#20 Gus Warren, Disconnect.me

Summary
Gus Warren of Disconnect discusses their tools, privacy, tracking and acceptable advertising.

Details
Gus’ background, what is Disconnect; how ads track us, cookies, fingerprinting; why is the information gathered, tying online behavior to offline identities; privacy matters even if you have nothing to hide, incognito/private browser mode is not enough; what Disconnect does, blocking, search, ratings, not an ad blocker, differences from Ghostery, targeted, but private advertising; getting people to opt-in to advertising; how the tech works, data usage reduction, faster page loads, private searching; Google pulling Disconnect mobile from app store, side loading; free and premium editions; advertising industry response to blocking tools, future of tracking, EFF Do Not Track policy; spreading word about Disconnect; partnerships, Black Phone; building a browser; future work.

Book Recommendations

Ben & Jerry’s: The Inside Scoop: How Two Real Guys Built a Business with a Social Conscience and a Sense of Humor

The Cluetrain Manifesto

Contagious: Why Things Catch On

#19 Michael O Church and state of software engineering

Summary
Michael O Church and I discuss whether software engineers have become the manual laborers of the 21st century, open allocation, agile development and how companies could be better.

Details
Michael’s background; being an engineer vs a manager; poor perception of engineers, value of engineers, makers vs takers, engineers as a commodity; not everyone with an MBA is a bad person; engineers are the manual laborers of the 21st century, craziness of interview processes; continuing low status after staring a job, getting credit for work done; open allocation solves many problems, better work, better rewards, happier engineers, language choices, learning new code is harder than learning a new language; agile in an open allocation company, agile as micromanagement, scrum masters, lords and knights, sprints; what Michael’s company would be, constrained open allocation, small, profit sharing; how companies can improve, become engineer driven, engineers should engage more with business, understand convexity; understanding company politics; hard to challenge bad ideas, open allocation helps; arrogance is rewarded; engineers are not always the best at communication or accepting criticism, engineers should learn to fight for themselves; reading broadly, book recommendations, Breaking Bad executions and map reduce.

Book recommendations
Parallel and Concurrent Programming in Haskell: Techniques for Multicore and Multithreaded Programming

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

Concepts, Techniques, and Models of Computer Programming

The Prince

The Art Of War

A Game of Thrones

The John Locke Collection

Other Recommendations
Valve – Handbook for new Employees

Mad Men

Breaking Bad

The Walking Dead

Silicon Valley