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Beliefs, behavioral patterns, thoughts, and institutions of the developer community.
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Career successfulsoftware.net

No-one knows what they are doing

Wise words from Andy Brice:

When I was a child I assumed that all the adults running the world knew what they were doing. Now that I am an adult, I am under no such illusions…

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Most of us who are running businesses had no real idea what they were doing when they started, and still struggle with decisions now.

I tell people this all the time when they ask me for advice. I’ll still give them my advice. But it comes with the disclaimer that I really have no idea what I’m doing. 😆

Lars Wikman underjord.io

What ID3v2 could have been

Lars Wikman on the history of ID3 tags:

If you were a Winamp user back in the day, or curate an MP3 collection currently, you might recognize the humble ID3 tag. It is what the metadata in the MP3 file is made up of. First it was pretty limited in the version later dubbed ID3v1. Like any good 2.0 they added a ton more fields, features, removed character limits and it was suddenly ID3v2. The latest spec is ID3v2.4 while the most commonly adopted one seems to be ID3v2.3. I recently found myself having a reason to dig into this specification.

I wonder what reason he might have to dig into this spec? Could it be for a soon-to-be-announced collab with his friends at Changelog? 😏

This post is not about the technical intricacies of the format… This is about a simpler time, where people saw the wild possibilities of music on computers and when people cared about files, damnit. This is about some of the most interesting and entertaining things I’ve run across while reading the spec.

Cloud github.com

Store files as YouTube videos == infinite disk space

YouTubeDrive is a Wolfram Language (aka Mathematica) package that encodes/decodes arbitrary data to/from simple RGB videos which are automatically uploaded to/downloaded from YouTube. Since YouTube imposes no limits on the total number or length of videos users can upload, this provides an effectively infinite but extremely slow form of file storage.

Filed under: ways-no-youtube-engineer-ever-imagined-people-would-use-their-software

Jan Schaumann netmeister.org

If programming languages were Futurama characters

Good news, everyone! Jan Schaumann merged Futurama with your (least) favorite programming languages. Amy Wong is… Ruby?!

Object-oriented, cute, really popular, and a bit naive. Had a bit of Fry grafted onto herself for a while. Also had a thing with Bender. And Zapp. Easy going, but doesn’t do well in difficult situations, falls over easily.

Bender is Shell. Fry is Perl. If you care at all for his reasoning, you’ve already clicked through!

Gui Heurich code-anth.xyz

Chunky Bacon

Gui Heurich on one of the legends of the Ruby community, _why the lucky stiff.

Through the things that he built, the way he performed, and the books that he wrote, _why makes us think about code and also about ourselves. It makes us think about ourselves as programmers. In a sense, _why was the meta-programmer, the one that generates other programmers by promoting reflexivity.

Data visualization howisfelix.today

Felix Krause put his "whole life" into a single database

I used scare quotes around “whole life” because those are his words and surely there’s a lot more to life than things you can quantify, but still: this is interesting

Back in 2019, I started collecting all kinds of metrics about my life. Every single day for the last 2.5 years I tracked over 100 different data types - ranging from fitness & nutrition to social life, computer usage and weather.

This data produces 44 graphs that are all shared publicly on the website.

Felix Krause put his "whole life" into a single database

Dominick Schroer schroer.ca

The joy of small projects

Dominick Schroer:

When was the last time you completed a project? When was the last time you started a project? Have you every felt that you were trapped working on something that you don’t enjoy anymore? Size is something that I’m sure most developers with the drive to do side projects have felt. Recently I have been completing more projects with more success than ever before. This is my new process.

His 4-step process is so simple it might be brilliant.

Career lepiter.io

Developers spend most of their time figuring the system out

So what?

Well, that is the single largest expense we have. If we want to optimize anything in our discipline we should look at this part first. We talk often about how we build systems, but how often do you talk about how you spend the “figuring out” time? If we do not talk about it, it’s not explicit. If it’s not explicit, it does not get optimized.

In addition to the author’s suggested solution to this problem allow me to add: developer retention! Nobody has more to figure out in a system than the people who just joined the team. Cut down on that (via better compensation, workplace satisfaction, etc.) and you cut way down on that oh so expensive “figuring out” time.

Developers spend most of their time figuring the system out

The Changelog The Changelog #483

ONE MORE thing every dev should know

The incomparable Jessica Kerr is back with another grab-bag of amazing topics. We talk about her journey to Honeycomb, devs getting satisfaction from the code they write, why step one for her is “get that new project into production” and step two is observe it, her angst for the context switching around pull requests, some awesome book recommendations, how game theory and design can translate to how we skill up and level up our teams, and so much more.

Culture mashable.com

How Tumblr taught young women to code

Last year, TikTokker Avery Steeves posted a video asking why no one talks about how there’s an entire generation of teenage girls who taught themselves to code HTML on Tumblr. “People are like, ‘Oh, there’s no girls in STEM,’” she says, imitating the faceless internet mob. “No, there were! They were just making pale blogs.”

OK so we don’t usually link to Mashable (first time ever?), but this was cool news to me, so I thought it was worth passing along. Long live HTML!

Communications randsinrepose.com

What we lost (when we went remote)

Rands asking himself some tough questions about our “new normal” remote work environments:

Relative to the Pandemic, the single biggest work question I’ve been asking myself for two years is: what did we lose? What is the measurable and objective loss for teams not working in close proximity? I’ve been looking for cracks. I’ve been looking for leading indicators of future doom. The Great Resignation seems like a proper crack, right? But are people quitting their jobs because they can’t work together or because their current job sucks and all this terror in the air has given them a new appreciation of what really matters?

A sobering perspective.

Culture cheapskatesguide.org

The old internet shows signs of quietly coming back

Old as in old school cool not old as in passe:

Despite the new gatekeepers’ best efforts, the old Internet never completely disappeared. Personal websites created by individuals that have always been the meat of the old Internet are still around. They are still about exploration, innovation, fun, and all the rest. Try as the new gatekeepers have, they simply have not had the power to eradicate the old Internet completely. All they can do is pretend it does not exist. And, that is exactly what they do.

But…

… the old Internet seems to be slowly and quietly coming back, and it is coming back even better than before. Now it has better technology and an additional well-defined purpose that it never had before.

Some people have begun to refer to personal websites as the “indie web”, the “small Internet”, or the “smol Internet”. Some seem to reserve the last two terms exclusively for the Gemini Network, which nearly quadrupled in size last year. But, I think all three terms should also apply to some of the other networks that use alternative networking protocols–the Gopher Network, the Tor network, and the ZeroNet network, to name a few.

Go Time Go Time

The funny bits from 2021

Here’s a little bonus episode before we get back to your regularly scheduled Go Time. We’re calling it the funny bits. It’s a compilation of times we cracked up making the show for y’all. If you dig it, holler at Jerod. If you don’t, email Mat Ryer.

The Changelog The Changelog #471

Deeply human stories

Today we’re bringing our appearance on DevDiscuss right here to The Changelog. Jerod and I guested their launch episode for Season 7 to talk about deeply human stories we’ve covered over the years on this podcast. For long-time listners this will be a trip down memory lane and for recent subscibers this will be a guided tour on some of our most impactful episodes. Special thanks to Ben Halpern and Christina Gorton for hosting us. Check out their show at dev.to/devdiscuss

JS Party JS Party #202

Sophie is the bomb diggity

This week we are joined by Sophie Alpert, Head of Engineering at Humu, and former lead of the React Core team, to discuss her experience on being a very early adopter, contributor, and eventually maintainer of React. In her 4+ years on the Core team, she went from supporting a new niche OSS UI library to supporting a project used by millions of developers around the world. Join us to hear about this epic journey, as well as Sophie’s thought’s on some common critiques and misconceptions of React.

Backstage Backstage #19

Honoring Veterans Day and #VetsWhoCode

We’re “doing it live” with Jerome Hardaway, a Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft and the Executive Director of Vets Who Code — a veteran-led and operated 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that focuses on training veterans, active duty military, and military spouses in software development and open source with the goal of starting careers in the technology industry.

This is a lengthly conversation in and around Jerome’s story, the Vets Who Code mission and impact, the experience of being in the United States Military, and the opportunity and potential of 1.5x’ing one of the most elite group of people on the planet.

The Changelog The Changelog #467

Connecting the dots in public

Today we’re joined by Shawn “swyx” Wang, also known as just “swyx” — and we’re talking about his interesting path to becoming a software developer, what it means to “learn in public” and how he’s been able to leverage that process to not only level up his skills and knowlege, but to also rapidly advance his career. We cover Swyx’s recent writing on the light and dark side of the API economy — something he calls “living above or below the API,” his thoughts on Cloudflare eating the cloud by playing Go instead of Chess, and we also talk about the work he’s doing at Temporal and how’s taking his frontend skills to the backend.

Chris Manson chris.manson.ie

It's all gravy

This is a short post by long-time open source maintainer Chris Manson about commitment to tasks in the open source world and how life always takes priority over dev.

We always need to keep in mind that most open source contributions are given from people that are opting to give up their spare time (usually for free) and the level of expectation can never come anywhere close to the sort of relationship that an employer might have with an employee or contractor.

Pairs well with Every commit is a gift. 🍷

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