[Software Engineering Oldletter #2] Dark Matter Developers, Empathy and Plain Text Files

Every Friday, I’m sharing a short list of evergreen articles/resources broadly related to software engineering that wouldn’t typically get shared in most tech newsletters or social media feeds.


  • Dark Matter Developers: The Unseen 99% (2012) by Scott Hanselman. Scott’s article is 10 years old (almost to the day) and the point it makes is arguably even more important now than it was then:

    we need to find a balance between those of us online yelling and tweeting and pushing towards the Next Big Thing and those that are unseen and patient and focused on the business problem at hand.

  • Empathy In Your Best Interest (2014) by Phil Haack. I think there’s more awareness of empathy (in software development and in life) today than when I first read this piece. But there’s still nowhere near enough application of it. This article from a software leader shows how it can be to your own benefit.
  • Write Plain Text Files (2022) by Derek Sivers. Kinda cheating here since this article was published just two days ago, but its message is a fundamentally evergreen one (plus Derek Sivers is The Man!). If, like me, you’re a big writer or note-taker (or would like to become one), this is well worth checking out.

Submitting your recommendations

If you’d like to share an evergreen article/book which has significantly influenced your thinking or practice around software delivery, please email it through to me and I’ll add it to my backlog for sharing in future editions.

Have a great weekend!

— Paul

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