Weeknotes 2024.23

Since there was so much negative stuff last week, I went with Ethics as the central topic. On a lighter note we have engineering practices from Stripe and Linear and advice for corporate blogging practices.

Good day y’all! Yes, Weeknotes are moving to Tuesdays morning from now on. It’s attempt to have a more sustainable publishing schedule. Turns out, every day of the week has pros and cons for publishing, so I follow the lead of others with this.

This week the short list of articles was rather depressing, so I leave you with one thought piece regarding the required ethical upgrade we need and will link to the rest with this in mind.

Because I don’t want to end on a depressing note, there are a few good things at the end.

Ethics upgrade required

Marcelo Gleiser’s Big Think article “Humanity needs an ethical upgrade to keep up with new technologies” struck a chord with me. He also highlights that blame, I’d rather use the term accountability, should not go to the inventor, but those who control the application of innovations. Intention of the application is important as well and we should gauge for moral hazards.

Ethics upgrade required — illustrative examples

Cloudflare’s questionable sales tactics. This got some attention in the industry. It’s a shame for a company delivering strong engineering one can rely on, if stories like these erode the trust. I postponed a migration to Cloudflare and I’m not the only one. Let’s see how this develops.

OpenAI’s questionable conduct. The whole OpenAI board saga is in its next round and descending into “he said, she said”, but in the meantime OpenAI isn’t really helping its cause when looking from the outside in: OpenAI has a new safety team — it’s run by Sam Altman - The Verge, OpenAI researcher who resigned over safety concerns joins Anthropic - The Verge, Why the OpenAI board fired Sam Altman - The Verge, OpenAI board first learned about ChatGPT from Twitter, according to former member | Ars Technica;

Microsoft Recall. When I wrote last week that I hoped they had a decent Incognito Mode, I actually thought this feature was a bit better thought through. Turns out, it’s a pile of garbage threatening privacy and security. Way to go, Microsoft!

Of the 120 links in the short list, about half go into similar routes. It’s really telling that so many people in tech get ethics so fabuously wrong.

The Roundup (the more fun stuff)

Good corporate blogging

How (some) good corporate engineering blogs are written. A very interesting post and it boils down to a lightweight and fast approval process. While it focuses on “engineering” blogs, you can apply these lessons learned to virtually any other field.

How Stripe and Linear do things

Stripe's monorepo developer environment. Love me some experience sharing. I’m still not on board with monorepos, but maybe one day.

The Linear Method: Opinionated Software. The Linear Method is one of set of principles I will remix in the future for BackstageWorks.


The End

At least for this week. I struggled on the weeknotes before, but this time it was horrible. I probably have to reconsider how I gather my shortlist of stories, so it doesn’t get too negative. See you in a week. I hope for something positive to report around Apple’s WWDC.