Oh the places you'll (decide to) go

Originally, I was going to write about “Modern Software Development” and why I feel like a “Software Machine” every Monday - Friday from 10am - 6pm EST. This was a feeling I’ve had alot recently and was validated by a few conversations that I’ve had with coworkers and this quote from a software company’s website:

Today software is everywhere, but it’s become increasingly rare to encounter truly great software. Computers are faster but apps work slower. Corners are cut with each release. Product decisions are driven by A/B tests.

BUT, I don’t care about that anymore. Let’s talk about Discord Servers. In Robin Sloan’s recent newsletter Dreams of discord, he wrote about Discord as an emerging space for online communities. He prompted newsletter readers for interesting Bot ideas that they may have seen in various Discord servers and included responses at the bottom. This response caught my eye:

Can I plug my Discord server-as-art-gallery? Scrumwave is a read-only Discord server (with the exception of a guestbook channel… I should really make a gift shop channel, I suppose, to recreate the museum experience) that displays generative art. Right now it’s more of an alternative to Twitter/Mastodon posting, a place to view the work in its own context instead of blended into your own timeline, but I’ve been pondering adding to it by making something more interactive. […]

Now, I haven’t written much about it but a founding thesis of Good Graphics’ content strategy is to be a decentralized publisher and to allow people to discover the project in whatever platform they are already using. For example, check goodgraphics.xyz/links and you’ll see that a Good Graphics social account exists for almost every social platform. So of course my first thought was “HOLY SHIT WHAT IF I MADE A DEDICATED SERVER FOR GOOD GRAPHICS AND COPIED THIS STRUCTURE WITH MY BOT”. But then the adrenaline wore off and I came down.

Two weeks ago I visited the Moma and saw the an exhibit by The Black Reconstruction Collective. Being in that space I began to wonder about what it meant to be a museum in today’s age. How the choice to enter a space and explore what was present differs from my day to day where an algorithm serves me exactly what “I want”. What is the function of a curator and how can we recreate curation in digital settings? I don’t know but I think thats what excites me about setting up a Discord Server. On one hand its just a chat server but on the other, could it be a sort of Digital Gallery? Maybe I will start one after all.

My Talk and Other Loose Ends

Two Weeks ago I mentioned I had committed to a number of different projects that were in the works. The first was the talk, which is finished and live. Watch the video above if you’re interested in the type of weird angle I apply to software development.

Second was a project for a client. I can now say that the client is Stanford University and the project is to build a website/dashboard for visualizing COVID-19 vaccination disparities. I think I’m a little lost in their system right now getting set up as a contractor but I’m really excited to work on this should all of the stars align.

Lastly, is an article for The Increment. I pitched them an idea for their upcoming planning issue and will start working on it next week. In the meantime I will share my pitch with yall:

As modern software development continues to change let's examine whether continuous sprinting is a pitfall of the agile system. The default for most software teams, sprinting for weeks on end can create a sense of blur as feature after feature is added with no end in sight. Milestones are a waterfall principle and I want to explore how planning for natural breaks within the software development cycle can create a narrative around the work and give developers a sense of completion and timeline.

This Week’s Graphics


P.S. - If you saw a typo in last week’s email title, no you didn’t.

P.P.S - Sending early cause its a rainy day in DC and this seems like an opportune time.