Facebook Moderation and the Unforeseen Consequences of Scale

Parable of the Radium Girls In 1917, a factory owned by United States Radium in Orange, New Jersey hired workers to paint watchfaces with self-luminescent radium paint for military-issue, glow-in-the-dark watches. Two other factories soon followed in Ottawa, Illinois and Waterbury, Connecticut. The workers, mostly women, were instructed to point the tip of their paint […]

Implementers and Integrators

Organizations need both Implementers and Integrators. Implementers are those who specialize in nuts and bolts execution work. Migrating a database, designing a landing page, and running event logistics are all examples of implementation. Integrators observe disparate pieces of a system working in tandem, and discern ways of helping them work better together. This could mean […]

Exploring the Human Implications of Conway’s Law

Conway’s Law states that: “organizations which design systems … are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations.” In other words, the communication patterns in your team are duplicated in your software. I recently had a chat in which my counterpart made the point that if we take Conway’s […]

Will voting functionality on Facebook solve anything?

Word came out earlier this week that Facebook is running an experiment, giving a small number of users in New Zealand upvote/downvote buttons on comments. I’m wondering what Facebook is looking to learn. Upvotes and downvotes have been around since forever on gamified platforms like Reddit and Stack Overflow. Voting introduces a sense of right […]

Commit History

This is primarily an exercise in record keeping. Two years ago I wrote a post about burnout and went silent. Here are some things which have transpired since: I found work which fits the parameters outlined here. I published Contributions to put myself on the hook for figuring out more purposeful work, aiming at either […]

Reset

About three weeks ago, I said goodbye to my team. I’ve been in need of a break and after spending a year and a half working on technical infrastructure for the dev community, the company is increasing their focus on enterprise products. It was a good time for me to step back. Since leaving, I’ve […]

So You Want to Work With the Developer Community?

When I transitioned into working with technical communities, I was pretty sure I was a weird outlier who was suddenly getting to explore my passion for developer culture. Then I noticed something funny; some of my peers followed the same track shortly after I did. Investment in developer tools has also been on the rise, […]

Contributions

I’m obsessed with work. Sometimes (okay, a lot of the time) that means I’m a workaholic, for better or worse. When you get to the heart of the matter though, I’m driven by a sense of my ‘life’s work’. As in, what will I make with other people, over the course of my lifetime, which […]

Things I Believe

Roughly a year ago, I wrote these down. I was in a tangled confusing mess. At the time, I was trying to determine an outcome to something I couldn’t control. It just wasn’t in my hands. Recognizing this uncertainty, I tried for hours and days with my analytical abilities to play chess with reality, calculating […]

An End to 2012

When 2012 began, I was determined to make it a year of change. Professionally, I switched companies and roles: a change from an e-commerce/manufacturing marketplace to an open source driven cloud computing company. I dove into JavaScript and Git, got to know servers a whole lot better, and learned how to collaborate with a remote […]