Empathy please!

Empathy please!


If you are reading this either someone shared the link with you, or you recently reached out to me using some avenue such as slack, email, twitter, etc.

Everyone get’s this response at first so please please understand that I am not trying to blow you off but rather asking for a small amount of your time, in exchange for the amount of my time you just freely requested. Please skim this (you don’t even have to read it).



I am asking that you keep your request’s to me as limited as possible.

Please use complete sentences in your request.

Please get to the point.

Please put some thought into what your goals of the request are. What action are you asking me to take?


My favorite types of messages

Hello can you explain why you used an interface here instead of a struct? I am asking because most engineers at my company would have used a struct. <url>

Hello I would like to extend an invitation for you to be involved with some event. <who> <what> <when> <where> <url>

Hello I think you are neat. No action needed. Have a nice day.

Messages I find difficult to engage in

Hey how are you?

Hey want to speak at a meetup? <no more information>

Hey are you going to make it? <no more information>

Hey I have a question. <no more information>

Let’s do some algebra!


Let’s take a what looks like innocent conversation.



How are you?


That’s great. Can I ask you a question?


Okay thanks. So wondering if you want to speak at the <city> meetup?

Maybe. can you tell me more?

Oh sorry. Yeah – we just want you to speak about Kubernetes.

When is it?


October when?


…what time?

The meetups usually start at 7pm

…what time would I go on?


How long is my slot?

45 minutes.

So you are asking if I could be in <city> to speak about Kubernetes at a meetup on October 42nd and 9pm?


Sure I’d love to

Great! What size shirt do you wear?

…and so on


This is a pretty common conversation for me to have. So let’s look at some numbers. Let’s look at the amount of transactions needed to reach a solution, and compare that to the ideal case of 1:1

The first message prompted a response: Hey. Hey.

So far we are pretty good, 1:1

The second message also prompted a response


As did the third..


And so on…

1:12 in our example above if I stop responding at that point

This transaction could have been much more efficient to get to a solution.

Hi. I am wondering if you could be in <city> to speak about Kubernetes on October 42nd at 9pm?

Sure. Please see more information about me: github.com/kris-nova/me

So please optimize your messages in favor of efficiency. 


I would much rather have a brief, concrete, precise, and efficient conversation with you in favor of small talk or prompting you with questions.

On an average day I receive about 36 messages an hour.

So if each transaction takes 10 seconds, and let’s just say every message thread completes with a very generous 1:12 ratio (12 transactions to reach a solution)

That means every message takes 2 minutes of time to reach a solution

Which means, I would need 6.4 more hours in the day, and to never eat or sleep, in order to respond to every inquiry I get.

So please help me.

I really want time to sleep, you see.

Thanks for understanding, and feel free to respond with a well thought out message in case your first one could be optimized a bit more. 🙂




0 comment