Monthly notes 27

For cold winter evenings here’s something to read. Monthly notes for February are about relearning and thinking.

Issue 27: 23.2.2018


Computer Science and why it’s necessary even for web developers
“Computer Science and why it’s necessary even for web developers I know that in some countries a degree in CS is expensive or unattainable, and that some companies do unnecessary algorithm interviews. This thread is not about degrees or interviews, it’s about CS itself.”

Free Intro to Web Development slides (with demos)
Slides of the Web Dev Intro labs for the “6.813 User Interface Design and Implementation” at MIT
(from Twitter)

The Four Rules of Simple Design (in order of importance)

  • Passes the tests
  • Reveals intention
  • No duplication
  • Fewest elements

And, yes, “fewest elements” is last, which means you only minimize classes and methods if everything else satisfied


When openssh port forwarding doesn’t cut it, use sshuttle: “Transparent proxy meets VPN meets ssh.”


The Death of Microservice Madness in 2018
There are many cases where great efforts have been made to adopt microservice patterns without necessarily understanding how the costs and benefits will apply to the specifics of the problem at hand. The post describes in detail what microservices are, why the pattern is so appealing, and also some of the key challenges that they present.

Should that be a Microservice? Keep These Six Factors in Mind
These days, you can’t swing a dry erase marker without hitting someone talking about microservices but few have spent any appreciable time asking if a given application should be a microservice. tl;dr; “1. Multiple Rates of Change; 2. Independent Life Cycles; 3. Independent Scalability; 4. Isolated Failure; 5. Simplify Interactions with External Dependencies; 6. The Freedom to Choose the Right Tech for the Job”.


A Guide to Web Performance Optimization with Webpack
This guide walks through how to effectively optimize site resources using webpack. This can help users load and interact with your sites more quickly. (from JavaScript Weekly 373)


face-verify.js: Monitoring who is physically looking at a website for additional security
Demo project showing how Machine Box tech can be integrated into JavaScript applications. Facebox takes an image and tells you how many faces it sees, as well as who those faces belong to provided you have shown it a single example previously. You can use this capability to build additional security into web apps so you can see how many people are watching the screen and who they are. Using the webcam with some JavaScript and Facebox, you can periodically check to ensure only authorised people can see the information that users consider sensitive.

Mac Privacy: Sandboxed Mac apps can record your screen at any time without you knowing
TL;DR Any Mac app can take screenshots of your Mac silently, and use basic OCR software to read all text on the screen. (from Weekend Reading)

To think about

Nick Stenning on Twitter
“Flat organisational structures do not exist. There are only organisations with visible structure and organisations with invisible structure”. (from Weekend Reading)

Developers On Call
Quite self-explanatory ideas for how to manage on-call rotations without burn out but maybe it’s not always that way. The linked Twitter thread is worth reading. (from Weekend Reading)

Something different

2017: The Year in Charts
These are the charts and themes that tell the story of 2017. I. The Year Volatility Died; II. Records Are Made to Be Broken; III. The World is Flattening; IV. Still Easy After All These Years; V. A Good Old-Fashioned Mania; VI. King Dollar Dethroned; VII. Wrapping Up: 1991-99 Redux?

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