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Culture

Beliefs, behavioral patterns, thoughts, and institutions of the developer community.
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Kevin Owocki Medium

Gitcoin Labs and burner wallets?!

The next big thing for Gitcoin might be coming out of their announcement of Gitcoin Labs. In their words, Gitcoin Labs is “R&D for Busy Developers.” We are excited to expand upon Austin Griffith’s work in the ecosystem, and to formalize it into Gitcoin Labs, which will be a service that provides Research Reports and Toolkits for Busy Developers. Kevin mentioned that they’re “going to continue Austin’s work in the ecosystem” and the first thing listed on their roadmap was “burner wallets”— consider me intrigued.

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Brad Frost bradfrost.com

Ditching the MacBook Pro for a MacBook Air

For all of our #applenerds out there — I haven’t read this fully (though it’s probably a ~3-5 min read) Brad touched on some key sticking points we didn’t fully cover on our recent Spotlight episode on Apple’s Fall 2018 Mac/iPad event. Here’s one pro that stood out to me: The bevel is back, baby. — one of the best things about this machine is the nice slope that doesn’t hurt my writs while typing. This was one of the biggest things I noticed when I switched from my original MacBook Air to a MacBook Pro, and I’m happy to return to a comfortable typing environment. If you’re a MacBook Pro user, have you been considering the switch to a MacBook Air?

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GitHub Icon GitHub

Top programming languages of 2018 (according to GitHub)

The state of the Octoverse has landed and with it a new dataset of top programming languages for 2018. According to languages by contributor (as of Sept 30, 2018)… Ruby dropped from #5 to #10, Python swapped with PHP to take over the #3 spot — plus so much more…if you dig into the data. JavaScript also tops our list for the language with the most contributors in public and private repositories. This is true for organizations of all sizes in every region of the world. However, we’ve also seen the rise of new languages on GitHub. TypeScript entered the top 10 programming languages for public, private, and open source repositories across all regions last year. And projects like DefinitelyTyped help people use common JavaScript libraries with TypeScript, encouraging its adoption. We’ve also seen some languages decline in popularity. Ruby has dropped in rankings over the last few years. While the number of contributors coding in Ruby is still on the rise, other languages like JavaScript and Python have grown faster. New projects are less likely to be written in Ruby, especially projects owned by individual users or small organizations, and much more likely to be written in JavaScript, Java, or Python. Here’s the visual…

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 Itamar Turner-Trauring codewithoutrules.com

Enthusiasts vs. Pragmatists

Do you love programming for its own sake, or do you just program for the outcomes it enables? Depending on which describes you best you will face different problems in your career as a software developer. Enthusiasts code out of love. If you’re an enthusiast you’d write software just for fun, but one day you discovered your hobby could also be your career, and now you get paid to do what you love. Pragmatists may enjoy coding, but they do it for the outcomes. If you’re a pragmatist, you write software because it’s a good career, or for what it enables you to do and build. Which is your camp and why?

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Daniel Stenberg daniel.haxx.se

QUIC will officially become HTTP/3

We recently talked with Daniel Stenberg about HTTP/2 and QUIC, so this news comes with little surprise looking back on that conversation with hindsight. The protocol that’s been called HTTP-over-QUIC for quite some time has now changed name and will officially become HTTP/3. This was triggered by this original suggestion by Mark Nottingham. On November 7, 2018 Dmitri of Litespeed announced that they and Facebook had successfully done the first interop ever between two HTTP/3 implementations. Mike Bihop’s follow-up presentation in the HTTPbis session on the topic can be seen here. The consensus in the end of that meeting said the new name is HTTP/3!

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Andrey Sitnik DEV.to

How a month without computers changed me

Andrey Sitnik: No emails left for me to read. Nor write. I’ve sent a message to my family and delegated my open source projects (Autoprefixer and PostCSS) to my friends. With my last tweet sent, I turn off my laptop, phone, and tablet. My Digital Sabbath begins in 10 minutes: no digital devices for the next month. An absolutely fascinating read. You can visualize Andrey’s digital sabbath on his GitHub contribution graph 👇

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Tanya Janca Medium

Why I love password managers

Tanya leads with this as a disclaimer “This article is for beginners in security or other IT folk, not experts.” — which means this is a 101 level post BUT is a highly important topic. Share as needed. Passwords are awful … software security industry expects us to remember 100+ passwords, that are complex (variations of upper & lowercase, numbers and special characters), that are supposed to be changed every 3 months, with each one being unique. Obviously this is impossible for most people. Tanya goes on to say… If you work in an IT environment, you absolutely must have a password manager. I strongly suggest that anyone who uses a computer regularly and has multiple passwords to remember to get one, even if you don’t consider yourself tech savvy. I fully agree. I also use 1Password and have done so for as long as I can possibly remember.

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Lee Byron Medium

Introducing the GraphQL Foundation

The Linux Foundation is essentially a foundation for foundations, and the newest member to join the ranks is the GraphQL Foundation. We’ve been tracking news and talking about GraphQL for some time now. Back in 2012 Nick Schrock, Dan Schafer, and Lee Byron got together at Facebook to build the next generation of Facebook’s iOS app powered by a new API for News Feed — what they arrived at was the first version of GraphQL. Lee Byron has this to say about today’s announcement: Today, GraphQL has been a community project longer than it was a Facebook internal project — which calls for its next evolution. As one of GraphQL’s co-creators, I’ve been amazed and proud to see it grow in adoption since its open sourcing. Through the formation of the GraphQL Foundation, I hope to see GraphQL become industry standard by encouraging contributions from a broader group and creating a shared investment in vendor-neutral events, documentation, tools, and support. So who’s involved? Well, GraphQL Foundation is being created in partnership with the Linux Foundation, Facebook, and nearly a dozen other companies. Those “other companies” are likely large scale companies who’ve contributed to or are using GraphQL in production and have a vested interest in its future.

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Medium Icon Medium

Complexity is creepy: It's never just "one more thing."

The fight against complexity is analogous to the fight against contentment. Find contentment and you will find yourself at the end of a project. Hint: we will never be fully content. We live in a dynamic world of infinite, and never-ending change. There will always be a critique to offer. Perfection is an illusion. We’ve all worked on projects that never seem to end. Every time you think you’re done, you realize you’re not. There’s “one more thing” you or your client wants to add. Somehow, you get exhausted and your work suffers. Sometimes you simply burn out and move on to something else. Why does this happen? Why do we consistently underestimate how much extra work it is to do “one more thing?”

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Spotlight Spotlight #15

Apple's Fall 2018 Mac/iPad event

Adam, Jerod, and Tim get together to put a spotlight on Apple’s October 30th Mac/iPad event from a developer’s perspective. They cover the specs of the new MacBook Air and the viability of having it as a development machine, the new Mac Mini in the ever popular Space Gray, and whether or not Tim will be able to stop pulling his hair out to find an affordable, yet powerful desktop machine with it, and the gorgeous new iPad Pro.

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Benek Lisefski UX Collective

Are designers who can code "more valuable"?

That depends — in particular, on what type of designer you’re talking about. I’m glad to see Benek re-broach this topic, because a fresh perspective on the subject can remind designers to consider rounding out their tangential skills. Especially skills that could extend their current primary skillset. The dividends, can, quite literally pay for themselves. The value in being a modern designer who knows code isn’t that you can replace the job of a front-end dev…but that you know the ins and outs of it. It’s about understanding what developers are talking about so you can participate in discussions that cross between design and front-end. If you’re a designer “hired to do an array of jobs on a project” then you can expect a bump in the value you present individually to the business/team you serve.

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Jason Koebler motherboard.vice.com

Hacking DRM to fix your electronics IS now legal

In this “groundbreaking decision,” the Feds here in the US are now saying that hacking DRM to fix your electronics IS legal. This is a big change from when we recorded The Changelog #221: How We Got Here with Cory Doctorow. The new exemptions are a major win for the right to repair movement and give consumers wide latitude to legally repair the devices they own. Jason Koebler says this on Motherboard: New copyright rules are released once every three years by the US Copyright Office and are officially put into place by the Librarian of Congress. These are considered “exemptions” to section 1201 of US copyright law, and makes DRM circumvention legal in certain specific cases. The new repair exemption is broad, applies to a wide variety of devices (an exemption in 2015 applied only to tractors and farm equipment, for example), and makes clear that the federal government believes you should be legally allowed to fix the things you own.

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Amjad Masad repl.it

Repl.it just raised $4.5M and has 1M monthly active users

Repl.it is a startup I’ve never heard of but it really seems I should have. They just raised $4.5M to build out a “microcomputer to the cloud’s mainframe.” What is that even? When they started they didn’t know either… We started Repl.it as a side project with the straightforward goal of making it easy to get a REPL for your favorite language when you need one … however, our users wanted more. They misused our system for things it wasn’t meant for: they hacked games into our dumb web terminal, they made networked applications despite not having explicit support for it, and they kept asking for more. It’s crazy how big ideas start so small and simple. Now they have the backing of one of the most sought after venture capital firms to continue on their quest. The seed round was led by Andreessen Horowitz, with Marc Andreessen and Andrew Chen championing the deal. Cloud-computing is one of the most significant paradigm shifts in our industry, yet it remains command-able only by relatively few professionals. It’s similar to when, prior to microcomputers, only big corporations and universities had mainframes. We want Repl.it to be the microcomputer to the cloud’s mainframe.

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Thoughtbot Icon Thoughtbot

Upcase (from Thoughtbot) is now free

But…why? We’ve loved building Upcase, both as a business and as a way to share what we’ve learned with the community. But while we’d love to keep investing in Upcase and producing tons of new content, we’ve been moving in a different direction—back to our roots, in fact, as we focus on our core consulting business. So what to do with this learning platform we’ve poured our hearts and souls into? We ultimately decided the best option was to open Upcase up to the world and share all of the content, no subscription needed. As they say, if you truly love something, set it free. Focus is SOOO crucial and sometimes is overlooked for too long. Been there. Glad to see the wisdom of focus here being shared (freely) from Thoughtbot. We’ve always been huge fans of their leadership in the community.

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Brenna Heaps Tidelift

How should you use funding for your open source project?

I think the consensus agrees that sustaining open source software takes more than just money. And yet money often remains a crucial part of a larger need for open source to sustain AND thrive. So, if that’s the case…how should you use funding for your open source project? Brenna Heaps writes on the Tidelift blog: We’ve been speaking with a lot of open source maintainers about how to get paid and what that might mean for their project, and the same question keeps popping up: What do I do with the money? The tldr? Fund the project, community engagement, and pay it forward… But, it’s a short read and worth it — so go read this and then share it with your fellow maintainers.

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Joseph Jacks docs.google.com

The $100M+ revenue commercial open source software company index

Have you seen this spreadsheet of open source software companies from Joseph Jacks? The criteria to be added to the sheet is; the company generates $100M+ revenue (recurring or not) OR generate the equivalent of $25M of revenue per quarter. These companies have found a way to build a very large business around one or many open source software projects. Anyone on this index surprise you?

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Kubernetes kubernetes.io

Kubernetes now has a non-code contributor’s guide

Just in time for #Hacktoberfest! The Non-Code Contributor’s Guide aims to make it easy for anyone to contribute to the Kubernetes project in a way that makes sense for them. This can be in many forms, technical and non-technical, based on the person’s knowledge of the project and their available time. Most individuals are not developers, and most of the world’s developers are not paid to fully work on open source projects. Based on this we have started an ever-growing list of possible ways to contribute to the Kubernetes project in a Non-Code way!

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Go blog.golang.org

Which companies are using Go and how they are using it?

If you want to see what the landscape is of companies who are using Go, spread the word and encourage folks to participate in the 2018 Go company questionnaire. On the Go blog: Please help by participating in a 7-minute company questionnaire. Who? If you are in a position to share details like “company name,” “if your company is hiring Go developers,” and “reasons your team or company adopted Go” then please help us by taking this company questionnaire. We only need one response per company (or per department for larger companies). If you aren’t the right person, please forward this onto the right person at your company.

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Nadia Eghbal nadiaeghbal.com

User support systems in open source

As with any research Nadia Eghbal shares, this is a deep dive into understanding the user support systems present in today’s open source. It’s very detailed, highly researched, and more importantly it’s actionable. Here’s a sample of Nadia’s closing remarks: I barely scratched the surface on user support systems: there’s a gold mine of data waiting to be played with. I’d love to see more research on how support communities form and maintain themselves (particularly Stack Overflow, mailing lists, forums, and synchronous chat). Why do some have only one or two answerers, while others have many? Does the growth of these communities mirror that of the code contributor community? Implicitly, a deeper understanding of support communities would help validate the growth model and hub-and-spokes model presented above.

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Dave Rupert daverupert.com

If statements should cost $10,000 each

Yup, it’s true…“estimating project costs is hard.” I thoroughly enjoyed the tongue in cheek logic shared by Dave Rupert in this post. …let’s say your app has a logged-in or logged-out state, well, that’s at least 2 if-statements. Starting price: $20,000. Never before has it been this easy to price and scope out complex stateful apps! The cost of complexity in software is real and this is a very practical post to share with would be customers of your software team. This applies to freelancers, consultants, and even teams inside larger orgs. We all have to account for our time, and that means accounting for the money being spent along the way.

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Mathew Ingram cjr.org

Is the podcast bubble bursting?

The key is to remain nimble, small (relatively), and indie. Podcasting started as hobbyist/indie media and that’s where the secret sauce remains. Panoply, the podcasting unit set up by Slate magazine, recently laid off most of its staff and says it will now become just a distributor of podcasts rather than the creator of them… BuzzFeed announced on Wednesday it was also laying off staff at its podcasting unit… Audible, the audio arm of retail giant Amazon, also laid off some staff from its podcasting unit recently… Our bubble isn’t bursting, it’s growing. We’re not going anywhere.

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Nikita Prokopov tonsky.me

Software disenchantment (or, struggles with operating at 1% possible performance)

Nikita Prokopov has been programming for 15 years and has become quite frustrated with the industry’s lack of care for efficiency, simplicity, and excellence in software — to the point of depression. Only in software, it’s fine if a program runs at 1% or even 0.01% of the possible performance. Everybody just seems to be ok with it. Nikita cites some examples: …our portable computers are thousands of times more powerful than the ones that brought man to the moon. Yet every other webpage(s) struggles to maintain a smooth 60fps scroll on the latest top-of-the-line MacBook Pro. I can comfortably play games and watch 4K videos but not scroll web pages? How is it ok? Windows 10 takes 30 minutes to update. What could it possibly be doing for that long? That much time is enough to fully format my SSD drive, download a fresh build and install it like 5 times in a row. We put virtual machines inside Linux, and then we put Docker inside virtual machines, simply because nobody was able to clean up the mess that most programs, languages, and their environment produce. We cover shit with blankets just not to deal with it. “Single binary” is still a HUGE selling point for Go, for example. No mess == success. Do you share in Nikita’s position? Sure, be frustrated with performance (cause we all want, “go faster!”), but do you agree with his points beyond that? If so, read this and consider supporting him on Patreon.

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