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Monday 3-2-1 – llrich’s law vs Carlson’s law, the end of localhost, performing next level 💡
Hey, Luca here 👋 welcome to the Monday 3-2-1 ✨
Every Monday I will send you an email like this with 3 short ideas about:
🎽 Engineering Management
🔨 Technical Strategy
🎒 Hiring & Onboarding
You will also be receiving the regular long-form one on Thursday, like the last one:
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Back to this week’s ideas!
1) 🎽 Illich’s Law vs Carlson’s Law
I have a thing for obscure laws about human behavior. Last week I covered Conways’ Law, now it’s the turn of two others, which are complementary.
Carlson’s law — or the law of homogeneous sequences — states that:
Interrupted work will always be less effective and will take more time than if completed in a continuous manner.
Sune Carlson (1909 - 1999) was a Swedish economist and a pioneer of what we today call deep work. He preached about doing one thing at a time and minimizing interruptions. And he didn’t have the Internet!
Carlson’s Law may seem at odds with Illich’s Law — a.k.a. the law of diminishing returns:
Optimal productivity is reached with an appropriate balance between working time and resting time, as productivity decreases after a certain period of continuous work.
Illich also conceived the idea of negative productivity. After a certain amount of time, productivity decreases so much that the mistakes due to fatigue have a higher impact than the actual things you get done.
These laws aren’t really at odds, because Carlson was against involuntary interruptions that make you switch context, but, like Illich, was all in favor of short breaks that allow you to recharge and regain focus.
I wrote more about managing your time and energy in a previous article 👇
2) 🔨 The End of Localhost
In this great article, swyx argues that all the pieces are falling into place for the demise of local dev environments — eventually replaced by remote, cloud ones.
Swyx also collected info about big tech companies who already do this:
Google — has a web IDE called Cider that is also tightly integrated with their review, build, and testing tools. I know several people at Google and I can confirm this myself.
Facebook — has On-Demand, that is its way to do remote environment provisioning. Local development does not exist.
Etsy — only uses cloud VMs for development. “my VS code is ssh’d into the VM. I don’t have the repo even checked out outside of that.” (tweet)
Tesla — has cloud builds for the vehicle OS (tweet)
Shopify — is "moving the majority of our developers into our cloud development environment, called Spin." (blog post on Spin)
Slack — moved to remote environments and saved "12 minutes of bootstrap time required for a new environment every time an engineer reserves it for work".
I wrote about cloud environments myself, about a year ago 👇
3) 🎒 Behave next level
The easiest promotions I have seen are for people who have been already performing higher level for some time.
So consider this a strategy for growth: take the things that are expected one level above you, and do them!
If your company has a career framework, check there. Otherwise, candidly ask to your manager.
And that’s it for today — I wish you a great week! 🚀 If you liked the article, consider doing any of these:
1) ❤️ Share it — Refactoring lives thanks to word of mouth. Share the article with your team or with someone to whom it might be useful!
p.s. if you live in a country with low purchasing power, ask for a discount!