Digests » 253

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What to do when tech jobs go bad

No matter how many companies I go to, work eventually sucks. In the tech companies in which I’ve worked, sooner or later a similar set of problems becomes apparent that would require either a change of management, or rapid extreme changes in the style of the existing management to resolve. Typically, neither of these things happen and I seek other places in the hopes of encountering better management.

The Evolution of Data at Reddit

Last year, we shared a few blog posts explaining some of the interesting technical challenges we face here at Reddit. From fixing search (again), to how we route requests to different stacks, to (one of my favourites) counting the number of people who’ve viewed a piece of content, among several others, we’ve covered a very small part of what it is our technical teams do here. One area we haven’t covered much of yet is our data systems.

Why I Quit Google to Work for Myself

For the past four years, I’ve worked as a software developer at Google. On February 1st, I quit. It was because they refused to buy me a Christmas present. Well, I guess it’s a little more complicated than that.

Compiler bug? Linker bug? Windows Kernel bug.

Flaky failures are the worst. In this particular investigation, which spanned twenty months, we suspected hardware failure, compiler bugs, linker bugs, and other possibilities. Jumping too quickly to blaming hardware or build tools is a classic mistake, but in this case the mistake was that we weren’t thinking big enough. Yes, there was a linker bug, but we were also lucky enough to have hit a Windows kernel bug which is triggered by linkers!

On the history of /usr/bin/true

/bin/true used to be an empty file. The shell would open it, do nothing, and exit with a true status code.