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Weekly Readings – 23/2/2014

A couple of weeks ago I started sending to my co-workers a weekly summary of what I read that week. But why not share this with all the world? So here it goes, a summary of my weekly readings. I love new sources, so if you have something to share, leave me a comment.

(This entry will be longer than the regular because I’m also adding good material that I already sent at work. The regular list usually contains 4-5 items).

Development and Deployment at Facebook
Interesting paper explaining how this process is executed in Facebook

Customers Don’t Want More Features
“Determining which features to omit is just as important as—and perhaps more important than—figuring out which ones to include. Unfortunately, many companies, in an effort to be innovative, throw in every possible bell and whistle without fully considering important factors such as the value to customers and ease of use”

On scalability and why it’s so important
“many seem to be concerned more about performance than scalability. Some may even believe it’s the same thing. It’s hard to say why this syndrome is so deeply embedded in our nature, as programmers. Indeed, system programmers may be thought of as “high priests of a low cult”. The cult is, of course, optimization. But the irony is that staying in the “pink plane”, strongly focused on optimization, we are often optimizing something that can’t be optimized very much”

Stack Overflow Goes Down, Programmers Around The World Panic (It’s Back Up Now)
Can you program without Stack Overflow? No.. really, can you?

The power of good naming
“Characters are cheap, confusion is costly”. Names are important.

Nobody Ever Gets Credit for Fixing Problems that Never Happened: Creating and Sustaining Process Improvement
“The combined expenditure of U.S. companies on management consultants  and training in 1997 was over $100 billion, and a sizeable fraction went towards efforts to develop operational capabilities matching those of the bests firms in business … There is only one problem. Despite these vast expenditures, and notwithstanding dramatic successes in a few companies, few efforts to implement such programs actually produce significant results”. A bit on the long side, but VERY interesting investigation on how and why process improvements methods have failed, and why this happened.

Developers working in Production. Of course! Maybe, sometimes. What, are you nuts?
“Question: Should developers have access to production? Answer: Not only no, but hell no”. A bit on the long side, but very good reading.

Exploring Programming Languages’ Science and Folklore
Is C# better than Java? Functional better than OOP? We actually have NO idea. So you should focus on good methodology, requirements, and communication. Check out the video also. One hour, but good investment.

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