Posts tagged with "essay"

  • High Modernism & Software Design

    Brasília was envisaged as the dawn of a new Brazil. Purpose-built from the ground up on a pristine site in just 41 months, it attempted to remould and redefine what it meant to be Brazilian in its own logical, elegant, efficient image. Brasília by Ramon Buçard on Unsplash This style of large-scale urban planning is labeled high modernism by James C. Scott in his book Seeing Like A State.
  • What Might Happen If You Share It

    I grew up in the Winamp days. Napster, Limewire, cracks & warez, remember? Winamp was always open. And alongside my playlist of illicitly-downloaded mp3s would always be MilkDrop. If you don’t know, MilkDrop is absolute zenith of audio visualization software, and it spawned my love of generative visualizations. I’ve never got my head around all the maths involved. I’ve dabbled with shaders, but it still boggles my mind. Nevertheless, I would spend my evenings playing with the HTML Canvas and WebAudio APIs, exploring and building things just for fun.
  • But What About the Bus Factor?

    The term “bus factor” refers to the number of project maintainers who, if hit by a bus and incapacitated, would cause that project to stall. You can replace the bus crash with any other form of physical or mental incapacitation or even changes in life circumstances or priorities. The lower the bus factor, the greater the risk that a project might suddenly become unsustainable. Credit: Romain Chollet via Unsplash This is a topic close to my heart.
  • Welcome to the Twitterscape

    The land is flat and vast, extending as far as the eye can see. There is no sun, as such. Rather, an ambient glow with no obvious source permeates. Occupying this Plane is an ocean of people, gathered into groups large and small, distributed irregularly, coalescing and scattering like slow-motion static on a last-century TV. There are minstrels, artists, trinket-collectors and writers; bards and scientists, astronauts and soldiers. Most huddle together amongst their own kind, but at the periphery a continual jostling and switching takes place.
  • On Working Alone

    Earlier this year I quit my job to work full-time on an open source ecommerce framework. After three years working as the lead of a small team within a department of around 20 devs, I’m now back to working alone. Here are some reflections on the thrills and perils of the lone developer. Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash Communication & Efficiency The problems of development teams are essentially problems of communication.
  • Museum of the Analog Native

    If you, like me, were born in the 1980s, then you are a member of the generation of analog natives - those who grew up during that period in which the Information Age reached the masses. Of course, all of humanity up until that point lived fully analog lives; but uniquely, our generation is the one which experienced first-hand the transition from the analog to the digital world. So “analog native” is only meaningful in a world in which such thing as a “digital native” exists as a counterpart.
  • The Covert Opt-In

    About 13 years ago I built a web shop for my dad’s company. Like many small businesses, the company does not have an in-house development or IT department, so anything vaguely website-related tends to end up in my inbox. This is how I recently found myself in a conference call with Dom from IntegriMart1, a company which provides marketing tools for websites. This type of business is known as a “marketing tech” company, sometimes abbreviated to the crap-sounding “martech”, and a close cousin to “adtech”.
  • Productivity Is Happiness

    When we talk about productivity, it is usually in the context of our professional lives. Is this fair? Does productivity begin and end at the office door? I’d like to address this question indirectly, by backing up and taking a high-level look at the subject. No tips or “weird tricks” here; rather some brief thoughts on the scope of productivity. Productivity is happiness. Happiness is the sensation you get when you progress towards a goal.
  • The Elevator of Infinite Abstraction

    In software development, we often hear and speak of abstractions. When we use this term, we often mean some variation on concepts such as “hiding the implementation details”, “providing an interface”, “modelling a data type” or even “removing duplicate code”. But what is the essence of abstraction? The origin of "abstract" in the Macmillan Dictionary for Students I was recently looking up the term “abstract” in a dictionary, and was struck with the origin of the word:
  • Why I Haven’t Fixed Your Issue Yet

    Hi there. You opened an issue with my project on GitHub, and it’s getting kind of stale by now. I am aware of it - GitHub was kind enough to send me an email containing your report, which I scanned one morning a couple of weeks ago while I ate breakfast. I’ve even thought about it briefly a couple of times since then; once I was in the shower and I got the vague idea that I knew what caused it - but I wasn’t sure because I could not recall the specifics.