Readings for Lunch — [ 22 Jan 2019 ]

IMAGE OF THE DAY
Chat systems (source)

TECH

Tech choices I regret at Spectrum

Spectrum is an open source chat app for large online communities and was recently acquired by GitHub.
We are a team of three with a predominantly frontend and design background and have worked on it for close to two years.

With the benefit of hindsight, here are the technology choices I regret and the lessons I have learned.

SERVERLESS

Serverless SSR: a case study

One of the most fascinating use-cases for serverless functions is server-side rendering (SSR).
In other words, when visitors or search engines go to your web app, they can receive everything they need in just one network hop.
In most front-end circles, a User Interface is described as a function of the state of an application: UI = F(S) is a relatively common equation among UI engineers.
With SSR, UI essentially becomes a cloud function of the app's data.

Readings for Lunch — [ 21 Dec 2018 ]

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Explains everything… (source)

MANUAL

Thoughts on (and pics of) the original Macintosh User Manual

"I recently purchased an original Macintosh User Manual (thanks eBay!).
I had seen one at a garage sale, and was struck by how it had to explain a total paradigm shift in interacting with computers. I figured I could learn something about helping make innovation happen.

CODING

My coding journey

A discussion with 9 y/o Revel and his coding journey through many languages, plus a little on React Hooks.

Readings for Lunch — [ 19 Dec 2018 ]

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Visual markers for web performance timings in Chrome 72 DevTools (source)

JAVASCRIPT

JavaScript Getter-Setter pyramid

"The cornerstone of JavaScript is the function. It is a flexible abstraction that works as the basis for other abstractions, such as Promises, Iterables, Observables, and others.
I have been teaching these concepts in conferences and workshops, and over time I have found an elegant summary of these abstractions, layed out in a pyramid. In this blog post I’ll provide a tour through these layers in the pyramid."

QUOTES

The best quotes I read in 2018

In this article Peter Gasston presents the quotes he read this year that he felt were worth saving and sharing. The quotes aren’t necessarily from this year (some of them date back to the 19th Century) but they were new to him.
Most of them, in some way, are linked to technology, which is both pleasure and work to him.

Readings for Lunch — [ 17 Dec 2018 ]

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Lumiere London 2018 (source)

INNOVATION

Dr. Elon & Mr. Musk: life inside Tesla's production hell

Previous year, Musk had made an audacious announcement: His company, would soon begin manufacturing a new sedan that it planned to sell for just $35,000, putting it within reach of the middle class.

PERFORMANCE

Yak shaving and fixing​

"I know everyone always says that yak shaving is bad, but I’m not so sure. If I’m trying to use some tool we’ve built and then I notice that it’s buggy in an annoying way, I often sit down to fix it.
Or if the build system for whatever I’m working on is borked, is it a good idea to try to fix it for the next person or just work around it and leave it broken?"

Readings for Lunch — [ 26 Nov 2018 ]

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A monk in Amsterdam (source)

TYPOGRAPHY

Why are tech companies making custom typefaces?

For most of the last century, corporations have licensed their corporate typefaces from type foundries. But there has been a growing trend among technology companies. It all started with the larger companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Nokia, but in the last decade has spread to smaller companies as well.

HISTORY

The Great War

via Nikhil Verma
Each week, this YouTube channel covers the events that happened exactly 100 years ago: the story of World War I in realtime. Super informative and interesting.

Readings for Lunch — [ 22 Nov 2018 ]

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In the forest (source)

SOFTWARE

On compositionality

Great (academic) post about composition/compositionality and how this relates to the software industry (and the game theory, and biology).

TOOLS

Squoosh – Online Image Compressor

This open-source web app, developed by Google Chrome Labs, lets you optimize images and reduce their size dramatically. You can also edit the advanced options of various image compressors and compare the results.

Readings for Lunch — [ 21 Nov 2018 ]

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How to make an heart with Illustrator (source)

JAVASCRIPT

How to get the most out of the JavaScript console

Do you think the only way to use the console to debug is with console.log()? Think again: here a list of useful tips on how to use its full capabilities.

TALKS

How I Won the Lottery

Most people are lucky if they finish a couple side projects in a year. A few years ago, Darius Kazemi released 72, averaging one every five days. In this hilarious talk, he explains how that happened.

Readings for Lunch — [ 20 Nov 2018 ]

IMAGE OF THE DAY
Want to witness the true horror of working on decades old, non-modular codebases? Read this comment from someone who worked on Oracle DB (source)

CAREERS

Connecting the Dots —a Story of Learning to Code and Giving Back

Fatimat Gbajabiamila, who was born in Nigeria and came to the UK as a child, completed the peer-led training programme in full-stack JavaScript when she was just 22. In this interview she talks about challenging stereotypes, her love for pair programming, and why she’s committed to giving back.

PSYCHOLOGY

Laziness Does Not Exist

It’s really helpful to respond to a person’s ineffective behavior with curiosity rather than judgment. There are always barriers. Recognizing those barriers— and viewing them as legitimate — is often the first step to breaking “lazy” behavior patterns.

Readings for Lunch — [ 19 Nov 2018 ]

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“Mercator projection vs. the true size of countries” (source)

HISTORY

The Wartime Spies Who Used Knitting as an Espionage Tool

“When the German authorities carefully unraveled such a sweater, the story went, they found the wool thread dotted with many knots. By marking a vertical door frame with the letters of the alphabet, spaced an inch apart, the knots could be deciphered as words by measuring the yarn along this alphabet and marking which letters the knots touched.”

This is for you, Konstantin 😉

GAMING

Alphaputt – We didn’t want to compromise, so we decided to go it alone

As London-based design studio Sennep releases its new mini-golf-meets-typography game Alphaputt, we asked the creators to share eight key moments which defined the project.

Readings for Lunch — [ 13 Nov 2018 ]

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It doesn’t have to be crazy at work. (source)

HTTP

HTTP/3

The protocol that's been called HTTP-over-QUIC for quite some time has now changed name and will officially become HTTP/3.

The QUIC Working Group in the IETF works on creating the QUIC transport protocol. QUIC is a TCP replacement done over UDP. Originally, QUIC was started as an effort by Google and then more of a "HTTP/2-encrypted-over-UDP" protocol.

ENVIRONMENT

Can these 35-ton bricks solve renewable energy’s biggest problem?

These giant towers use a very low-tech solution to store energy created when the sun shines or the wind blows so it can be used later.

Readings for Lunch — [ 12 Nov 2018 ]

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@NASA just released this phenomenal image of Jovian clouds (source)

JAVASCRIPT

Taming this in JavaScript with Bind operator

Dealing with this in JavaScript can be tricky.
But what if instead of fight against it we could leverage on it to achieve nice stuff like function composition with virtual methods?
This is what we are going to explore in this article about one of the potential upcoming JavaScript features: The Bind Operator.

DATA

I asked an online tracking company for all of my data and here's what I found

It’s 3:10 P.M. on April 18, 2018, I’m in the Privacy International office, reading a news story on the use of facial recognition in Thailand. On April 20, at 21:10, I clicked on a CNN Money Exclusive on my phone. At 11:45 AM on May 11, 2018, I read a story on USA Today about Facebook knowing when teen users are feeling insecure.

How do I know all of this? Because I asked an advertising company called Quantcast for all of the data they have about me.

Readings for Lunch — [ 08 Nov 2018 ]

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“Carry yourself with the confidence of a girl holding a massive owl.” (source)

THINK

Aging out

I’ve been the oldest person, or one of the oldest, at most places I’ve worked the past few years. And recently a friend talked about aging out, specifically in regards to being a woman in tech, making plans for what to do next since she knows so few older women in tech. It got me thinking a lot.

FRONT-END

How to Think Like a Front-End Developer

In this podcast, Ben Frain shares his thoughts on the state of being a front-end developer in 2018. There is always something to learn from Ben, so don't miss this interview.

Readings for Lunch — [ 07 Nov 2018 ]

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So little time to read (source)

INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE

Introducing the Monzo naming system

A very interesting and detailed schema of what are the rules for "naming things" at Monzo. Definitely a lot of good suggestions and ideas.

PRODUCT DESIGN

This User-Friendly Menstrual Cup Is What Happens When Design Is Inclusive

When her old cup kept failing her, Jane Adame, whose connective-tissue condition makes her joints unstable, had to imagine there was a better way.

Readings for Lunch — [ 06 Nov 2018 ]

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Re:Birth – Pre-internet technology by Tom le French (source)

DEVOPS

Open sourcing BuzzFeed’s single sign-on experience

When BuzzFeed’s microservice ecosystem began to outgrow their existing auth patterns, they faced a common conundrum: Build or buy a solution? They chose the former—and to share it with the world.

INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE

The future of Information Architecture

A speculative look at where Information Architecture might be going, given machine learning and voice interfaces.

Readings for Lunch — [ 05 Nov 2018 ]

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One of the famous Yayoi Kusama's flowers. (source)

THINK

Room 250

Before we begin, let me tell you a couple of things. First, a few years ago I started an agency called Ueno. Second, I’m in a wheelchair. That’s it, those are the two things you need to know before you read on.

TOOLS

Glorious Demo

The easiest way of creating animations to show your code in action.

Readings for Lunch — [ 01 Nov 2018 ]

IMAGE OF THE DAY
the first shot of the global #googleWalkout (source)

REACT

Making Sense of React Hooks

A look at React Hooks in detail straight from Dan Abramov. What problems do they solve and what should we expect moving forward?

INDUSTRY

My (somewhat) complete salary history as a software engineer

It’s 2018 and somehow women are still getting paid less than men, even in supposedly progressive industries like software. That’s something that shouldn’t be happening in today’s world and it’s up to us (read: men) to step up and make things right. This is my attempt to do just that.

Readings for Lunch — [ 30 Oct 2018 ]

IMAGE OF THE DAY
Berlin installation: "politicians discussing global warming" by Isaac Cordal (source)

OSS

How Content Strategy Can Help OSS Maintainers Improve Their Docs

To improve a user's experience with our docs, we must move away from starting the writing process at the end (right before launch), to having it happen in parallel to the actual software development process.

DESIGN

Crab fighting rings: lessons from a scientist turned designer

It’s 1 AM. You’re stuck thigh deep in salt marsh mud. The tide’s coming in. Your coworker comes to your rescue with a plastic pipe and slowly drags you out. You’re safe but you’re also head-to-toe, face included, covered in mud.

Readings for Lunch — [ 29 Oct 2018 ]

IMAGE OF THE DAY
Simon Lehner's How Far is a Lightyear series will on display at Paris Photo 2018 (source)

CYBERSECURITY

Why the NSA Called Me After Midnight and Requested My Source Code

“The story behind my top secret coffee cup” by Peter Avritch

RUST

Parsing logs 230x faster with Rust

Perhaps surprisingly, one of the most challenging things about operating RubyGems.org is the logs. Unlike most Rails applications, RubyGems sees between 4,000 and 25,000 requests per second, all day long, every single day. As you can probably imagine, this creates… a lot of logs.

Readings for Lunch — [ 23 Oct 2018 ]

IMAGE OF THE DAY
Mole Day (source)

WEB

Migrating from Jekyll+Github Pages to Hugo+Netlify

"During the last 18 months, working on my Web site became a daunting task—be that for developing, redesigning it, writing a blog post, or making updates to my speaking and workshop pages. My then static site generator, Jekyll, is why. And a change has long been overdue…"

DEVOPS

Introducing GitHub Actions

With the introduction of their own "Actions", GitHub introduces a whole new way of thinking about how to deal with infrastructure, events, and even hosting.

Readings for Lunch — [ 22 Oct 2018 ]

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Priorities (source)

CATEGORY

Ready, Steady, Crash! at FT

I was tasked with testing the technical limits of our node application. Specifically, we needed to know the limits of the application, whether it would crash under strain, and if so would the user experience crash gracefully or cause absolute meltdown. The answer, I heard, could be found using load testing.

SCIENCE

Interstellar Comet ’Oumuamua Might Not Actually Be a Comet

The mystery of ’Oumuamua, the first interstellar object ever observed, continues to deepen. A new analysis argues that if it were a comet, it would have broken apart as it passed near the sun.

Readings for Lunch — [ 17 Oct 2018 ]

IMAGE OF THE DAY
A handy map of every city in Europe (source)

JAVASCRIPT

Why is 'ß'.toUpperCase()' equal to 'SS'?

Did you know `toUpperCase` is not guaranteed to preserve `length`? Reddit discusses.

CSS

Creating horizontal scrolling containers the right way

Ever since Netflix became a household name we’ve been scrolling sideways in mobile layouts. Instead of stacking everything on top of each other, horizontal scrolling containers (or lists) have become a common layout practice, as it helps reduce the vertical space of devices with smaller screens.