Digests » 242
this week's favorite
Broadband services are a wonderful innovation of our time, using multiple frequency bands (hence the name) to carry signals over wires (usually, copper, sometimes aluminium). One of the key aspects of the technology is its ability to adapt to the length and characteristics of the line on which it is deployed.
When Git first came onto the scene in the mid 2000's, I was initially skeptical because of its horrible user interface. But once I learned it, I appreciated its speed and features - especially the ease at which you could create feature branches, merge, and even create commits offline (which was a big deal in the era when Subversion was the dominant version control tool in open source and you needed to speak with a server in order to commit code).
There’s a difference between understanding how to write an app, and understanding the infrastructure that works underneath it. When I transitioned from a developer to an SRE (site reliability engineer) this year, and saw how distributed systems worked at an actual company, it really changed the way I thought about writing code.
When the Internet started to become widely used in the 1990s, most traffic used just a few protocols: IPv4 routed packets, TCP turned those packets into connections, SSL (later TLS) encrypted those connections, DNS named hosts to connect to, and HTTP was often the application protocol using it all.
I sometimes consult with bright colleagues from other departments who do advanced statistical models or simulations. They are from economics, psychology, and so forth. Quite often, their code is slow. As in “it takes weeks to run”. That’s not good.