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Culture

Beliefs, behavioral patterns, thoughts, and institutions of the developer community.
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Sarah Perez TechCrunch

Is Twitter breaking Twitter?

Twitter is at it again making controversial changes restricting how the developer community can use their APIs to develop 3rd party Twitter clients. Sarah Perez reports on TechCrunch: Twitter is breaking users' favorite third-party Twitter clients like Tweetbot and Twitterific by shutting off APIs these apps relied on. Worse still, is that Twitter isn't taking full responsibility for its decisions. In a company email it shared today, Twitter cited "technical and business constraints" that it can no longer ignore as being the reason behind the APIs' shutdown. This change sparked the #BreakingMyTwitter hashtag

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Mike McQuaid mikemcquaid.com

"This is why people don’t contribute to your open source project"

Do you want more contributors and maintainers on your project? Mike McQuaid, maintainer of Homebrew (macOS package manager), writes on his personal blog: Here are a a few guidelines in thinking about this: Most contributors were users first (“scratching your own itch”: most people start contributing to an open source project to solve a problem they are experiencing) Most maintainers were a contributor and user first (people don’t just jump into maintaining a project without helping to build it first) Maintainers cannot do a good job without remaining a user (to maintain context, passion and empathy) Combined, these start to look a bit like a sales funnel. People have to travel through each stage and there’s a fairly hefty drop-off at each one. Also check out ~> Open source maintainers owe you nothing

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Bryan Helmig zapier.com

The CTO journey at a small startup

Bryan Helmig writes on the Zapier engineering blog: As startups grow, we need to make tweaks to the way we work. I’ve found this especially true in engineering. As a co-founder and CTO, my own role has changed a lot over the years. My everyday duties and challenges have shifted, and I’ve had to alter my approach multiple times to help the company reach a new level. The growth stage between just the three of us and where we are today was pretty tricky. Read on for the lessons I've learned as I grew as a first time CTO... Hear Bryan's story on Founders Talk this Thursday.

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Richard Littauer Medium

How to get rid of maintainer guilt

If you're a maintainer who's feeling the burden of your open source software, you have a few options to consider according to Richard Littauer — you can... Onboard more maintainers - spread the burden to more of the community Clearly set expectations - explain your software is provided on an “as is” basis Hire a maintenance company - wait, what?! Is that we've come to? Are we now hiring code maintenance companies to maintain our open source? I'm actually quite interested in the economies around this, so let this post serve as an open invite to Richard to join me on Founders Talk for a discussion on the state of open source maintenance and his lessons learned building Maintainer Mountaineer.

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Bloomberg Icon Bloomberg

A big crypto sell-off is happening for Bitcoin and Ether

Bloomberg is citing a sell-off of Bitcoin, Ether, and dozens of smaller digital tokens. The "crypto exodus" is happening due to a "sense of panic" hitting crypto investors. It's been a brutal August for Bitcoin and Ether, with Bitcoin touching below $6,000. “The big story in the market today is the huge weakness in Ethereum,” Timothy Tam, chief executive officer of CoinFi said in a phone interview — “Bitcoin has held up relatively well versus Ethereum. It’s still quite weak versus the U.S. dollar.” While cryptocurrencies rallied in July on hopes that a Bitcoin-backed exchange-traded fund would attract new investors, U.S. regulators have yet to sign off on multiple proposals for such a product. The letdown has coincided with growing concern that entrepreneurs who raised crypto-denominated funds via initial coin offerings (ICO) are now cashing out of holdings such as Ether, the token for the Ethereum blockchain that is a popular platform for crypto projects. What do you think? Are you selling, buying, or holding?

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The New Stack Icon The New Stack

The people pushing for a decentralized web

David Cassel has a great recap of the recent Decentralized Web Summit and what it was all about. It’s a follow-up to a similar event in 2016, though now “People are starting to show real working code and real projects. They’re building whole technology stacks that are more decentralized, in large part fueled by the excitement of the cryptocurrency systems. The altcoins and Bitcoins are proving that interesting and complicated systems are starting to work out there.” Click through for lots of quotes and takeaways. I think Changelog might have to get involved if they do this again next year...

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Stack Overflow stackoverflow.blog

Stack Overflow has a new Code of Conduct

Stack Overflow began be telling their community to "be nice," but over time that proved to not be enough to ensure a safe place for the developer community. Tim Post, Director Of Community Strategy, writes on the Stack Overflow blog: Our CoC is what we call a living document. It’s designed to change over time to ensure that it remains relevant by continuing to meet the needs of our communities. Every six months or so, we plan to find out how folks feel about how things are going by asking both new and experienced users about their recent experiences on the site. Hopefully this change leads to a less toxic experience.

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Lara Hogan larahogan.me

Lara Hogan's guide to writing a "Week in Review" doc

The important thing to remember about leading is you have to have clear lines of communication with those you lead. I love the ideas Lara shared in this guide to writing a "week in review" team update. This doc helped me set records straight, disseminate info to lots of people at once, and open up conversation internally, while reflecting on the themes that had come up in weekly one-on-ones, backchannels, team meetings, etc. What I chose to write about each time widely varied. Though the teams who reported to me were the primary audience for this doc, I kept it internally-public, meaning that anyone at the company could read and comment in it. I found that some other managers just weren’t talking about hard things that were happening...

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Tigran Hakobyan freeCodeCamp

Reflections on being a remote developer

Tigran Hakobyan, remote software engineer at Buffer, writes on the freeCodeCamp blog: Working remotely is very different from working in the office. I don’t think you fully grasp the difference until you actually start being remote. For someone like me who never worked in a remote environment, the beginning wasn’t smooth and it came with challenges. I can clearly remember my very first day at Buffer... Tigran also shares a pretty comprehensive breakdown of a typical workday.

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Dion Almaer Medium

On a mission to improve the web ecosystem for developers

Dion Almaer (Google) writes on the Ben and Dion Medium publication: A few teams within Google have joined forces inside Chrome to focus on improving the Web ecosystem, focused on those who build experiences, and create on the Web. We want to make high quality experiences easy to build as that will enable more meaningful engagement on the Web for users and developers alike. This is an awesome breakdown of all the components required to deliver meaningful engagements and a roadmap to the future of the web platform.

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Chris Coyier CSS-Tricks

View source?

I have to agree with this hard-line stance from Chris Coyier on the subject of view source: I literally don't care at all about View Source and wouldn't miss it if it was removed from browsers. I live in DevTools, and I'll bet you do too. I want my website to arrive at light speed on a tiny spec of magical network packet dust and blossom into a complete website. Or do whatever computer science deems is the absolute fastest way to send website data between computers. I'm much more worried about the state of web performance than I am about web education. But even if I was very worried about web education, I don't think it's the network's job to deliver teachability. What about you? Is view source more important than web performance? Is DevTools a worthy replacement for view source? Chris also cites comments on the subject from Tom Dale, Jonathan Snook, and Chris Heilmann.

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Azeria azeria-labs.com

The importance of deep work

This is an interesting 30-hour method for learning a new skill from Azeria Labs (aka Azeria). If you're a fan of flow and you'd like to learn how to apply it to learning a new skill, check this out. We also know and have experienced the feeling of flow. The moment when you’re fully focused on a task. You lose all sense of time, and everything seems to flow effortlessly; you forget everything around you and have a feeling of control over the task. This rewarding feeling of flow is best described by Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: “The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”

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Carolyn Van Slyck carolynvanslyck.com

Building Go from source

This is how you accomplish step 1 to becoming a Go contributor. Before we can become Go contributors, the very first step is being able to build Go from source. I followed the official doc and filled in the blanks a bit to figure out how to get everything working. This post is part of a series from Carolyn Van Slyck called Adventures in Gopher Source. The goal of the series is "for more of the gopher community to become upstream Go contributors."

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Y Combinator Icon Y Combinator

Startup school 2018

Is this really a chance to get $10,000 in equity-free funding just for completing a free online course? Seems there's also $50,000 in credits to a variety of other services too. Startup School is a free, 10-week, online course. It’s designed for any startup founder who would like to get help through the earliest, most difficult challenges of starting a company. The course will begin on August 27, 2018 and applications are now open at StartupSchool.org.

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link Icon theptrk.com

Creating a simple 'did.txt' file

This post is a simple, step-by-step explanation of how Patrick created 'an insanely simple “did” file accessible by terminal'. What's interesting about it to me is not how to do it, but the idea of doing it itself. His motiviation: Time flies by when you’re learning how to code. Its super important to take a second every once in a while to simple write down what you did during the past mental sprint. Writing down what you learned solidifies the knowledge. This is a great truth, and one that applies far beyond learning how to code. Sometimes we need a did.txt just to recognize how much we've accomplished recently. For me, there are days when I get to the end and feel like I didn't really accomplish much. If I'd catalogued my wins throughout the day as they occurred (no matter how small), I bet I'd feel different about that. However, I'm both busy and lazy (a hellacious pairing) and wouldn't keep up with this habit unless it were dead simple. Patrick's 'did.txt' solution is about as simple as it gets...

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Nadia Eghbal nadiaeghbal.com

Methodologies for measuring project health

How do we know whether an open source project is doing well? Number of contributors? Number of users? Number of appearances on The Changelog*? Nadia's been researching these things: A lot of people are interested in measuring the health and velocity of open source projects. After digging through the current research landscape, I’d like to summarize the most common approaches I’ve seen, and my conclusions here. One conclusion she's come to is that our current methods aren't cutting the mustard. Find out why and what some of her suggestions for improvement are in this excellent piece. *yes of course that's a joke

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Derrick Reimer derrickreimer.com

The war on developer productivity (and how I intend to win it)

Derrick Reimer: Slack felt like the much-needed grease in the gears of our budding startup. It brought visibility to conversations that would have otherwise been trapped in an email silo. It lowered the barrier of formality that plagues email correspondence. It increased the velocity of communication. In the beginning, this seemed like an indelible leap ahead. Fast forward five years, and I’m convinced it has become the single greatest threat to developer productivity in the modern workplace. The problem is that today’s chat tools are amplifying the troublesome parts of human nature, rather than minimizing them. My head bobbed in agreement to just about everything he said in this piece, and I'm verrrry interested to see what he comes up with in response.

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Medium Icon Medium

We do Scrum but…our management doesn’t.

Bummer. I've been there. It's so tough to make iterative change to software when those who are "in charge" of what you do everyday keeps interrupting or changing the rules to the game. Sjoerd Nijland writes on the Serious Scrum blog: As Scrum is a framework for developing, delivering, and sustaining complex products, and, if your management isn’t actively engaged in this exercise, it indeed may not make immediate sense for them to adopt the framework. Scrum could thus be perceived to be for developers only. Or perhaps Scrum was introduced by and is still contained to the development organization. In this case it may make sense to talk about the definition of ‘Product’. Would it make sense for the Management Team, to consider the organization itself as a product? If your team does Scrum, you should 100% read this.

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Saron Yitbarek Medium

What are you optimizing for?

Saron Yitbarek, creator of CodeNewbie, says this is the one question that will change your life — it did for her. I encourage you to read this from end to end, and then truly ponder this question for your life. I don’t remember why he said it, but I remember the car we were in on our way to a fancy networking event full of important people doing boss shit when he looked at me and asked, "What are you optimizing for?" ... I don’t think he knew it was that deep. It was. If reading this makes a significant impact on your life, I want to hear about it. Tweet at us.

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Julie Bort Business Insider

Should we be required to behave respectfully to one another?

What do Rafael Avila de Espindola, Chris Lattner, Tanya Lattner, LLVM Foundation, Linus Torvalds, and Red Hat's Jim Whitehurst have to do with this question? They're all in the mix of a wide debate over whether developers of the software and open source community should be required to behave respectfully to each other. Re: Rafael Avila de Espindola... Last week, a software engineer publicly quit a very popular open-source project, setting off a firestorm of debate within the programming world. Re: Chris Lattner... Chris Lattner tweeted: "I am definitely sad to lose Rafael from the LLVM project, but it is critical to the long term health of the project that we preserve an inclusive community. I applaud Rafael for standing by his personal principles, this must have been a hard decision." He also followed up with a longer blog post about the incident. Re: Linus Torvalds... In 2013, Linus Torvalds was called out for profanity-laced rants on the Linux email lists, which set the tone for the open-source world. He and the Linux community did an about-face — sort of — in 2015, telling members that their work would be criticized but asking them to "be excellent to each other" and to feel free to report abuse. Re: Jim Whitehurst... Red Hat is famous for its "meritocracy," modeled after the Linux Foundation. Amid the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct, especially in the workplace, Red Hat says it's doing several things to make sure its culture is more welcoming, including sending its executives on a "listening tour." Jim Whitehurst says he has also been encouraging the company's top female engineers to get out and be role models and to speak up in open-source communities about being nice to each other.

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Jessie Frazelle blog.jessfraz.com

Containers, security, and echo chambers

Jessie Frazelle: There seems to be some confusion around sandboxing containers as of late, mostly because of the recent launch of gvisor... There is a large amount of ignorance towards the existing defaults to make containers secure. Which is crazy since I have written many blog posts on it and given many talks on the subject. Jessie has been doing the yeoman's work of Linux kernel isolation and making containers secure for awhile now, but much of that work has been overlooked or disregarded by others in the community. I'm on the outside looking in at this situation, so it's tough to call exactly what's going on, but according to Jessie: When you work at a large organization you are surrounded by an echo chamber. So if everyone in the org is saying “containers are not secure,” you are bound to believe it and not research actual facts. That doesn't mean Jessie thinks containers are secure (click through to read her take on that). There's a lot to dig in to here and think about. I'll pull out one last point: I am not trying to throw shade at gvisor but merely clear up some FUD in the world of open source marketing. I truly believe that people choosing projects to use should research into them and not just choose something shiny that came out of Big Corp. Now that's a sentiment I can get behind! Oh, and listen to this related episode of The Changelog if you haven't yet. It's a must-listen for all developers.

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Bitcoin grist.org

Bitcoin’s energy use got studied (wow)

Eric Holthaus writes for Grist: Bitcoin’s energy footprint has more than doubled since Grist first wrote about it six months ago. It’s expected to double again by the end of the year... And if that happens, Bitcoin would be gobbling up 0.5 percent of the world’s electricity, about as much as the Netherlands. I can't be the only one paying attention to Bitcoin's rise in energy usage... That’s a troubling trajectory, especially for a world that should be working overtime to root out energy waste and fight climate change. By late next year, Bitcoin could be consuming more electricity than all the world’s solar panels currently produce — about 1.8 percent of global electricity... That would effectively erase decades of progress on renewable energy.

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