Advocacy reference counting

A quick take on a hot mess

I saw that response from Dona Sarkar, who I’m following on Twitter. Since I’ve been following her, from what she shares I could have guessed her response. Dona leads advocacy on Microsoft’s Power Platform, while also running her own fashion house – PrimaDonaStudios.

My own first response was, “wow, talk about a horrible take”.

The thread because of Jack Forge’s post refused to quietly exit my mind. It wasn’t a massive controversy or anything but there was something more.

Then I remembered the 99 Percent Invisible podcast had a series of episodes looking at the history of design in fashion, clothing and textile. And in the very first episode, they identified the relationship between garment construction and engineering.

That’s a tweet I shared about it sometime ago.

That first episode reveals punch cards, among the earliest storage media for computing were used for – get this – design patterns, in making clothes.

A snippet from 99Pi’s “Articles of Interest”, episode 1.

I remember driving to the office listening to that episode and doing everything I could to not pull over and call my wife – she’s a costume designer to say, “AYE!” for no reason at all.

So, when Jack came online to forge a post that revealed ignorance about the history of Jacquard Looms, I felt I had to help untangle the truth.

Fashion and code share a history so closely that even if you don’t personally care about what you wear, their relationship cannot be ignored. How those actual clothing articles are made and why they look & feel like they do are precisely why one might even say fashion is a form of output written in a programming language used by designers around the world.

One more snippet. Programming owes a debt to the fashion industry. We shouldn’t forget it.

reference counting

Build 2020: Top 5

So, Microsoft’s Build 2020 Conference was held a few weeks ago. And at Teleios, we normally try to check it out because you get a good sense of where they’re going with some of the technologies and platforms we use to build solutions.

This year’s effort didn’t fail to deliver, even though the format had to be drastically change because of the strict rules of social distancing most of the planet was under due to COVID-19.

On a run a few days ago, I heard Jeff Sandquist, CVP dev-rel at MSFT talking about what it took to put on the event, likening it to a production by a movie studio. It was a great interview on a podcast called Screaming in the Cloud, in which Sandquist shared his top 5 Build Announcements (starts at 41:40):

  1. Microsoft Teams: See it as more than a communication channel; it’s a development platform.
    “Single largest development opportunity for developers across the planet”
  2. Developer Productivity: A number of changes and new resources have been announced to make it easier, faster and more productive when developing solutions.
  3. Power Apps: Continuing commitment to enabling citizen developers to build no-code solutions that frees up system and other software developers to focus on other concerns while the organization gets things done. There was a lot to see about Power Apps and Power Platform and build.
  4. “Making the best damn developer box” – Scott Hanselman’s keynote highlighted many new improvements to windows itself and the development experience there that underscore Microsoft’s goals around improving the tools that support the development process. From the new Windows Terminal, to making 2020 (finally), the year of Linux on the Desktop.
  5. Microsoft Learn. Learning how to get into Azure and other Microsoft development technologies can be a challenge, to put it lightly. But Microsoft has recognized this and deliberately made learning about it’s products a strategic asset. From easy on-ramps via videos on the new Microsoft learn site, to very low barrier-to-entry access to the cloud through Azure, Learn its where it’s at. More seasoned developers will be happy to hear too, that documentation is seen as a key part of the developer journey and this is reflected in the way they approach it.

It was helpful to hear Sandquist talk about Microsoft’s Founding Moment. That they started as a Developer First company and they’re staying true to their roots.