domesticat's blog

Self-doubt in the tech industry

Years ago, in a previous job, a good coworkerfriend and I had a couple of beers and jokingly wrote a list of what it's like to onboard into a new team in the tech industry. While it was originally intended to be funny, I now suspect it's the truest thing I'll ever write. Rather than preserving it in a Dropbox file, I'm going to fling it out to the wilds of the internet:

On sourcing credible pandemic news

I responded to a question on Facebook with a much longer answer than the person was likely expecting, but I think it's worth reposting: Where is a good place to get credible news? Seems like all we see, hear, or read is conflicting.

Me, just now, after realizing I'd spent nearly twenty minutes hammering out an answer: "I really should capture this and post it on my own website." So here we are! Suggestions welcome.

Oh, hey, a topic I feel strongly about. First up, my answer about general news.

Plan B(erlin), containment, risk assessments

Ever since Frankfurt, we've been on Plan B(erlin). After Italy shut down, and the first part of our plans were scrapped, we've been expecting more best-laid plans to fall. As of today, they have.

What we originally envisioned:

Preflight checks

Today, we fly. My first news this morning was an email from the Vatican:

Dear Visitors to the Necropolis of Saint Peter,

Following the directives of the Health Department of Vatican City State, and taking into account the development of the epidemic, the decision has been made to suspend visits to the Necropolis of Saint Peter starting Monday, March 9, 2020, until the foreseeable future.

I'd hoped they might hold off for another day or two, so we could get our tour in, but it's not to be.

Spellbooks and amulets

I've thought a lot about risk assessment and tolerance today. As a result of some conversations I've had, I'm aware that Noah and I may be unwelcome at some social gatherings tentatively planned for Prague. It stung—it still stings—but there is absolutely nothing to be done for it; we did a detailed risk assessment and made a decision that not everyone in attendance may find comfortable. It may well just be us, on our own, for five weeks.

I've started calling it "The Zombie Apocalypse Game."


It took us a couple of hours of discussions before we came to a decision: we would still go.

We've had plans brewing for a significant work-from-Europe trip for some time, and we learned yesterday that the linchpin of the entire trip had collapsed, leaving us with a major hole in the middle of our itinerary, and a 100% plausible opportunity to seek refunds and not travel. That, coupled with the knowledge that coronavirus has come to Italy—our first stop—meant we needed to make major decisions, and fast.