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this week's favorite

What to learn

It's common to see people advocate for learning skills that they have or using processes that they use. For example, Steve Yegge has a set of blog posts where he recommends reading compiler books and learning about compilers. His reasoning is basically that, if you understand compilers, you'll see compiler problems everywhere and will recognize all of the cases where people are solving a compiler problem without using compiler knowledge. Instead of hacking together some half-baked solution that will never work, you can apply a bit of computer science knowledge to solve the problem in a better way with less effort. That's not untrue, but it's also not a reason to study compilers in particular because you can say that about many different areas of computer science and math. Queuing theory, computer architecture, mathematical optimization, operations research, etc.

Google Chrome hidden features every developer should know

Chrome Dev Tools is one of the most used tools among web developers. But it has some amazing features that most developers are not aware of.

Sociotechnical lenses into software systems

Software systems are sociotechnical. I don’t think software professionals spend enough time discussing the challenges that span software and personal aspects. When we look at software through a sociotechnical lens, we begin to appreciate the complexity inherent in software development and operations.

Untold story of how one guy in California keeps the world's computers on the right timezone

Down the rabbit hole: my brief odyssey into the esoteric world of the tight-knit time zone data maintenance community who quietly keep the world’s computers from avoiding DST-related-meltdowns

Always do extra

One thing I've noticed over the years is that there is at least one thing that seems to be common to every good, veteran programmer I know. They all follow the same deliberate and dare-I-say selfish rule to how they approach their time: Always do Extra. Now before you call "bullshit", let me explain what I mean.