Speaking, Code, Shell Pipes, Round Rectangles, Shutter Speed and Nudge
Hello again. The newsletter audience has been growing and we're already in 18 countries! It's awesome that I can share with all of you the things that capture my interest through the week. 🤗
This week I have created a survey to get feedback from you. It is really short and anonymous. I would really appreciate if you take 2 minutes to help me make this site better.
Links of the week
Another commonly stated reason is that, if you give people options, they’ll work harder because they’ll do well when the company does well. This was the reason that was given most vehemently (“you shouldn’t trust someone who’s only interested in a paycheck”, etc.)
However, as far as I can tell, paying people in options almost totally decouples job performance and compensation. If you look at companies that have made a lot of people rich, like Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Facebook, almost none of the employees who became rich had an instrumental role in the company’s success. Google and Microsoft each made thousands of people rich, but the vast majority of those folks just happened to be in the right place at the right time and could have just as easily taken a different job where they didn't get rich. Conversely, the vast majority of startup option packages end up being worth little to nothing, but nearly none of the employees whose options end up being worthless were instrumental in causing their options to become worthless.
The number of people listening to you over time steadily declines with time. However, for the first minute or so you'll have nearly everyones' attention. Don't waste this opportunity! Hit them with your most important ideas immediately so that when they do tune out they're missing less and less important information.
Code does not have mass, but it has a gravitational pull. The larger and more complex the code, the more energy is required to escape it: more code to understand, more code to replace, more managers to convince, more programmers to get on board, etc. Eventually, the code that only needed to handle simple HTTP requests has become so complex because of the web framework and the extra layers of complexity that we added that simple changes require weeks of work and no one dares suggest that the problem is the web framework and that it needs to be replaced.
One especially under-used approach for data processing is using standard shell tools and commands. The benefits of this approach can be massive, since creating a data pipeline out of shell commands means that all the processing steps can be done in parallel. This is basically like having your own Storm cluster on your local machine. Even the concepts of Spouts, Bolts, and Sinks transfer to shell pipes and the commands between them. You can pretty easily construct a stream processing pipeline with basic commands that will have extremely good performance compared to many modern Big Data (tm) tools.
Steve suddenly got more intense. "Rectangles with rounded corners are everywhere! Just look around this room!". And sure enough, there were lots of them, like the whiteboard and some of the desks and tables. Then he pointed out the window. "And look outside, there's even more, practically everywhere you look!". He even persuaded Bill to take a quick walk around the block with him, pointing out every rectangle with rounded corners that he could find.
I hate MacOS' window corners!!! Now I know why they are here…
Shutter speed dissected: from Lumière Brothers to your phone. Dive into camera history and tech with Captain Disillusion! ⏳
Book of the Week
Do you have any more links our community should read? Feel free to post them on the comments.
Have a nice week. 😉