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this week's favorite

How does a video codec work?

What? It's a piece of software / hardware that compresses or decompresses digital video. Why? Market and society demands higher quality videos with limited bandwidth or storage. Remember when we calculated the needed bandwidth for 30 frames per second, 24 bits per pixel, resolution of a 480x240 video? It was 82.944 Mbps with no compression applied. It's the only way to deliver HD/FullHD/4K in TVs and the Internet. How? We'll take a brief look at the major techniques here.

Amazon Web Services In Plain English

Hey, have you heard of the new AWS services: ContainerCache, ElastiCast and QR72? Of course not, I just made those up. But with 50 plus opaquely named services, we decided that enough was enough and that some plain english descriptions were needed.

Estimation 101 – A Short Guide

Estimation is hard to get right. There’s also an inherent degree of inaccuracy based on the information to hand. Unfortunately, it is something that we’re frequently asked to do for a number of reasons.

Is There A Future Beyond Writing Great Code?

Many developers get to a point in their careers in which they’ve achieved many of their goals and wonder about the future. Although some are confident continuing down the same road, others might feel the urge to explore different options in which their skills can be used to have a broader impact on the projects we work on and the teams we work with. I explored some of the different directions we can take and the complementary skills that can help us throughout our journey.

The care and feeding of software engineers (or, why engineers are grumpy)

Not too long ago, Jenna Bilotta wrote an excellent article called, How designers and engineers can play nice1, in which she talks about ways for designers and engineers to work more productively. Having faced similar challenges working with designers (and also working with engineers, when I was on the UI side), I appreciate the pragmatic approach she suggests. It always helps to respect the other role’s process and understand their thinking when working together.

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