Monthly notes 39

Spring is just around the corner with sun warming our souls and calling us to go outside. Here’s monthly notes for March with topics from software development rewrite stories to code quality and OWASP videos.

Issue 39, 22.03.2019

Software development

Lessons from 6 software rewrite stories
Insightful rewrite stories of i.a. Netscape (Firefox), Basecamp, Visual Studio (VS Code) and FogBugz (Trello). “Functioning app should never, ever be rewritten from the ground up” is true. With a twist. Don’t rebuild the exact product. Don’t sunset. (from @walokra)

I ruin developers’ lives with my code reviews and I’m sorry
Story of how a developer understood that “I don’t do code review for the business, I just like showing the rookies their place. My skills have finally started to pay off.” And that the mentality should be “No big deal if the code’s not good, I can fix it myself it I need to. But I can’t fix the psyche of a guy broken by dozens of harsh reviews.”

Code quality

SE-Radio Episode 357: Adam Barr on Code Quality
Software Engineerin Radio talked with Adam Barr, author of “Why Smart Engineers Write Bad Code” about code quality. How developers learn to program on their own; how that influences their thinking about code quality; what code quality is, how is can (or cannot) be measured and whether some programming languages are more prone to bad code. The discussion continues with a discussion on standardization. Why does our profession lack a professional certificate like doctors and engineers have?

Syntax podcast talked about code quality tooling and tidying up code.
Hasty treat – Tidying up code
Hasty treat – Code quality tooling
Hasty treat – Code quality tooling part 2

Security

OWASP AppSec California 2019 presentation videos
46 videos of knowledge and experiences about secure systems and secure development methodologies.

The Anatomy of an AWS Key Leak to a Public Code Repository
Many of us working with any cloud provider know that you should never ever commit access keys to a public github repo. Some really bad things can happen if you do. The writeup shows you a real case that happened last week. tl;dr; Exposed keys are quickly attacked. The concept of least privilege is important. AWS scrapes the API of all public github commits but doesn’t automatically disable the key. To prevent keys leaking use tools like git-secrets or GitGuardian.

Password Managers: Under the Hood of Secrets Management
Password managers allow the storage and retrieval of sensitive information from an encrypted database. The paper proposes security guarantees password managers should offer and examines the underlying workings of five popular password managers targeting the Windows 10 platform: 1Password 7, 1Password 4, Dashlane, KeePass, and LastPass. They found that in all password managers we examined, trivial secrets extraction was possible from a locked password manager, including the master password in some cases.

Learning

30 seconds of interviews
Quick questions of web development.

AI and Machine Learning

AI Thinks Rachel Maddow Is A Man (and this is a problem for all of us)
A data-driven review of AI bias in production systems.

Something different

The Privateer is back for Season 2
Behind every top level athlete is a support team that helps them with everything from diet and exercise to product and equipment set up. When you’re a Privateer it’s up to you to fund your racing endeavours. Adam is back for another season of racing as The Privateer.


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