Labnotes

Weekend Reading — Voldetort

Published on

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Katie McLaughlin "I rated all the bee emoji. 🐝"


Design Objective

Building the Google Photos Web UI The design details that go into a user interface.

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Improving the usability of multi-selecting from a long list TL;DR

When it comes to unfamiliar items it’s better to visually expose the items instead of hiding them. It’s even better to do it in a logically organized way: create groups with meaningful titles, and let the users zoom in to the groups they are interested in.

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Zach Holman I go through this cycle at least once a week:

Design is basically:

  • Okay, let’s design this.
  • Huh. This one’s actually pretty tricky.
  • Everything I’m trying feels wrong.
  • Fuck.
  • Nothing in life really matters anyway. I should change careers.
  • o shit this is coming together
  • I am literally god, what can I design next

Tools of the Trade

Michael D. Hill I encourage you to read this entire thread:

let's talk a little bit about showing your working code to your product person.

a basic recommendation, which will seem strange and likely freak you out the first time you hear it.

look to show your new stuff every day or two.

How decision trees work Even if you're not a data scientist, you may find decision trees useful.

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How to write a good software design doc "A design doc is the most useful tool for making sure the right work gets done."

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Web-end

A one year PWA retrospective Pinterest finds value in PWA:

Looking back over one full year since we started rebuilding our mobile web, we’re so proud of the experience we’ve created for our users. Not only is it significantly faster, it’s also our first platform to support right-to-left languages and “night mode.” Investing in a full-featured PWA has exceeded our expectations. And we’re just getting started.

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Lines of Code

Trent Willis But complete rewrites are more fun (and seldom successful)!

I feel that too often we use "legacy codebase" to mean "bad". When the reality is that "legacy" usually means "currently working without any real issues, but not optimally".

When viewed that way, it's much easier to support incremental improvements instead of complete rewrites.

Pizzaburger Hot Dog "The hard problem of naming things"

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Architectural

system-design-primer This repo covers the basics of large-scale system design. Good resource if you're learning on the job, or prepping for an interview.

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Visual Agility: Why We Model On the benefits of thinking visually, for architecture design:

When we, as a field, for the most part turned away from BDUF (big design upfront) toward Agile methods, we tended, unfortunately, to turn away from architecture visualization and modeling. We've argued here that sketching and modeling is indeed a way to be agile – to learn with the cheapest method that will uncover key issues, alternatives, and give us a better handle on our design approach.

Christopher Church "Simplified chart I'm using to explain the nines of availability."

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Doctor Octothorpe In case you were wondering what I think of Kubernetes:

Coworker: "You can learn Kubernetes in a day."

Me: "You can learn chess in a day."

Cindy Sridharan It's great for résumé padding, but make sure your org is big enough to justify the cost:

At a previous job, we decided against doing K8s. A disgruntled engineer spent the entirety of their tenure being grumpy about this decision.

It takes well over a million dollars just in engineer salary to get K8s up and running from scratch. And you still might not get there.

Assaf "Microservices can be difficult to debug. An illustration."

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Peopleware

Melatonin: Much More Than You Wanted To Know TL;DR The effective dose of Melatonin is 0.3mg. It doesn't work (any better) in larger doses, yet drugstores sell 10mg pills, because of course. Anyway, read this for a good night sleep.

ᴠᴀɴ sᴄʜɴᴇɪᴅᴇʀ That describes me well:

I like to describe myself as an extroverted introvert. I can temporarily be extroverted for about 45mins and then I need to be alone for 6 months to recover.


Electric Dreams

Eirini Malliaraki 🎣

Give an AI a fish, and it can identify that fish forever. Give an AI a fishing rod, and it can identify that fishing rod forever.

~Ancient supervized learning classification maxim


Techtopia

Gary Rivers The next Unicorn:

Milk delivery 25 years ago was essentially a subscription service offering products with recyclable/reusable packaging, delivered by electric vehicles.

Part of me thinks that if a techie firm were to have proposed this same idea today people would think it was incredible.

Alex Sexton 📺

Well intentioned employee: “If we spend the extra money and get TVs to display the menu we won’t have to print new menus every time we change the prices.”

6mo later:

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None of the Above

Wᴀʀʀᴇɴ Eʟʟɪs This cup, it does not lie:

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Laura Lovette 😭

Can you imagine how awkward it would be if your pet went on your phone and found the 1000s of pictures you have of them sleeping

sophie Tortoise has a food name:

My mum was too embarrassed to tell the vet our tortoise was called voldetort so she just said his name was Susan

Ruth Graham "A+"

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Dan Duvall 😭

My mom has a podcast but you can only hear it if you have the password to my voicemail

SamuraiKnitter This is how the Queen subtweets:

All right. You need ninety-two years of background. The Queen (hereafter QE) has always loved brooches and so everyone gives them to her as gifts. Everyone. A horse-racing org gave her a gift for lifetime achievements a while back - the 'trophy' was a brooch. You get it.

AirballGuy "La twitta que t’essaye d’attraper en DM"

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Andrés Pertierra This is absolutely true. You either moderate public forums, or some users moderate them for you.

On a related note, "100% free speech" platforms don't work online and just mean being flooded by bigots who make spaces so toxic that people just leave.

The only way AskHistorians has avoided becoming a total cesspool is our policy of heavy moderation.

Eve Forster "This gets funnier and funnier the more I watch it"

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Paul Cooper Paul writes about ruins (ancient, modern & imaginary), and has a thread of threads. I spent an hour learning and enjoying the beautiful photography. Recommended!

The Altai region of Central Asia seems at first to be a remote & peaceful place. But it also sits on the world's busiest flight path for space missions.

Here used-up rockets regularly crash to earth, & local people are left to salvage what they can of the wreckage.

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TheTweetOfGod Well, that's settled:

I’m deeply sorry for the racist, sexist and homophobic things I wrote when I was younger.

Jim Bliss TIL the S in SEO is short for Stegosaurus:

I love this.

When the Far Side came out in 1982, paleontologists realised they'd never actually named that part of a stegosaurus and began using the term informally. And now, 36 years later, if you type "Thagomizer" into a search engine...

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Fluff Society "He looks friendly until he's got a bowcaster pointed at you"

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