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Beliefs, behavioral patterns, thoughts, and institutions of the developer community.
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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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Linux lore.kernel.org

Linus pulls a (refreshing) 180 on his long history of 'flippant email attacks'

I did not see this coming. Linus Torvalds, writing to the Linux Kernel mailing list: I need to change some of my behavior, and I want to apologize to the people that my personal behavior hurt and possibly drove away from kernel development entirely. I am going to take time off and get some assistance on how to understand people’s emotions and respond appropriately. Introspection is hard, especially when you don't like what you see after staring yourself in the mirror. Cheers to him for owning up to mistreating others and attempting to change. Here's hoping he follows through. 🤞

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Emily Freeman emilyfreeman.io

Growth in fear

You should plan 10 minutes and read this story from Emily Freeman. Here are some highlights I enjoyed hearing her speak about. On growing up and being poor... Because I was poor, I was nothing. On why she's in tech... Life, in many ways, is a write-only database. On being a house-wife... I felt like a failure. I was clever, I had worked hard and yet there I was again — worth nothing. On being a mom... Giving birth was the first time I felt truly powerful. On learning... Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.

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Amir Salihefendic blog.doist.com

What most remote companies don’t tell you about remote work

I like how this post tries to answer questions on why remote companies need to openly acknowledge the mental health challenges of remote work. Amir Salihefendic writes on Ambition & Balance from Doist: Isolation, anxiety, and depression in the remote workplace and what we’re doing about it... In contrast to a traditional office, remote work puts much more focus on output — what did you get done — rather than input — how many hours did you spend doing it. There's a sense of personal responsibility to get "enough" done that can lead people to keep themselves working long past the point of optimal productivity.

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Tyler Treat bravenewgeek.com

Multi-cloud is a trap

This is the battle cry that started the Open Container Initiative. But in reality, are/was multi-cloud and vendor lock-in true concerns for software teams? Tyler Treat writes on his personal blog: We want to be cloud-agnostic. We need to avoid vendor lock-in. We want to be able to shift workloads seamlessly between cloud providers. Let me say it again: multi-cloud is a trap. Outside of appeasing a few major retailers who might not be too keen on stuff running in Amazon data centers, I can think of few reasons why multi-cloud should be a priority for organizations of any scale.

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Maria Gutierrez blog.gitprime.com

Fundamentals of building and managing distributed engineering teams

I talked with Bryan Helmig about this on Founders Talk #55. He's the co-founder and CTO of a "remote only" company, so that means engineering as well. Yes, you read that right — remote only. Maria Gutierrez (VP of Engineering at FreeAgent), writes on the GitPrime blog: When your company’s headquarters are outside of one of the major tech hubs, you’ll likely hit a point where you realize you simply cannot hire enough developers to work in the main office. A lot of companies need to start considering distributed candidates in order to build the quality crews they need. And if you want those distributed engineers to be successful members of your team for a long time, you’ll need to follow certain best practices right from the get-go. For some, going distributed is a choice. For others, it's a necessity to survive. Which side of the line does your organization stand on this subject?

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Stephen O'Grady redmonk.com

Tragedy of the Commons Clause

We've been tracking the community's concerns and feedback about Commons Clause fairly well. In this post, Stephen O'Grady basically writes a book on the subject and the impact of this controversial software license. ...the Commons Clause turns open source software into non-open source software, according to the industry’s accepted definition of that term. Specifically it says that the terms of the original open source license notwithstanding, you may not sell software “whose value derives, entirely or substantially, from the functionality of the Software.” ...there are several logical questions to explore regarding the Commons Clause. What are the drivers behind it? What does it mean for the companies that employ it and the wider industry? And lastly, is it a good idea? Set aside 20 minutes and read this if you care about how this license is becoming popular among those (Redis as of recent) who are protecting their right to generate revenue from their open source code, while removing that ability for everyone else.

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Justin Jackson justinjackson.ca

The hidden cost of bootstrapping

Justin Jackson shared some personal insights and lessons learned in this post — and quoted Des Traynor, co-founder of Intercom saying: A founder is spending 60 months of their best years in their startup (instead of their career). That is a substantial upfront investment; it’s like a seed round, but instead of money, it’s your life. And the bootstrappers dilemma... Can I get this to scale, while paying my bills, without burning out? This is why many founders end up raising venture capital.

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Will Gaybrick cnbc.com

Software developers are now more valuable to companies than money

Will Gaybrick, CFO at Stripe, wrote a short piece for CNBC last week that hit my radar. Will shares insights about how companies are worrying more about access to software developers than they are to capital constraints. ...a majority of companies say lack of access to software developers is a bigger threat to success than lack of access to capital. A recent study from Stripe and Harris Poll found that 61% of C-suite executives believe access to developer talent is a threat to the success of their business. Perhaps more surprisingly — as we mark a decade after the financial crisis — this threat was even ranked above capital constraints. Will goes on to say that given this revelation, companies are still misusing their most important resource. Too many developers are tied up in projects designed to prop up legacy systems and bad software, at a cost of $300 billion a year — $85 billion just dealing with bad code. Correctly deployed, the expertise of software developers could add $3 trillion to global GDP over the next decade.

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Kristen Senz hbswk.hbs.edu

Learn by contributing

This post on Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge from Kristen Senz gives us insights into the process of learning by contributing to open source. This comes from a recent study conducted by Frank Nagle, "Learning by Contributing: Gaining Competitive Advantage Through Contribution to Crowdsourced Public Goods." Kristen quotes Frank saying: What this study shines a light on is that the companies that contribute and give back learn how to better use the open source software in their own environment. A lot of the research I do looks at the question, can the company be better off but also leave the world better off? While this study is focused on large organizations, in future research Nagle plans to study the effects of learning by contributing on smaller firms and startups.

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 Itamar Turner-Trauring codewithoutrules.com

There’s always more work to do—but you still don’t need to work long hours

"There’s always more work to do" is a common excuse for why programmers need to work long hours. But a little bit of planning and prioritization will do far more to help you ship your product on time—with the features that really matter. 💯 times yes! Everything Itamar is saying in this post aligns with my experience.

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Paul Kinlan blog.chromium.org

A 10 year retrospective on the open web

On the Chromium Blog, Paul Kinlan shared a look back to the beginning of Chrome in 2008, the early days of the web, on through to today and the future of the "capable web." 2008-2014 — In just seven years, the web changed drastically. Browsers got significantly faster and more capable, letting developers build richer experiences on the desktop. Users started to consume even more content on mobile, meaning we all had to rethink how our experiences would work across devices and form-factors, even when the user had no connectivity. If you're looking for some perspective on how far we've come with the web and the impact of iteration — you should check this out. BTW — Chrome turned 10, here's what's new.

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Emily Rosen Olin linuxfoundation.org

Corporate open source programs are on the rise (here's the proof)

Our friends at The Linux Foundation, along side the TODO Group and The New Stack, have released the results of the 2018 Open Source Program Management Survey... ...more than 53% of the companies surveyed say their organization has an open source software program (or plans to establish one within the next year). Emily shares many key findings, but my key take away is proof (because survey's are 100% true) that corporate economies bare significant dependence upon open source, and the health of the communities that support that open source, in more ways than they know — and the impact of open source on their bottom line is bubbling up from within as informal working groups.

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Eric Clemmons Medium

Work on features, not repositories

In response to a recent Twitter poll from Kent C. Dodds, Eric Clemmons shared concerns about how organizational boundaries are impacting where development happens. Kent tweeted... Hey folks who have a decoupled client-server application (no server rendering, server is just an API server). Where is your client code and server code located? (#) Together in one repo? In separate repos? Eric writes in his response on Medium: Software is like Jello: poke it in one place, and another place jiggles. In my experience, a repository should house all of the code necessary to make developing & shipping features relatively frictionless. This isn't an exact 1:1, but this was a big part of the reason why Segment transitioned back to a monorepo.

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Martin Fowler martinfowler.com

The state of agile software in 2018

Martin Fowler reflects on the journey of agile software development... Our challenge at the moment isn't making agile a thing that people want to do, it's dealing with what I call faux-agile: agile that's just the name, but none of the practices and values in place. Ron Jeffries often refers to it as "Dark Agile", or specifically "Dark Scrum". This is actually even worse than just pretending to do agile, it's actively using the name "agile" against the basic principles of what we were trying to do, when we talked about doing this kind of work in the late 90s at Snowbird. The three main challenges we should focus on are: fighting the Agile Industrial Complex and its habit of imposing process upon teams, raising the importance of technical excellence, and organizing our teams around products (rather than projects).

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Josh Comeau Medium

Lessons learned as a conference speaker

How do you develop an idea for a talk, determine the conferences to pitch, actually deliver the talk, and whether or not it's even worth doing? Joshua Comeau writes on Medium: I’m still very much at the beginning of my career. I’m only ~5 years into what will likely be a 40-year career, so I’m only about 1/8th through! That thought is simultaneously liberating and dizzying; it means I don’t have to feel rushed when it comes to making the most of every available opportunity, but it also means I have no clue what’s ahead. Conference-speaking is a worthwhile endeavor, but it’s one heck of a bumpy ride, and not always worth it. I’ll continue to prepare talks — as long as folks still want to hear what I have to say... Joshua ends with an invitation ... 👏 I encourage you to give it a shot. Feel free to reach out to me, I’m always happy to give your proposal a quick read :)

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Hongli Lai gdprbusters.com

Top GDPR questions for developers and startups

Prominent startup/developer forum Hacker News has shown us how shaken these two groups were. Most GDPR articles received hundreds of upvotes and comments. The reactions had a feeling of mass hysteria. This motivated me to embark on a mission to bring knowledge and peace of mind to the software developer and startup world. ... I initiated a number of AMAs -- Ask Me Anything discussions -- on a variety of forums. Here are the top questions I received... Hongli went on to answer questions like "Where do I begin with making sense of GDPR and what to tackle first?", "What are the most valuable online resources for getting actionable advice?", "Given that you have no business presence or interest in the EU, what is the worst thing that can happen if you're not compliant?" ...

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Harj Taggar Y Combinator

How to hire your first engineer

How do you convince an engineer to join your start up? Harj Taggar shares this advice on the Y Combinator blog: This post is advice for early stage startup founders who are hiring their first engineer. Hiring your first engineer at a startup is incredibly hard. As a founder you’re already stretched dangerously thin on time. There are bugs to fix, customers to close and any number of urgent existential fires that demand your full attention. You know you should be spending more time on hiring but it’s a battle to find it. This is an exhaustive post going through all the details. If you're a startup founder or among the first engineers to join a startup, you should check this post out or recommend it to your founder.

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Docker github.com

Docker can't be downloaded without logging into Docker Store

750 downvotes and counting on the comment below from Joao Fernandes, the Docs Lead for Docker Enterprise Edition. I know that this can feel like a nuisance, but we've made this change to make sure we can improve the Docker for Mac and Windows experience for users moving forward. As far as I can tell, the docs don't need changes, so I'll close this issue, but feel free to comment. Lots of comments are stacking up on Hacker News too.

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freeCodeCamp Icon freeCodeCamp

We fired our top talent. Best decision we ever made.

Would you fire your top contributor — someone with a deep understanding of your product’s architecture and a ton of domain-specific knowledge? Jonathan Solórzano-Hamilton writes on the freeCodeCamp blog about this exact scenario... “You will never be able to understand any of what I’ve created. I am Albert F#@$ing Einstein and you are all monkeys scrabbling in the dirt.” He declared this in front of the product design team, developers, management, and pre-launch customers. One of our project sponsors had the temerity to ask when the problem crippling our product would be fixed. No one gets a pass on being a jerk. I personally subscribe to the "no asshole rule," and do my best to purge the assholes as soon as possible. The sooner the better, for everyone. Have you heard of the book on the subject? Here's why Robert Sutton wrote 'The No Asshole Rule'

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Sarah Perez TechCrunch

Is Twitter breaking Twitter?

Twitter is at it again making controversial changes restricting how the developer community can use their APIs to develop 3rd party Twitter clients. Sarah Perez reports on TechCrunch: Twitter is breaking users' favorite third-party Twitter clients like Tweetbot and Twitterific by shutting off APIs these apps relied on. Worse still, is that Twitter isn't taking full responsibility for its decisions. In a company email it shared today, Twitter cited "technical and business constraints" that it can no longer ignore as being the reason behind the APIs' shutdown. This change sparked the #BreakingMyTwitter hashtag

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Mike McQuaid mikemcquaid.com

"This is why people don’t contribute to your open source project"

Do you want more contributors and maintainers on your project? Mike McQuaid, maintainer of Homebrew (macOS package manager), writes on his personal blog: Here are a a few guidelines in thinking about this: Most contributors were users first (“scratching your own itch”: most people start contributing to an open source project to solve a problem they are experiencing) Most maintainers were a contributor and user first (people don’t just jump into maintaining a project without helping to build it first) Maintainers cannot do a good job without remaining a user (to maintain context, passion and empathy) Combined, these start to look a bit like a sales funnel. People have to travel through each stage and there’s a fairly hefty drop-off at each one. Also check out ~> Open source maintainers owe you nothing

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