Regular Communication #031
From Jason Rodriguez
It's been an anxiety-riddled couple of weeks in the tech world. Just about every major tech company has announced significant layoffs, including GitHub—the one where I work. While my team is safe, it still feels like a 'so far...' moment. Most of those companies—including GitHub—have announced that their layoffs will continue over the course of the next few months.
I have many, many thoughts about these layoffs, but only a few to share today.
The major one is: Why? Why is every company jumping on the layoff bandwagon? Especially when most of these companies are posting massive profits? The consensus seems to be to either protect future growth or to reduce costs and maximize the value for shareholders.
In the first case, I hate that growth is the end-all-be-all of modern capitalism. Do businesses need to grow? Sure. But should that growth come at the expense of the people building the product? No. Not when there's tons of money in the bank and you could weather economic downturns just fine without ruining people's lives.
In the second case, it comes down to greed. Which, again: why? Chances are good that leadership, the board, and shareholders for all of these companies have more than enough money to live their lives comfortably through any economy. Why not take care of the people that got them there in the first place? Take the hit on your returns and support your employees in the long term.
It all just makes me so sad. There's got to be a better way to run a business, right?
Cory Doctorow has a great term for what happens to nearly every major platform: Enshittification.
There's a lot of talk about AI at the moment. I like Stephen Farrugia's take on it.
Neal.fun put together yet another amazing project. This time exposing all the really weird, fun, interesting, and baffling things caught on Google Street View.
Eric W. Bailey has some important notes on the disconnect between company priorities, developer experience, and what users actually experience in the context of mental health.
Adrian Roselli put together a New Tech Bingo card that's a little too on point.
I've probably said it before, but one of my favorite bands is IDLES. I was lucky enough to see them on their tour last year (one of the best shows I've ever seen). I have an all-IDLES playlist that I've been enjoying, especially when I go to the gym. Nearly every song is perfect for getting yourself pumped up for lifting or slogging through a run, but one of my recent favorites is Television. Here are the boys doing it live at Le Bataclan. The first lines are worth quoting here:
If someone talked to you, the way you do to you... I'd put their teeth through. Love yourself.
Take care of yourself,
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