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The Stack Overflow Podcast
22 minutes | Oct 22, 2021
Quality code is the easiest to delete
Isaac's piece, Code quality: a concern for businesses, bottom lines, and empathetic programmers, ran recently on the Stack Overflow blog. A simple metric for code quality code be how easy is it to delete any given piece of code. There's no algorithmic way to judge quality code, but experienced engineers know it when they see it. Jeff Atwood's Performance is a Feature blog post gets a lot of mileage with our writers. But code quality isn't on the same axis; it's not a feature you can prioritize. It's part of the development process.
19 minutes | Oct 19, 2021
Getting your first job off the CSS mailing list
At LinkedIn scale, it pays to save your developers a few minutes or even seconds on repeat tasks. Sara walks us through her experience managing senior engineers, and trying to improve developer experience and tooling, on a massive, global platform with over a billion user interactions a month.Paul shares some of his firm's latest work, helping to visualize the impact of climate change at Probable Futures. Interested in doing work in software focused on climate change? Paul recommends you learn a bit about NetCDF files.Follow Sara on Twitter here.Follow Paul on Twitter here.Enjoy our brain teaser of the week: a new way to cut pizza.
25 minutes | Oct 15, 2021
Can AI solve car accidents and find you a parking space?
Graybeard conference alert! Eran and Ryan both started their technology journeys on the venerable Commodore 64. During his academic days, Eran helped to map all the BGP (background gateway protocol) gateways in the world. This got a fair bit of press recently during the six hour Facebook outage.Nexar provides smart dashcams and an app that help cars understand the roads around them. While networked cameras on every car could be a privacy nightmare, Nexar says that they have privacy as a foundational part of the SDLC.
24 minutes | Oct 12, 2021
A database built for a firehose
HarperDB is a startup that focuses on highly scalable databases that handle real-time data. Harper is built on Node.js and Express with a little help from Fastify. They know where they excel and where they don't. High data throughput like gaming and vision, great! High data resolution and transactional software like financial applications, not so great. It's speed over accuracy. Instead of a Lifeboat badge today, we shared a relevant question: Q: How to create HarperDB table with lambda.
32 minutes | Oct 8, 2021
Wait, we're all content moderators now?
Read more about the climate debate surrounding NFTs here.We really enjoyed this piece: You either die an MVP, or live long enough to build content moderation.You can find Ben on Twitter here.You can send ideas for blog posts to Ryan Donovan at our pitch box.You can find Cassidy on Twitter here and read the newsletter she helps us curate here.You can find Ceora on Twitter here and check out more about Apollo GraphQL here.
24 minutes | Oct 5, 2021
Building image search, but for any object IRL
You can learn more about Paul here.You can read more about Physna here.Paul is excited about the Metaverse. So are we!
20 minutes | Oct 1, 2021
It's 2FA's world, we're just living in it
Check out more about Microsoft's efforts to ditch passwords here.When 2FA just won't do, 3FA to the rescue. Just pray we aren't headed towards five factors.
28 minutes | Sep 29, 2021
Automate away your boring standup meetings
Right now, most development teams provide visibility into their overall process and lifecycle through standup meetings and spreadsheets. It can be a painfully manual process that uses up valuable engineering time. Value stream management aims to solve that by mapping out the entire software development life cycle and providing visibility into areas where things are breaking down or getting stuck. It borrows ideas from Agile and the automate-all-the-things attitude from DevOps to ensure engineering teams are moving fast with direction, avoiding bottlenecks, and reaching the the key objectives management planned weeks ago.In this episode, we chat with Nick Mathison and Sylvan Carbonell from HCL Software DevOps about value stream management and how their product, HCL Accelerate, brings visibility into the entire gamut of the SDLC, from the request coming in from a customer to deploying code to the production servers. At the foundation of this process is a good map of the company’s value stream. Think of it as bringing all your teams together to map out the entire workflow of your development cycle on a whiteboard, from receiving feature requests and bug reports, assigning out tickets, merging code, requesting code reviews, passing build tests, QA processes, and finally deploying to production. The value stream map brings that whiteboard to life. Once the process is mapped out and the data flows revealed, it is very easy to track where the work is at any given time and how fast it is flowing through the value stream. Every company has little idiosyncrasies that make their process unique: their specific slowdowns, time sinks, and manual approvals that grind development to a halt. Value stream management spots those and helps you eliminate them. In a value stream, you’re no longer watching individual devs; your best metrics cover the “two-pizza team,” a team small enough to be fed by two pizzas. This team’s interactions—working through epic tickets, code reviews, internal support, etc.—provides the best metrics to identify ways to increase the value that a team provides. With many technology companies working fully remotely during the pandemic, understanding each team’s process is critical. HCL offers a way to accomplish this without bringing lengthy standups back in the picture.Start benefiting from value stream management today with the forever-free Community Edition of HCL Accelerate. Try HCL Accelerate now.
33 minutes | Sep 28, 2021
Become a better coder...with this one weird click
Go get your copy of They Key here.Our frequent collaborator, Cassidy Williams of Netlify, helped design the key and joined this episode to share her love for all things mechanical keyboard.
25 minutes | Sep 24, 2021
The paranoid style in application development
We talked about obscuring DNS traffic based on this article.Cassidy and Ben are pretty excited about all the new Apple stuff announced recently. Ryan, the curmudgeon, does not. There are several theories as to where the word dongle came from. The Conductor framework makes building web apps simpler in a low-code/no-code style. Did the pandemic worsen everyone else's guilt and self-loathing over decreased productivity or was it just us?Our only point of contact during the height of the pandemic was the Internet connection. Has the loosening of quarantine made us less likely to live online?
33 minutes | Sep 21, 2021
You don't need a math PhD to play Dwarf Fortress, just to code it
Tarn and his brother Zach are the brains behind Dwarf Fortress and the community that rose around it.Dr. Tarn Adams received a math PhD, but left his post-doc because he was too busy making games. A bug created the statue Planepacked, a massive structure that contained the entire history of the world as well as 73 copies of the statue itself.Many people, including one of our hosts, found out about Dwarf Fortress through a Let's Play session in a fortress called Boatmurdered. If you want a more human readable version of Dwarf Fortress, you can wishlist it on Steam or use one of the Lazy Newb packs.
24 minutes | Sep 17, 2021
Writing the roadmap from engineer to manager
19 minutes | Sep 15, 2021
This AI-assisted bug bash is offering serious prizes for squashing nasty code
While every developer loves a good story about discovering and fixing a gnarly bug, not everyone enjoys the work of finding those bugs. Most folks would prefer to be writing business logic and solving new problems. But those input validation errors and resource leaks won’t solve themselves. Or will they?AWS Bug Bust is a global competition launched with the goal of finding and fixing one million bugs in codebases around the world. It takes the traditional bug bash and turns it into a competition that anyone can enter. Got a repo or two that you’ve been meaning to clean up? Enter the Bug Bust and start squashing. This competition awards points to organizations, as well as individuals within an organization, for every bug that they fix in their own repos. A little friendly competition can motivate developers to fix more bugs in order to move up the leaderboards. How do you think we built Stack Overflow? Fake internet points are very important around here. With the Bug Bust competition, it’s not just fake internet points and personal glory; top bug squashers—overall and within top organizations—can win all expense paid trips to re:Invent 2021. In a traditional bug bust, someone has to find the bugs, file tickets on all of them, then collect them for squashing. In the Bug Bust, Amazon has managed to automate that part of the process. That’s because the Bug Bust is built on their AI-powered code review and profiling tool, CodeGuru. CodeGuru uses static analysis and machine learning with some additional automated reasoning to find bugs in code; everything from best practices to concurrency issues, resource leaks, security problems, and more. AI isn’t here to take your jobs, it’s here to automated away the tedious stuff. Developers get to harness the power of artificial intelligence in their everyday lives.Concurrency and resource leak issues tend to drain the soul out of the developers. You could spend all day trying to optimize and close those. CodeGuru includes a function profiler that looks for a codebase’s most expensive calls. It’s a lightweight agent actively running and looking for ways to reduce the cost of the running application. These bugs, along with security issues and AWS API calls, are the ones that earn the most points. But all bugs earn their bashers points; CodeGuru spots code inefficiencies, duplications, and general code quality detectors, and performs input validation. The model behind this is pretrained on years of Amazon bug hunting experience. The system does learn from you as to what is a good bug in your codebase, but it’s not training on your code. It’s your feedback that makes CodeGuru a better bug hunter.If you have Java and Python code in a GitHub, GitHub Enterprise, Bitbucket, or AWS CodeCommit repository, you can jump into the competition. Sign up with your email and you get 30 days to run as many Bug Busts as you want for free. The top ten individual bug busters get VIP treatment at the 2021 re:Invent conference (and an all-expense-paid trip there), which is being held in person this year. Top participating organizations get a ticket to give to one of their developers as well. For those bashers outside of the top ten, you can still earn some sweet swag by passing some point milestones. The contest to win the trip to re:Invent 2021 runs through September, but you can still automate your bug bashes and get swag anytime. Want to get started? Head over to the AWS Bug Bust site now.
28 minutes | Sep 14, 2021
Managing Kubernetes entirely in Git? Meet GitOps
Weaveworks helps DevOps folks manage their Kubernetes settings entirely Paul's first computer was a Sinclair ZX-80, which had a clock speed of 3.25 MHz, 1 KB of static RAM ,and 4 KB of read-only memory. Pretty good for 1980. Weaveworks based their project on Flux, an open source engine. If you're not a big corporation and you want to use it, it's free!Before there was Kubernetes, Google created Borg, an internal cluster manager. It has yet to be assimilated by Kubernetes. Ben thinks that, if it gets too easy to manage Kubernetes clusters, we'll be out of a job talking about the pain of cluster manages. Today's lifeboat badge goes to Daniel Ribeiro for the answer to How can I run Go binary files?
29 minutes | Sep 10, 2021
How valuable is your screen name?
You can send ideas for blog posts to Ryan Donovan at our pitch box.You can find Cassidy on Twitter here and read the newsletter she helps us curate here.You can find Ceora on Twitter here and check out more about Apollo GraphQL here.Cassidy's piece on GraphQL, the first item she ever wrote for Stack Overflow, is here. Want to learn more about AVIF and how it compresses images so well? Check out good read from Netflix's tech blog here.Instead of a lifeboat badge we're highlighting an amazing question: Can celestial objects be used in cryptography?
23 minutes | Sep 8, 2021
Authorization is complex. Oso is a library designed to help you structure it.
You can learn more about Sam on his LinkedIn here. You can find him on Twitter here.Learn more about Oso, check out the code, and join their Slack community here.Our lifeboat badge winner of the week is Evgeny Lisin, who answered the question: How to find UIWebView in Project and replace it with WKWebView?
22 minutes | Sep 3, 2021
Why yes, I do have a patent on a time machine
You can find Angie's blog here, catch her on Twitter here, and connect with her on LinkedIn here.You can check out Applitools and learn about the visual AI system it uses for testing here.Our lifeboat badge of the week goes to Alex Klyubin for explaining: What is the difference between Jar signer and Apk signer?
27 minutes | Aug 31, 2021
Exploring the magic of instant python refactoring with Sourcery
Nick is now Sourcery's CTO. You can find him on Twitter here.Brendan serves as Sourcery's CEO. You can find him on Twitter here.You can try out Sourcery for free here and check out the company's open positions here.Our lifeboat badge of the week, fittingly, goes to Martin Evans, for explaining how to parse an integer from a string in Python.
19 minutes | Aug 27, 2021
Changing of the guards: one co-host departs, and a new one enters
Paul is stepping away down as CEO of Postlight to focus more on understanding climate change and how we can address it. The science hurts his brain. Cassidy Williams, currently at Netlify, has published articles on our blog and provides links in our newsletter.We dig into some of the results of the dev survey, including how kids today are learning to code on the internet. There's so much to learn from now!Did everyone step back from working full time? Our survey data shows a decrease in full time employed respondents. Was there an existential moment for everyone during the pandemic where they thought that there must be something else?Our surveyed devs love Svelte but get paid the most for Ruby on Rails. This week's Lifeboat badge goes to Suren Raj for his answer to Java convert bytes to File.
19 minutes | Aug 24, 2021
Passwords are dead! Long live the new authentication flows.
Every password can be compromised. Stych helps companies build authentication flows that don't need user passwords. Julianna grew up in Idaho, where she didn't even know what computer science was. After stints as a software engineer and product manager, she found a role where could figure out what the organization should be building: CTO and founder. Their first product was email magic links, which is more complicated than you think. Most importantly, how do you always avoid the spam folder? Copy changes in an email can make all the difference. Developer tooling is undergoing a renaissance now that smaller companies are getting into the game with API offerings. The big thing that differentiates good tools from bad is easy to understand documentation. The right metaphor for API services isn't SaaS, it's eCommerce. Plug it in into your app without giving up design and user experience.
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