It’s been a good week!
Last Sunday, a friend and I did the Berliner Unterwelten “Dark Worlds” tour. I did this one a few years ago, but it’s really nice to do it again with a different tour guide and a different group of people. I learned even more, and the whole experience was pleasantly different.
Berliner Unterwelten offer fantastic tours and I can’t recommend them enough. Unfortunately not all the tours are in English: out of 5 or 6 tours, only 2 or 3 of them are in English.
A couple of weeks ago, I got a made-to-measure Spider-Man suit. I’ve not yet overcome the apprehension of wearing it outside, but cosplaying in public is definitely the idea. I’d need a spotter to come with, though.
I think the suit looks good on me, in part because in the last year, I’ve lost the extra weight I put on (the COVID kilos and the stress-eating kilos), and now I’m mostly back to my tall-and-skinny figure that I’m comfortable with.
I showed off the Spider-Man suit to a friend who was visiting me at home, and opened the door to the delivery person bringing our dinner, wearing the full outfit. The delivery person’s expression was as blank as could be as they checked me out top to bottom, which I’m optimistically taking as “pleasantly surprised.”
If nothing else, at least I enjoyed the fleeting interaction.
I’m increasingly annoyed by Twitter repost accounts that repost content without attribution. Two examples that come to mind are
@WholesomeMeme, but they are certainly not the only ones. What is up with that?
I’m a fan of curator accounts, to be clear, but I’m unhappy about not providing credit to the original creator. Often, it’s difficult or impossible to find where the content originates. For me, a good curator account provides a way to find new creators that I could want to follow directly.
I’m undoubtedly naïve, but I feel like the Internet would be an excellent foundation for tracking provenance.
Most of my fellow engineers at work use Docker for Mac for development (I don’t), and wow it’s incredibly slow.
Let me illustrate. A coworker showed me how to reproduce a bug, by double-clicking on a button (instead of single-clicking). This coworker has an M1 MacBook Pro, but everything was so slow that they could easily click that button a dozen times. Meanwhile, my Intel MacBook Pro is so fast that I couldn’t even double-click fast enough on the aforementioned button.
The speed difference is gargantuan. I used to think that Docker for Mac showed a 10–20× slowdown, but on M1 it seems closer to a 50× slowdown.
My goal has been to move everyone off Docker for Mac, which in part what the
dev tool was for (which I talked about in Weeknotes 2022 W34: Insomnia). The amount of engineering time wasted on Docker for Mac is too high.
I’ve now had this job for just over a month. It was quite a rocky start, but I’m settling in, and quite enjoying my role. The atmosphere within the Engineering department is really nice, and people seem to get along quite well.
There is an office in Berlin, though I haven’t been there yet. I’m very much enjoying working remotely. An office just isn’t able to provide some of the neat stuff I have at home:
I’ve got an excellent setup here, with an ultra-wide high-resolution screen, a good microphone and good camera for calls, a split mechanical keyboard and a vertical mouse.
I can have proper calls, because there is no background noise: no other people walking around, no other people talking or having calls themselves. (I’ve on occasion been requested to come to the office, but doing so on a day where I have already calls scheduled in my agenda makes no sense.)
There’s no-one around to disturb me, and I can play music as loud as I want.
I get to choose my own lunch buddies, who will typically not be coworkers. That makes for a proper lunch break where the topic of conversation isn’t related to work.
I skip out on a 30–40min commute each morning and evening. That’s a lot of time gained.
I get to do other stuff, like make sourdough bread and do laundry. While doing so takes a lot of start-to-finish time, it needs very little active time where I’m involved, so it parallelizes quite well.
In short, remote working is excellent.
Here’s a tip (which I got from Esther) to make remote daily standup meetings more smooth:
At the start of the meeting, everyone uses the “raise hand” button. ✋
Attendees take turns saying their standup meeting bit, and then lower their hand. They nominate the next person to speak, which they pick from the list of people who still have their hand up.
It’s simple, but quite effective. It takes away the stress of having to remember who has taken their turn, which can be difficult especially when there is some pre-chatting going on before the meeting itself starts.
I introduced this to two teams and they adopted it straight away. When I introduced it, I hadn’t even finished explaining the idea and people had their hands raised already. I’m an influencer!
I’m picking up mentoring again! I signed up for First Ruby Friend a while back, and now I’m in touch with my mentee. Hello, J! In addition, I’ve committed to mentoring a coworker.
It’ll be really nice to be mentoring again. t’s something I enjoy doing but have barely done in the last two years or so.
Let’s talk entertainment!
I finally finished Tales from the loop. It’s beautiful, sad, and weird. It took me months to watch all eight episodes, because it’s surprisingly heavy.
I started playing Industria, but I’m not enjoying it too much. It’s dark and scary. It relies on jump scares a little too much for my liking.
This Janet Jackson BASSLINE breaks laptops (Adam Neely)
AI Images (Last Week Tonight with John Oliver): Aww 😍
My experiences printing a small batch of books (Marcin Wichary): I’ve been interested in printing small runs of a book, in no small part because having stuff in book form (especially your own writing) is amazing.
This Essay has EVERYTHING!!! (Movies with Mikey): I absolutely need to re-watch Everything Everywhere All at Once. I was far too distracted when I watched it.
Neyyah: This game is in development, but oh does it look amazing. It ticks all the Myst/Riven boxes. Can’t wait to play it!