Jordan Brock

Starting Fresh (and fresher still)

Jun 05, 2023

Some of this is not news by any real definition of the word, but I thought I should document it somewhere.

Last June, after working at Five Senses Coffee for 15 years, I finished up and started a new job at The Lookout Way. Working as the sole developer in a coffee roasting company I was beginning to feel like I was spinning my wheels. I enjoyed the work, but the prospect of working in a team began to appeal in a way it had never done before.

I’d put a profile on RailsDevs at some point, but never really said I was looking for a job, so it was a bit of a surprise with The Lookout Way reached out. We had a few chats, began the interview process, and before I knew it, I had an offer, and I’d left Five Senses. Bittersweet to say the least, but exciting.

Spending 15 years in a codebase meant I pretty much knew it back-to-front: Coming in cold on a 5 year old codebase that had 15 engineers working on it meant I didn’t have a clue what was going on :) Daunting, frustrating, exhilarating, scary and exciting. I was incredibly lucky to end up in a team of engineers who were patient with my lack of team experience, my horrible git habits and my inexperience with the codebase.

Unfortunately, just as I was beginning to feel like I was keeping my head above water after 7 months, there was a round of layoffs. As one of the most recent on, it’s no surprise I was one of the first to go. I really began to wonder if I’d made the right decision to leave Five Senses.

That only magnified after spending more than 3 months looking for a new job. Of course, I’m incredibly lucky to have a wife who provided never-ending support, tolerant kids who put up with a mildly despondent father, and also to be relatively financially secure so I had the freedom to look for the right job.

And that job came along when Streem reached out. Another interview process, and then I found myself starting work at a new company, digging into a new codebase again.

I’ve just spent the last week in Sydney working in the main office, and all of the feelings I felt at The Lookout Way have resurfaced, but once again I’ve landed in a team of wonderful, talented, supportive developers who are more than willing to put up with a never-ending supply of base level questions.

And so the second fresh start inside 12 months is underway.

Man Who Built The Retweet - We Handed A Loaded Weapon To 4-Year-Olds

Jul 24, 2019

Man Who Built The Retweet: “We Handed A Loaded Weapon To 4-Year-Olds”

Developer Chris Wetherell built Twitter’s retweet button. And he regrets what he did to this day.

“We might have just handed a 4-year-old a loaded weapon,” Wetherell recalled thinking as he watched the first Twitter mob use the tool he created. “That’s what I think we actually did.”

Good article on the unintended consequences of technological decisions. Developed at a time when Twitter was still viewed as a good place to be, the true impact of the Retweet button wasn’t able to be predicted.

“Only two or three times did someone ask a broader and more interesting social question, which was, ‘What is getting shared?’” Wetherell said. “That almost never came up.”

Nowadays, hopefully at least, the broader ramifications of a technical or user-interface decision should be considered. Of course, we still end up with email companies thinking that tracking where people open emails is a good thing.

First Scam on the Moon

Jul 22, 2019
First Scam on the Moon | July 20, 2019 - Air Mail

On the evening of November 20, 2014, Bobby Livingston, the executive vice president of RR Auction, was working late. The Boston auction house, a boutique firm that focused in part on objects that had been flown into space, was hosting one of its regular seven P.M. sales. Lot 477, an innocent-looking envelope with several inked notary circles and three stamps, and emblazoned with the vibrant Emilio Pucci–designed insignia of the Apollo 15 mission, had a minimum bid of $1,000 on it.

Great story in the first issue of Gradyon Carter’s new venture, Airmail.

Cricket Hope

Mar 29, 2018

Obviously there’s a fair amount of negative commentary about cricket in Australia at the moment: ball tampering, playing bans, sledging, win-at-all-cost attitudes and the effect that this has on up and coming players. It makes it very easy to succumb to a pretty negative feeling about the sport, and it’s future. However, there are bright spots that need to be celebrated.

My daughter, Evelyn, has been playing cricket for a few years, and even made the U15 Western Australian State Team. She’s progressing through the early stages of her cricket journey, and is coming into contact with many different players and attitudes.

Recently she was playing in a trial league that the WACA has been experimenting with, as a bridge for young girls between the relatively calm community cricket games and the more demanding Grade Cricket matches. The teams in this league are made up of 13-16 year old girls, gaining experience playing on turf.

In a recntt game, the opposition were quite aggressive in their “sledging”, using very strong language, and attacking some of the girls personally while they were batting. It would have been preferrable for the umpires to stop this behaviour outright. That didn’t happen however, and so Evelyn’s team were discussing how to react.

There were some girls that were suggesting to fight fire with fire, but the captain, Olivia, made a strong point to everyone that no team she played in would play cricket that way, that it wasn’t how she wanted to play, and that it wasn’t part of the “Spirit of Cricket”.

As a parent, and a cricket lover, it was great to hear that sentiment coming from a 15 year old girl. Remembering it now, in light of recent events, gives me some hope that the game can reclaim some of it’s more sedate roots.

Link Blogging

Mar 15, 2018

An attempt to be less reliant on twitter. Probably more development focussed than anything, but not exclusively so.