Amazing CTO Newsletter
🚀 Issue 6.1
by Stephan Schmidt
this weeks insighs include
- 👉 Three questions to a CTO
- Three week outages
- AI again 🤖
- Book recommendation 📚: “One Page Management”
Good reading, happy Easter holiday ❤️ and until next week,
👉 Three Questions to Matthias L. Jugel, CTO ubirch GmbH
What does make a CTO amazing?
That depends on the stage. At first an amazing CTO puts together a first product from scratch. I am now in the stage where as a CTO I have to inspire and lead the way to establish structures. In established companies an amazing CTO both ensures productivity as well as ensuring innovation and progress.
What is your favorite programming language and why?
I love Lisp. It is the most elegant language ever invented. However, I don’t use it in practise. Part of my passion is to learn new languages all the time and use the language that yields the best results for the case at hand. Right now, Rust is coming up.
What long term impact has working remote on software processes?
Watching the progress of AI I expect that we will see functional coding fade away and be replaced by auto-code. As a large part of assembling applications is understanding, we will see that part as a top level job for humans still.
The Scoop: Inside the Longest Atlassian Outage of All Time
How can a SaaS service be down for an estimated three weeks? I this one of your nightmares?
One of my ideas is a crisis happens when two mistakes collide. Here miscommunication about
which servers to take down and misuse of a script lead to the deletion of hundreds of
customer instances. Learn and shine.
And from the Atlassian CTO:
DALL-E, the Metaverse, and Zero Marginal Content
DALL-E generates images based on text input. First time I have seen the images
I could not believe the results. If you still think AI is the far future,
How we lost 54k GitHub stars
The terminal API client lost 54k (!) stars on Github. Why? “Due to an unfortunate sequence of events”
(Again, see, mistakes colliding) the developer made the Github repo private for a second, and Github
removed all stars (and watchers and …). Does your software also has these tripwires and mines
hidden somewhere for your customers to trip over?
U+237C ⍼ RIGHT ANGLE WITH DOWNWARDS ZIGZAG ARROW
There is this unicode character ⍼ and no-one knows what it means or where it came from.
I guess some of your code also no-one knows what it means or why it is there.
A Taxonomy of Bugs
I love bugs. I love when my coachees have a bug problem (in their software not at home).
Why? Because fixing a massive bug problem is easy with determination and there are proven
ways to do so. Something you can’t say about a lot of other things in software engineering.
Also I love zero bug policies. Here we find a thorough (!) analysis of bug types ❤️
Pretty colorful pictures about security! I tell all coachees security training is key, why not
use one of these for your next developer security training?
📚 Book Recommendation “One Page Management”
A must-read book for every CTO is “One Page Management” by Riaz Khadem. It’s a book from 1986
and explains how a computer system can help a company. The core idea of the book is interesting
food for thought, it explains how to structure bottom up communication in an efficient way with
simple one page documents. Two idea I have from the book: Look at a problem if it resurfaces
in the KPI for a second (third) week and do not have one goal number, but three. A minimum goal,
not reaching that is a reason to be fired, a satisfactory level that makes everyone feel good and
and one outstanding level that will move you to promotion. Many companies struggle with goals
and communication, these two things help a lot.