A clear write-up of how GOV.UK kept things running smoothly while their petitions website suffered an immense rush of signatures.
Zoom is an excellent video-conferencing app which turns out to be built on some technical excellence of its own (running WASM encoders and decoders in the browser).
Some amazing work by Morten Just turning a phone into a 3D mouse using all the sensors that it has embedded in it. This is mindblowing and hints at all the things that are already possible using the technology we have.
Most of my programming career has been focused on keeping things simple and eschewing premature abstractions summarized aptly by: “duplication is far cheaper than the wrong abstraction”
Existing code exerts a powerful influence. Its very presence argues that it is both correct and necessary. We know that code represents effort expended, and we are very motivated to preserve the value of this effort. And, unfortunately, the sad truth is that the more complicated and incomprehensible the code, i.e. the deeper the investment in creating it, the more we feel pressure to retain it (the “sunk cost fallacy“). It’s as if our unconscious tell us “Goodness, that’s so confusing, it must have taken ages to get right. Surely it’s really, really important. It would be a sin to let all that effort go to waste.”
A thorough and hugely insightful breakdown of six software rewrites with the conclusion that you can always create something new without throwing away the value you already have.
In this comprehensive list of matureness in engineers, John Allspaw elaborates on many of the non-technical skills that constitute seniority.
The things that will actually allow you to hire great engineers are things that are very hard to quantify, as listed in this article:
- Permission and encouragement to do my job right
- Working with and for smart people
- Making a good career investment
An excellent talk by Tanya Reilly about the career impacts of technical and glue (non-technical) work especially for underrepresented groups: “Being promoted is diversity work.”
I’m not a data scientist but I’ve been trained for it (as part of my computer science degree) and I’ve worked in a bunch of related fields. I wholly endorse this take by Vicki Boykis on the state of data science and what you need to be successful at it.
1. Learn SQL
2. Learn a programming language extremely well and learn programming concepts
3. Learn how to work in the cloud
This piece about Stephen Wolfram’s productivity system is too much but also too fascinating to stop reading.