Cool things I read this week (28-Sep-2014)

I read. A lot. And these are the five most interesting things I read this week. Topics this week include startups, sleep, the Reddit work-from-home storm, the evolving role of testing and the origin of the Nigerian prince scam.

1. Before the startup by Paul Graham
2. Sleep experiments documented
3. Test mercenaries
4. Reddit and remote workers
5. Origins of the Nigerian prince scam

My notes

1. Before the startup by Paul Graham
This was a fantastic read. Paul Graham lays out six counter-intuitive aspects of a startup. This piece has advice to anyone thinking about starting up. Starting Qxf2 has been a bitter-sweet experience for me. Chief among the wins has been hiring folk that love testing. My biggest gripe about having to run Qxf2? I feel like I started a company (small business in PG’s book) before I was ready. Its good to receive some validation that there never is a good way to tell if you are ready or not.

2. Sleep experiments documented
I have trouble waking up. I can stay up for as long as I want. But once I hit the sack, I wake up only when I am rested and ready. So reading about sleep experiments has always been a fun activity for me.I liked this piece primarily for the illustrations. I am going to try drawing cartoons with a blue scale and use pink and white as the only other colors.

3. Test mercenaries
I continue to discuss, debate and imagine the evolving role of the tester with other testers. I know James Bach’s piece on test jumpers is currently the hottest idea on this topic. This 2012 article however goes much deeper and addresses a case when you have thousands of engineers working together. A long piece, but if you are a professional tester, I feel like this piece is well worth your time.

4. Reddit and remote workers
Reddit received $50 million in funding. Co-incidentally, and the Reddit CEO swears that the decision took place before the funding, Reddit announced that all their remote staff had a week to decide to move to SFO or lose their job. Then they extended the deadline to two weeks. After a PR backlash, the deadline was extended to the end of the year. I had my first long weekend this year. My guilty pleasure this long weekend was following the Twitter storm (especially DHH) and the uncomfortable Reddit replies. If you are into such tech gossip, here are a bunch of relevant links:
>> A top Reddit investor’s (and YC big shot) views on remote working
>> Reddit CEO’s spin on things
>> Consider following @dhh on Twitter – I find the man opinionated and open

5. Origins of the Nigerian Prince scam
Whoa! Who knew? I was reading a piece on psychology of scam victims and stumbled on this nugget. The Nigerian Prince scandal is the modern version of a scam that dates back to 1588!!

© 2013-2018, Arunkumar Muralidharan. All rights reserved.

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: I like testing, math, chess and dogs.

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