August 28, 2018

Critical failure and the mechanics of causality

The biggest critical failure that I’ve ever experienced on a project happened on the first week of 2014 and caused a recurring outage that lasted a full four days. It was my very first large-scale, distributed production system with multi-national integrations and a real-time messaging component. I had been on the project for 3 months and had inherited the tech lead role which I shared with a senior colleague who had joined after me. Read more

August 21, 2018

The Sublime Tool

This was initially meant to be a technical post like I promised, but I was faced with several dilemmas: Any particular tech I write about will be obsolete by next Tuesday, the standard unit of time it takes for unlikely events to occur in computing.. There will always be much better resources elsewhere, because I’m not an expert in anything. So instead of yet another tutorial on test-driven Ansible, Kafka or whatever the hottest web framework of the week, I present to you some great ideas that have a better shelf-life. Read more

August 6, 2018

Dude, where's my flow?

Or, In Which Sett Loses His Shit. Toward the end of last year I realised had lost the ability to focus. To compound matters, I was in a position where focus wasn’t really required of me - I was tech lead, but in this case my resposibilities had drifted from the concerns of technical delivery and all of my energy was spent solely on trying to sort signal from noise1. Needless to say, it was an astronomically dysfunctional and frustrating environment. Read more

July 30, 2018

On dilettantism, craft and mastery

Hello, world. It’s been a while. There are some words that I’ve been holding on to that I’d like to set free. I’ve also been hiding somewhat and now taking some tentative steps back into the light. This is the first meager step. I have some more to follow. Please be gentle and patient with me. For continuity, I’ve cross-posted my last public appearance here. I’ve always been a generalist. And this has served me well. Read more

December 17, 2017

Four years, infinite gratitude

This is a cross-post of my original Facebook note, announcing my decision to exit TW and tech to take a break. San Antonio, Kampala, Porto Alegre, San Francisco, Nairobi, Johannesburg. These are the cities I have worked in during my time at ThoughtWorks (TW), that quirky (yet “elite”) global IT consultancy that Martin Fowler works for, little known outside of tech circles. Needless to say, I am the most privileged person I know. Read more

© Sett Wai 2020