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this week's favorite

Don't Get Clever with Login Forms

As time goes on I find myself increasingly annoyed with login forms. As password managers like 1Password (which is what I use) and Chrome’s password manager (which I also sorta use) become more popular, it’s important for websites to be aware of how users go about logging into their sites.

PostgreSQL 11 Reestablishes Window Functions Leadership

With respect to standard SQL, the main theme in PostgreSQL 11 is window functions (over). For almost eight years, from 2009 until 2017, PostgreSQL was the only major free open-source product to support SQL window functions. Just a year later, by September 2018, all open-source competitors have caught up…and some even overtook PostgreSQL. The PostgreSQL community was prepared. PostgreSQL 11 was just released in 2018, and it has restored and even expanded its leadership position.

The philosophies of software languages: The first generation

There are more than 2,500 programming languages in existence today (some would say almost 9,000!), of which about 250 are in more or less current use. Where do all these languages come from? Why are there so many? What’s the difference between them?

How A/B Tests Could Go Wrong

In this paper, we share how we mined through historical A/B tests and identified the most common causes for invalid tests, ranging from biased design, self-selection bias to attempting to generalize A/B test result beyond the experiment population and time frame. Furthermore, we also developed scalable algorithms to automatically detect invalid A/B tests and diagnose the root cause of invalidity. Surfacing up invalidity not only improved decision quality, but also served as a user education and reduced problematic experiment designs in the long run.

SQL: One of the Most Valuable Skills

I’ve learned a lot of skills over the course of my career, but no technical skill more useful than SQL. SQL stands out to me as the most valuable skill for a few reasons.