The Mind at Work: Guido van Rossum on how Python makes thinking in code easier

Python, the programming language, gained lot’s of popularity only in the past decade. In particular for big data applications, machine learning and data science the language is almost without alternative. But also for tool development or web applications backends, Python has huge adoption. Reasons are it’s huge ecosystem and a friendly, constructive community. Despite it’s newer competitors it has been around for 30 years. One of the most appreciated benefits is the steep learning curve, that allows virtually everyone to understand Python code.

Dropbox has an interview with Guido van Rossum, who published the first version of the language in 1989. The conversation revolves around the purpose of code and how python helps improve cooperation and productivity.

Guido van Rossum
Guido van Rossum

“You primarily write your code to communicate with other coders, and, to a lesser extent, to impose your will on the computer.”

Guido van Rossum

A conversation with the creator of the world’s most popular programming language on removing brain friction for better work. Source: The Mind at Work: Guido van Rossum on how Python makes thinking in code easier

The possibility to understand: SaaS Product Metrics

Colorful Rulers to Measure
Do you measure up?

Part of the compelling nature of SaaS Products is the possibility to understand the user and improve on the go. Any Product Manager will literally have to understand what are the use-cases for customers and how to focus on the important areas. Just recently our team led the debate which metrics would be the right ones to focus on.

Nancy Wang, Head of Product Management at Amazon Web Services, highlights six product metrics enterprise SaaS companies should track.

In this Article, Nancy Wang, head of Product Management at the most successful cloud service providers, shares her insights on important metrics to keep an eye on. The possibility to understand often goes overboard and requires focus.

The case under discussion in the article revolves around paid products. Derived metrics are a foundation that serves as a blueprint to other products in the SaaS space. Goals differ, but ultimately, to make a product successful, it requires an understanding of how successful customers were, using the product. Following the established funnel pattern, users are being segmented into funnel. Along that funnel, the metrics acquired need to reflect the stage of the journey the user is on.

At the top of the funnel, most often the interaction is anonymous and requires profiling to understand the audience coming in. Further down in the funnel, metrics capture engagement and transaction. Towards the end of the funnel, the metric needs to relate to retention.

Source: Do You Measure Up? Metrics for Enterprise SaaS Product Managers

Breaking Walls Between Business and Engineering

All too often, two departments are burried in deep arguments for most of their days. While business, the outbound oriented Product Management department, leads customer conversations and verifies business requirements, engineering is pushing towards a better product.

Their goals are not always aligned despite the necessity to build a product together. Overcoming controversial goals can be difficult, yet frustrating to Product Managers in their quest to build better products.

Itamar Gilad shares a few thoughts how to overcome this gap.

Managers and product managers are often frustrated by the apparent lack of care the development team is showing for the needs of the…

Source: Breaking The Walls Between Business and Agile Teams

The Road to Python3

When Python3 came out in 2009, it was already heavily debated. Python3 would be incompatible with previous versions of the popular language, but fix many drawbacks. While the vision was clear and the community initially planned to move forward much quicker. The demand for having a 2.x branch was so huge, however, that the community decided to extend support for 2.7 until the end of 2019. Stack Overflow took a look on why the path took so long.

The Road to Python3: Stack Overflow took a look.

Alexa and Google spy on you

Only after the Google SVP let the public know ‘He’d let guests know about smart speakers‘, there is more bad news on these smart home devices. Researchers found approved apps that deliberately turn these devices to spy on their owner.

Alexa is listening
Alexa and Google Home evasedrop

Amazon- and Google-approved apps turned both voice-controlled devices into “smart spies.”

Source: Alexa and Google Home abused to eavesdrop and phish passwords

Google introduced AR navigation.

Apparently it’s not just a cool new feature but a controversial discussion.

Responsibility vs. Accountability

According to Anthony Murphy, it’s the road to failure. And I couldn’t agree more, despite the framing. My personal experience showed things in the end always find a way. However, the separation between Responsibility and Accountability leads to lots of friction, debates and, in case somebody with accountability has to be identified, finger-pointing.

First of all, the article is entirely right, responsibility is not something that is assigned, it is something individual contributors take. Colleagues, that lead the way and take responsibility for their decisions. Those that make sure task are picked up and delivered.

And then there is accountability. Something that that can only be assumed for something that already happened before. All too often, there are much more candidates to volunteer for accountability, because it is misunderstood for leadership (or a management position), alongside with the willingness to spend days and weeks in non-customer value creating, internal debates how RACI Matrices (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) Matrices need to be defined and filled.

Only when responsibilities from the same matrix fail to deliver, accountability is a perfect model to seek problems with other actors in the matrix, preferably those responsible.

To put customer goals in first place, the agile manifesto has a simple answer and puts the team in charge.

via Product Coalition.

Sony confirms PlayStation 5

Surprise! Sony’s Playstation 5 will be called: Playstation 5!

Along with new haptic feedback tech that replaces rumble in controllers.

Source: Sony confirms PlayStation 5 name, holiday 2020 release date – The Verge

Microsoft is all in on Hardware

thenextweb.com has a rundown of Surface Laptop, Surface Duo, Surface Earbuds, Neo and everything else Microsoft announced at their Surface event this week.

Here’s a quick rundown of Microsoft’s exciting new hardware for the coming year, including Surface laptops, earbuds, a foldable phone, and more.

Source: Surface Duo, Neo, and everything else at Microsoft’s packed hardware event

The Verge has a summary in 11 minutes:

Essential Product Metrics

Data driven product management requires measurements and metrics. Over at Product Management Insider, shares some detail about the pirate („AARRR!“) system and the HEART model.

The article is here.