Cool things I read this week (05-Oct-2014)

I read. A lot. And these are the five most interesting things I read this week. Topics this week include the continuing Reddit drama, Seth Godin’s take on hiring and scaling, sleep, drawbacks of Appium and the origin of the phrase “patching software”.

1. Reddit CEO responds to a fired employee’s AMA
2. Seth Godin on hiring and scaling
3. Sleep debt and other sleep theories
4. Some drawbacks on Appium
5. The origin of the phrase “patching software”


My notes

1. Reddit CEO responds to a fired employee’s AMA
My respect for the Reddit CEO and their culture continues to fall. The Reddit CEO checkmated a misguided and misbehaving former employee who was doing a AMA on Reddit. The whole exchange left a bad taste in my mouth. The employee’s AMA was a cheap shot at Reddit. The CEO responding publicly and rather condescendingly felt like he was punching hard at an easy target. Anyway, the saddest and most shameful thing was that I could not get myself to forget this drama and spent about 30 mins reading through the AMA. Sigh me.

2. Seth Godin on hiring and scaling
I read this article a dozen times over this week. I marvel at how Seth Godin managed to explain an interesting and complex concept in a few hundred words. I’ve seen the phenomenon he describes play out at quite a few engineering teams. At some point, when you want to scale, you end up hiring people that care a little less, know a little less and work a little less. As a founder, it is important that I am intellectually aware of this concept. Qxf2 is still small. But it is important that my hiring strategy changes after we hit a reasonable size.

3. Sleep debt and other sleep theories
Sleep fascinates me. I have been a night owl through my entire adult life. This is just another article I read on sleep that combines the history of sleep research with some tidbits on sleep. I knew most of the insights covered here already but I liked the narrative.

4. Some drawbacks on Appium
I am in a constant hot-again-cold-again relation with Appium. Appium is a UI automation tool for mobile applications. The more I use Appium, the more I am reminded of Selenium. I was a early experimenter with Selenium. I started using Selenium wayback (late 2005) when web application automation was hardly considered standard. Selenium back then was objectively awful but yet by far and away the best tool in its class. Over time, Selenium has owned the UI automation space for web applications. So much so that I have seen experienced testers complain about Selenium when in reality they are complaining about the drawbacks of UI automation. I feel exactly the same way about Appium. I believe Appium is awfully immature technology as it stands today, but that it has the potential to own the UI automation space for mobile applications. This article reinforced my belief that Appium is on its way to becoming the defacto automation tool for mobile UI automation. All four drawbacks can be solved by engineers and time.

5. The origin of the phrase “patching software”
Ever wondered where the phrase “software patch” comes from? It is from the days of punch cards!


Arunkumar Muralidharan
I want to find out what conditions produce remarkable software. A few years ago, I chose to work as the first professional tester at a startup. I successfully won credibility for testers and established a world class team. I have lead the testing for early versions of multiple products. Today, I run Qxf2 Services. Qxf2 provides software testing services for startups. If you are interested in what Qxf2 offers or simply want to talk about testing, you can contact me at: mak@qxf2.com. I like testing, math, chess and dogs.

© 2013-2017, Arunkumar Muralidharan. All rights reserved.

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