Issue 3: 10 Reads Weekly Newsletter

Welcome to third issue of 10 Reads weekly newsletter. Below are the 10 posts that I found good to read this week. Total time to read this newsletter is 124 minutes.

  1. How to Decide What To Build : 5 mins read. People often tell me they want to start a startup, but they don’t know what to build. “I’m not a person with ideas”, they’ll say. Stop that narrative. You are whatever you tell yourself you are. To quote Steve Jobs: “everything in the world was created by people no smarter than you”. You can do whatever you want, once you realize one secret: everything big starts small
  2. I built a PWA and published it in 3 app stores. Here’s what I learned : 15 mins read. Turning a web app into a Progressive Web App (PWA) and submitting it to 3 app stores requires about a month of work, a few hundred dollars, and lots of red tape.
  3. A DevTools for Designers : 25 mins read. In 2010, Jeffrey Zeldman wrote “An InDesign for HTML and CSS?”, which explored the idea of a web prototyping tool, accessible and familiar to visual designers, that would output decent code that could be handed off to developers. Eight years later, have we reached that goal, or is it time for a new call to action?
  4. Hiring and the market for lemons : 10 mins read. As a dev, it seems to me that teams I know of that are actually good environments that pay well have no problems hiring, and that teams that have trouble hiring can pretty easily solve that problem. But I’m biased. I’m not a hiring manager. There’s probably some hiring manager out there thinking: “every developer I know who complains that it’s hard to find a good team has one of these four obvious problems; if only my problems were that easy to solve!”
  5. Adrian Cockcroft on the Evolution of Business Logic from Monoliths, to Microservices, to Functions: 4 mins watch. As technology has progressed over the last decade, we’ve seen an evolution from monolithic applications to microservices and are now seeing the rise of serverless event driven functions, led by AWS Lambda. What factors have driven this evolution? We’ve seen the same service oriented architecture principles track advancements in technology from the coarse grain services of SOA a decade ago, through microservices that are usually scoped to a more fine grain single area of responsibility, and now functions as a service, serverless architectures where each function is a separately deployed and invoked unit. Large teams would work for months between releases of SOA components. Small teams down to a single developer would release microservices perhaps on a daily basis. One developer may release many functions many times a day.
  6. Distributed architecture concepts I learned while building a large payments system : 30 mins read. Before working at Uber, I had little to no distributed systems experience. My background is a traditional computer science degree and a decade of full stack software development. However, while I was able to draw boxes and talk tradeoffs, I did not have much understanding or appreciation of distributed concepts like consistency, availability or idempotency.
  7. How to think like a programmer — lessons in problem solving : 5 mins read. Almost all employers prioritize problem-solving skills first. Problem-solving skills are almost unanimously the most important qualification that employers look for….more than programming languages proficiency, debugging, and system design.
  8. How we built a big data platform on AWS for 100 users for under $2 a month : 15 mins read. Amazon Athena is a serverless query service that helped reduce our per user cost from over $74 a month to less than $0.02.
  9. Changing the calculus of containers in the cloud : 5 mins read. I think the next area of innovation we will see after moving away from thinking about underlying infrastructure is application and service management. How do you interconnect the different containers that run independent services, ensure visibility, manage traffic patterns, and security for multiple services at scale? How do independent services mutually discover one another? How do you define access to common data stores? How do you define and group services into applications? Cloud native is about having as much control as you want and I am very excited to see how the container ecosystem will evolve over the next few years to give you more control with less work. We look forward to working with the community to innovate forward on the cloud native journey on behalf of our customers.
  10. The Scientific Importance of Free Speech : 10 mins read. A quick Google search suggests that free speech is a regarded as an important virtue for a functional, enlightened society. For example, according to George Orwell: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” Likewise, Ayaan Hirsi Ali remarked: “Free speech is the bedrock of liberty and a free society, and yes, it includes the right to blaspheme and offend.” In a similar vein, Bill Hicks declared: “Freedom of speech means you support the right of people to say exactly those ideas which you do not agree with”.

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