I’m using this page as a way to track a running list of tech blog posts that have caught my interest this year. This is primarily meant to be a living document for my own purposes, but it will also eventually serve as a historical record and a reference for visitors like you! 👋

Tech Industry

Let It Fail

When working in an engineering organization of any scale past your immediate team, misaligned priorities and lack of visibility become some of the most insidious blockers to progress. In this post, Max Countryman gives some counterintuitive advice that will change the way you think about “managing up”

Delivering Value with Platform Engineering

One of the things that has rung clear to me throughout 2023 is that we have built amazing things in the (still emerging) cloud ecosystem, but there are entirely too many of these tools vying for the attention of each developer. Want to do anything non-trivial (e.g. cross-account architectures, or setting up a simple managed Redis cluster)? No matter how much you dig through the docs, no matter how many pages you find that are exactly what you were looking for but only hosted on the Chinese version of the AWS docs, no matter how many contrived proof of concepts you make – it seems like there’s almost always something that comes up, requiring us to drop everything and perform a complete “learning curve traversal” before being able to continue to accomplish the thing you were trying to do in the first place. In the end, none of these things have anything to do with the business logic the developer is trying to implement, and they create vast amounts of noise that can be quite intimidating to wade through. Platform engineering is the natural reaction to this, and it’s easy to see why it has been gradually gaining in popularity throughout the year

Things they didn’t teach you about Software Engineering

With more software developers beginning their careers in 2023 than ever before, I often wonder just how many of them lack the “traditional” mentoring experience, and substitute this instead with documentation and tutorials. This is usually entirely company- or team-dependent, so it’s often up to chance on how much mentorship you will actually receive in your first few years of software development, whether you have a degree or not. I find this article to be a great primer for all noobs in the industry, whether they had those mentor figures or not. I know it certainly helped reinforce some of the ways I think about things

👩‍🎨 Being "rockstars": when software was a talents/creatives industry 🎭

This blog post pushes the boundaries of what we accept as normal software industry dynamics in 2023. As someone who joined the industry in 2020, it’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming that things have always been this way, or that things could never be different in the future. Reading about others' diverse experiences across the industry, such as Pablo’s here, makes me wonder how things could develop in the next few years

Software and its Discontents (Part 1 of 3)

This is 2 of a 3 part series on current events in the software industry that resonated with me. Perspectives like this continue to reinforce to me the power of simplicity in software, especially since complexity is the enemy of well-functioning teams. Software has the unique ability to increase in complexity exponentially, so this is necessary to take seriously in our industry

Cloud

Scale-to-Zero Minecraft Server With Terraform and Fly Machines

Modding Minecraft is how I learned “real” programming. I’ve taught summer camps about Minecraft modding since, and it has always amazed me how great of a learning tool this one game can be – even if you are just running it in the cloud! Fly.io has been an innovator in cloud technology for a while now, and I definitely recommend checking out more of their articles and tutorials on the linked site

Web

Building a Collaborative Pixel Art Editor with CRDTs

Part II of a great technical deep dive series on CRDTs using an example of two mirrored HTML canvases. I love the easy to follow code examples, while still getting deep into the weeds