The Chamber 🏰 of Tech Secrets has been opened.
This week, I’ll share about my process for learning and cataloging information and share a few of my favorite resources on the interwebs and beyond.
Everyone Needs Some Filters
Everyone is time constrained. There is a lot of information on the internet, especially about technology. Especially right now. There are some really great aggregators that can make finding the best stuff easier. I get a lot of my information from LinkedIn, Twitter, and Substacks. Which ones are worth reading?
My Information Gathering Process
First, let me share about my process for learning new things.
Email is a love hate relationship: The best way to not miss stuff that I want to read is to get an email (the Substack model). I hate huge build-ups of email and almost always process everything same-day.
The socials: I also see a lot of great content from LinkedIn and Twitter, which I am fairly active on.
WIRTW: I use Notion to manage everything. One of my Notion Notebooks is called WIRTW (what I read this week). I keep a page for each week. When I find something I read and liked or want to read later, I copy / paste the link there. For the email-based subscriptions, I often copy links to the articles into Notion so I can clear my inbox and then come back and read them later. Throughout the week I go through my WRITW and make notes under each article I read with any highlights or takeaways. I also have a “Takeaways” section at the top where I bubble up anything I really want to remember, whether its for taking action at personally or at work, or if its a trigger for a future Chamber of Tech Secrets topic.
Use my ears: I also use podcasts to learn a lot. I just use the Apple app and just keep the stuff I usually want to listen to in a playlist. Last 10 episodes. If I am not interested in an episode I just clear it so I can see what I do care about rapidly.
Ask questions: When you take the time to share your story, engage with others, and try to add value… your network will likely grow. This creates an incredible opportunity to ask questions and get really valuable answers back from the community. I do this on LinkedIn posts because thats where I have developed more relationships, and I’ll do it through DMs on LI and Twitter as well. A great example was this thread about resources for learning Large Language Models which gave me a high-value list of curated links to explore very rapidly, without hours of googling and trial/error.
Everyone Should Write
I have come to believe that writing is essential to thinking clearly and communicating clearly. I write to force myself to think, connect, and learn. If you can write clearly for an external audience, your internal communications will excel, too.
Everyone should write. Be courageous and make it public. Just knowing someone may read it will force you to be clear and articulate.
Write. Publish. Ship it.
Enough about my process. On to the resources!
My Favorite Resources
What I find to be most important is that I am able to identify the right threads that I need to pull on at any given time. Then I can dig deeper and follow threads from sources that are not regular primary sources for me.
All In [podcast] - one of my “drop everything and listen” shows. Covers everything form technology to startups to geopolitics. I use it for a macro picture of the world and to make sure I never miss anything critical.
Business Breakdowns [podcast] - Good stuff. For starters, check out #103 with Jim Chanos: A Short Thesis on Data Centers.
Chamber of Tech Secrets [blog]: The greatest blog on the internet. 🤣
Chasing Excellence [podcast] - CrossFit driven, but amazing thoughts on life and leadership. One of my favorites. Don’t be deterred by the fitness focus. I think almost everyone would benefit from listening to almost all of the historical episodes. Start with World Class Health in 100 Words.
Chick-fil-A Tech Blog [blog] - Self-serving, I know. We do some cool stuff with technology so follow along.
Founders [podcast] - interviews with company founders and book reviews. Start with #299 A New Book About Steve Jobs.
GitHub Trending [website] - what projects are getting lots of visibility right now? GitHub’s Trending list is one of the best place to find out.
Huberman Lab Podcast [podcast] - Non-tech but awesome information about health, longevity, neuroscience, and more. All episodes are fairly timeless. Find a topic that looks interesting and give it a listen.
Lex Fridman Podcast [podcast] - lots of interesting guests of all kinds. The most recent one that I enjoyed was the interview with Sam Altman from OpenAI.
Matt Rickard [blog] - Matt writes every day and is incredible at cross-disciplinary pattern matching. I was amazed to learn he writes these super-technical posts in ~20 minutes a day. 🤯
Richard Seroter’s Architectural Musings [blog / aggregator] - my friend Richard tends to find interesting stuff all around the tech world. I never have time to read as much as he does, but always find some good articles that leave me clicking links to more good articles.
Software Snack Bites [blog + podcast] - my friend Shomik is smart, thoughtful, well-connected, and eloquent. His day job is investing in early stage startups with Boldstart Ventures which gives him an awesome perspective on whats emerging in technology. He has great guests on the pod and does an awesome job writing, too. Big recommendation.
This Week in Startups [podcast] - Lots of good content about what’s emerging in the tech world. Lots of AI focus recently.
ThoughtWorks Tech Radar [website] - good way to track whats emerging and what is proving useful.
Twitter [website] - Here’s my profile (which has who I follow) if you want to steal any ideas.
Utilizing Tech [podcast] - I am a co-host for the “Utilizing Edge” series and we have had some good discussions about Edge Computing, how it works, how its different, and where its going.
Whats Hot in Enterprise IT/VC [blog / aggregator] - Ed Sim from Boldstart Ventures has a great weekly aggregation of what’s going on with startups and in enterprise technology. I often end up with 10 new browser tabs open after reading.
The best book I have read recently was Psychology of Money. I highly recommend it.
These are the books that are on my list this summer [in no particular order].
Team Topologies / Skelton: the Chamber of Tech Secrets Book Club inaugural selection 🙌
How to Build a Rental Property Empire / Ferguson
The Value Flywheel Effect / Anderson
The Staff Engineer’s Path / Reilly
The Great Delusion / Mearsheimer
Scaling Up / Harnish
Chip War / Miller
Domain Driven Design / Evans
Hypothesis Driven Development / Cowan
100 Page Machine Learning Book / Burkov
Software Engineering at Google / Winters, Manshreck, Wright
AI At the Edge / Situnayake & Plunkett
Outlive / Attia
Angel / Calacanis
How Innovation Works / Ridley
The Rational Optimist / Ridley
Domodaran on Valuation / Damodaran
How to Read a Book / Adler
The Art of Resilience / Edgley
Never Split the Difference / Voss
Conferences this year
EmTech Future Compute / Digital 2023 [technical conference] : I just got back from this one last week
Embedded Vision Summit [technical conference]: Looking forward to learning about how to do big things with small components and see some friends in the San Jose / Santa Clara area.
Plug and Play Silicon Valley Summit [startup event + conference]: “We will be presenting the 145+ batch startups from 16 of our industry-focused innovation programs: Agtech, Animal Health, Brand & Retail, Crypto & Digital Assets, Energy, Enterprise Tech, Fintech, Food & Beverage, Health, Insurtech, IoT, Media & Advertising, Mobility, New Materials & Packaging, Supply Chain, and Travel & Hospitality”.
QConNY [technical conference] - I like QCon Conferences and am planning to attend QConNY this summer. Lots of good technical sessions to be found.
DataDog Dash [technical conference]: will be co-presenting at DataDogs annual conference in San Francisco. I like that they asked us to present about a topic that is not entirely DataDog centric (observability at the edge).
KubeConNA [technical conference]: cloud native computing conference
Most of these have been consumption-based resources. One of the most valuable things for me is the conversations I have about technology or other topics with friends or in networking situations, whether they are in-person local events or conferences or just chats on LinkedIn messenger. Never underestimate the value of putting yourself out there and then engaging those who respond.
The Chamber 🏰 of Tech Secrets is closed. Have a great week! 🙏
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Great writing over all posts! I really like the "Chamber of Tech Secrets is Open + Closed", intro and outro for each post.
That just has creativity and style. Bonus points! 💫
Thanks for the shoutout Brian!