Or, How I’m Continuing to use Google’s Products Without A Sense of Existential Dread

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

Just over five years ago, my wife and I decided to leave Canada for South Africa, and with all the madness of the migration (after six months of being new parents with no support, we left in a big rush to be close to our family) it never occurred to me to ensure that our email accounts were all configured correctly for where we were going. …


This is an industry in which anger and condescension over techniques and knowledge disparities can be safely ignored as the responses of immature people whose opinions will become less and less relevant as time goes on.

I've been a software developer for over two decades, and I'm thrilled to see so much evolution in the industry: while we still have dinosaurs (and, let's face it, newbies who buy into old stereotypes and pick up dinosaur behaviour), I feel like there's a huge movement towards collaboration and cooperation, mutual learning and sharing, and that's transforming the software ecosystem into something so…


(For Fun and Profit)

A cute panda eating bamboo
Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash

[UPDATED 2021.09.25 WITH DEPLOYMENT PLAN LEARNINGS]

Introduction

“In for a penny, in for a pound” — that’s our team’s current approach regarding Atlassian’s products. As part of our efforts to code as much of our infrastructure as possible, we’ve recently begun migrating old build plans to Bamboo Specs and, as non-Java devs who don’t want more headaches than are absolutely necessary, we’ve chosen to work with the Bamboo Specs YAML offering.

YAML specs are pretty great. Migrations are assisted by the fact that manually-created plans will show you their YAML translations, so in most cases a simple copy/paste is all you…


And How They Tell Me They’re Performing As Intended

Image taken from a sample page of Shakespeare’s Sonnets: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

Something magical happened on the evening of the 28th of January, 2012, just shy of four centuries after the Bard’s body had been buried. I brushed dust off some old words with my fingertips, I breathed out their spells as I read, and a real-life Djinn popped out.

I was halfway through the first semester of the second year of my Master’s in English Literature at the Tel Aviv University (which I left incomplete with only a handful of credits to go, but that has nothing to do with this story) and my lecturer, Dr Noam Reisner, had warned us…


Your article reminded me of Dan Price, who proved that if you pay your employees enough to render them financially empowered and treat them like actual human beings, you can buy real productivity.

https://www.inc.com/magazine/201511/paul-keegan/does-more-pay-mean-more-growth.html

A pity the media firestorm blew itself out, this "experiment" deserves a lot more attention - now more than ever.


Why “Modern Standby” mode has been keeping me (and many others) awake at night

Image by Amberrose Nelson from Pixabay

Note to the reader: while this article is primarily focused on Windows, its lessons may apply to Linux as well. Macs don’t seem to have this problem, however, as Apple appears to have implemented Modern Standby fairly well on both a hardware and software level.

After many years of abuse, my pre-2014 Windows laptop and 2013 Macbook have been struggling to keep up with my workload* so I finally bit the bullet and invested in a new Windows laptop. A co-worker who’s particularly passionate about hardware was happy to jump in and make some recommendations, I was convinced, and the…


I've been contracting for most of the past five years (I'm a software engineer), and since my first contract gig I've been wondering why working salaried is the norm. I may have to take care of my own "benefits", but the hourly rate is better, includes 100% control over my schedule and I get a pass on all the "face time" nonsense that adds no value because management prefers real productivity when they're being billed at an hourly rate.

The biggest bonuses? I get to be a present dad when I need to be. And I don't "belong" to anyone, so I can pick up other work or spend hours on my own projects as I see fit. I think everyone should operate this way, and the more of us who switch, the less power these throwbacks to the 20th century will have.


Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

I watched Bill Maher’s recent diatribe against crypto a day or two ago, and suddenly my feeds seem to be filled with people decrying blockchain phenomena like NFTs as pyramid schemes and nonsense.

They’re not entirely wrong.

It’s important, however, to take a good, long look at our existing “fiat” currencies before taking potshots at a technology that is fundamentally the same, but easily better in a myriad of ways.

Let’s begin by defining money, a fiction that enables us to transact across domains. It’s a fiction that’s sufficiently decoupled from reality that we can make fair transactions where that…


Photo by George Becker from Pexels

If you’re not using a password manager by now, you should be. Ever since reading the xkcd: Password Strength comic many years ago, I’ve become increasingly frustrated by how the software industry has continued to enforce bad password practices, and by how few services and applications apply best practices in securing our credentials.

The main reason for password reuse or using poor passwords in the first place is because it’s way too hard to remember lots of good ones.

By forcing us to remember more and more passwords with outdated rules such as demanding symbols, numbers and a mix of…


Natural Backgrounds With Flowers — George Hodan

Eight years ago, when I first learned that Québec suicide rates were known to rise in the spring, I was in a state of disbelief. I’d just moved to Montreal, and my very first Canadian winter was coming to an end. …

Adam Fisher (@therightstuff)

Software developer and writer of words, see http://therightstuff.bio.link for more details.

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