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2021-01-16 Assorted Links

Published: 2021-01-16 • Last updated: 2021-05-03

How Darwin Thought: The Golden Rule of Thinking

I had, also, during many years, followed a golden rule, namely, that whenever a published fact, a new observation or thought came across me, which was opposed to my general results, to make a memorandum of it without fail and at once; for I had found by experience that such facts and thoughts were far more apt to escape from memory than favorable ones.


How Google Does Code Reviews – Quality Assurance Tips from Google’s Documentation

Code reviews should be completed quickly. The maximum length of time for a review should be one business day. Why the urgency? I’ve personally had QA’s sometimes take weeks or longer.

It becomes a blocker. Although the author of the code moves onto new work, new changes start to form a back log, and the delays can build up to weeks or months.

Developers feel frustrated. If the reviewer asks for major changes but only responds every 3 days, it is frustrating for the developer working on that change. But with quick responses, whenever you require explanation of exactly what you need to do, the frustration fades away.

Code quality can degrade. If your reviews are always slow, developers are less likely to do code clean ups, refactoring work or general code improvement (“If my reviewer won’t reply for 4 days what’s even the point?"), and the code quality submitted in the reviews is more likely to go down.


What is REST

Requests must contain a path to a resource that the operation should be performed on. In RESTful APIs, paths should be designed to help the client know what is going on.

Conventionally, the first part of the path should be the plural form of the resource. This keeps nested paths simple to read and easy to understand.

A path like fashionboutique.com/customers/223/orders/12 is clear in what it points to, even if you’ve never seen this specific path before, because it is hierarchical and descriptive. We can see that we are accessing the order with id 12 for the customer with id 223.


We Need a New Media System - TK News by Matt Taibbi

The media used to derive its institutional power from this perception of separateness. Politicians feared investigation by the news media precisely because they knew audiences perceived them as neutral arbiters.

Now there are no major commercial outlets not firmly associated with one or the other political party. Criticism of Republicans is as baked into New York Times coverage as the lambasting of Democrats is at Fox, and politicians don’t fear them as much because they know their constituents do not consider rival media sources credible. Probably, they don’t even read them. Echo chambers have limited utility in changing minds.


Thanks or No Thanks | How Hard Could It Be? by Joel Spolsky

A young employee came up with an idea that added a million dollars to our bottom line. How do we reward him for the contribution? Do we even have to?


What Silicon Valley “Gets” about Software Engineers that Traditional Companies Do Not - The Pragmatic Engineer

While it might sound counter-intuitive to hire software engineers who only focus on other software engineers working faster: at many places, it’s not. It’s a great return that helps these companies move faster, and developers stay happier.


Strong Opinions, Weakly Held

I suppose it’s also an issue of personal style. To me, writing without a strong voice, writing filled with second guessing and disclaimers, is tedious and difficult to slog through. I go out of my way to write in a strong voice because it’s more effective. But whenever I post in a strong voice, it is also an implied invitation to a discussion, a discussion where I often change my opinion and invariably learn a great deal about the topic at hand. I believe in the principle of strong opinions, weakly held