By Tyler Jefford
On June 7th, 2023
Over the month, I have been working a lot on this product launch for June. It’s meant a lot of later nights and working through lunch. I have been pretty burned out of work, which is why my links section has a lot of really interesting articles about how to measure engineer focus time and how to address workplace burn out.
The product is ramping in the coming weeks and I am being really reflective of the last 18 months of development time we spent on this launch. How does this work stack up against all the other major work I’ve done in my career. I may start to write about some of my reflections in upcoming posts, but for now here is what May looked like for me.
Raising Lazarus, by Beth Macy - several stories, reports and data about the opioid and overdose epidemic happening in the United States. It’s a challenging read for the content, the people’s lives changed and the disgusting system that not only allows this but encourages the pushing of drugs on people.
Franchise, by Marcia Chatelain - In this book, Chatelain presents her well researched history of the rise of Black capitalism in McDonalds franchises. From the days after Dr. Kings death through COVID and the murder of George Floyd, Black owned franchises of McDonalds have been pillars of their communities.
How to Break Up with Your Phone, by Catherine Price - I’ve been more stressed out lately and on my phone way too much mindlessly scrolling to try to release that pressure. What I knew and what this book helps lay out is those micro-doses of dopamine arent actually helping you, but creating a larger addiction to your phone. This book outlines a lot of data about why prolonged phone use is hurting you and gives a 30 day plan to ween yourself off the phone.
99 Bottles of OOP, by Sandi Metz - “Everyone has an opinion about what good code looks like”. This book walks through several examples of how to write better object oriented code such that its more readable.
The Good Enough Job, by Simone Stolzoff - After reading the first few pages of this I was hooked, not like a nonfiction book might hook you, but in the way that the explanations of work consuming life and why when work feels rough, so does your life is exactly how I have been feeling lately. “By exposing the lies we--and our employers--tell about the value of our labor, The Good Enough Job makes the urgent case for reclaiming our lives in a world centered around work.”
Measuring Flow and Focus - I always love a nice scientific approach to measuring things that seem unmeasurable. Defining flow and focus time and getting an idea on how engineers get into these modes might be helpful tools for your management of engineering teams.
National Crash Testing Standards Could Start Including Pedestrian Safety - Up until this proposal, NHTSA was only measuring crash metrics for people inside the car. A car’s safety rating should always include the pedestrians and people outside the car too. There are far too many trucks on the road that are terrible for pedestrian wellbeing, and with these new metrics, maybe it’ll force auto makers to think about public safety when designing new cars.
Employers need to focus on workplace burnout - Job-related stressors are not being effectively managed by the normal rest found in work breaks, weekends, and time off (World Health Organization, 2019). It is not enough to simply focus on the worker who is having a problem—there must be a recognition of the surrounding job conditions that are the sources of the problem.
Lots of great weather this month. Spent a lot of time outside reading and just being in the sun. I find it a great stress reducer to be outside in some fresh air, with a nice lemonade.
Personal updates from April 2023. Books I've read, articles I've written and links I enjoyed.