- 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!).
- 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.
- After talking arm-wavingly about why beyond a certain point focusing on force-multiplier/leveraged work is key, this excellent writeup 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?
Links - Page 1/1
Why invest in creating a new systems programming language? According to Microsoft, the answers are security, and legacy:
- Based on the most recent SQL ConstantCare stats, what versions of SQL are in the wild? As of December 2019, not a whole lot of 2019, and even 2017 is in a minority (15%). Big boxes (>33 cores) are also notably absent (5%). As someone used to working with 2017 (soon 2019) on some really big boxes, I wonder where my big-box brethren are.
- Liz Fong-Jones with an impassioned plea to write less code, and instead see if you can first start by composing, or engineering a solution.
Taking composition to an extreme, this thought-provoking writeup of Déjà Vu covers academic work that attempts to make building web apps an exercise in selecting the right legos:
- Charticulator is an open source visualization generator - the learning curve is a little steep, but the gallery ably demonstrates the breadth of visualizations possible.
- Monzo’s progression framework is an excellent engineering ladder to draw inspiration from (plus a bunch of other roles). Backed by a GatsbyJS app over markdown files if you want to make it your own.
- This board contains a bunch of items that either increased momentum, or failed but taught the team something new. Love the framing, and think there are a lot of really interesting ideas (on both sides!). The ideas were sourced from a workshop involving product managers from various organizations.
- State of the art privacy protection in web browsers is getting pretty sophisticated. This article on Fingerprinting and privacy budgets from Brave has me in two minds - I care deeply about privacy, but as an operator occasionally tasked with separating bots from real users, I can imagine some of these techniques making that task a little (lot) harder.
If you like reading SaaS S-1 breakdowns (who doesn’t?), you should follow Alex Clayton’s blog:
- This whole paper is galaxy-brain - from the fact that Facebook built a load balancer that leveraged users connectedness to the graph that shows 500 million database queries per second. Full of interesting ideas, and mind-boggling numbers - Taiji: Managing Global User Traffic for Large-Scale Internet Services at the Edge is an excellent read.
- The state of distributed tracing in .NET Core 3.0 is looking pretty good, and the move to support the W3C Trace Context spec and OpenTelemetry SDKs makes it easier than ever to instrument a distributed app.
- Dating from last May, the paper on Accelerated Networking in Azure is interesting both as a reminder of how hard the hosting providers are working to squeeze every last drop of performance out of their compute, and as another example of how reducing team handoffs (in this case hardware to software) leads for better delivery
- GatsbyJS now has support for hot schema rebuilds - I’ve been caught out by not restarting
gatsby developwhen updating the schema, so this is a welcome addition. No announcement post yet, but you can see the detail in this pull request.
- I love Netlify - never has a platform done exactly as it’s promised quite so easily. Turns out there is a whole lot more to Netlify than just hosting though, and the complete intro to Netlify has an excellent set of notes that enumerate the rather impressive set of features.
- Now I understand what npx does!
If you’re interested in online experimentation then the morning paper’s coverage of the PlanAlyzer paper is a great place to start, and I found myself following every link. The PlanOut documentation is fantastic, as is the paper that introduces PlanOut:
Another Microcode update that’s coming along to indiscriminately cause performance issues. To put this most recent change into context, an excellent paper that covers how syscalls have only gotten worse over time (and you’ll note a few significant regressions associated with the Spectre update):
Choose boring technology is an evergreen idea, and it’s nice to get the occasional story of how chosing not-boring code ended up being a (wait for it) bad idea, and the boring code won out in the end:
- Task-Based Effectiveness of Basic Visualizations is an excellent paper that compares and ranks different visualizations for various tasks based on accuracy, speed, and user preference. Figure 3 is an excellent summary. There is a summary available at The Morning Paper.
- Not only does Tether and Bitfinex make a compelling case for the whole thing being a billion dollar fraud, it also servers as a great introduction to cryptocurrency exchanges.
- Healthchecks at scale is a great example of how something trivial in the small gets very complicated, very quickly when the numbers get large.
- Once upon a time I thought building technical leverage in an infrastructure team would be easy. Of course people were going to flock to the new, easier, better way of doing X. Experience has since disabused me of this notion, and the article Why New Technology Is A Hard Sell offers four compelling explanations, highlighting that being technically superior isn’t enough.
- John Cutler is always sharing thought provoking ideas in the product management space. The shifts from waterfall to product team is an interesting framework when thinking through what kinds of handoffs exist, and where.
- The React Conf 2019 videos are now available on YouTube
- Although targeted more at library authors, the post Building Great User Experiences with Concurrent Mode and Suspense introduces some big ideas (if you want some more concrete check out the React Concurrent docs)
- I’ve been iterating on weekly updates for a while now (this link post represents the most recent change - rather than an internal linkdump they’re now public). I always enjoy reading about how other people approach them.
- Typescript 3.7 is here, and it’s a pretty big release
- And finally - when free isn’t really free, the latest from system32comics on Instagram.