Labnotes

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Tom Eastman I die.


Design Objective

The State of UX in 2019 Where to begin? I thought this would be another "hot UI trends for 2019 that will make you look cool to your Dribble friends", but this article is much better than that.

It talks about the evolving roles and expectations from UX designers. The industry's moral and ethical responsiblity, and doing right by the users. Ponders the Vim vs Emacs question of UX: should designers code? And many other serious topics.

If you read one thing this week, I recommend this link *.

As an industry we have become obsessed with our design methods. Some designers are so addicted to following the specific set of steps outlined in a playbook, or filling out a persona template that they found online, that they forget to reflect on why they are using that method in the first place. That extreme focus on output rather than outcome can be extremely dangerous to Design as a profession , creating a whole generation of designers who always have to be told what to do next.

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* Ironically, the overly fancy UI makes reading this article painful, and it crashes Safari. Use reader mode or Instapaper or something like that.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb This thread is about books, but captures user research all too well:

1- Ignore surveys.

Pple think they prefer restaurants 1) quiet so they can tawk, 2) roomy, 3) no line.

Yet they flock to 1) loud, 2) cramped restaurants 3) w/50 min wait.

Never ask pple what they want, watch what they do. Revelation of preferences.

#SkinInTheGame

Reimagining the Morning Briefing New York Times iterating on their Morning Briefing email, has lessons that apply to other products that need to communicate to people.

Also, bold lead-ins is a great idea for office memos and such:

We use bold lead-ins as labels, to help the reader know what kind information they are being offered. “How we know” allows us to give a behind-the-scenes look into The Times and reveal a little bit about the reporting process — like how many months our journalists spent reading through secret documents for a particular story. Other lead-ins: “Why it matters,” “Background” and “Another angle.”

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Norgard 👍

You can’t predict if people are going to like your product nor should you, there is no more mentally exhausting exercise

All you can do is have a crystal clear point of view, obsessively reduce and deliver

The market will sort the rest out

Why Truly Great Product Managers Love Code Review PMs should be aware when the team is over-engineering, or being held back by technical debt:

For a developer who takes pride in her work, eight weeks of trudging through a swamp of technical debt is crushing. As a PM, you know the concrete costs that come with each day your fixes aren't yet live, and there are also the intangible costs to your development team—a loss of trust and faith in you as a leader, in the project, and in the team to get things done.


Tools of the Trade

$10,000 Fellowships for women working on open source programming projects, research, and art Apply, or share with people who may be interested:

Is there a project you’ve always wanted to start or contribute to, but you haven’t had the time or resources to do so? Now’s your chance: apply to RC this winter for a one, six, or 12-week retreat. We’ll provide up to $10,000 in funding (depending on batch length), 24/7 access to our space, and a supportive community of fellow programmers.

JavaScript Teacher True. Invest in learning the principles, not the tools.

When you are hired... no one will ask you what "best" framework is. You will be coding in what is already set up and available by the lead engineer. Don't try to learn every single thing out there. Learn to adapt.

The Rise of Microsoft Visual Studio Code Also, check the end of this article, for how Triplebyte correlates interview performance with choice of text editor:

Yikes! VS Code is eating everyone else's lunch! The story here is pretty clear. Over the past year, VS Code usage has gone from 5% to 22%. Over the same time, Sublime Text usage has fallen from 17% to 11%, and Atom usage has fallen from 11% to 6%. Even Eclipse is falling. And VS Code is accelerating every month.

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remotedebug-ios-webkit-adapter You can use VS Code or Chrome DevTools to debug Safari and hybrid apps running on iOS.

overview

tobyhede TIL butterflies are not made of butter!

If your rebuttal to "serverless" is "contains servers" I have this thread for you of things that are not literally the words

Kent C. Dodds Cool hack!

Netflix: This episode is 58 minutes long.
Me: But I'm to tired to stay up that late.
Netflix: Then watch it later.
Me: But I want to watch it now.
Netflix: Tough.
Me: document.querySelectorAll('video').forEach(v => v.playbackRate = 1.5)
Netflix: Snds gd.

“Alex” Not wrong:

golang's compiler is quite strict and opinionated, for example, the compiler actually forces you to brag that your code is written in go


Web-end

Mike Riethmuller Raises hand. Me too.

The one thing in web development I will never remember how to do without looking it up, is linking a stylesheet: <link href="styles.css" rel="stylesheet" />, Why is this so hard to remember?

bterlson.d.ts Edge was "yet another browser to QA", a tax on developers, but once it's gone, which browser are we going to vilify and blame for missing the deadline?

Today's Edge announcements tl;dr

  • Edge moving to Chromium (Blink+v8) for compat reasons. Still called Edge.
  • Will be OSS. Will contribute code upstream.
  • ChakraCore development continues for various non-Edge uses.
  • No change to standards work - still pushing the web forward!

Laurie Voss I agree, but skeptical that Mozilla can make a difference:

A world with a single browser made by Google would be just as dangerous as the world with one browser made by Microsoft was. Mozilla's role in the world just became even more crucial.

karen Which probably explains how we got here:

2012: low powered netbooks for internet browsing
2018: browsing the internet is one of the most resource intensive tasks you can do on a computer


Lines of Code

Jared Hanson Once you learn to treat code as disposable, you'll become a much better developer. For this, and other reasons:

When solving the problem, explore the possible solution space. Code is often a great tool to aid in that process. Don’t think of it as a final product.


Architectural

AWS Lambda Now Supports Custom Runtimes and Enables Sharing Common Code Between Functions With Lambda layers and the runtime API, you can now deploy many different types of serverless workloads.

Not just choice of language, but tool, and precise control over execution. For example, the Node|Solid runtime bundles Node 10 and code instrumentation:

In essence, N|Solid for AWS Lambda is an augmented Node.js runtime that enables extraction of metrics with as little overhead possible. This is achievable thanks to the approach we’ve taken with the N|Solid Agent – it sits outside of the Node.js event loop in the native C++ layer, meaning that your application’s performance isn’t affected while being monitored.

Kelsey Hightower I think containers are about to peak:

Given the combination of the Lambda Runtime API and Lambda Layers I no longer believe adding support for containers would add any additional benefit to Lambda.

The Lambda Runtime API provides a major benefit over containers for Serverless workloads: a well defined and opinionated runtime API for getting work done.

Real-time applications with API Gateway WebSockets and AWS Lambda And with Web Sockets support coming soon, I'm running out of reasons to maintain server instances.

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Peopleware

Morgan McGuire You can be right most of the time, or innovate, but not both:

It's easy to be right about the future 99% of the time as a pessimist. Most new ideas really don't work!

A scientist's job is to be unreasonably optimistic and fail a lot. Because that's the only way to find a 1% idea like penicillin, transistors, or the fast Fourier theorem.

betsythemuffin And don't let anyone block you from learning:

Sometimes, reinventing the wheel helps us understand how the wheel works.

When we shit on learning as a purpose in itself, we force people to rationalize it by pretending they’re not “just” learning, they’re “innovating.”


Teamwork

John Cutler How can you use roadmaps to keep everyone in sync:

4/8 Feature-based roadmaps are often used because "everyone in the organization needs to know what's coming!" Fair point. But what if I told you that this need causes premature convergence which impacts outcomes?

The trick is to converge at the last responsible moment.

Jason Lemkin 💯

Raise your hand and own something no one is owning

Instant career accelerator in a startup

Staffan Nöteberg Applies to individuals, and to teams at every scale:

Overloading the brain disables Kahneman slow thinking. The same goes for organizations. Starting too many initiatives inevitably leads to firefighting rather than continuous improvement. #monotasking #multitasking


Locked Doors

SwiftOnSecurity In response to outage caused by expired certificate:

I cannot emphasize enough to skeptical security people about LetsEncrypt autoenrollment:
Manual certificate cycling is a massive operational risk that makes IT hesitant to enforce encrypted communications. The old way is not the best way. It’s time to move

Camilo Martinez "If someone asks you: what's your password?"

Mark Burnett Cat In The Middle attack:

I caught my cat running out of my office with my yubikey in his mouth--a threat model I hadn't considered.


Ad-diction

It’s the End of News As We Know It (and Facebook Is Feeling Fine) "Right-wing propaganda is still doing great. Journalism, not so much." What makes Mother Jones' reporting different from mainstream media, is that they do not try to shield newsroom reality behind a contributor op-ed. They let it all bare:

Still, the decline in Facebook audience over the past 18 months translates into a loss of at least $600,000 just from advertising (not counting donations or subscriptions that won’t happen when people don’t see our stories). That’s a big part of the reason why we need to raise $400,000 this month. It’s a big goal, more than what we did in December ’16 and ’17—because it has to be. We can’t pull back from investigating right now, with the stakes so high.


None of the Above

Allison Parrish "why can't you use"

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NatashaVianna 💥

My new requirement is that if my kid wants to download a new app, she has to write a one page report on the founders, company story, and business model so that she understands how the app benefits from her use.

This is what happens when your mom works in tech.

alexis "wait what" this thread 😭

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Peter Lyons

I want a kitchen timer with a beep sound appropriate for "the tea is done steeping" instead of the standard noise which is appropriate for "the patient's respirator stopped working".

Spooky Automated Jobs "Are you calling me fat?"

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Unlimited power: ASUS ROG Phone charges when plugged into itself, solves world's battery problems TIL There are gaming phones. Gaming phones have several USB ports. So gaming phones can self-charge, and also mount themselves as external USB drives. Infinite battery life! Infinite external storage!

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Aditya Mukerjee Thread on the latest in internet censorship:

Now that Tumblr is shutting down all "adult content", will people finally start paying attention to #SESTA/#FOSTA (and hold the people who created it accountable)?

Cohort and Age Effects Me too.

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Stephanie Hurlburt AKA the bystander effect:

A social media phenomena to be aware of: After a certain number of likes/shares on a post, sometimes people think person is overwhelmed and doesn’t need help anymore. When in reality everyone’s thinking that & the person ends up with very little help. Always reach out to check!

Starlight, Esq. Thread:

I'm having a bit of fun playing with the scale of things on https://thetruesize.com

let's start gentle: this map is actually a really good explanation of 1) how fucking big the lower 48 are and 2) why so few people in the US become fluent in a second language

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Published on

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Scott Jon Siegel 🤯


Design Objective

Jared Spool Point that's often lost in the org chart:

Adrienne Porter Felt Who counts as a family? According to @cvspharmacy, all parents must share the same last name as their child. Some developer added an if-check, probably without thinking about it too much, and ended up codifying their own cultural norms into the medical system.

Everyone is a UX designer.

Including developers writing validation checks to match business rules. And the policy/product people who made those rules.

The UX Uncanny Valley We often talk about reducing options, to avoid the paradox of choice. But the reverse is also true. Introducing — or not hiding — unnecessary options, so as to give the user an illusion of control.

Google Maps, for instance, will show you several route options even though users will likely go with the suggested option. There is a sense of security in knowing that you’ve chosen a lesser of evils.

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Solve for X Analytical approach to experience design:

Product + Design without Technology is Vaporware. We have a great idea and people seem to want it. But we can’t build it.
Design + Technology without Product is a Hackathon Project. It looks great and it’s even fully functional, but there’s no market for it.
Product + Technology without Design is an Office Printer. The necessary evils of the world that are completely at risk of being disrupted by a customer-centric innovation. Think Netflix, Airbnb, Uber again (man it would be great if someone created the “Uber of Printers”).

Ivo Mägi "This is your 1500ms latency in real life situations -"

Thinking in Triplicate Design is constrained by the business model:

Virgin America, Rdio, Google Reader, and Comcast.
Which of these offered a good experience? Which of these still exists?

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Chris Messina And when the business model is based on advertising:

That red dot is an infuriating example of Facebook's technomanipulation (I have unreads in every other category — they just want me to TRY to clear that dot (spoiler alert: you can't)).

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The Mystery Font That Took Over New York The story of Choc.

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It's Centred That Can you tell when something is centered? Test your designer eye.

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Tools of the Trade

VisBug 101 Turns any webpage into a playground.

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Schedule emails without polling a database using Step Functions If your use case fits within these limits, you can delegate a lot of state management to AWS Step Functions.

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Ben Halpern He's right about GUI shaming:

No matter how much you love the CLI, don't GUI-shame. Lots of perfectly amazing programmers like working with GUIs, and it's perfectly fine.

There's some weird gatekeeping tendencies centered around the command line. #DevDiscuss

Vicki Boykis "The reInvent announcement of my dreams:"

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Lingua Scripta

The International Obfuscated JavaScript Code Contest Open for submissions.

ncc: Node.js Compiler Collection ncc outputs a self-contained script that bundles all its dependencies. Benefit: faster bootup.

Experimenting with brain-computer interfaces in JavaScript. When do we get brain install <newskill>?

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Edward Torvalds "npm install"


Lines of Code

Thomas Parslow "Told another programmer about the Monte Hall Problem. He was not convinced. Then later that night.... #nerdsniping"

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grapefrukt The other day I saw a transaction record that stored the credit card number as floating point …

i'm not without sin as far as data type mistakes go, but storing phone numbers as floats is maybe not the best idea.

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Architectural

Jared Short People time isn't free, but also you don't need expense approval to spend it:

"We run three nodes... At $.42/hr for the managed kafka, compared to $.192/hr self hosted... we'll keep it self hosted for now..." I love HN math.

Real world math: Over 1 year that is ~$2k difference, ~20 hours of engineering time. Maintenance isn't free, it obscures true cost.

Brenan Keller True story:

A QA engineer walks into a bar. Orders a beer. Orders 0 beers. Orders 99999999999 beers. Orders a lizard. Orders -1 beers. Orders a ueicbksjdhd.

First real customer walks in and asks where the bathroom is. The bar bursts into flames, killing everyone.

Philip Guo "My computing setup is supported by strong theoretical foundations"

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Peopleware

Notes on Hyperfocus On managing your attention, focusings on tasks, avoiding distractions, and also setting time for scattered thoughts.

Beyond that, the advice is to do it as often as possible, especially when need to work on a complex task. One interesting thought is that if you find you are resisting focusing on a task to reduce the time until the point where that resistance disappears. Complex tasks will require multiple slots.

deep work update #2 Related, how about scheduling every minute of your day? Would that work for you?

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Team Work

Dirty Kurty Thread:

I recently left a position as a tech lead and I thought I would share some of valuable lessons I learned during that time. A proverbial thread, if you will.


Locked Doors

I don't know what to say. #116 So this happened. An NPM package with 2 million weekly downloads was injected with malicious code. Seems to be stealing Bitcoin wallets. Good chance one of your projects is using this package directly or indirectly.

Gary Bernhardt And yes, this was something many people saw coming. But it was also convenient to bursh aside, to evangelize Node and the "many small modules" philosophy:

There was an option 3: don't decompose your application's dependency graph into thousands of packages. People who argued that position were dismissed as (to paraphrase heavily) old and slow. That ship has sailed, and now we're here.

Em "Still my fave"

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Techtopia

How I changed the law with a GitHub pull request "A few days later, the Council’s codification lawyer merged my pull request"

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Ad-diction

Dan Rather 💯

When someone starts an argument with "I'm not a scientist, but..." maybe we should stop listening to them weighing in on science. And maybe news shows should stop asking these pundits to talk about something they’re not qualified to talk about.

The Miseducation of Sheryl Sandberg This article throws more blame at COO Sandberg than at CEO Zuckerberg. This is a hit piece, not something I'd expect from Vanity Fair.

Michelle Ghoussoub "My favorite scene in All The President’s Men is probably the one where they gather around the chartbeat monitor and a/b test their headlines"

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None of the Above

Eric Amazing!

Recreating GTA style footage with a @SkydioHQ experiment 2. Now with more traffic and a soundtrack. This took only 1 tap on my iPhone: LAUNCH

aunt dad Relationship goals:

don't waste your time on anyone who wouldn't absolutely lose their shit on speakerphone if you won star baker

Patrick Collison 😭

From: Titus Labienus
To: Caesar
Subject: Gentle bump

Just wanted to get this back to the top of your inbox. Hoping to get working group approval on the plans for Gaul. Can resend the link to the deck if you like.

Farbod Saraf "This is why things in commercials don't look like they do in real life #HowThingsWork"

Peter Life advice:

PSA: Don't EVER let your printer know that you've waited until the last minute to print something out and you're in hurry because they can sense fear.

Tommi Forsström TIL

The biggest contribution I’ve been able to bring to the table in the US from my Finnish heritage is the idiom

”Climbing a tree ass-first”

to illustrate doing a not-wrong thing in a needlessly complicated or difficult way.

You’re welcome, 🇺🇸.
Love, 🇫🇮.

This glass appears to break when people walk over it, leading to some funny frights Whoever designed this …

David Milner 😭

Kristen Ruin a first date in four words or less.

"Four words or FEWER"

Payless fools influencers with a fake store Someone deserves a promotion for this brilliant stunt:

Payless, a brand known for budget-friendly shoes, opened a fake pop-up store called "Palessi" in a Los Angeles mall and invited influencers to the grand opening. The store was stocked with Payless shoes in disguise.

"I would pay $400 or $500," a woman says in a TV ad, holding a pair of $19.99 sneakers. Another shopper calls the Payless shoes "elegant and sophisticated."

Mike Rosenberg An explanation of how democratic elections work in the US:

North Carolina: Democrats won 48% of votes and 23% of seats
Ohio: Democrats won nearly 50% of votes and 25% of seats

Pennsylvania, new court-ordered nonpartisan map: Dems won 55% of votes and 50% of seats, up from 28% of seats under old map

GTQ677ed

Chuck Wendig 😳

So, I watched that POKEY MANS movie today, my first actual viewing of anything Pokémon, and uhhh

welp

I have questions

Scott Linnen 💯

Scientists have again landed a spacecraft on a proverbial dime on a planet 40 million miles away that rotates at 241 metres per second. Think I'm gonna trust them on this climate change stuff.

Fluff Society "Once you run into a window, you're going to have big trust issues"

Published on

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SS astronaut finds NASA floppy disks in space Windows 95. Mint condition. Buyer picks up.


Design Objective

This Is UX Writing at Its Very Best Examples of great microcopy, many puns, and even a brutally honest search filter:

Micropcopy_Hipmunk_s

Alan Cooper This thread applies equally well to development practices and interaction design:

Analogies between how things are made in the software world and how things are made in the non-software world are fraught. Software is different, and an analogy that shares one common aspect subtly makes you think that there are other aspects in common, but this is rarely true. 1

Helen Tran Personas (like brainstorming, Agile), has been co-opted to the point where maybe we need a reset and new term:

A 'persona' is not an opportunity for you to create biases for your team.

What is in a Persona:
Needs, motivations, general technical literacy, income/age ranges, etc.

What is not in a Persona:
One made-up individual's picture, name, hobbies, age, and ethnicity

Kill Your Personas Related:

They are inherently an amalgamation, an average of attributes that we imagine our average customer has. And there’s no such thing as the average customer.

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Chris Owens 👍

Shout-out to all the sites that still make the login button more prominent than the sign-up button.

Slow Software Explains why the supercomputer in your pocket can feel so slow at times:

What feels "slow" to users? We all have a sense for when software annoys us with delays. But to get a better handle on this problem, we'll complement these intuitions with academic research that answers the question rigorously.

input-latency-cascade


Tools of the Trade

Wired Elements Web components with a hand-drawn, sketchy look. "The elements are drawn with enough randomness that no two renderings will be exactly the same — just like two separate hand-drawn shapes."

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Brandon Bloom More options doesn't make for a better product:

Next time you consider adding a config file to your tool, consider this: Every flag doubles the configuration space. Just counting boolean compiler variables alone, there are nearly 150 thousand trillion possible TypeScript configurations.

Post-REST Tim Bray on what awaits us beyond REST:

But I bet that for the foreseeable future, a high proportion of all requests to services are going to have (approximately) HTTP semantics, and that for most control planes and quite a few data planes, REST still provides a good clean way to decompose complicated problems, and its extreme simplicity and resilience will mean that if you want to design networked apps, you’re still going to have to learn that way of thinking about things.

Wynn Netherland Related:

For me, the big benefits of GraphQL have been:

  • Types
  • Free API explorer with purchase
  • Auto documenting
  • Explicit contracts with the front end behind which to iterate
  • Not needing to think like Roy Fielding to intuit use

Kelly Vaughn 😭

Osahon A "Imagine getting married to another great human who adores you >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>"

I saw the >>>>>>> and immediately thought "shit a merge conflict" and that's how I know I'm in too deep

Krissy Brierre-Davis "How come you guys never told me this iPhone trick? I feel duped."

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Web-end

web.dev "Google's web platform team has spent over a decade learning about user needs. Now we want to make it as easy as possible for you to master the defining standards of web development today."

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Some notes about HTTP/3 HTTP/2 doesn't excite me, but HTTP/3 looks like a worthy upgrade from HTTP/1.1:

This means that as you move around, you can continue with a constant stream uninterrupted from YouTube even as your IP address changes, or continue with a video phone call without it being dropped. Internet engineers have been struggling with "mobile IP" for decades, trying to come up with a workable solution. They've focused on the end-to-end principle of somehow keeping a constant IP address as you moved around, which isn't a practical solution. It's fun to see QUIC/HTTP/3 finally solve this, with a working solution in the real world.

Glen Arrowsmith "npm install..."

Surma "I, in fact, did NOT mean that."

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Lines of Code

Will Crichton A rant:

Picking good names is a crucial tool for thought. A good name communicates or reminds you of the idea underneath an abstraction. Naming something after a person is the 2nd laziest form of naming. First is "Type 1" and "Type 2" error, the dumbest naming scheme ever invented.

Cindy Potvin I need that on a t-shirt:

First rule of debugging: Are you really running the code you think you're running? 😇


Architectural

Matt Wensing 2018, programming is 10% writing code, 90% configuring 3rd party services:

Slack app fun project turning out to be less fun. Time spent writing useful code: 30 minutes. Time spent figuring out OAuth, permissions, and scope by user, bot, and workspace: 5+ hours and counting.

Dave Cheney Yes!

A little global state is not an invitation for a little more. It’s a prescribed substance, not a precedent.

jasongorman Learn concepts first, tools second:

1998: "You should build systems out of single-purpose loosely-coupled components

2008: "You should build systems out of single-purpose loosely-coupled components"

2018: "You should build systems out of single-purpose loosely-coupled components"

Technology changes so fast!


Peopleware

Sophie Alpert Sums it up:

Timeless software engineering skills:

  1. Not feeling scared to change code you didn't write
  2. Empathy for your users and for your collaborators
  3. Ability to communicate ideas clearly

I'd hire someone with these skills any day.


Team Work

Product Managers: How to Stop Drowning in Feature Requests Since my team also practices fixed time/fixed cost/flexible scope, going to start calling it "Goal orientated Roadmaps":

As the name suggests, this type of roadmap describes goals you will set out to achieve during a release but not full disclosure of the detail behind what this will entail. For example, the goal for the next release could be “to deliver the platform via a native app”.

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Oscar Godson (한글 학생) 😳

Engineering Manager: "How long do you think this will take? "

My brain:
Don't do it
Don't do it
Don't do it
Don't do it
Don't do it
Don't do it
Don't do it
Don't do it
Don't do it
Don't do it
Don't do it

Me:
"Shouldn't take too long"

Fluff Society "Wow. And some humans won't even talk to each other"


Devoops

Lesley Carhart This:

Which do I find myself doing more? To be honest, it’s often arguing against IT folks (and my better sales pitch) that things aren’t as catastrophic as they think. Panic is counterproductive to triage. I do plenty of arguing that conditions really do merit faster response, though.

Karen López Or to put it another way (a thread):

Another incident response tip: don’t panic and start pulling all the plugs, twisting all the knobs, flipping all the switches.

I watched a celebrity consultant do this during a minor incident. His voice went up several octaves as he went crazy panicking. 1/

Cory Foy Whether you're fixing computers or saving human lives (a thread):

“Panic is counterproductive to triage”. Oh my gosh yes. And after you read her excellent thread, let me tell you something that happened tonight in a very different scenario which highlights this brilliant phrase from Lesley.

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Lynn Grant On the subject of clear communication:

Reminds me of advice from an airplane pilot’s blog I used to read: She said when you turn on the fuel pump switch, you don’t say the fuel pump is on, you say it is *selected on*, because it could have failed due to tripped circuit breaker, etc.

Incidents As We Imagine Them Versus How They Actually Happen "Real incidents (and the response to them) are messy, and do not take the nice-and-neat form of: detect⟶diagnose⟶repair"


Techtopia

Guillaume Chaslot And somehow this involves Boko Haram and Kyrie Irving:

So basically we have the two best AIs of the world, on Instagram and YouTube, competing to convince people that the earth is flat. Because it yields large amounts of watch time, and watch time yields ads. This is a #raceToTheBottom 11/

Wanted: The ‘perfect babysitter.’ Must pass AI scan for respect and attitude. What could possibly go wrong?

Jamie L. Williams, a staff attorney at the civil-liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation, said most algorithms deployed now to assess the meaning of words and images online are widely known to lack a human reader’s context and common sense. Even tech giants such as Facebook have struggled to build algorithms that can tell the difference between a harmless comment and hate speech.


None of the Above

On November 26th, a mole will land on Mars The mole lands this Monday.

1-1

To Give a Great Presentation, Distill Your Message to Just 15 Words This article may be 1,045 words long, but it communicates the first key point in only 12 words. Show, don't tell. There's more to this article, if you're into public speaking, worth a read.

A good talk has content that is fresh and well-edited, with a clear arc that takes us on a journey. A good talk is one that is so well rehearsed that you are able to let go of the script and freely share the content in the moment. A good talk is one where your audience wants to adopt your idea at the end of the talk.

Climate change will shrink US economy and kill thousands, government report warns Released during Thanksgiving, so to not to attract too much attention. So please share!

The report was created to inform policy-makers and makes no specific recommendations on how to remedy the problem. However, it suggests that if the United States immediately reduced its fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions, it could save thousands of lives and generate billions of dollars in benefits for the country.

nca4_cover-1200@2x

Annalee Related. Calls for "individual action" are the whataboutism of climate change:

My dad was a forest fire fighter and Smokey will always be my bro, but seeing "only you can prevent forest fires" during a fire PG&E started is a reminder that focusing on individual climate action is an intentional strategy to distract from corporate responsibility.

Tom Gara "Ahh yes, the Science Channel, time crack open a cold one and settle in for some Science"

Dstgv9MWsAAGAA5

alicegoldfuss 😭

Netflix has been doing this thing where it plays one episode then returns me to the main menu and I cannot help but feel judged

I did not become a software engineer to have a website tell me to go outside

melisapressley 🎹

At my library we have an upright piano that the public can "checkout" for 2 hours. There's a homeless patron playing the most beautiful concerto--he told me that he misses his piano most of all. Never underestimate the resources your local library has to offer. #librarylife

Pulp Librarian "The 1983 Sony Liberty LP/Cassette/ CD player. Compared to this your Bluetooth speaker is feeble. FEEBLE!!"

Dsrkq7rWwAAPohr

Namastaywoke 🔥

NPR "What if loans are actually a good thing?"

Then why don’t y’all take out some loans and stop begging us for money on the air every 3 months

Airlines face crack down on use of ‘exploitative’ algorithm that splits up families on flights Once you get over how nasty they are, turns out, it's also a dangerous practice:

“This is especially important when adults and their children need to be seated near to each other if an emergency situation occurs, such an evacuation, decompression or air turbulence, when the assistance and supervision of an adult is likely to be of paramount importance.”

Fluff Society "When the squad is finally ready to head out"

Julian Friedman 🤔

Brexit has reached the part of a waterfall software development process where two years in you realise you aren't going to hit the deadline, your architectural assumptions were all wrong, and no-one wants what you built anyway

Inside the Pricey War to Influence Your Instagram Feed A price sheet for authenticity:

For a single photo post with a product, prices for an influencer with a million followers on Instagram start at $10,000, they say. YouTube is more expensive. A content creator with 3 million subscribers will usually charge at least $40,000 per video. If the company wants the YouTuber to produce a negative review of a competitor’s product, that’ll cost extra—often from $10,000 to $30,000 more.

On Thanksgiving Eve, Facebook Acknowledges Details of Times Investigation TL;DR Facing accusations of spreading false news, Facebook decided to attack by … paying a lobbying firm to spread false news.

Abhishek Singh "Built a universal remote control using #Arkit and a #RaspberryPi to control any device in my room."

Published on

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Artëm Chistyakov "Rembrandt, “A New Message in Slack”, 1633 #devart"


Design Objective

The Graphic Art of Incredibles 2 Behind the scenes look at the architecture, graphic design, and the two world fairs that inspired the Incredibles 2. The amazing attention to detail make it such a fun movie to watch. Take for example:

One of the hardest things to do was this cereal box where a character illustration appears next to one of our real characters. I turned to Teddy Newton for help on this illustration, and the stylization feels perfect next to Dash. We also play up the humor of it being an over the top sugary cereal so that when it gets swapped out for Fiber O’s, we understand where Dash is coming from.

-Incredibles2_Portfolio-08

Learn about Dyslexia for the Web with me! Simple steps to design content that is more accessible to those who have dyslexia:

  • Left alignment
  • Avoid justified text
  • Write in sans serif
  • Use headings and images to break up large blocks of text
  • Avoid passive voice and double negatives

Tools of the Trade

Cloud Computing without Containers This is really interesting. CloudFlare is building the fastest and cheapest serverless. They decided to bypass containers (Docker, K8, all that), and instead use V8 Isolates. Tested in the harsh environment that is the Web, V8 Isolates provide strong multi-tenant isolation, probably better than any container architecture. And minimum overhead:

Because Workers don’t have to start a process, Isolates start in 5 milliseconds, a duration which is imperceptible. Isolates similarly scale and deploy just as quickly, entirely eliminating this issue with existing Serverless technologies.

Artboard-42@3x

Simon Hearne 😳

Five years using a mac and I've just noticed this little dot in the close button, indicating unsaved changes

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Marques Brownlee The new iPad Pro can double as a $800 fridge magnet(*):

(*) I only had mine for two days, so all I have is a first impression. It's expensive but noticable upgrade over last year's model. The new form factor feels like a true tablet, if that makes sense. You get more screen space, noticable speed up, a better keyboard, Face ID that just works, etc.

Steve Troughton-Smith If you're using the physical keyboard, you can also select using the Shift and cursor keys:

I can tell from a bunch of iPad reviews that a lot of people don’t know this, so here’s a pro tip: use two fingers to select text and move the insertion cursor around when editing text. It’s almost as good as a physical trackpad

I Am Devloper $ whois new-year.resolution.gym:

Buying a domain name is buying the wonderful feeling that you’ll actually finish the side project you have planned for it.

How Things Work "This is how Charlie Chaplin did things before CGI"


Lingua Scripta

Faster async functions and promises The short version is: trust the language implementation to get better with time, and use idiomatic async/await instead of hand-written promises. The long version is a peek into the internals of V8, ECMAScript, promises, and transpiling.


Lines of Code

The Developer Coefficient TL;DR "‘Bad code’ costs companies $85 billion annually"

While it’s a priority for senior executives to increase the productivity of their developers, the average developer spends more than 17 hours a week dealing with maintenance issues, such as debugging and refactoring. In addition, they spend approximately four hours a week on “bad code,” which equates to nearly $85 billion worldwide in opportunity cost lost annually, according to Stripe’s calculations on average developer salary by country. Nearly two-thirds of developers agree that this is “excessive” and believe that clear prioritization, responsibilities, and long-term product goals would improve their own productivity.

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André Staltz 🤔

In programming, natural selection is "survival of the ugliest". Small and simple code gets extended and repurposed. Ugly and complex code stays untouched and becomes legacy.

It's very interesting that efforts to write good code are in direct opposition to the nature of code.

Ask HN: What's the largest amount of bad code you have ever seen work? Behind every piece of software that sells for billions of dollars, there's a mountain of technical debt. Such as (guess the vendor):

Very complex pieces of logic, memory management, context switching, etc. are all held together with thousands of flags. The whole code is ridden with mysterious macros that one cannot decipher without picking a notebook and expanding relevant pats of the macros by hand. It can take a day to two days to really understand what a macro does.

Sometimes one needs to understand the values and the effects of 20 different flag to predict how the code would behave in different situations. Sometimes 100s too! I am not exaggerating.

The only reason why this product is still surviving and still works is due to literally millions of tests!


Architectural

Let’s take a crack at understanding distributed “consensus” This article takes a look at the various distributed system consensus protocols, to explain the why and how of the Nakamoto consensus protocol — the core protocol behind Bitcoin.

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Moritz Heiber "Microservices™️"

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Peopleware

Nathan Allen Pirtle 💯

To protect your energy ...

It’s okay to cancel a commitment.
It’s okay to not answer that call.
It’s okay to change your mind.
It’s okay to want to be alone.
It’s okay to take a day off.
It’s okay to do nothing.
It’s okay to speak up.
It’s okay to let go.


Team Work

Alan Cooper Litmus test:

To me, a “Product Owner” is someone who not only has the power to modify its features, but they have sufficient power to kill the product they own. If they don’t have that level of power, then they are not really the product owner, and someone else really owns it.

Ryan Singer To be a successful product manager, you do need all four:

Four literacies for product managers:

  1. Design. Will this work for customers?
  2. Tech. What’s possible, what’s easy and hard?
  3. Demand-side value. What matters to customers?
  4. Supply-side value. What matters to my bosses?

laney "When you work alone a lot."


Locked Doors

Japan's cyber security minister admits never having used computer Here's one security person who's never getting hacked:

"Since the age of 25, I have instructed my employees and secretaries, so I don't use computers myself," he said in a response to an opposition question in a lower house session, local media reported. He also appeared confused by the question when asked about whether USB drives were in use at Japanese nuclear facilities.


None of the Above

Fluff Society "Making its breed world debut in New Zealand, dubbed 'The Worlds Cutest Sheep' <- these are blacknose sheep"

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Alexandra Petri That's me:

ten writing rules

  1. find exactly the right place to sit
  2. better get coffee also
  3. turn off the internet we're WRITING
  4. but i have a question only the internet can answer
  5. more coffee!
  6. maybe i got an important email
  7. how is the coffee shop closing
  8. oh no

Max "Sweaty Eddy" Eddy "This is the single greatest triumph of technology over itself, boost if you agree."

5acd3a4bd67795a7

Writer in Pyjamas 😭

My Mum lost her password for 23andme. Instead of getting a new one, she ordered another spit kit, gave another sample, and had another DNA test!

Today, she rings me: baffled, but excited and happy, that they’ve found a twin she didn’t know about!

Steve Trendall This is next-level pranking:

VM (Vicky) Brasseur Thank you:

English is hard, so here's today's technical grammar reminder…

The noun form is one word. Examples:

  • login [page, form, credentials, etc]
  • logout
  • setup

The verb form is two words. Examples:

  • log in(to) [a site, an app, a server, etc]
  • log out (of)
  • set up

Nick Kapur "Mercator projection vs. the true size of countries"

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Igor Schatz "The Britney Spears effect on the labor market"

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@1961___ "هذا لا قلنا ابداع 😻"

Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis Oh wow:

While Mr. Zuckerberg has conducted a public apology tour in the last year, Ms. Sandberg has overseen an aggressive lobbying campaign to combat Facebook’s critics, shift public anger toward rival companies and ward off damaging regulation. Facebook employed a Republican opposition-research firm to discredit activist protesters, in part by linking them to the liberal financier George Soros. It also tapped its business relationships, lobbying a Jewish civil rights group to cast some criticism of the company as anti-Semitic.

You Had One Job "Gate with WiFi."

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James Corden "Holy shit. This commercial." You want to play this video with the sound on:

Published on

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Guide to Computing Amazing photos, from when computers doubled as furniture.


Design Objective

Luke Wroblewski "people will scroll unless you tell them not to."

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Early Drafts Every great piece of work starts somewhere.

early-drafts


Tools of the Trade

Now 2.0 Zeit has built an incredibly easy to use tool for deploying microservices, including support for monorepos:

  • A unified deployment type: All deployments are one type, regardless of static or dynamic parts
  • Massive build parallelization: Each deployment can kick off many concurrent serverless builds.
  • Monorepo support: Define API endpoints in Go, PHP, Node.js, Next.js, and such, in just one repository.
  • Zero-instruction builds: Our open-source builders take the build and cache config burden away.
  • Universal Cloud: Our platform leverages the best cloud infrastructure, with no lock-in or config.

React lazy, Suspense and Concurrent React Breakdown with Examples Explores the new lazy() loading function, <Suspense /> component and fallback, what works now in 16.6, and what to expect when React Concurrent (16.7) comes out.

enquirer "Stylish CLI prompts that are user-friendly, intuitive and easy to create."

autocomplete-prompt

李赛博 "If relational databases were invented today"

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Web-end

e: Why the React community is missing the point about Web Components On point:

React users would love to not have to npm install a date picker and bloat their bundles! If they need to "use the platform" then why doesn't that platform ship the features they actually ask for? Instead of a <carousel> they get an <aside>. Features like service workers are touted as a solution to many problems in the web, but their ergonomics are so under-designed that people actually have to change domains to bust the cache from a broken build (I’m not making this up).


Lines of Code

Sarah Drasner That will be fun to watch:

I wanna do a “Project Runway” but for creative code projects. Sort of like a hack but many time-boxed specific challenges.

“You can only use these two array methods, you can use canvas, and you have to create a planet. You have 24 hours. Go”

Vicki Boykis "Your code versus the code she tells you not to worry about."

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Devoops

nixcraft "People working in IT will know everyday is a coffee struggle."

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Tabletop Scenarios 🔥

A growing number of your engineers are streaming themselves on Twitch while coding.

One of them just revealed a production secret while alt-tabbing.

The chat is now being spammed with a production IaaS secret from your repository.


Team Work

Alan Cooper Thread:

When I started programming, it was a solo skill, performed by individuals, with little or no sharing and virtually no collaboration. A culture was built around those facts. 1
...
Going from one person coding something, to two persons coding something is not just a 100% increase in staffing, but it changes programming from a solo practice to a team sport. 7
...
If, on the other hand, our goal is to be a good ancestor, then we have to understand that everyone is poor while anyone is poor. Thus we see that collaboration is necessary for a sustainable culture and not just a tool for more efficient programming. 21

Delay Chokes Innovation What the game of poker can teach us about innovation and small iterations:

If exploratory projects take twice as long, you get half as many of them, which is half as good, right? It’s actually much worse than that and here’s why. This is a story of innovation and incentives and unintended consequences, but first it’s a story about poker.

Coding as an Engineering Manager Pretty much:

If you’d like to and still have the time to work on the codebase sometimes, I’d highly recommend picking bug fixes or small features. Bug fixes let you dive into the breadth and the depth of the codebase and understand how it works, while also contributing back something useful to the team.

With features, I’d be more cautious. Your schedule is sometimes unpredictable, as you might be getting pulled into meetings unexpectedly, so you can easily end up blocking your team.


Peopleware

Damon Edwards 💯

OH: “Culture is how people make decisions when the boss isn’t in the room”


Techtopia

Kane Baccigalupi 🔥

My wife asked me what machine learning is and I said: remember when we ordered the hot plate for the boat and amazon suggested buying all the equipment needed to make a full meth lab?

UnHookathon: Why & how A hackathon where the end goal is to unhook ourselves from technology.

1-aExrSu4WYFvQeCISkFdr8Q

Facebook Portal Non-Review: Why I Didn’t Put Facebook’s Camera in My Home Product review you can believe in:

I just couldn’t bring myself to set up Facebook’s camera-embedded screen in the privacy of my family’s home. Can you blame me when you look at the last 16 months?

The hardest job in Silicon Valley is a living nightmare A new documentary “The Cleaners,” about the people who do the exhausting, traumatizing work of content moderation.

Óliver Login screen poetry:

"I'm a human.
I'm not a robot.
Remember me."

4cc0a0838cf16807


None of the Above

@thomasfuchs@mastodon.social I have one of these at home:

Playing a game of Apple Boxes Tetris ¯_(ツ)_/¯

4d66806097d9fc54

panamapauper 😴

high difficulty escape room: youre laying in bed and you have one hour to get out of bed

Mulboyne "Everyday cosplay":

Just catching up on the 地味なハロウィン ("sober Halloween") event, where flashy fancy dress is banned, in favour of everyday cosplay. This girl has come as the kind of model you see on cheap Korean fashion mail order sites.

DrDNIoGVYAA8U1c

Sweatpants Cher 😭

god I wish I was the person I believed I could be when I bought all this produce

Bill de hÓra I'll take "irony" for $500:

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Fluff Society "The evolution of the spin cycle"

ezgif.com-video-to-gif-1

Quinn Cummings The best intentions …

Gather round, Gentle Readers. It is time I tell the story of the worst decision I ever made in an office. Some of you have heard this. Some have not. Whatever you do in your office today, this week, the rest of this year, you can console yourself by recalling this tale.

chaeronaea "please enjoy this video i found on reddit of a dog trying to steal another smaller dog"

Ian Making a statement:

For election night, I present to you the best thing I learned in my time as a (third-party) sysadmin in the House of Representatives:

From a congressional IP, you can only read one XKCD comic: the climate change/average Earth temperature timeline.

https://xkcd.com/1732/

gaelitegymn 🦄