The Pulse #58: Zoom; An RTO Turning Point?
Also: Stack Overflow’s traffic decline; SAP migration causes outage at Booking.com, Amazon enforces RTO and a senior engineer's job hunt story.
Programming update: This issue marks the start of my summer break. Next week, there will be no newsletters; I’ll be back in a week next Tuesday, on 22 August. Time away helps me recharge and sustain my energy in the long run. Thank you for your support! If you inspect the publishing schedule, you’ll see that today I should have already been off, but I forgot to mention this in a previous email and only planned to send a shortened issue of The Pulse. But as I wrote this issue, it grew to be a standard length. I hope you enjoy it!
Today's topics are:
Are reports of StackOverflow’s fall greatly exaggerated? A blog post suggests traffic is down 50% at Stack Overflow, due to ChatGPT gaining popularity. I reached out to Stack Overflow for more details: the company admitted a drop, but it’s only 14% as per data shared with me. The company seems to be doubling down on Teams for generative AI use cases as well. Exclusive.
What kind of migration is causing a payout outage at Booking.com? Small business hosts on the travel booking platform are waiting more than a month to be paid. Booking.com says a systems migration is the reason for the delay. I talked with engineers at the company and discovered an SAP migration is to blame. Exclusive.
Amazon gets stricter about enforcing return to the office (RTO.) The online retail giant sent a warning email to employees “not meeting the expectation of joining colleagues in the office at least three days a week.” I talked with engineers about the response to this ominous, unfriendly email. Exclusive.
Zoom to end remote work: an RTO turning point? Remote work tool Zoom is having most staff return to the office for two days a week. It’s a symbolic turning point which may signal how many companies will operate in a similarly hybrid way, going forward. Analysis.
A senior engineer/EM job search story. Davidson Fellipe, a software engineer with 15 years’ experience, based in New York, was recently let go. After 350 applications and 85 first-round interviews in 4 months, he secured 3 offers, and has now started his new job. He shares first-hand learnings about navigating the jobs market. Exclusive.
The Pulse sometimes delivers first hand, original reporting. I’m adding an ‘Exclusive’ label to news that features original reporting direct from my sources, as distinct from analysis, opinion, and reaction to events.
1. Are reports of StackOverflow’s fall greatly exaggerated?
A week and a half ago, machine learning engineer Ayhan Fuat Çelik wrote an interesting analysis titled The fall of Stack Overflow. Stack Overflow shares website data with some of its most active members with reputations higher than 25,000. I’d like to call out how neat this approach is and how it contributes to transparency, even when the data isn’t flattering.
Ayhan visualized this data and observed a definite fall in all metrics: page views, visits, questions asked, votes. Visualized: