Links: 9-29-2019

  • Setting the Scene: How Technology Created a Richer Playset in ‘Toy Story 4’ – The Walt Disney Company
    Quote: "Toy Story 4 also features cobwebs—a lot of cobwebs. Jordan describes how one animator wrote a program simulating an A.I. spider building cobwebs: “He guided the spiders to where he wanted them to build cobwebs, and they’d do the job for us. And when you see those cobwebs overlaid on the rest of the scene, it gives the audience the sense that this place has been here for a while.” Without that program, animators would have had to make the webs one strand at a time, which would have taken several months. “You have to tell the spider where the connection points of the cobweb should go,” Jordan says, “but then it does the rest.”"
    (categories: ai machine-learning pixar programming )

  • Eric’s Guide to Hiring {Software Developers} | Eric Lawler
    Awesome rundown of hiring software engineers in 2019.
    (categories: hiring management career )

  • Self-serve first: the overlooked but essential paradigm underlying great software companies
    Quote: "And I’ve been watching this new competitor emerge that’s going after the same market as we are, except from the low end. They are tiny but growing rapidly. And it’s too hard for us to compete with them — we don’t have the people, technology stack, support model or frankly, the mindset."
    (categories: self-serve strategy startups saas product-led-growth plg )

  • Dysfunctions of output-oriented software teams :: Adam Kalsey
    Quote: "Take small steps and look to continually improve. Start by defining success through outcomes and deciding up from what measurements will indicate you have reached those outcomes. Accept that it’s OK if you aren’t always busy. Slack in the schedule is healthy and helps give time to explore and experiment. If you’re not focused on being busy all the time, you’ll be able to think more about creating a flow of value to the customer. Above all, empower people. Trust that the smart, capable people you’ve hired will do the right thing. Try managing through Commander’s Intent: define what success looks like, and then let them figure out how to get there."
    (categories: okr kpi outcome customerfocus value )

  • Reclaim unreasonable software.
    Quote: "The abstract deity known only as business value doesn’t care whether your software is easy to reason about, but it does care quite a bit about your ability to release new features and to operate your software well enough to retain users. At some point, the slowing velocity will become the discussion you have at planning and strategy meetings, with one resounding refrain: the status quo isn’t working."
    (categories: software rewrite reclaim value )

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