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Beliefs, behavioral patterns, thoughts, and institutions of the developer community.
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Adam Jacob Medium

We need sustainable free and open source communities

Adam Jacob (co-founder and creator of Chef) tldr’d his ideas to create sustainable free and open source communities by saying, “we should stop focusing on how to protect the revenue models of open source companies, and instead focus on how to create sustainable communities.” He says this will lead to better software, and that it’s also better for business. In addition to this post, Adam also wrote a short book. When I say “Sustainable Open Source Community”, I mean the following: A unified body of individuals, scattered throughout a larger society, who work in support of the creation, evolution, use, and extension of free and open source software; while ensuring its longevity through meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the community of the future to meet its own needs.

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Ferdy Christant ferdychristant.com

The state of web browsers

Should I read this 22 minute read on the state of web browsers? Sure. Count me in! Microsoft has confirmed the rumor to be true. We now have one less browser engine, and a last man standing (Firefox) in deep trouble (reasons below). … The web now runs on a single engine. There is not a single browser with a non-Chromium engine on mobile of any significance other than Safari. Which runs webkit, kind of the same engine as Chromium, which is based on webkit.

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Henrik Warne henrikwarne.com

Lessons learned while being a developer on call (for 10 years)

Being on call isn’t that bad if you find ways to learn from it and make it worth your time and effort. Henrik covers to “why’s”, alarms and alerting systems, and even compensation and scheduling. Henrik writes: For most of the past ten years, I have been on organized on call rotations for the systems I have been developing. I think being on call is a logical way of taking responsibility for your work. You also learn a lot from it. However, it is stressful and an inconvenience, so you should get paid for it.

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Derek Jones expressionengine.com

ExpressionEngine is now open source (open source has won)

This hits close to home — I was a heavy user/developer around ExpressionEngine from 2006-2008. I’m happy to see them come around to embrace an open source model. When Rick Ellis, founder of EllisLab, was asked on Twitter “Why open source?” he simply said: Open source has won. It’s not even a contest anymore. Here’s a note shared with us from Derek Jones, CEO of EllisLab: [ExpressionEngine] a popular commercial CMS with 15 years of continuous development has taken a huge leap and gone open source after watching the closed-source CMS market continue to shrink while simultaneously getting more crowded.

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Arun Venkatesan arun.is

Why are tech companies making custom typefaces?

The most obvious reason is cost. Developing a custom typeface can eliminate the recurring licensing fees that must be paid to foundries. IBM and Netflix claim to save millions of dollars per year by switching from Helvetica to IBM Plex and Gotham to Netflix Sans, respectively. I hadn’t considered the on going costs of licensing as a factor, but it totally make sense. Although, that’s not where Arun ends this. He goes into the much finer details of the typefaces, the medium, how screen types have changed, and more. Companies like Apple and Samsung, with their wide portfolio of digital and physical products and services, have united their brands and products under a singular typeface. Apple went further and didn’t just work within the numerous constraints posed by both the digital and physical world. In creating San Francisco, it reinvented how type is rendered altogether. I dig the question Arun ends with, “Should custom typefaces exist?”

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Cory Doctorow Boing Boing

The newest malware vector in open source

As the title for the linked post from Cory Doctorow says, all you have to do is “become an admin on dormant, widely-used open source projects” and then do your thing. Many open source projects attain a level of “maturity” where no one really needs any new features and there aren’t a lot of new bugs being found, and the contributors to these projects dwindle, often to a single maintainer who is generally grateful for developers who take an interest in these older projects and offer to share the choresome, intermittent work of keeping the projects alive. Ironically, these are often projects with millions of users, who trust them specifically because of their stolid, unexciting maturity. This presents a scary social-engineering vector for malware… We’ll be talking with Dominic Tarr about the details shared in Issue #116 on event-stream later today on The Changelog (the episode will hit RSS feeds next week). Chime in below if you’d like to add questions/thoughts to our planned discussion.

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Claire Jaja talent.works

You only need 50% of job “requirements”

Claire Jaja (Manager of Data Science) at TalentWorks was curious about how many job requirements are actually required, so they analyzed job postings and resumes for more than 6,000 applications across 118 industries from their database. The results are quite interesting… Your chances of getting an interview start to go up once you meet about 40% of job requirements. and… You’re not any more likely to get an interview matching 90% of job requirements compared to matching just 50%. For women… …these numbers are about 10% lower i.e. women’s interview chances go up once they meet 30% of job requirements, and matching 40% of job requirements is as good as matching 90% for women.

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Clojure gist.github.com

Open source is not about you

Strong, but important words coming from Clojure’s creator, Rich Hickey: The only people entitled to say how open source ‘ought’ to work are people who run projects, and the scope of their entitlement extends only to their own projects. Just because someone open sources something does not imply they owe the world a change in their status, focus and effort, e.g. from inventor to community manager. And… Open source is a licensing and delivery mechanism, period. It means you get the source for software and the right to use and modify it. All social impositions associated with it, including the idea of ‘community-driven-development’ are part of a recently-invented mythology with little basis in how things actually work, a mythology that embodies, cult-like, both a lack of support for diversity in the ways things can work and a pervasive sense of communal entitlement. There’s a lot more said, and undoubtedly some tension in the Clojure community that he’s responding to, but I’m not privy to it so I won’t read between the lines.

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Budi Tanrim yellowstroke.com

Things I learned while working at Shopify

Budi Tanrim recently left his “dream job” at Shopify, but learned some extremely important career/life lessons along the way. I put this in the “must read” category. A lot of people asked me, “Budi, are you crazy? Why did you leave Shopify?” I often think about this, leaving behind a fantastic company, an excellent mentor, and free lunch seems like a crazy move for me, too. It still is. But…

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Python github.com

Social Amnesia is the Men in Black's neuralyzer for your social media accounts

For many people, there is no reason they want to have years old tweets or reddit comments existing and making it easier for online marketers and jilted ex-lovers to profile you. Set the time period you want to keep, whitelist stuff you want to preserve indefinitely, and let Social Amnesia wipe the rest out of memory, MIB-style.

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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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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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