How to Build Good Software
Software has characteristics that make it hard to build with traditional management techniques; effective development requires a different, more exploratory and iterative approach.
Great read on software engineering. Author is the Singaporean prime minister's son and this is born out of years of experience in both the private and public sector.
So many great quotes. I'll pick a few:
"The root cause of bad software has less to do with specific engineering choices, and more to do with how development projects are managed."
"There is no such thing as platonically good engineering: it depends on your needs and the practical problems you encounter."
"Beware of bureaucratic goals masquerading as problem statements. If our end goal is to make citizens’ lives better, we need to explicitly acknowledge the things that are making their lives worse."
"Building software is not about avoiding failure; it is about strategically failing as fast as possible to get the information you need to build something good."Posted on 2019-08-19T04:34:55+0000
Insurance Companies Are Paying Cops To Investigate Their Own Customers
A cozy alliance between insurers and law enforcement has turned the justice system into the industry’s hired gun and left innocent customers facing prison.
This was a harrowing read into abuses of law enforcement and the criminal justice system, carried out by insurance companies.
Kudos to Buzzfeed for doing some high quality, hard-hitting investigative journalism.
"BuzzFeed News examined 27 cases around the country in which people were falsely charged with felonies based in whole or in part on evidence insurers provided to law enforcement. In Indiana, State Farm helped detectives craft an arrest warrant for a contractor who was charged with 14 felonies. All charges were ultimately dropped when the evidence turned out to be deeply misleading — but not before the insurance giant’s allegations had destroyed his business. In Georgia, a local prosecutor relied on lab tests provided by an insurer to charge a woman with arson, resulting in a three-year ordeal in which she ended up homeless, only to drop the charges when the test results proved unreliable. And in Wisconsin, a man spent nearly three years in prison based on now-discredited science used by an insurance investigator until his conviction was overturned."Posted on 2019-08-16T18:30:04+0000
Zoncolan: Using static analysis to prevent security issues - Facebook Engineering
Zoncolan helps security engineers scale their work by using static analysis to examine code and detect security or privacy issues.
I am unreasonably excited that I can finally share a bit more about Zoncolan which is one of our coolest technical innovations to date.
Watching on the sidelines/being partially involved with the development here has made me re-evaluate how I approach software development. Technical excellence combined with laser-focused attention to detail on user requirements does wonders.
"Zoncolan evaluates thousands of code changes per day. We have built extensive infrastructure for running Zoncolan, tracking the results, and providing access to those results. In 2018, Zoncolan helped find and triage more than 1,100 security issues with severity “significant” or higher, indicating they required immediate action. The distribution of those findings is as follows."Posted on 2019-08-16T00:19:53+0000
Great Mentors Focus on the Whole Person, Not Just Their Career
There’s a lot more to us than our jobs.
This was a great read on mentorship and how one can become a better mentor.
"For example, a seasoned lawyer advising a new associate fresh out of law school how to climb the ladder to partner, might tell him or her to work 70-80 hour weeks on a consistent basis. But the senior person hasn’t asked about relationships, kids, health, etc., which could, for the junior, be more important than career and financial success. An added benefit of spending most of your time asking questions is that it prevents you from talking too much and providing too many solutions."Posted on 2019-08-14T16:18:02+0000
'We all suffer': why San Francisco techies hate the city they transformed
Amid a homelessness crisis, sky-high rent and a surplus of rich people, insiders bemoan the effects of their own industry
Presented without comment.
"But what’s striking about the current winter of our discontent (yes, it’s July; consider this your obligatory Mark Twain reference) is that it’s not just the archetypal “evicted Mission District visual artist” complaining that techies ruined San Francisco: it’s the techies themselves, too."Posted on 2019-08-13T15:58:19+0000
The Lonely Work of Moderating Hacker News
Can a human touch make Silicon Valley’s biggest discussion forum a more thoughtful place?
Great read that goes into the history of hacker news,and also into how moderation and communities have gotten so much harder over time.
Also TIL HN has >5M MAP
“And yet the influx of outsiders doesn’t just change a community; it exposes its assumptions. The tech industry as a whole is having its own Eternal September. The world, with all its experiences and opinions, has come flooding in, and technologists are now reassessing the consequences of the systems and structures they have built or inherited. Some of these systems are social, and include the general modes of thought and expression that Hacker News embodies.”Posted on 2019-08-11T06:37:27+0000
MoviePass Worked Out Great
Also sidecars, bank supervision and blockchain pivots.
Matt Levine’s analyses are always so detailed and great. In this piece he looks at a bunch of fairly recent trends including the (in)famed MoviePass.
“Per Lowe's orders, MoviePass began limiting subscriber access ahead of the April release of the highly anticipated "Avengers: Infinity War," according to multiple former employees. They said Lowe ordered that the passwords of a small percentage of power users be changed, preventing them from logging onto the app and ordering tickets.”
This makes me realize that the one time I had to reset my password, it might not have been me messing it up...Posted on 2019-08-08T05:00:01+0000
How To Help Your Anxious Partner — And Yourself
Anxiety can be consuming, and it doesn't have an easy solution. But psychiatrists and therapists say there are ways to help your partner navigate their challenges while also taking care of yourself.
Bookmarking this in case I ever need to find this and send this to someone.
It taught me a bunch of empathy I wasn't aware of, and seems to be well worth a read for anyone. It equally well applies for people that aren't your partners, and just folks you may care about.Posted on 2019-08-07T03:56:36+0000