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this week's favorite

Why the NSA Called Me After Midnight and Requested My Source Code

Please listen carefully and don’t hang up. Those were the first words this unknown male caller said to me when my brother handed me the phone.

Web Performance 101: JS, CSS, HTTP, images & fonts

You’ll learn why performance is important, what performance optimizations exist and what tools help to understand if your app is doing well.

Fifty Years of BASIC, the Programming Language That Made Computers Personal

BASIC wasn’t designed to change the world. “We were thinking only of Dartmouth,” says Kurtz, its surviving co-creator. (Kemeny died in 1992.) “We needed a language that could be ‘taught’ to virtually all students (and faculty) without their having to take a course.”

Why you should use SQL CTEs

Last week I was explaining to a junior analyst how CTEs (common table expressions) work. They’re persisted temporary data sets, that allow you to store a single query to go back to later in your script. They're underrated compared to the subquery, that seems to be what most analysts around me use.

Maintainable software: why would I care and once I do, how do I know I see one?

No matter what, the code you just shipped became obsolete at the moment you rolled it out to production. In case your product is successful, improvements will be added and defects will be fixed throughout the 5–10 years lifetime (research shows that maintenance cost will consume 40 to 80 percent of the total cost). Therefore we can say: code is written only for being read and changed by others.

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