June 8, 2019 My favorite story from releasing An Elegant Puzzle is about preorders. After a few days of preorders, Amazon asks you to ship them a certain number of books that they’ll use to fulfill your orders. They originally asked us to ship some number of thousands -- exciting! -- then asked us to double the shipment --more exciting! -- and later asked us to quadruple the shipment -- almost our entire first print run -- concerning.
June 1, 2019 Somewhat recently there was a controversial Twitter thread that defined which universities had computer science graduates worth hiring, and the hirable percentage from those universities. The best ranked universities were small, famous and expensive. Quite a few folks reacted against this perspective’s bias and privilege, at least as many chimed in to confirm the claims.
May 25, 2019 Years ago I found myself in a small room with large glass double doors that didn’t quite close properly, and were leaking crescendoing frustration into an office furiously avoiding any acknowledgement of the dispute happening therein. I was trying to mediate a disagreement between two teams about our approach to collecting data from Facebook Ads APIs. The API provided the necessary data, but didn’t provide a sufficiently granular time series of changes over time, which we need as an input into a budget rebalancing algorithm.