Random stuff I learnt

  • Good Strategy/Bad Strategy by Richard P. Rumelt

    I’ve had this book a while but never got around to reading it properly. One of my colleagues at work was listening to the audio version of it and recommended it. This was an excellent read and very relevant to what is happening at the company I am working at at the moment. For me the key takeaway was that what most people call strategy is not actually strategy but vision or goals.

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  • Privacy is choice

    A great quote from this podcast by 23andMe Co-Founder and CEO Anne Wojcicki … “Privacy is not about not sharing, it is about choice” Links Driving Discovery and Disruption

  • Pi

    This page is devoted to maths and in particular pi. The answer to the second question on this page is unexpected and I love the energy the maths teacher brings to the class in the video. I had maths teachers but never one quite like this. Links Can you solve it? The Pi Day party starts here

  • Four minute mile

    I had never seen the original footage of Sir Roger Bannister running the first four minute mile. His narration of the race really adds to it as well. Links First Four Minute Mile

  • 'Blockchain' is meaningless

    There seems to be no single clean definition of what “Blockchain” actually means. There are a lot of woolly statements, several of which are clearly either wrong or too narrowly focused. This article goes into some of the different definitions and why they are wrong and then the implications of this from a business but also a legal perspective. I personally think the definition by Mike Gault, CEO of Guardtime, is the closest:

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  • AI Code Assistant

    Ubissoft have introduced a tool that “uses AI” to identify potential coding issues when the developer commits code. They claim it can detect a significant number of errors and even suggest solutions in some cases. There will always be some errors that it will not be able to identify, for example where the implementation doesn’t match the requirements, however this approach could have a significant impact on the amount of time spent debugging.

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  • Blackout by Marc Elsberg

    This story documents one scenario that could happen when the nightmare happens of a massive power cut across Europe. It starts with a number of threads and weaves them well together. It follows an Italian as he realizes it is a terrorist attack on the smart power meters. This destabilizes the power grid which takes down most of the grid across Europe. A second attack targets the power plants. This leads to a power cut across Europe that lasts days and the storyline of how they track down the cause and the perpetrators.

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  • Reducing the team size to deliver

    A project was struggling to deliver in time and the project manager resolved it by reducing the team size where the typical approach is to increase the team size. This decision was based on the overhead of communication and Brooks Law. Links Applying Brooks Law

  • Developer Platforms Must Listen to Developers to Grow

    This is an excellent study on why developers are so important to a platform. At the moment we are developing a platform and we have been trying to get this message across to the business side of the company. This article backs up what we have been saying. “This means that platform makers must listen and learn how developers want their platforms marketed to them and must work to help developers find interesting ways to solve tough problems using their platforms, he added.

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  • How do crypto-currencies work?

    A very simple introduction to how Bitcoin works … using a stuffed penguin! Links Bitcoin explained: How do crypto-currencies work?