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The Alan Barr Show

The Alan Barr Show

By Alan Barr

A podcast on topics and themes I am interested in related to technology, business, self-improvement, and many others.
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Alan's Updates May 15th 2022

The Alan Barr ShowMay 16, 2022

Alan's Updates May 15th 2022

Alan's Updates May 15th 2022

The Start of The Journey

Recovery, The Journey so far

Figuring Out the Next Level of my Learning

If you like the podcast, please subscribe and share it with others.

May 16, 202218:00
Creating a Podcast
May 09, 202223:53
Vision, Buddha and the Badass Book Summary

Vision, Buddha and the Badass Book Summary

Today’s Topic is a Book Summary by Vishen Lakhiani from the book The Buddha and the Badass.

Act 1 - Make a big vision and great people will find you

Act 2 - Massive Transformation Purpose and Make a Stand

Act 3 - Craft Your Identity

May 02, 202224:47


Chainguard -The Principle of Ephemerality via Carlos Santana

  • Get on with ephemerality; it's 2022. We had no choice but to build it ourselves before then. Nowadays, chaos engineering is an option. We use serverless and stateless technologies all the time. Virtual machines aren't even on our radar. Maintaining stateful systems is difficult. Make sure you have backups and failovers.
  • To ensure that we have evidence of malicious software, you can test your code regularly. The COVID test provides a means of ensuring that historical evidence is reviewed over time.
  • Combining and shortening an app's lifespan makes it more likely for an attacker to fail.
Apr 25, 202214:52
Veterans United Home Loans Software Engineering Conference 2022

Veterans United Home Loans Software Engineering Conference 2022

Today’s topic is the VU Software Engineering Conference

Act 1  - Architectures are relative

Act 2 - TDD + Architectures

Act 3 - dev.lab stories


  • Trade-offs depend on the needs of your business.
  • Test-Driven Development can make your tests run faster and make a change quickly.
  • Inner source communities in businesses are a real opportunity.
Apr 18, 202225:48
Alan's Updates April 10th 2022
Apr 11, 202214:10
Mindfulness and Awareness

Mindfulness and Awareness

Today's topic is Mindfulness and Awareness.

Mayo Clinic says, "Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you're sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment."

Act 1 - Awareness

Act 2 - Desire and Suffering

Act 3 -Be Responsible for our actions and Let It Go

Apr 04, 202215:27
50 Days After My Stroke

50 Days After My Stroke

What Didn't Work? Tools Tutors and Preparing Creating Content to help me learn again

Mar 21, 202222:47
Repeat - The Importance of Persuasion and Techniques to Try

Repeat - The Importance of Persuasion and Techniques to Try

I am out so this week. Please enjoy the techniques of Negotiation such as Never Split the Different

Act 1 - What is persuasion and why should we be persuasive?

Act 2 - Low Stakes Persuasive Techniques

Act 3 - Higher Stakes Persuasion

Mar 07, 202224:26
Repeat - Lessons Learned Building Dev.Lab Internal Developer Platform

Repeat - Lessons Learned Building Dev.Lab Internal Developer Platform

2021 dev.lab internal developer. I'll be back.

Feb 21, 202223:46
Software Design, Empathy, Personas and Career
Feb 08, 202253:30
Systems Thinking
Jan 24, 202226:04
Junior Developers

Junior Developers

Gergely Orosz Hiring juniors

Dark matter developers

"The average tenure of software engineers in small companies is only 1.5 years, where it’s 2.3 years for large companies." - Why Programmers Shouldn't Stay in One Company for a long time.

Michael Nygard Coupling Definition

Dave Farley Junior Developer Mistakes

What are the skills you think juniors should be learning?

Jan 10, 202226:08


Dec 27, 202149:07
API Design

API Design

In this episode, I review a few books on API Design. The Design of Web APIs by Arnaud Lauret the API Handyman, Irresistible APIs by Kirsten Hunter, and API Design Patterns by JJ Geewax. I also brainfart may refer to Kirsten Hunter as Kirsten Stewart so just ignore that.

Act 1 - What is the goal of the API?

API Goal Canvas - Who - What - How - Inputs - Outputs - Goals

Alan's Digital Garden if the Manning link doesn't work in the future.

Act 2 - What makes a “good” API?

Act 3 - RESTful HTTP Guidance and Support


  • Define the goals and metrics of the API via design discussions and the API Goal Canvas and get feedback.
  • A good API is fit for purpose, consistent, and expressive.
  • RESTful HTTP Guidance and Supporting your API is more than the implementation. Support, Examples, Tutorials, workflows. etc.
Dec 20, 202141:59


What do you do when the majority of software in the world is vulnerable to a remote code execution exploit via the logger? The one type of system the majority of programs run. How can we get better as an industry to benefit from sharing our code but also keeping our code up to date? Can we show restraint in adding features? Can we improve our quality and review processes to find these types of mistakes sooner?

Dec 13, 202112:19


Act 1 - Self-Awareness

Act 2 - Emotional Regulation

Act 3 - Patience and Acceptance

Dec 06, 202125:43


If mastering the fundamentals sets us apart, what are those fundamentals?

Nov 29, 202113:20
Influence, Sales, Negotiation

Influence, Sales, Negotiation

Act 1 - Influence

  • Automatic Triggers - We use mental shortcuts to reduce thinking such as adding because to justify something which most people will simply accept.
  • Reciprocity - Return favors and gifts.
  • Commitment and Consistency - Human desire to stay consistent with commitments we made in the past especially written.
  • Social Proof - Testimonials, Reviews
  • Liking - We like those who like us and want to do business with them.
  • Authority - Appearance of prestige or rank.
  • Scarcity - Valuing what is limited or rare.
  • Unity - We can influence others if we're part of their tribe.

Act 2 - Sales

"If your story describes their problem better than they can describe it themselves, they will automatically assume you have the best solution." - Chris Orlob

Selling is a process of connecting people with a problem with your solution. Your goal is to make them feel confident that you, your company, and your product are the best solution to their problem. Chris Orlob calls out Alcoholics Anonymous as the best of connecting the problem to the solution. It started with a few drinks on the weekend...

Disconnect the "cost" of the solution from the understanding of value. “Does the idea make sense to you? Do you like the idea?”

Use tones to short circuit people's decision-making so they know when to listen or when to agree or disagree. People on the sales journey will have objections. It is your job as a salesperson to handle objections and educate the buyer as an expert on their problem.

Act 3 - Negotiation

  • Negotiator Types
  • Why me?
  • Accusation Audit
  • Labeling/Mislabeling
  • Late Night FM DJ
  • Mirroring
  • Dynamic Silence
Nov 22, 202133:47
API-First Design

API-First Design

What is design

Mike Montiero says, "A designer solves problems within a set of constraints".

What is API Design?

The goal of API design is to try and get the defined API interface as right as possible at the beginning because the consequences are severe and lasting when you don't get them right. The reason it is severe is because people can build on top of the API and you cannot change it easily after that.

The goal of API design is to try and get the defined API interface as right as possible at the beginning because the consequences are severe and lasting when you don't get them right. The reason it is severe is because people can build on top of the API and you cannot change it easily after that.

API design is a cultural change in how people apply a process to doing their work. Microservices, domain driven design, cloud native, project to product, and inner sourcing are types of cultural transformations companies go on.

The Goal of Design

You are responsible for the work you put into the world based on Mike Montiero's summary of Victor Papanek's Design for the Real World.

API-First Design versus Code-First?

According to Kevin Sookocheff, this might be a false dichotomy with api development existing on a continuum.

  • API Description First
  • Coded API Description
  • API Framework
  • Implementation First

Implementation First suffers from two problems that other practices do not. A lack of forethought in API design and the risk of the API description becoming out of synchronization with the API description.

Good APIs according to JJ Geewax.

  • Operational
  • Expressive
  • Simple
  • Predictable

API Creation Process according to Kirsten Hunter

  • Business Value
  • Metrics
  • Use Cases
  • API Design & schema model

As designers of software it is our job to frame for others the decisions they are making.

Publishing an API is a consequential and irreversible decision. By adding friction to this activity we can create compounding leverage by developing a foundation of proven API design patterns to start with instead of starting from scratch each time. We can create better software products by removing the friction that makes doing work hard for no good reason. We can also improve what we make by adding friction that results in better quality experiences.

Poor designs cause real problems in the world like the Amazon s3 cli that cause an outage and the Citibank $500,000,000 UI problem.

Nov 15, 202139:32
Wardley Maps
Nov 08, 202121:11
Digital Gardens

Digital Gardens

A digital garden is a website featuring personal notes you share. The purpose is to curate, grow, and prune the thoughts you are developing. The benefit is that you can share your ideas with a wide community without the overhead of a full blog post.

Linkerd certificates expired this week so learning how to deal with rare incidents like architecture is a gift to learn from.

Oct 31, 202122:19


Credibility is core. Never sacrifice it. You might win deals because of your credibility and reputation where others wouldn't.

Oct 25, 202123:38
KubeCon North America 2021 Recap

KubeCon North America 2021 Recap

Presentations - Some in person, Some recorded with presenter on hand in slack or the platform. Some given virtually. Wide spectrum of quality and content.

  • Upstream Kubernetes Focus
  • Downstream Kubernetes Focus
  • Vendor related
  • Individual experience related to Kubernetes or tangential topic

API Clarity - Tooling to detect shadow and zombie APIs. Depends on Istio.

How NOT to Start with Kubernetes - Christian Heckelmann, Dynatrace

Improving Dev Experience: How We Built a Cloud Native Dev Stack At Scale - Srinidhi S & Venkatesan Vaidyanathan, Razorpay

  • One Engineer across 3 months. We are still building a lot of features, as we speak.
  • Simplify developer workflow and reduce time to rollout features independently.
  • Due to limitations with telepresence rebuilt a tool that might not was aware of. Okteto for file syncing.

Jasmine James Keynote

  • Discoverability
    UnderstandingScreen recordings
    User interviews
    Search Analytics

    MetricsOnboarding time
    Number of merges per developer / day
    Deploys to Production

    Core Improvements
    Single-sourcing guidanceTemplates
    Centralized Support
  • Usability
    Usability TestingOpen Ended Tasks
    Closed Ended Tasks

    MetricsSuccess rate
    Time-based efficiency

    Core ImprovementsGolden Paths
    Error Prevention
  • Capability
    UnderstandingJourney Mapping - Book Reference

    MetricsCustomer Satisfaction (eNPS)

    Core ImprovementsPersona mapped capabilities
    Real time tool feedback
  • Stability
    UnderstandingIncident Management Data
    Post Mortems
    Focus Groups

    Tool and Capability uptimeEnvironment specific SLOs
    Mean Time between Outages

    Core ImprovementsIntentional post mortems
    Centralized Support

Change is Hard - Securing the Future Today- Andrew Clay Shafer, Red Hat

  • Software is eating software. Software is eating software security.
  • You build it you run it. Software layer not the platform or infrastructure services.

Developer Experience - Platforms as a Service - Thursday

Vendors that I liked

  • Rookout - Debugging code paths in production.
  • Gitpod
Oct 18, 202120:58
Kubernetes Conference North America 2021

Kubernetes Conference North America 2021

Kubernetes, Platforms, Networking!

Oct 11, 202115:27


Make content generously.

Act 1 - Local

Act 2 - National

Act 3 - Global

Oct 04, 202124:47
Product Strategy

Product Strategy

Act 1 - Alignment

Act 2 - Product Thinking

Act 3 - Agile is not enough

Sep 27, 202129:27
Public Speaking

Public Speaking

Practice and find opportunities to give talks

Use pauses for effect

Connect with your audience

Tell stories

Use your tone

Be you and tell your stories

Prepare for uncertainty and let hiccups wash past you

Use words like imagine and call out names of people in the audience

Every talk cannot be perfect if virtual ask for people to use reactions. If in public practice in the venue.

Take the feedback and apply what makes sense for the next time.

Sep 19, 202126:26
Leveraging Your Gifts

Leveraging Your Gifts

Act 1 - Developing Self-awareness of your gifts

Act 2 - Tools to Reflect on your and others strengths

Act 3 - Leveraging your gifts

Sep 06, 202126:49
Be a Great Communicator
Aug 16, 202132:17


Relationships are the key to your success. Nurture them and learn from others.

Aug 09, 202122:26
Organizational Change

Organizational Change

Act 1 - Preparing for Change, Unlearning, and Learning

Act 2 - Training and Communicating the Change Little by Little

Act 3 - Transform Yourself

Jul 26, 202130:52
Defining a Vision

Defining a Vision

A vision will make your journey easier. Deferring the creation of a vision is like saying. I want to make this as hard as possible.

  • Visualizing the future.
  • Feel it in your body and share it out.
  • Help people see the journey and their part in it.

Act 1 What's the point of a vision?

Defining an outcome helps lead you to a more successful future.

Act 2 How to craft a vision?

Cameron Herold's Vivid Vision

Act 3 Marketing the Vision

Share your message in groups of 3. Use imagine, you, because in your marketing communication.

Jul 19, 202128:58
Change and the Internal Developer Platform

Change and the Internal Developer Platform

Kubernetes is the abstraction layer for infrastructure standardization.

Act 1 - Advocating and starting the change for a new platform.

People Process Technology

Unlearning and learning.

Communicate and engage leadership to advocate for your platform.

Act 2 - Marketing, Education, Training

Training is a great investment that communicates the value and gives everyone a baseline to understand. People using your system will have old mental models they will need to update. New patterns will be discovered and it takes time to understand and change how to apply. Encourage new habits and behaviors. Constantly market your product because people will not know and may see communication but not engage.

Act 3 - Completing the change and monitoring the results

Use metrics to advocate and promote the change. Be prepared for the next horizon to change. The journey is constant and there will always be a new place to go. The cycle will repeat.

Jul 11, 202128:34
Writing and What It Is For

Writing and What It Is For

Todays Topic is Writing.

Table of contents

Act 1 - Writing is for communicating ideas to others that add value

Writing as thinking FAST, CRIBS. David Perell and his articulate thoughts on writing.

Act 2 - Writing for others

Software Documentation four types of documentation. Writing in context.

Act 3 - Writing to Persuade and Align

Visions, Decision making, clarifying thoughts, taking a stand, constructing a narrative to illustrate a good decision. Structuring reality and a framework for thinking. Illustrating how decisions are being made.


Writing is for communicating ideas to others. It adds value or it moves a conversation forward. In some cases, it provides a framework for others to think and to do their work. 

Jun 20, 202123:11
The Importance of Persuasion and Techniques to Try

The Importance of Persuasion and Techniques to Try

Act 1 - What is persuasion and why should we be persuasive?

Act 2 - Low Stakes Persuasive Techniques

Act 3 - Higher Stakes Persuasion


Add tone, mirroring, and labeling as part of your daily low-stakes practices.

Jun 13, 202124:26
Lessons Learned Building Dev.Lab Internal Developer Platform

Lessons Learned Building Dev.Lab Internal Developer Platform

In this episode, I explain the lessons I learned in making an internal developer platform built on Kubernetes.

Jun 06, 202123:46