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Culture

Beliefs, behavioral patterns, thoughts, and institutions of the developer community.
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Dhawal Shah freeCodeCamp

570 free online programming & computer science courses

Get your free learning on! Dhawal Shah, founder of Class Central , writes for freeCodeCamp: Seven years ago, universities like MIT and Stanford first opened up free online courses to the public. Today, more than 850 schools around the world have created thousands of free online courses, popularly known as Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs. I’ve compiled this list of 550 such free online courses that you can start in March. For this, I leveraged Class Central’s database of over 11,000 online courses. I’ve also included each course’s average rating.

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Nikita Prokopov tonsky.me

How not to hire a software engineer

Nikita Prokopov writes on his personal blog about eight (8) common sense practices to use when hiring software engineers. I’m not an expert in hiring for big companies, but I have extensive experience for small ones and a bit of common sense. If you are in a business of hiring software engineers, big companies’ practices are not your friends. Common sense, fairness, tolerance, real interest, and open-mindedness are.

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Matt Dole artsy.github.io

So you want to be a software engineer

Are you or someone you know trying to move into the engineering department from a position that’s unrelated to software engineering at a company? …I wanted to pursue computer engineering. I’d been at Artsy for a bit less than two years at that point, first as a marketing intern working on SEO and then as a coordinator on the CRM (read: email) team. I’d consistently been working on small technical projects; first doing some work on a tool for SEO optimization for our Editorial team, then building emails with MJML, and a few other bits and bobs. But I didn’t think of it as a serious pursuit. It was Artsy’s Engineering team that convinced me that programming was something that I both wanted to and could do. Our engineers have always welcomed learners and been happy to answer questions and empower other teams to do technical work. I eventually realized that the parts of my work where I was coding were the parts I enjoyed the most, and that I would likely feel more fulfilled if I made programming my full-time occupation. (Gosh, that opening sounds like the first line of a pharmaceutical commercial. Sorry about that!)

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Rod Johnson changelog.com/posts

Evolving understanding of software delivery

Two new terms have recently emerged around software delivery: Software Defined Delivery and Progressive Delivery. Why? How do they relate to Continuous Delivery? Several forces today make delivery increasingly complex. Notably, proliferation of repositories, with hundreds of small projects replacing a handful of monoliths; desire for greater automation to realize the full potential of CD across multiple environments; the rise of feature flagging; and increased evidence (such as the Equifax debacle) of the need to bake security into the delivery process.

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Lara Hogan twitter.com

Lara Hogan on mentorship and sponsorship

Read this Twitter thread from Lara Hogan. Get wisdom. Here’s an excerpt from the thread: I’m giving a talk today about Mentorship and Sponsorship and how they help folks grow in super different ways. Managers most frequently default to mentorship mode when they’re helping their teammates grow, and that’s… not quite right, exactly But the magical mode is SPONSOR MODE. Also, read “What does sponsorship look like?”

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Austen Allred lambdaschool.com

Lambda School is giving an $18,000 stipend to select students

Austen Allred, Co-founder and CEO of Lambda School, writing on why they’re doing this: Our goal at Lambda School is to help our student really succeed to the best of their ability and to remove the barriers that are currently preventing more people from being able to access a high tech education - and the career, financial, impact and other benefits that come with it. We know that one of the hardest parts of deciding to go back to school is figuring out how to make it work without a full time salary. By launching this Living Stipend Pilot Program, we are looking at how we can create more products and innovative ways to help support our current students - and to expand who can become a Lambda School student. They’re not looking at financials or credit scores, instead applications will be screened by asking just two questions as criteria for selection: Why do you need this living stipend to be successful as a Lambda School student? Tell us a bit about the unique part of your story that will make you a valuable addition to both the Lambda and tech community?

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Max Böck mxb.dev

On simplicity

What are your thoughts on simplicity as a feature? Max Böck has this say… I think there’s a lot of value in actively questioning the need for complexity. Sometimes the smarter way to build things is to try and take some pieces away, rather than add more to it. For example… Static sites are on the rise again now, precisely because they are simple. They don’t try to manage server-side code with clever abstractions - they don’t have any. They don’t try to prevent security breaches with advanced firewalls - they get rid of the database entirely.

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Simon Schultz changelog.com/posts

Why everyone should read support emails

What would happen if everyone in your company was reading and responding to incoming support emails? In this post, Simon Schultz shares why he spends more time on incoming support emails than internal reports, plus six good reasons you should do so as well. I love my numbers, and I love my spreadsheets, but the heart and soul of all the great people using and being in contact with your service, product and company are too often buried somewhere in a soulless column in your beloved spreadsheets. Valuable insights, information, and data are too often ignored and forgotten.

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Alex MacCaw blog.alexmaccaw.com

How I learned to program and dropped out of high-school

This path might not be for everyone, but what’s important to think about while reading Alex MacCaw’s story is…IT IS POSSIBLE. I started working on open-source libraries and publishing them on a blog. This quickly gained a bit of a following resulting in offers of paid consultancy. They say that on the internet nobody knows you’re a dog. Well, in this case, nobody knew I was a 15-year-old schoolboy working on consulting gigs between French classes. My grades were getting lower and lower, and I realized there was no way I was going get into a computer science course with my poor math scores. When I discovered I was making more than my teachers’ salaries, I came to a sudden realization: why do I need to go to college? I could just drop out!

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Aricka Flowers GitLab

Why GitLab pays local rates

GitLab’s compensation structure is known to spark controversy. Aricka Flowers writes on the GitLab blog to give an update on their latest iteration on salaries. Our compensation calculator is a regular hot topic on places like Hacker News – pretty much any thread about GitLab has a comment about us paying local rates. As with everything GitLab does, we continue to iterate on our compensation model, and implemented a number of changes at the start of 2019. In addition to adjusting the salaries of backend developers, which were raised considerably so that we are “at or above market,” according to GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij, the location factor was also revised to better reflect the respective areas covered. But first, let’s take a step back to see how we got to here… The part about standard pay eating away at production and personnel was pretty interesting to me. In the end, this is a world problem, not a business problem. Too much pressure gets put on businesses to solve problems they just can’t solve.

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Ev Williams Twitter

Ev Williams says, "All @Medium paywalled stories are now free and unmetered when you’re coming from Twitter."

In response to questions about how this change will affect compensation on Medium, Ev says: It doesn’t affect compensation—assuming you mean for Partner Program. That’s determined by readership from paying members, which will still be counted (assuming they’re logged in). # In response to questions about the state and future of Medium, Ev says: Generally it’s 📈. Lots of growth and good stuff happening. I have been meaning to give an update. Thanks for the nudge. # This tweet from Shannon Ashley states she made $8,069.96 writing on Medium in February 2019 and has the screenshot to prove it. She even wrote “What It’s Like To Be All-In On Medium” but you have to be a paying member to read it.

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Reda Lemeden redalemeden.com

We need Chrome no more

Reda Lemeden shared a healthy dose of reality in regards to Chrome’s control of the web and market share: Ten years ago, we needed Google Chrome to break the Web free from corporate greed, and we managed to do so for a brief period. Today, its dominance is stifling the very platform it once saved from the clutches of Microsoft. And no one, beside Google, needs that. Without a healthy and balanced competition, any open platform will regress into some form of corporate control. For the Web, this means that its strongest selling points—freedom and universal accessibility—are eroded with every per-cent that Chrome gains in market share.

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Feross Aboukhadijeh YouTube

Bringing ⟨bgsound⟩ back to the web

JS Party panelist, Feross Aboukhadijeh: In the days of Geocities and Angelfire, a quirky HTML tag called ⟨bgsound⟩ enabled sound files to play in the background of webpages. Usually, these files were in the MIDI format. What a glorious era that was! Sadly, ⟨bgsound⟩ has been removed from browsers and MIDI is obscure and hard to play back. In this talk, we’ll bring MIDI and ⟨bgsound⟩ back from the dead using WebAssembly, Emscripten, Web Audio, and Web Components. When we’re finished, you’ll be able to give your webpages the 90’s treatment in a modern, standards-compliant way!

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Casey Newton The Verge

The secret lives of Facebook moderators in America

Eventually Artificial Intelligence will take over the human powered content moderation jobs for Facebook. Until then, this small population of humans employed by Cognizant (on behalf of Facebook) in Phoenix, Arizona accept the job of subjecting themselves to the worst of humankind to provide “a better Facebook experience.” Casey Newton writes for The Verge: The video depicts a man being murdered. Someone is stabbing him, dozens of times, while he screams and begs for his life. Chloe’s job is to tell the room whether this post should be removed. She knows that section 13 of the Facebook community standards prohibits videos that depict the murder of one or more people. When Chloe explains this to the class, she hears her voice shaking. Returning to her seat, Chloe feels an overpowering urge to sob. Another trainee has gone up to review the next post, but Chloe cannot concentrate. She leaves the room, and begins to cry so hard that she has trouble breathing. No one tries to comfort her. This is the job she was hired to do…

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Dan Abramov Medium

Why my new blog isn’t on Medium

This post from Dan Abramov about why he moved off Medium summarizes both why we’re no longer linking to Medium and why we’ve never put our content there. Some of my Medium articles unexpectedly got behind a paywall. I’m not sure what happened and whether that’s still the case. But I didn’t do it myself, and that caused a blow to my confidence in Medium as a platform. I respect their need to monetize, but it felt wrong when done retroactively.

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The New York Times Icon The New York Times

Amazon pulls out of planned New York City headquarters

As of today, Amazon announced the cancelation of its plans to build one of their corporate campuses in New York City. This decision, “comes after facing an unexpectedly fierce backlash from some lawmakers and unions.” Their concerns stem from the idea that a tech giant does not deserve nearly $3 billion dollars in government incentives. This move from Amazon was expected to create more than 25,000 jobs in the city. To lure Amazon, [New York] city and state officials had offered the company one of the largest-ever incentive packages in exchange for a much larger return in jobs and tax revenue. “Like a petulant child, Amazon insists on getting its way or takes its ball and leaves,” said Mr. Gianaris, a Democrat, whose district includes Long Island City. “The only thing that happened here is that a community that was going to be profoundly affected by their presence started asking questions.” This coverage from J. David Goodman on The New York Times also includes a statement released by Amazon.

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