Business Books for Technical Leaders

I get a lot of questions like, "You seem to know a lot about business for a technical CTO. How?" and "I'd like to be a CTO someday. Do you have any tips?" First and foremost, a CTO is a business-focused role. You must be able to do whatever the business requires most at any given moment, whether that's coding, technical architecture, hiring, raising money, selling, conducting a layoff, leading Product, being a stand-in COO, or otherwise.  One of my common responses to these questions is, "Read and be curious!" But read what, exactly? Since I'm a fan of scalable communication, I'm documenting my recommended reading list here for public consumption.  This list is current as of March 2024, and I plan on updating it ~yearly. Top Ten Business Books (Must Read) Ten might seem like a lot of books, but an executive should be reading 10-20 books a year, and when you multiply that by a 10-20 year career to become an executive, you'll have read hu

Trust, but verify

I’ve always disliked this phrase, and it felt like a pure contradiction - you wouldn’t need to verify if you truly trust. It has come up recently in my life and work, so I decided to dig in and crystallize my thoughts. The phrase originated as a Russian proverb (doveryai, no proveryai) and is attributed to Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin . Inauspicious beginnings, to say the least. Ronald Reagan then co-opted it in 1986 to refer to nuclear disarmament, and from there, it entered the American lexicon. People often consider it a leadership principle or some fundamental truth, which needs more nuance.  As a leader, one must decide how to operate in different contexts. A good initial posture is to distrust and verify often until you have built up the appropriate level of trust over a long enough period. I’ve had so many occasions in my career when I heard some variant of: The code is terrible The code we’re writing is excellent! That’s impossible That will take months We’re in a good stat

Why You Should Buy a Tesla Model 3

My wife and I have driven a Model S for over 2 years, and a Model 3 for a couple months. We get a lot of questions about whether we like the cars, Tesla in general, and whether the “cheaper Tesla” is worth buying. This post is an attempt to answer those questions, clear up some misconceptions, and present a clear case why the Model 3 is a great buy if you are in the market for a new sedan. Cost Let’s start with the most important thing for most people who are buying a car - overall cost. The Model 3 is available in three trims right now (options add cost on top of this): Standard Range Plus: $39,500 and 240 miles of range Long Range: $49,500 and 310 miles of range (includes dual motor all wheel drive) Performance: $59,500 and 310 miles of range (includes dual motor all wheel drive) These numbers are all before incentives, if you buy the mid range battery and take delivery before the end of Q2, you will get a $3750 Federal Tax Credit, and whatever state incentives

React Boston: New England's First React.js Conference

I'm co-organizing  React Boston , the first react.js focused conference in New England this fall! The conference will be held on September 23rd-24th (this is a weekend), in the heart of Boston at Wayfair's main office. It will be a single track event with topics around React itself, Relay, GraphQL, React Native, and more. The CFP is open , and tickets are on sale now . We really want this event to be a success, and we'd love to see there!

What You Can Do About Global Warming

This was originally a Facebook post, but I'm preserving it here in a slightly longer format due to the transient nature of Facebook. August 2016 was the hottest August ever . So was July. And June. And so on for the last 11 months. Here’s a scary animation . No country is taking this seriously , and if we continue on our current path the Earth will be uninhabitable in 100-200 years. Global warming may seem easy to ignore, because the effects appear far off and irrelevant to people living in first world countries. Climate change denial (or even acceptance without behavior modification) is perhaps the most extreme example of Hyperbolic Discounting  in the history of the human race. Partly this is because it can seem impossible to make any changes yourself that will have an impact. I hope I can convince you otherwise. I’m sure you’ve heard about global warming causing stronger storms , rising sea levels , and a variety of other long term downsides that may or may not impact yo

"Composer: Getting Started" Published on Pluralsight

My second Pluralsight course, Composer: Getting Started , just went live! This is another course that's loosely based on a talk I've given in the past, with a lot more of the details fleshed out. The course covers the following topics: The Basics of Composer Including Third Party Code Autoloading Your Code Composer Scripts Publishing Your Own Composer Package Check it out on Pluralsight today, and let me know what you think!

High Performance PHP: Now On Pluralsight

I've just published my first Pluralsight Course:  High Performance PHP ! I've spoken about this topic a number of times in the past, so it seemed like a good fit for my first foray into the screen casting world. This course also has much more that PHP optimizations in it. The five modules are: Optimizing PHP Code Choosing and Configuring a Web Server Database Optimization Performance and Load Testing Investigating Performance Tradeoffs of PHP Frameworks Modules two, three and four are largely language agnostic, so even if you aren't using PHP you can get a lot out of this course. Here's a demo clip going over the different MySQL forks and how best to configure MySQL: I hope you enjoy the course, and I'd love to hear any feedback you have! Watch the full course here .