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this week's favorite

Massive Bank IT Failure Going into Fifth Day

From time to time, we’ve written about how bank IT is a systemic risk waiting to happen. Major financial firms have legacy code at the core of their systems that they can’t migrate off at acceptable costs and risk (numerous banks have had a go at this issue, and projects wind up being shelved; at best, they can port only some products or customers off the aging systems). Readers, even ones who are in IT but not in banking, sometimes scoff at what we have said.

The Internals of PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL is an open source multi-purpose relational database system which is widely used throughout the world. It is one huge system with the integrated subsystems, each of which has a particular complex feature and works with each other cooperatively. Although understanding of the internal mechanism is crucial for both administration and integration using PostgreSQL, its hugeness and complexity prevent it. The main purposes of this document are to explain how each subsystem works, and to provide the whole picture of PostgreSQL.

Girls and Software

Looking around at the hackers I know, the great ones started before puberty. Even if they lacked computers, they were taking apart alarm clocks, repairing pencil sharpeners or tinkering with ham radios. Some of them built pumpkin launchers or LEGO trains. I started coding when I was six years old, sitting in my father's basement office, on the machine he used to track inventory for his repair service. After a summer of determined trial and error, I'd managed to make some gorillas throw things other than exploding bananas. It felt like victory!

Blockchain is not only crappy technology but a bad vision for the future

Blockchain is not only crappy technology but a bad vision for the future. Its failure to achieve adoption to date is because systems built on trust, norms, and institutions inherently function better than the type of no-need-for-trusted-parties systems blockchain envisions. That’s permanent: no matter how much blockchain improves it is still headed in the wrong direction.

You don’t need a CS degree to be a successful engineer, but it helps

You often see software engineers brag that they never used any CompSci in their very well paid jobs. I been a software engineer and I never needed no CS and I’m still a great engineer. Waste of money! Then others pipe in and talk about how the only time CS has ever been useful was to pass a whiteboard interview. Abolish the interviews! They’re testing pointless knowledge nobody uses!

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