Labnotes

Weekend Reading — Full-stack boyfriend

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Design Objective

UX for Engineers Yes, engineers can do UX, because UX is not about things like “shared aesthetic vocabulary” — UX is about making something that works. Or as Assaf (not me) summarizes it:

Think of the user as the final integration in the application stack.

Great Products Don’t Happen By Accident Using playbooks for designing and building products:

Thinking in terms of a play book allows you to to embrace continual improvement since you can always remove old plays that no longer work and continuously add new ones as they are created. Playbooks only require teams to use the plays that work for them in their situation.

Is this my interface or yours? When should the UI use "My", and when to use "Your", a piece about perspective.

Things I've Learned About Responsive Email Design

If you don’t have the time, resources or patience then stick to emails that have 1 column and are fluid. It will make life much easier for you.

Designing actionable emails

These little touches create a more than superficial bond with your customers and are worth investing your time in.


Tools of the Trade

the 15 min rule Such a simple, yet effective, trick:

when you're stuck on something ... you have to try to solve the problem all by yourself for 15 min, but then when the 15 minutes are up you have to ask for help. Failure to do the former wastes people's time, failure to ask for help wastes your time.

Do’s and Don’ts of AWS Lambda All good advice, specifically this AWS Lambda beginner mistake:

People often ask me how to test Lambda functions locally, my answer to that is don’t! Write and test libraries, integration with Lambda should come after you have an initial suite of libraries containing your application logic.

stdlib Such a cool idea: serverless functions that are easy to write and deploy, and so are also easy to share with the world and reuse. (AWS Lambda, even with tooling, has a long way to go before it hits easy territory)

Using Feature Queries in CSS What is @supports and how to use it effectively, even though not all browsers (you know who) support it yet.

tomnomnom/gron gron transforms JSON into discrete assignments to make it easier to grep.

@dan_abramov

git checkout - takes you to the last branch you were on. You’re welcome.

surbhioberoi/github-widget A widget showing your github details that you can embed in any website.

@GonzoHacker

<input name="name" type="text" class="name" id="name" placeholder="Name" title="Enter Your Name"><label for="name">Name</label> <!--name-->

@BigZaphod "Nah, I expected it."


Lingua Scripta

Building A Server-Side Application With Async Functions and Koa 2 Koa 2.0 is coming out once async/await lands in Node, but you can use it today with Babel or another transpiler.

How to keep his npm dependencies up-to-date A quick look at npm-check-update, updtr, next-update and Greenkeeper.


Lines of Code

Forget Technical Debt — Here's How to Build Technical Wealth This article you must read in full, do not miss it out. Here's one truth:

Legacy code has nothing to do with the age of the software ... It’s all about how difficult that software is to improve.

And here's one to hang on your office wall, by the coffee maker, wherever:

The most important artifact? Well organized, intention-revealing, clean code.

On Writing Less Damn Code This, so much this:

My favorite thing about aiming to have less stuff is this: you finish up with only the stuff you really need — only the stuff your user actually wants.

Do Code Smells Hamper Novice Programming? Yes.

The results of the experiment show that code smell indeed influence performance: subjects working on the program exhibiting code smells perform significantly worse, but the smells did not affect the time subjects needed. Investigating different types of tasks in more detail, we find that Long Method mainly decreases system understanding, while Duplication decreases the ease with which subjects modify Scratch programs.

@tottinge 100:

"A good programmer should be able to read difficult code. You all just need to be better programmers"

"Or you can write readable code"


Architectural

Best Practices for Building a Microservice Architecture If microservices you must, then at least start here:

A microservice architecture shifts around complexity. Instead of a single complex system, you have a bunch of simple services with complex interactions. Our goal is to keep the complexity in check.

The rise of functional programming & the decline of Angular 2.0 Makes the point that the larger JavaScript ecosystem is shifting away from OOP and towards FP, which will bode well for React/Redux, not so much for Angular.

Engineering Antifragile Systems: A Change In Design Philosophy ☆ Tell me more!

To solve these problems, NASA is working to infuse concepts from Complexity Science into the engineering process. ...
Instead of designing systems to meet known requirements that will always lead to fragile systems at some degree, systems should be designed wherever possible to be antifragile: designing cognitive cyber-physical systems that can learn from their experience, adapt to unforeseen events they face in their environment, and grow stronger in the face of adversity.

@moonpolysoft "found the cover image for my book on microservices"


Peopleware

This Management Hack Eliminates Employee Burnout It really is that simple:

To keep your motivated employees from burning out, all you need to do is make it perfectly clear that work emails need only be answered during work hours.

How do you decide what to work on? There is no one right answer, and it's important we all acknowlege that:

I feel weird admitting that I really struggle with this, but I really struggle with this. I do not always have good ideas about what to build. Sometimes I have ideas that I think are good and I do them and they’re great, and sometimes I have ideas and I do them and they’re… really not great. Sometimes I have standards for my work that I cannot figure out how to meet and that’s really frustrating.

@aplethoras

me: why do i feel terrible

brain: coffee is not a food group

brain: eat a vegetable

brain: sleep

me: guess we'll never know

brain: oh my god


Locked Doors

Security Training with JumpCloud CTO Topher Marie Things that every employee needs to know and look out for. (YouTube)

Powerful NSA hacking tools have been revealed online To what extent did the NSA leave US targets vulnerable to attack?

Is Apple's Cloud Key Vault a crypto backdoor? No. But, if you're curious how it works, and what Apple is doing to lock themselves out, read this.

@JZdziarski

Coworker's unattended Mac:

crontab -e
*/30 * * * * say -v whisper "I am watching you"

You're welcome.


Techtopia

@CaseyNewton

Today in San Francisco a friend told me she was looking for "a full-stack boyfriend" and I will never be the same

Access, Accountability Reporting and Silicon Valley With the lines between media firms and tech firms blurring, coverage of the tech sector presents one of the most profound accountability challenges in modern journalism.

@paulca (I'm still green as they come …)

The true mark of experience is, quite literally, not installing the latest beta on your work machine.


None of the Above

Why Not to Trust Statistics

Fractured Lands: How The Arab World Came Apart Amazing piece by the NY Times about one of the most significant event in modern history.

@TechnicallyRon Pretty much:

Being an adult is pretty easy, you just feel tired all the time and tell people about how tired you are and they tell you how tired they are

98 personal data points that Facebook uses to target ads to you That's fantastic news … if you're an advertiser:

When combined with the information you’ve already given Facebook, through your profile and your clicks, you end up with what is arguably the most complete consumer profile on earth: a snapshot not only of your Facebook activity, but your behaviors elsewhere in the online (and offline!) worlds.

@AllThingsLing Whenever you learn a new "untranslatable" word from a foreign language, remember this:

English has a specific verb for tricking people into listening to Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" https://tmblr.co/ZuWOEv2AkBMV0

“A Honeypot For Assholes”: Inside Twitter’s 10-Year Failure To Stop Harassment Makes the strong case that "For nearly its entire existence, Twitter has not just tolerated abuse and hate speech, it’s virtually been optimized to accommodate it."

You’re Holding Your Coffee Mug Wrong, According to Scientists An imporant scientific discovery: "By measuring the frequency of oscillations in coffee mugs, Han was able to detect a significant difference in spillage between using the handle and the claw model."

Instagram photos reveal predictive markers of depression "Using Instagram data from 166 individuals, we applied machine learning tools to successfully identify markers of depression ... Resulting models outperformed general practitioners’ average diagnostic success rate for depression." (PDF)

@j_c_fitz "Is this the kind of messaging we want on axes?"