I first read about the notion of a mature developer in the blog post On Being a Senior Engineer by John Allspaw, way back in 2012. A lifetime in the tech industry, but this simple idea has stuck with me and hasn’t been bettered.
The thrust of this post is that being a mature engineer (or developer) should be valued much more highly than being a senior engineer.
You should really take the time to read that post—I’m not going to
try to repeat it here as it’s long and detailed and worth reading
What follows is just some random, less relevant information from my own life.
who have lost their jobs lose not only an income but also a sense of
place, of purpose and of solidarity. Community dislocation, absence of
social belonging, loss of identity, lack of political control and
self-determination—these things are extremely hard to measure in dollars
and cents or pounds and pence.
to this is urgent. Unless people get a more substantial voice and sense
of agency over their lives, it is hard to see how the backlash against
global trade can be quelled, and that threatens the global economy and
how might confidence and agency be restored to those facing the sharp
end of globalisation? Our work at the Open Society Foundations (OSF)
sheds light on how giving people a “path to participation” can help tamp
the anxiety that drives people to embrace protectionism and populism.
We have looked specifically at three contentious areas: refugee
settlement, worker participation and trade policy.
We study the effects that two
of the largest gangs in Latin America, MS-13 and 18th Street, have on
economic development in El Salvador. We exploit the fact that the
emergence of gangs in El Salvador was in part the consequence of an
exogenous shift in US immigration policy that led to the deportation of
gang leaders from the United States to El Salvador. Using the exogenous
variation in the timing of the deportations and the boundaries of the
territories controlled by the gangs, we perform a spatial regression
discontinuity design and a difference-in-differences analysis to
estimate the causal effect that living under the rule of gangs has on
development outcomes. Our results show that individuals living under
gang control have significantly worse education, wealth, and less income
than individuals living only 50 meters away in areas not controlled by
gangs. None of these discontinuities existed before the arrival of gangs
from the US. The results are not determined by exposure to violence,
lower provision of public goods, or selective migration away from gang
locations. We argue that our findings are mostly driven by gangs
restricting residents’ mobility and labor choices. We find that
individuals living under the rule of gangs have less freedom of movement
and end up working in smaller firms. The results are relevant for many
developing countries where non-state actors control parts of the
That is from a new paper by Nikita Melnikov, Carlos Schmidt-Padilla, and Maria Micaela Sviatschi. Via the excellent Samir Varma.
From Peter Kropotkin to Leo Tolstoy to Noam Chomsky, some of the most revered anarchist thinkers have exhausted page after page explaining why power over others is unjustified, no matter how it justifies itself. To those who say the wealthy and powerful benefit society with charitable works and occasionally humane policy, Tolstoy might reply with the following illustration, which opens Time editor Anand Giridharadas’ talk above, “Winner Take All,” as animated by the RSA:
As a journalist in 2020, the dangers you face are ever-increasing.
Without the proper protection from online threats, you risk hackers
stealing confidential information, exposing your sources, breaking
anonymity, and getting hold of your unpublished stories. You’d be a prime victim for blackmail — or worse.
Some of these dangers can even be extreme and life-threatening. According to UNESCO, 495 journalists were killed between 2014 and 2018, which is an 18% increase compared to the latest 5-year period. In addition, more journalists are being murdered in non-conflict zones than from within conflict zones. Out of all the journalists killed in 2018, 33% were TV journalists, 26% were print journalists, and journalists in online media formed a significant 15%.
By the age of 46, the man has built three multi-billion dollar companies, and this is his secret.
It’s easy to link Elon Musk’s rapid success, ability to solve
unsolvable problems, and genius-level creativity to his incredible work
But during a one-on-one interview with TED curator Chris Anderson,
Musk attributed to his genius-level creativity and success to a method
of reasoning called first principles.
First-principles thinking works like this: First, you identify and
define your assumptions; then, you break down the problem into its
fundamental principles; and, lastly, you create new solutions from