Issue #321

31 May 2022


Issue #321
Pointer.io
Friday 27th May's issue is presented by Retool

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"Change"
- Chris Kiehl
#CareerAdvice

tl;dr: '"What if it changes?" isn't just a question. It's a powerful heuristic for software design that can be used to justify almost anything. Everyone should use it more. It's great precisely because it's rooted in pure speculation.' Chris provides a guide for how to navigate this thinking. 

Leading Your Engineering Team Through An Unexpected Product Pivot
- Najla Elmachtoub
#Leadership #Management

tl;dr: "I want to share how my team at Etsy recovered from failing really slowly. We launched a high-profile product that didn’t meet customer needs after doing a nine-month waterfall buildout, and senior leadership decided that we needed to rethink our approach from the ground up. We didn’t know exactly what the end result would be, but we agreed to pivot the product over a three-month timeline."
State Of Engineering Time 2022
#Leadership #Management #Productivity

tl;dr: The Stack Overflow memes are true: 60% of senior engineers commit 10-100 lines/week of copied and pasted code. And there is more: read the report to learn how 600 engineers (ICs and managers) spend time, from wrangling machines to wrangling people.

Promoted by Retool
On The Edge Of Burnout
- Radosław Miernik
#MentalHealth

tl;dr: "There’s no point in going into details about what exactly led to it, but I have to assure you that it wasn’t anyone’s fault. It was more about the direction that my role drifted in. In other words, I was no longer doing the work that I wanted to, and that made me unhappy. It was not fun."


"Deprecate yourself. Don’t be the go-to person for the code. Optimize it for people to find their way fixing bugs and adding features to the code. Free yourself to move on to the next project/company. Don’t own the code or you’ll never grow beyond that."

– Alex Ewerlöf

 
#Devops
 
tl;dr: "To achieve this rapid release cadence, we’ve optimised our engineering culture, tooling, and architecture to make the path from idea to production as frictionless as possible, all without sacrificing safety. We believe our approach gets us the best of both worlds: less friction encourages smaller changes, and smaller changes are less risky."
Speeding Up Sort Performance In Postgres 15
- David Rowley
#PostgreSQL
 
tl;dr: David explores each of the 4 improvements in PostgreSQL 15 that make sort performance go faster: (1) Improvements sorting a single column. (2) Reduce memory consumption by using generation memory context. (3) Add specialized sort routines for common datatypes. (4) Replace polyphase merge algorithm with k-way merge.
Evolution Of ML Fact Store
- Vivek Kaushal
#ML #Netflix

tl;dr: "This post will focus on the large volume of high-quality data stored in Axion — our fact store that is leveraged to compute ML features offline. We built Axion primarily to remove any training-serving skew and make offline experimentation faster. We will share how its design has evolved over the years and the lessons learned while building it."

Bob Cassette Rewinder: Hacking Detergent DRM for 98% Cost Saving
#Hardware

tl;dr: "Bob is a sleek and compact countertop dishwasher requiring no plumbing and minimal space." One of the features is the Bob Cassette, "an all-in-one detergent cartridge... no need to manually measure and add detergent to each wash." It's very convenient and outrageously priced. The author explains how they engineered these cassettes to preserve convenience at a fraction of the cost.
 
Notable GitHub Repos
Neon
Serverless OS alternative to AWS Aurora Postgres.

 
RisingWave
The next-generation streaming database in the cloud.

 
Lens
The way the world runs Kubernetes.

 
Face Recognition
The world's simplest facial recognition api for Python.

 

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