S01 E01
3 May 2021/00:31:05

Mr. Leventhal, Come here I want to see you

Oxide and Friends Twitter Space: May 3, 2021

Mr. Leventhal, Come here I want to see you
We’ve been holding a Twitter Space on Mondays at 5p for about an hour. Even though it’s not (yet?) a feature of Twitter Spaces, we have been recording them all; here is the recording for our Twitter Space for May 3, 2021.
In addition to Bryan Cantrill and Adam Leventhal, speakers on May 3rd included Laura Abbott, Nate, Antranig Vartanian, François Baldassari, Tom Killalea, Land Belenky, and Sid?. (Did we miss your name and/or get it wrong? Drop a PR!)
Before the recording started, we discussed:
  • 2011 Solaris Family Reunion video ~20mins
  • Katie Moussouris’s blog entry on the Clubhouse vulnerabilities
  • Laura’s blog entry on the LPC55 vulnerability
  • Land pointing us to the Atmega 328p MCU in a BK Medical endorectal probe
  • François on the STM32F103 found in Pebble
  • Intel Management Engine
Some of the topics we hit on, in the order that we hit them:
  • ASPEED BMC chip
  • [@1:24](https://youtu.be/h-WSU3kiXVg?t=84) So formal correctness is something that I think we are all very sympathetic with. > It’s very laudable, it’s also very hard.
    • From L3 to seL4 What Have We Learnt in 20 Years of L4 Microkernels? (paper)
    • Who guards the guards? Formal validation of the Arm v8-m architecture specification (paper) > Hardware architecture is an area where formal verification is more tenable, > a level you can readily reason about.
  • Our challenge is how can we satisfy our need for formalism without getting too pedantic about it. You don’t want to lose the forest for the trees.
     A system we never deliver doesn’t actually improve anyone’s lives, that’s the challenge.
  • [@5:20](https://youtu.be/h-WSU3kiXVg?t=320) Journal club experiences
    • Bootstrapping Trust in Modern Computers (book) > [@9:45](https://youtu.be/h-WSU3kiXVg?t=585) > We’ve tried to build a culture of looking to other work that’s been done. > Not because everything’s been done before, but because you don’t want to have to > relearn something that someone has already learned and talked about.
      > If you can leverage someone’s wisdom, that’s energy well spent.
  • [@11:46](https://youtu.be/h-WSU3kiXVg?t=706) When systems repeat mistakes, engineers feel deprived of agency: “I suffered for nothing.” > Engineering is this complicated balance between seeing the world as it could be, > and accepting the world as it is. > As you get older as an engineer, it’s too easy to no longer see what could be, > and you get mired in the ways the world is broken. You can become pessimistic.
  • Caitie McCaffrey on Distributed Sagas: A Protocol for Coordinating Microservices (video ~45min)
  • [@14:17](https://youtu.be/h-WSU3kiXVg?t=857) It’s dangerous to live only in the future, detached from present reality. Optative voice
  • [@16:45](https://youtu.be/h-WSU3kiXVg?t=1005) At Oxide, we ask applicants “when have you been happiest and why? Unhappiest?” Interesting to see that unhappy is all the same story: we were trying to do the right thing and management prevented it. > When I was younger and maybe more idealistic and willing to charge at the windmills, > I stayed too long with a company. > All the developers that interviewed me were gone by the time I got there. > I should have walked out the door, but I was too young and didn’t know better.
  • [@18:43](https://youtu.be/h-WSU3kiXVg?t=1123) “How do you and your cofounder resolve conflicts?” > I don’t want to hear about how you don’t have conflicts, tell me about how you resolve them.
  • Folks aren’t able to walk away, they’ve got this commitment both to the work and to their colleagues.
     I’ve been a dead-ender a couple of times, I’ll go down with the ship.
  • [@20:28](https://youtu.be/h-WSU3kiXVg?t=1228) In “Soul of a New Machine” (wiki) Tom West says he wants to trust his engineers, but that trust is risk. > I just love that line: that trust is risk. > That’s part of the reason some of these companies > have a hard time trusting their technologists, > they just don’t want to take the risk.
  • People are so not versed in how to deal with conflict, and there’s nothing scarier than salary negotiation.
  • They need you, that’s why you’re here, you’ve made it all the way through the interview to this point, you’ve got leverage, now’s the time to use it.
  • [@23:04](https://youtu.be/h-WSU3kiXVg?t=1384) Oxide: Compensation as a Reflection of Values > It takes the need for negotiation out, > because it replaces it with total transparency.
  • Sometimes it’s not about what you’re getting paid, it’s about what the other person is getting paid. Not wanting to get taken advantage of.
  • It’s a social experiment for sure.
  • [@28:07](https://youtu.be/h-WSU3kiXVg?t=1687) Steve Jobs famously tried this at NeXT: pay was transparent but not equal.
    • History of compensation at NeXT (wiki) (quora post) > I think that’s the worst of both worlds, a recipe for disaster.
If we got something wrong or missed something, please file a PR! Our next Twitter space will likely be on Monday at 5p Pacific Time; stay tuned to our Twitter feeds for details. We’d love to have you join us, as we always love to hear from new speakers!