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Practices

Development and business practices, methodologies, workflows, etc.
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James Long jlongster.com

The secret of good Electron apps

James Long is using Electron to build Actual, a personal finance manager — and of course James is sharing the “secrets” he has learned to minimize the common issues with Electron apps. Some of Electron’s problems (large file size, slower boot up time) are inherent in the architecture and need to be solved at a lower-level. The bigger problems (memory hungry and sluggish) can be managed in user-land, but it takes a lot of care to do so. What if I told you there’s a secret that automatically minimizes these problems? The “secret” is to do the bulk of your work locally in a background process. The less you rely on the cloud, and the more powerful you make your background process, the more you can reap these benefits… Dig into jlongster/electron-with-server-example to learn more.

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Julio Biason blog.juliobiason.net

Things I learnt the hard way (in 30 years of software development)

I just started reading this (estimated read time: 34 minutes) and I have to say there are some really great tips inside. This one on code comments is pure gold: If you have no idea how to start, describe the flow of the application in high level, pure English/your language first. Then fill the spaces between comments with the code. Better yet: think of every comment as a function, then write the function that does exactly that. Julio warns that many of his learnings are cynical, but it’s gotta be hard to not be cynical after 30 years in this industry…

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Bradley Taunt bradleytaunt.com

Making tables responsive with minimal CSS

There’s still a use case for tables!! No seriously, there is. If you’d like to learn how to optimize table elements for mobile using minimal CSS, read on… My recent article, Write HTML Like It’s 1999, received far more attention than I ever expected on HackerNews. With this attention came a few comments mentioning how table elements don’t play nice with mobile devices or that it’s not possible to have a useable layout on smaller screens. This simply isn’t true.

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Kubernetes github.com

Ensure your Kubernetes clusters are using best practices ✅

Polaris helps keep your cluster healthy. It runs a variety of checks to ensure that Kubernetes deployments are configured using best practices that will avoid potential problems in the future. Provides a dashboard with an overview of how your clusters are doing as well as an experimental “validating webhook” that can stop future deployments that don’t live up to the standards.

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Dave Kerr github.com

Hacker Laws 💻📖

From Conway’s Law, to The Law of Leaky Abstractions — you’ll find links to laws, theories, principles, and patterns useful to developers — curated by Dave Kerr. Conway’s Law — This law suggests that the technical boundaries of a system will reflect the structure of the organization. It is commonly referred to when looking at organization improvements, Conway’s Law suggests that if an organization is structured into many small, disconnected units, the software it produces will be. If an organization is built more around ‘verticals’ which are orientated around features or services, the software systems will also reflect this.

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Yegor Bugayenko yegor256.com

How to write an elegant README for your GitHub repo

Some time ago I wrote a blog post An Open Code Base Is Not Yet an Open Source Project where I suggested a few important qualities of a good open source repository/project. One of them was the well-written README file. Here I will try to give a few hints on how to create a good README file and what mistakes to avoid. A solid README is a must-have for all open source projects. Thankfully, many folks have been taking their READMEs more seriously as of late. If you’re one of ‘em, check out this post and see if there’s anything you can improve.

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Daniel Stenberg daniel.haxx.se

Why people use curl

You know we’re curl fanpeople around these parts, and we’re obviously not the only ones (it’s used by millions of people around the world!). In this brief post, Daniel Stenberg lays out seven common reasons people tell him why they use curl. This particular bit resonated with me: No other tool or library for internet transfers have even close to the same amount of documentation, examples available on the net, existing user base that can help out and friendly users to support you when you run into issues.

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Kira Booth blog.plaid.com

Growing our team with retrospectives

From Kira Booth writing on the Plaid blog. …we take an agile-like approach to how we think about process. If our team’s process isn’t working, we talk about it in a retrospective (aka “retro”) and figure out how to change it. Many companies don’t begin retros until they are large and have many processes in place, but we feel that retros are especially valuable at our size and rate of growth. Plaid’s engineering organization is rapidly growing. In the Salt Lake City office where I work, we have plans to grow from 20 to 60 engineers this year. Processes that worked just a few months ago may not work now. A culture of continuous process improvement helps us to stay ahead of growing pains like inefficient collaboration, error-prone coding practices, and interpersonal conflict.

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John D. Cook johndcook.com

The hard part in becoming a command line wizard

John D. Cook: I’ve long been impressed by shell one-liners. They seem like magical incantations. Pipe a few terse commands together, et voilà! Out pops the solution to a problem that would seem to require pages of code. Are these one-liners real or mythology? To some extent, they’re both. Below I’ll give a famous real example. Then I’ll argue that even though such examples do occur, they may create unrealistic expectations. I agree with his overall argument, but the good news about the command line is you don’t have to become a wizard to get value out of it. Start small and go from there.

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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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 Itamar Turner-Trauring codewithoutrules.com

On learning new technologies: why breadth beats depth

There’s always new technologies coming out, and learning them in-depth would take an impossible amount of time. But you can most of the benefit, and more efficiently, by focusing on learning just enough about a broad range of tools to know when they’re useful. You know I’ve been preaching breadth-first over depth-first for years now. In this post, Itamar breaks down why that’s a smart strategy for learning new technologies and lays out a few ways you can gain breadth of knowledge. Unfortunately, he omitted one of the best ways of gaining (and maintaining) breadth: listen to podcasts!

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Jon Skeet codeblog.jonskeet.uk

Storing UTC is not a silver bullet

This is a pretty long post from Jon Skeet on storing and converting UTC. For those interested in more of a tldr, the conclusion at the end of the post is “intended to be read in a standalone fashion.” When I read Stack Overflow questions involving time zones, there’s almost always someone giving the advice to only ever store UTC. Convert to UTC as soon as you can, and convert back to a target time zone as late as you can, for display purposes, and you’ll never have a time zone issue again, they say. This blog post is intended to provide a counterpoint to that advice. I’m certainly not saying storing UTC is always the wrong thing to do, but it’s not always the right thing to do either.

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