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The Turing Fest Newsletter #4 – 8th December 2022

December 19, 2022

Hey 👋

Two weeks is a long time in tech.

Since our last fortnightly missive, some trends have continued (tech layoffs, Twitter upheaval) but something else most definitely changed when OpenAI released the quite extraordinary ChatGPT last week. Predictions and hot takes are flying around: some see it as a genuine threat to Google – many SEOs are already freaking out – whilst others feel software development may never be the same again (will code reviews soon be a thing of the past?). One respected commentator sees it as both the ultimate homework machine – for now – but soon likely the next big shift in all of tech (see our Bonus article for more on that).

Below, arranged under the familiar pillars of Build, Grow, and Lead, you’ll find three pieces of content we’ve picked for you that grabbed our attention. There’s also the aforementioned Bonus link, for a fascinating take on the hottest of topics. And finally, from the recent Turing Fest archives, find out why and how TransferWise became Wise in one of the biggest and boldest rebrands in European tech.


📚 [BUILD] The 10x development environment

In his legendary book “The Mythical Man-Month”, Fred Brooks floated a persistent idea that the best programmers are 10x better than average programmers. Ever since, there have been endless arguments for and against this, but perhaps the secret to productivity gains lies elsewhere.

Alberto Fernandez-Capel from 37signals is convinced that you won’t find 10x productivity hidden within the best programmers, but instead being driven by their working environment. Can you achieve productivity leaps by limiting the size of your team, time allocation or scheduled meetings? Or is it the tools that programmers are using that are limiting output? Let’s find out.

Read the full article here 

[Alberto Fernández-Capel, 37signals]

📚 [GROW] Understanding LinkedIn’s algorithm

 To the surprise of many of us, LinkedIn has slowly but surely become a key platform for marketers over the past couple of years. The uncertainty of Twitter’s future, and the fragmentation that may ensue, is likely to give the already-established professional social network even more prominence as a content platform. 

There are many consequences to this big increase in user-generated content on LinkedIn. One unfortunate one is the rise in low-quality, low-value posts – it feels like the home of the most cringeworthy awfulness sometimes. Unsurprisingly, LinkedIn has been working hard to improve the quality and relevance of what you see. So, what are the new rules: how does its algorithm work? 

Read the full article here 

[Kate Lindsay, The Atlantic]

🐦 [LEAD] Why are we all so damn busy? 

How many times in the last week have you said, or heard someone say, “I’m busy”? “How are you doing?”, someone asks – the near-automatic response is often “I’m good, but so busy”. We’re all guilty of it.

There are two interesting questions that are at play here; one is why we feel busy, the other is why we so readily say we are busy. Though these are separate questions, they are clearly connected – and it doesn’t take a psychologist to imagine that how we now live – in a constant state of connectivity and optimisation – is having detrimental effects. 

Author and investor Sahil Bloom recently took to Twitter to tackle this topic, and shared his three steps to changing how we think about productivity; Reframe, Focus and Embrace. 

Read the full thread now

[@sahilBloom, Twitter]

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📚 [BONUS] ChatGPT: Optimizing Language Models for Dialogue

We couldn’t finish off this fortnight’s newsletter without discussing OpenAI’s breathtaking recent release. ChatGPT has now been blowing everyone’s minds for a week. If you have somehow missed it, its really is worth checking out.

Clearly, we are at the start of something big with huge consequences across tech, and probably for society. He is not a man given to hyperbole but on the Sharp Tech podcast this week influential tech analyst Ben Thompson said he feels that this is the next paradigm in computing and the biggest thing since mobile.

Astonishing as it is, where are we exactly with ChapGPT? This is the most sophisticated language model most of us have had access to so far, but is it more than that? Over on Stratechery, Thompson gave a detailed and typically thoughtful take. 

Read the full article here 


🎥 [ARCHIVE – TF22] Tessa Pettman – Becoming Wise: how we built the TransferWise brand and why we became Wise.

Launched in 2011, TransferWise originally set out to disrupt the way in which we make international money transfers, and save their customers from being overcharged and underserved by their banks. 

Fast-forward ten years and TransferWise has become Wise, as it evolves its mission to help its customers with more than just money transfers.

In her talk at Turing Fest in 2022, Tessa Pettman, then Global Head of Product Marketing for Wise took us through the journey of TransferWise becoming Wise. 

Find out how they built the brand architecture for TransferWise, how they live their brand values in everything they do, and why and how they changed their name to Wise without losing customer trust. 

[Tessa Pettman, Wise]

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