Tim Addison

Interesting Links - February 2020

  • A tweet on Criteo’s migration to .Net core which has a bunch of interesting comments in the thread. The migration is doing good things for Criteo’s web app that currently runs on 5,000 32-logical-core hosts, peaks at 6 million requests per second, and has an median latency of 10ms (-10% in core!).
  • The JavaScript Pipeline Operator (|>) proposal makes for interesting reading - the competing proposals are in-depth and worth reading. Also great to see some examples of before/after - I prefer proposal 1, but would also be happy if 4 makes it.
  • There are times in interactions with the Azure (notably the billing department) that I can’t help but recall this (AWS variant) image.
  • The Morning Paper with an excellent summary of the Stella Paper, which seeks to understand how operators handle and avert catastrophe in the face of operating complex systems. On the back of the summary I read the whole paper, and (maybe because I’m familiar with the complexities of operating an ecommerce app?) I’d recommend the summary over the paper.
  • I’ve previously spent time talking vaguely about why beyond a certain point focusing on force-multiplier/leveraged work is key, this excellent write-up says it far better than I could. If you’ve even a passing interest in organizational design this is highly recommended reading.
  • One way to generate a tonne of leverage across an engineering organization is to align multiple groups on a single Technical Strategy. Implementing that may require generating an Architecture Strategy. Once built the strategy is useless if it isn’t shared, which is why I recommend reading the companion post that covers how to create and share architecture initiatives.
  • We’ve now been using RFCs in engineering for about a year, and as such have taken some time out to reflect on if the process is delivering the value needed. One thing we recently changed was an explicit readme (answering FAQs that we could have anticipated early on). Re-reading this post from Phil Calçado I can confirm this is extremely helpful advice if you’re considering an RFC process.
  • Expectation vs. Reality - Algorithms in the interview vs. Algorithms on the job. Dan Luu telling it like it is, though it doesn’t change the fact that most hiring loops are still expecting you to farm leetcode.
  • A lot to agree with in this post that argues the only code worth a damn is the code running production. The only point I’d hedge on would be the Buy vs. Build point - where I’m actually closer to Buy & Integrate vs. Build & Operate (even that breaks down once you stop squinting). I’m not sure yet if this is my optimization function being different, location along product-market fit curve, team culture, something else? Anyway - a thought-provoking article!
  • When thinking about team’s, do you first stop to ask question 0 - Is this really a team?
  • Whatever side of a 1 on 1 you’re sitting on, it’s always helpful to see how others approach their 1 on 1s.
  • Zero Trust is dangerously close to becoming a marketer’s term first & foremost (maybe it’s already too late?). Alex Weinert has a great overview (and a linked talk) that spells out what Zero Trust might look like, and if you’re a Microsoft shop there are some explicit next-step videos you can consume (this is Zero Trust, not Zero Marketing). The original Beyond Corp resources from Google are worth reading if you want more.
  • I’m enjoying Designing Data Intensive Applications - the easiest way to know if this is for you is to check out this summary post, and if you’re curious you’ll almost certainly enjoy the book. The footnotes on GitHub are also worth browsing.
  • Will Larson’s post on the first 90 days as VPE/CTO is worth reading for the same reason I encourage everyone to read books like The Manager’s Path - you’ll do whatever it is you do far better when you understand the demands of your role, your peer’s roles, and your manager’s role. And if you’re a budding VPE/CTO, there aren’t many articles out there written for you.
  • Also from Will Larson, Engineering Brand explores the challenges of building your company’s engineering brand.
  • Although dated from late 2018, this post on the history of React-Redux is both interesting, educational, and answers a lot of questions I had about ‘why are things this way’ when working with Redux.
  • Finally, a pretty dark framing of the future of the internet, is Internet of Beefs, a piece that argues that the current (and future?) state of the internet is a disinformation warzone (that’s my paraphrasing, and doesn’t do the article justice). I couldn’t help but be reminded of the internet as imagined in Neal Stephenson’s Dodge. Maybe we’re already there?