My alltime-high articles


Sometimes, you discover an article which

  • resonates so well with your current thoughts or
  • it describes a challenge crystal clear or
  • it provides you with a new perspective on a topic you knew before

that you just think: Wow, what a great piece. This might be one of your Alltime-high articles. Here is a list of my Alltime-high articles.

Dan McKinley’s „Choose Boring Technology

The article „Choose Boring Technology” by Dan McKinley »

Early in my tech career, I applied Hacker News Driven Development: Play a lot with the trendiest and hottest technology. Even pushing for using them in production. Learning and experimenting with technology was vital. I observe this pattern a lot with folks earlier in their career.

Later in my tech career, Hacker News Driven Development faded away. I started to focus on the impact on the business, the team I was working on, and delivery. That’s when you appreciate the tech that just works, where you know the limitations and problem sets. That’s the time when you appreciate boring technology.

Paul Graham’s „Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule

The article „Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule” by Paul Graham »

Paul Graham describes one of the most prominent conflicts between knowledge workers needing long windows of focus time and managers grinding through back-to-back meetings with a 5-minute break in between. The term Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule simplifies the meeting/work challenge in a mindblowing way.

This article resonates so well with everyone who works in tech. Being aware of the different schedule types changed how I operated with the two groups.

swyx’s „How to Create Luck

The article „How to Create Luck” by swyx »

We all know the one or other person that has only luck in her life. You may look up to the person for what she has achieved. Sometimes, you think about what would happen if you had such luck.

swyx shows us that actual luck might not be real luck but can be heavily influenced by doing and telling. You can expand your so-called luck surface area on your own.

This article changed how I think about my efforts and the good things that happen to me and others. It might not be actual luck but hard work in the first place.

Itzy Sabo’s „Does your Company have a Think-first Culture?

The article „Does your Company have a Think-first Culture?” by Itzy Sabo »

Nowadays, I am a big fan of written documents. Itzy’s article had a tremendous impact on how I think about “writing first”. If you are not convinced about written words in the first place, read this and get the *aha” moment.

Charity Majors’s „The Engineer/Manager Pendulum

The article „The Engineer/Manager Pendulum” by Charity Majors »

I have been a Software Engineer. Then, I switched to Engineering Management. After this, I had an Engineering Director role. Later on, I switched back to being a Software Engineer. Nowadays, I am an Engineering Manager again.

I am inside the Engineer/Manager Pendulum. It resonates so well with me. By being in the pendulum, you keep the touch points. As an Engineering Manager, you don’t ask, “Why does it take so long?” because you know there are constantly needy, greedy details inside your Software. As a software engineer, you get a better feel for politics, business decisions, and how to direct your efforts for a broader impact.

Additionally, this article provided me confidence that being inside the Engineer/Manager Pendulum is not “a step back” for my career.

Marc Andreessen’s „Why Software Is Eating the World

The article „Why Software Is Eating the World” by Marc Andreessen »

Published in 2011, it is fascinating to me how accurate this article was and is still today (in 2024). Software is everywhere. Maybe software is even in places where we humans would be better off without it. And on the horizon, it looks like the rise of software in all industries will continue.

It is an excellent read for everyone who works in tech and aims to understand the movement.

Kitty Giraudel’s „Clever, Stop Being So

The article „Clever, Stop Being So” by Kitty Giraudel »

This slide deck is from the category “How complex can a supposedly simple topic actually be?“. Before seeing Kitty’s talk at a conference, I thought collecting first and last names was easy and a solved problem. Kitty provides a superb storyline for why it is more challenging than you think, especially in worldwide used products, with diversity and inclusion in mind.

This article changed how I see “supposedly simple topics” more and more as “nothing is simple if done right”. It showed me how wrong I was beautifully and respectfully.

Karri Saarinen’s „Startups, Write Changelogs

The article „Startups, Write Changelogs” by Karri Saarinen »

It’s not a revolutionary message. However, only a few startups or side projects are doing it. One significant exception is the GitHub Changelog.

I love this because of its simplicity and its positive effect on the team. Simplicity, because it doesn’t need to be a long blog post. A few lines are enough - just getting things done. Positive effects, because it shows what you have achieved - the big and the small things. Building a project can be stressful, and it can be easy only to see the bad things. This reminds you of what great things you have done already.

But there is more about Changelogs. Changelogs are mostly known by Open Source projects, but who blocks you applying this for other areas of your life? Why not keep track of your year’s achievements? A kind of brag document, but not for your professional job.

The more I think about it, the more significant the effect of this article is on me.

Tanya Reilly’s „Being Glue

The article „Being Glue” by Tanya Reilly »

I particularly like that she coined (or at least spread) a simple term for a complex piece of work. Glue works look simple, but it is a tremendous effort.

Additionally, Tanya speaks for thousands of engineers who have wondered for a long time how they brag about their work. She gave those engineers a voice.