Fascinating! January 2020

published by Henne
in fascinating Cover image: Comet Lovejoy by John Vermette

The universe is full of captivating, compelling and exquisite things. The internet, the most complete representation of humanity, is no different in that regard. Both are vast, seemingly endless and full of places you should know about. Let me share content that has moved me, in some way, in the last month. January is packed with sustainable open source, management stuff, too many tools and a bunch of awesome talks from 36c3. Go explore!

Open source licenses: 2019 year in review a post by Luis Villa

Luis, the co-founder of tidelift, wrote a nice rundown of all the Free Software license developments of the last 12 months. From pushing worker solidarity (996.ICU) over the ethical source movement and the hippocratic license to the rough time the OSI and the FSF have to respond to these new ideas. In 2019 the question that is currently dividing so many people on this planet has arrived (again) in Free Software. What is more important: Safety or Privilege?

XS:CODE a company.

While we are on the topic of licensing. I came across XS:CODE, the third player (I know of) in the realm of subscription based open source. Tidelift and Lizense Zero are the other two. This is still a bit too much gig-economy for me personally, but for sure a nice alternative to producing Free Software as a byproduct of the next big closed source SAAS app. I keep wondering, if something like this would have existed in my (hacker) youth, what would I have done? Probably stayed away from hacking because of choice fatigue…

Building a First Team Mindset a post by Jason Wong

This one hit close to home. As someone who grew out of the world of Free Software into the world of people/project management I'm often amazed on how anti-collaboration this field is. Most managers care a great deal about the team they lead and give a flying fuck about the managers they serve with. All this clan mentality, self-absorption and bickering about resources. Jason proposed to adopt a different approach to this.

A First Team mindset is the idea that leaders prioritize supporting their fellow leaders over supporting their direct reports

Amen Jason!

Hemmingway an app by Adam & Ben Long

Adam and his brother Ben Long have created the Hemingway App to fight the awful prose on the internet. Kind of like... my prose. I have the dreadful habbit to write super long, riddled with subordinate clauses, and superfluous complicated sentences. There, you see? I've been using the app more and more, especially while writing for a broader audience. Like job descriptions, commit messages and blog posts. It's a form of accessibility, the peepz from a list apart agree and 24a11y agree.

Face of Open Source: New Faces added in 2019 portraits by Peter Adams

Free Software moves me most, if it mixes with other art forms. Be it design, music, performance or like in this case: photography.

Portraits of Revolutionaries

Faces of Open Source / Peter Adams CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Look at those beautiful people and check out their contributions.

Culture is the Behavior You Reward and Punish a post by Jocelyn Goldfein

The story of how Jocelyn learned that culture needs to be defended. I really liked the question: "What makes people successful here?" as a tool to understand the lived (not stated) values of an organization.

In the last couple of years lots of projects (especially events) in the software community have been working on defining and defending their cultural standards. Out if this emerged the contributor covenant as defacto standard. It clearly emphasizes the need for enforcement.

A code of conduct that isn’t (or can’t be) enforced is worse than no code of conduct at all: it sends the message that the values in the code of conduct aren’t actually important or respected in your community. — Ada Initiative

At work we are undergoing a phase of similar culture turmoil right now. Not sure all people have understood yet what they got in to.

Our Data Our Selves a project by the tactical tech NGO.

A very deep look at the increasing role data plays in our lives. As means to activism, force in politics and integral part of yourself.

How to Estimate Feature Development Time: Maybe Don't a post by Amanda Beiner of thoughtbot

A very profound argument of the benefits but especially the consequences of (time) estimations in software development. At work we hopped the #noestimates train a long time ago, never really looked back. I personally also begin to dread the same consequences (explicit deadlines) for the sprint SCRUM event. I dream of trying to adopt our iteration cycle to the deliverable, not the other way around.

Tools I found interesting

  • remark.js · A markdown linter
  • brow.sh · A modern text-based browser
  • bandwhich · A terminal bandwidth utilization tool
  • autocrypt · Convenient End-to-End Encryption for E-Mail
  • suse.ai · An Open Source personal assistant / chat bot
  • ffsend · A command line Firefox Send client
  • db · A database snapshot tool

Talks I enjoyed

That was a lot of awesome stuff! Hope some of it makes you think/act as it has me.


Any criticism, remarks or praise about this post? Get in touch, I'm looking forward to your input!