I learnt …

about these things and thought they might be useful

  • Flight Rules for Git

    This has a great summary of what to do when things go wrong when using Git. Added here so I know where to look in moments of panic. Links Flight Rules for Git

  • Learning Without Doing

    I am back on the learning Scala trail and it is clear that just reading books and articles or watching videos won’t cut it. It needs to be hands-on coding. This article highlights that some skills cannot be learnt without actual doing. Links Learning without doing

  • The Secret History of Ctrl+Alt+Del

    The background to why the famous “three finger salute” was chosen to be so difficult to do. Links The secret history of Ctrl+Alt+Del

  • Scala + Docker quickly

    I am currently starting to learn Scala (to add to a myriad of other languages I have programmed in over my career). We are also in the process of “dockerizing” our application. So I wanted to try for myself getting a simple Scala application running in Docker. This page has a very simple guide to getting a “Hello World” application up and running. Links Getting Started With Docker, Scala & Sbt

  • Abandoning Agile

    I have worked with various flavours of “Agile” over numerous years. These have ranged from the very formal where everything is done by the book to more ad-hoc versions where different parts are cherry picked or in most cases done because people think they should be done. What is clear is that “Agile” has become more about the processes than about the results and the actual aims of the original manifesto.

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  • Abolish Performance Reviews

    I have never been a fan of performance reviews. It may have been down to the way they were implemented at the places I worked however they never seemed to achieve what they were set out to do. The review would usually consist of going over the “achievements” for the past period and then setting a bunch of artificial goals for the next period. The only time these new goals were actually consulted was in the run up to the next review.

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  • GeoGuessr

    This is a very simple idea for a quiz. It drops you in a random place somewhere in the world and you use Google StreetView to work out where it is. If you are lucky you end up in a town or city, sometimes you end up in the middle of nowhere. It is amazing how much you can work out by looking at the flora or a random signpost.

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  • Network Developments

    This article documents developments over the last ten years at all layers of the network stack. It also highlights how vulnerable the current Internet is. Links Another ten years later

  • Simple Change = Big Impact

    A simple change in message can lead to a big impact. Without changing the price of the drink, the University of Winchester reduced the number of disposal cups used in a year by 34K. This was achieved by saying there was a “25p penalty” for using a disposable cup rather than a “25p discount” for using a reusable one. Links Plastic coffee cup waste is being cut by a simple change

  • There Is No Now

    This paper is a discussion around the issues faced by distributed systems when dealing with time, ordering and failures. This is particularly relevant with the work I am doing at the moment designing a very large distributed system that will need to scale massively. It is remarkably readable and illustrates key issues and limitations in the field. It has already got me researching other areas mentioned in the paper. Links

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