DRY is a Trade-Off
DRY, or Don't Repeat Yourself is frequently touted as a principle of software development. "Copy-pasta" is the derisive term applied to a violation of it, tying together the concept of copying code and pasta as description of software development bad practices (see also spaghetti code).
It is so uniformly reviled …read more
Fifty Shades of Ver
Computers work on binary code. If statements take one path: true, or false. For computers, bright lines and clear borders make sense.
Humans are more complicated. What's an adult? When are you happy? How mature are you? Humans have fuzzy feelings with no clear delination.
I was more responsible as …read more
I have written before about my Inbox Zero methodology. This is still what I practice, but there is a lot more that helps me.
The concept behind "Universal Binary" is that the only numbers that make sense asymptotically are zero, one, and infinity. Therefore, in order to prevent things from …read more
The Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever (In Python)
Hey, Back Off!
The choice in parameters for back-off configuration is important. It can be the difference between a barely noticable blip in service quality and an hours-long site outage. In order to explore the consequences of the choice, I wrote a little fictional ditty about a fictional website.
I hope you enjoy …read more
A Labyrinth of Lies
In the 1986 movie Labyrinth, a young girl (played by Jennifer Connelly) is faced with a dilemma. The adorable Jim Henson puppets explain to her that one guard always lies, and one guard always tells the truth. She needs to figure out which door leads to the castle at the …read more
Conditionally Logging Expensive Tasks
(I have shown this technique in my mailing list. If this kind of thing seems interesting, why not subscribe?)
Imagine you want to log something that is,
expensive to calculate.
in DEBUG mode,
you would like to count the classes of the objects in
My Little Pony -- DevOps is Magic
(This article is based on the one I originally published on OpenSource.com.)
In 2010, the My Little Pony franchise was rebooted with the animated show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The combination of accessibility to children with the sophisticated themes the show tackled garnered a following that cut …read more
Numbers in Python
Numbers in Python come in all shapes and forms. The reason different kind of representations of numbers exist is because they all have different trade-offs. These trade-offs are often surprising!
The most surprising things about integers is how easily they stop being
Dividing two integers, for example,
Goodbye, John H. Conway
John H. Conway passed away ten days ago, and I think it's only now I can write a proper eulogy.
I was first introduced to his work, if not his name, when I was at the end of elementary school. I am sure everyone has heard about the Game of …read more