Archive for Software Development

What do Uber, Volkswagen and Zenefits have in common? They all used hidden code to break the law.

Coding is a superpower. With it, you can bend reality to your will. You can make the world a better place. Or you can destroy it.

You may be able to fool the regulators, the police, the judges. You may be able to fool the general public. And you may be able to go on doing this indefinitely without being caught.

But that doesn’t make it right.

Developers have great power. And they must use this power responsibly.

If you’re a developer, or working toward becoming one, I strongly recommend you read Bill Sourour’s article “The code I’m still ashamed of.”

And if someone asks you to build something that is clearly illegal?—?or downright evil?—?go to the press. The developers in all three of these cases could have done this and saved the world a lot of heart ache.


When computers learn to swear: Using machine learning for better online conversations

Today, Google and Jigsaw are launching Perspective, an early-stage technology that uses machine learning to help identify toxic comments. Through an API, publishers—including members of the Digital News Initiative—and platforms can access this technology and use it for their sites.

Source: When computers learn to swear: Using machine learning for better online conversations

JavaScript in 2017 – Libraries and Frameworks

However, Angular was designed from the beginning to support Web Components. They even ship their own Shadow DOM emulation. In other words, when Web Components are ready, only Angular is specifically designed to use them. This is another reason that we are building many of our own components on Angular’s infrastructure, so that when Web Components are ready, our own leap won’t be nearly as far.

Source: JavaScript in 2017 – Libraries and Frameworks -Telerik Developer Network

Housing Go – Behind the Screens

A product with no users is no product. User Experience is something that defines state-of-the-art applications.

We focused on parameters such as page load time, time to first paint, visual feedback on every action etc. maintaining necessary page transitions and designs aesthetics

Source: Housing Go – Behind the Screens – Engineering @ Housing – Medium

Making More Outside The App Store

In each of the four most recent quarters, Piezo brought in more revenue than it had in the corresponding quarter a year earlier. We earned more revenue when Piezo was available exclusively through our store than when we provided the App Store as another purchasing option.

This result might seem counterintuitive. Piezo’s price remained the same, and unit sales went down, so how could we have earned more revenue? The key to understanding this is remembering the cost of being in Apple’s App Stores — 30% off the top of every sale. Despite making slightly fewer sales, we earned more money by avoiding paying that oversized commission to Apple. Direct sales cost us just a few percent, so each direct sale of Piezo earns almost $5 more than a sale through the Mac App Store. As you can see, that really adds up.

Source: Rogue Amoeba – Under the Microscope » Blog Archive » Making More Outside The App Store

Restoring Sanity to the Office

I think there’s actually an epidemic of over-collaboration and over-communication. Collaboration is something managers seem to look at and think is particularly good. Because they see activity. They see people working. They see people moving. They hear buzz. Stuff’s happening.

But real creative work, especially, is usually done quietly, solitary sort of work, where people are in a flow or in a focus mode where they’re able to just focus on the stuff and not be distracted and interrupted. It’s very hard to do really good work when you’re constantly being interrupted every 15 minutes, every 5 minutes, every 20 minutes, every 30 minutes.

Source: Restoring Sanity to the Office

There is no “my” in open source

We don’t have the right language to express when “my” indicates possession versus association. When we say: “that’s my bike” or “those are my shoes”, we mean that we own them. We have the final say in decisions about our bike. But when we say “that’s my father” or “my sister”, what we mean is we are associated with them. We obviously don’t possess them.

In open source, you can only have “my” in the associative sense. There is no possessive “my” in open source.”

Source: There is no “my” in open source – Medium

Eyes-on with Hulu’s new live TV service

Similarly, when Apple mixed together on-demand music streaming with downloads in Apple Music, it stepped into a minefield. It eventually rolled back the UI to better separate the two things the app does. Will the same thing happen to Hulu? There’s a good chance — especially since there’s no traditional channel guide for live TV — but that’s not its biggest worry.

The thing Hulu should be worried about is brand identity. In trying to reinvent itself as a live TV service, it risks diluting its biggest differentiator — robust on-demand content. Yes, its competition does a lot of on-demand, too, but Hulu basically invented it. There are several TV series on the service, a feature that serves as a key part of its overall appeal.

Source: Eyes-on with Hulu’s new live TV service

Don’t Copy the Spotify Model

One of the basic assumptions of Spotify is autonomy. Squads are based on this assumption. They are small, empowered cross functional teams who have full life cycle ownership. Squads make it possible for Spotify to move at much greater speed. They do not rely on other parts of Spotify to achieve their goals and deliver value.

Autonomy is futile without alignment, said Floryan. To achieve autonomy is very hard- there are lots of challenges. For example, trust is important in making autonomy work.

You have to have a purpose in your autonomy to make people do the right thing. People at Spotify found out that the way of thinking and how things are done aligns with the ideas from Daniel Pink on autonomy, mastery and purpose, so they decide to try out other things from Pink’s book Drive. Floryan stated that this again shows that you should not start with a model or a book and try to implement that, but instead look at what you want to reach and use whatever helps you to get there.

Source: Don’t Copy the Spotify Model

How the 404 Error Created the World Wide Web

In a way, the 404 did for hypertext what the zero did for math: It was obvious, but formalizing it and creating a notation revolutionized the rest of the system.

For all its greatness, this new approach also came with some problems, chiefly link rot. Over time, pages move, websites replace their content, and entire sites go offline, stranding the links that point to them. Studies have found that at least 50 percent of published links go stale within five to ten years. At least websites have made some creative attempts to entertain us with custom 404 error pages.

Source: How the 404 Error Created the World Wide Web