Retool Icon Retool – Sponsored

Querying data from Google Sheets in Retool

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Retool makes it easy for you to build apps with Google Sheets data, including connecting Google Sheets with other APIs. Retool supports reading and writing data from Google Sheets, and with our query JSON via SQL, you can easily combine Google Sheets with other data sources.

Let’s say you’d like to build a Retool app to send invites to users who’ve signed up to be beta testers of your new product. Their contact information is stored in a Google Sheets spreadsheet in the Google Drive that you setup as your new resource. This tutorial walks you through every step to make that happen.

Try Retool today for free at retool.com/changelog

Practical AIPractical AI #118

The $1 trillion dollar ML model 💵

American Express is running what is perhaps the largest commercial ML model in the world; a model that automates over 8 billion decisions, ingests data from over $1T in transactions, and generates decisions in mere milliseconds or less globally. Madhurima Khandelwal, head of AMEX AI Labs, joins us for a fascinating discussion about scaling research and building robust and ethical AI-driven financial applications.

Startupsblog.excalidraw.com

One year of Excalidraw

I love posts like these from startups/projects that share how they’re doing over time:

Excalidraw started as a way to procrastinate on January 1st, 2020, and ended up being a fully fledged whiteboard product only one year later! In this post, we’ll go over the most important features that made Excalidraw great at being a virtual whiteboard for sketching hand-drawn like diagrams.

They detail their open source tech stack, new features the team shipped last year, cool things people are doing with the tool, and more.

(The tool itself, btw, looks totally rad and is definitely something I’ll be toying with over the coming weeks.)

Brain ScienceBrain Science #28

Dealing with conflict

Conflict is a part of everyday life. If you are connected to other humans, conflict will eventually occur. But what exactly is conflict? Where does it begin? How can it be resolved? In this episode, Mireille and Adam dive deep into those details to examine the framework of conflict end-to-end, to hopefully equip us with the tactics and skills we need to better navigate and resolve the conflict we encounter in our lives.

Heroku Icon Heroku – Sponsored

🎧 Chaos engineering

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From Heroku’s Code[ish] podcast, Rick Newman (Director of Engineering at Heroku) talks with Mikolaj Pawlikowski, author of “Chaos Engineering.”

Chaos engineering is a way of testing your software predicated on the fact that something in your system, at some point, will break. By intentionally causing disruptions–for example, dropping network connections–and observing how your system responds, you’ll better prepare yourself for when the unexpected happens.

Sahil Lavingiasahillavingia.com

No meetings, no deadlines, no full-time employees

Once again, Sahil Lavingia shared proof that we can think differently about the future of work. Sure, not every company should operate the way Gumroad is operating, but there are plenty of insights to be drawn from their experience.

Recently, I pitched the whole company about going full-time, because it felt wrong to grow any larger without full-time staff.

Nobody accepted.

I realized then that I was trying to copy the status quo–to try and fix something that wasn’t broken–so that I could feel better about doing things the “normal” way. But the deal we already had in place was better for what our people prioritize: freedom over growth, sustainability over speed, life over work.

I recently spoke with Sahil on Founders Talk #66 about failing to build a billion-dollar company. I highly recommend that episode.

Browser London IconBrowser London

Frontend predictions for 2021

Predictions are always fun, especially when we can look back and see how wrong we were. Here’s Browser London’s Jay Freestone laying out where he thinks the frontend is going in 2021:

  1. React frameworks finally mature
  2. We get a glimpse at container queries
  3. WASM explodes
  4. The monolith makes a come back

There’s the predictions. Click through for the Jay’s reasoning.

WebAssemblygithub.com

Impossibly fast web search (made for static sites)

Stork is two things. First, it’s an indexer: it indexes your loosely-structured content and creates a file that you can upload to your web server. Second, it’s a JavaScript + WebAssembly frontend for that index file: Stork will hook into an <input> on your web page, download the index you’ve specified, and display the best search results immediately to your user, as they type. The precomputed index and WebAssembly frontend module make the entire Stork engine very good, and very fast.

Impossibly fast web search (made for static sites)

The ChangelogThe Changelog #420

The Kollected Kode Vicious

We’re joined by George Neville-Neil, aka Kode Vicious. Writing as Kode Vicious for ACMs Queue magazine, George Neville-Neil has spent the last 15+ years sharing incisive advice and fierce insights for everyone who codes, works with code, or works with coders. These columns have been among the most popular items published in ACMs Queue magazine and it was only a matter of time for a book to emerge from his work. His book, The Kollected Kode Vicious, is a compilation of the most popular items he’s published over the years, plus a few extras you can only find in the book. We cover all the details in this episode.

Practicesbti360.com

What I've learned in 45 years in the software industry

Joel Goldberg recently retired after working in the software industry for over four decades. When he left he shared with our team some of the lessons he learned over his career. With his permission, we reshare his wisdom here.

  1. Beware of the Curse of Knowledge
  2. Focus on the Fundamentals
  3. Simplicity
  4. Seek First to Understand
  5. Beware of Lock-In
  6. Be Honest and Acknowledge When You Don’t Fit the Role

45 years of experience boiled down to just a half dozen insights. Staggering and insightful at the same time.

Jeff Lindsaylinkedin.com

Lost potential of personal computing

I really appreciate the perspective Jeff shares in this post on what we know of as personal computing and making tools that improve our lives.

Do you remember when computers were fun to explore? Perhaps you’ve always thought computers were fun to explore, but there was a time before the Internet at the dawn of personal computing when people were excited at the potential of computers. Surely, they’ve probably exceeded most of our expectations today, but at the same time … it’s different. Did we get what we hoped for? Do we still get hope from computers now?

Jessica Kerrjessitron.com

Why purple developers are the real 10x engineers

Jessica Kerr talking productivity:

What makes a software engineer productive? You can list attributes like experience with the language, scientific mindset, intelligence, focus, a personally crafted IDE setup. Yet, in my experience, far and away the biggest factor is: familiarity with the codebase they’re changing.

This echoes some of our conversation with Jessica last year. She goes on to explain how the purple developer (pictured below) is 10x more productive than the others, not because they are inheritently better than them in some way, but because they are the ones who built the system in the first place.

Spread the knowledge, spread the productivity.”

Why purple developers are the real 10x engineers

Brandon Smithbrandonsmith.ninja

Write code. Not too much. Mostly functions

Brandon Smith has hit on a nice credo for code authoring, which he’s “stolen” from Michael Pollan’s advice on food: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Code, like food, has value. I think those of us who write it can (hopefully) agree on that. Some, though, are so afraid of writing/eating too much that they avoid writing/eating what they should.

In the context of programming, I think this translates to an unhealthy fear (again, for some) of duplication. A little bit of duplication - writing something in a way that doesn’t completely maximize conciseness - isn’t the end of the world. Sometimes it’s the best path forward. Sometimes it’s okay to copy-and-modify here and there, especially when you’re still figuring out what your application will end up being.

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