Adam Keys

…is writing software, building teams, playing pub quizzes, lifting weights, watching TV, reading books, playing Destiny, going to Disneyland, going to Walt Disney World, having dogs and cats, overthinking it, writing it down, enjoying cars but wishing for a future without them, and increasingly old.

Elsewhere:

Stick around, read some stuff, get in touch, go for a walk outside, make something cool. I’m not the boss of you.

Recently in short form

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    Ever forward, eventually, to the new way
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    I’m no good at photography, but Texas sunsets make it easy.
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    I’ve been tinkering this weekend and MVP.css may be one of my new favorite tools. Drop in some CSS and then just use HTML elements as their name would suggest. No layout, no grids, no typographical system. No classes to memorize. Build now, worry about all the other stuff later.
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    This weekend, I’m revisiting some of David Perell’s writing on writing, thinking, and aiming high. My favorites: Why You Should Write, Learn Like an Athlete, Networked Writing.
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    That is a beautiful machine. I must have a soft spot for extensive air-cooling schemes. If Windows/PCs were a thing I could get with, I would get with this hardware.
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    We took all the dogs on a walk today. Even the sixteen year old one who walks janky. I have never seen so many people out walking in our neighborhood. So that’s nice! Add that to the list of things we should considering preserving once we reach the new normal.
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    Stop the Coronavirus Corporate Coup. I’ve got a bad feeling about this. The aerospace giant of course wants a $60 billion bailout. Financial problems for this corporation predated the crisis, with the mismanagement that led to the 737 Max as well as defense and space products that don’t work (I noted last July a bailout was coming). The corporation paid out $65 billion in stock buybacks and dividends over the last ten years, and it was drawing down credit lines before this crisis hit. It is highly politically connected; the board of the corporation includes Caroline Kennedy, Ronald Reagan’s Chief of Staff Ken Duberstein, three Fortune 100 CEOs, a former US Trade Representative, and two Admirals, one of whom is the board’s only engineer. Using the excuse of the coronavirus, Boeing is trying to get the taxpayer to foot the bill for its errors, so it can go back to making more of them.
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    The jazz icon Sonny Rollins knows life is a solo trip. Seems like a surprisingly wise, grounded performer.
  • Locality, module systems, coherence
    Michael Feathers on locality in software design: You have locality when you don’t have to look beyond your gaze to understand how you are affected or how you affect. I find languages with a strong module system (Rust, Clojure, sometimes ES6-by-the-books) make each source file more coherent and easier to read than languages where methods or state have more sophisticated/powerful lookup schemes (Ruby, React-flavored ES6). Plus, strong module systems seem to come with the side benefit of encouraging us to make up names for the functions and state we import, again improving coherence and readability. A strong sense of locality, module systems, and coherence aren’t in a causal relationship, but they sure do taste great together.
  • The Longines Heritage Military 1938
    The deep-black, serene face on this watch is a real winner. The numbering and proportions are also ace.
  • I guess Brian Wilson didn't recede into his pocket dimension after all
    Who sang lead the most on each Beach Boys album? - Brian Wilson is way more active after Pet Sounds than I would have imagined.
  • Team organization matters
    On team composition and the distribution of higher/lower experience team members: Even though pretty much any team can deliver results, suboptimal team composition is still a problem.  It’s a problem when teams working on very straightforward projects take longer than necessary.  It’s a problem when teams stacked with senior engineers are neither mentoring junior engineers nor taking moonshots.  Most importantly, these problems are hard to notice because, again, everyone’s delivering results. Richard Crowley
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    Dave Quah made a pretty dang good HTML & CSS version of the Destiny loading animation. I see a lot of this thing and that’s pretty a pretty dang awesome achievement.
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    I don’t often have the need for a tiny spreadsheet on my phone, but I love everything about Tinysheet by Postlight.
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    How DJ Premier Changed Hip-Hop - I did not realize he’s the producer on so many tracks. Particularly, Nas (“New York State of Mind”, even), D’Angelo, and (checks notes) Christina Aguilera.
  • The desirable qualities of good tests
    I often say that learning test-driven development is comparable to learning a whole other programming language. The practice of TDD is a mirror world of depth and trade-offs. Kent Beck underscores that depth in listing all [the desirable qualities of good tests], some of which are at tension with each other. Tests aren’t the easiest thing to get right, but there’s no better way to improve your design skills than to wrestle with the feedback loop of writing tests for the code you’re currently working on.
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    ‪I just wrote ‘Automotive form, Eddie Murphy, DC, the Goodfellas/My Blue Heaven connection’. buttondown.email/therealad…‬
  • The full-text search future we were promised
    I’ve been reorganizing some notes and considering moving specific topics/tags out of Bear. Turns out I can search across Bear, OmniOutliner, Ulysses, and random text files on my Mac w/ Spotlight pretty well now. Just type in a few words I vaguely recall and boom I’m there. That’s a promising development, the future we were promised!
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    A great Twitter thread on the importance of training managers. It boggles my mind we just throw so many people in the leadership pool and hope for the best. Every manager had a manager at some point! Why did we only start writing it down in the past few years? 🤷‍♂️🤦‍♂️
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    Current obsession: the Porsche 962 racecar. A spacecar GT/LeMans design. Bubble-esque cockpit, ground-effect body. It won some races. A great shape with the body panels on or off.
  • Personal choices outperform technology choices
    This dinger at the end of Mattt’s WWDC wrap-up is everything: Taking care of yourself — sleeping enough, eating right, exercising regularly — will do more to improve your productivity than any language or framework out there. Your ability to communicate and collaborate with others will always be a better predictor of success than your choice of technology stack. Your relationships with others are the most significant factors of success and happiness in life.
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    Data, it turns out, is far more valuable than code. Google and Facebook are unprecedented in economic history because of the data they’ve amassed; their applications, languages, and vast infrastructure merely enable the data. When the db is the interface – Jessitron: “There are two huge sources of inertia in software: data, and interfaces.” Therefore, it makes sense, as Jessica points out, that 1) databases are the interface that matter most in your system and 2) a few patterns of databases and interactions thereof can make the difference between an evolvable system and one that grows from unwieldy to untenable.
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    Do Something Syndrome: When Movement Trumps Results: I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing, and what a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization.