I’ve been developing in Java since late 2009. It’s a good language, but I’m starting to wonder what kind of future it has. I’ve been using Java 8 since shortly after it came out, even though Java is currently on version 11. Java’s obviously still being developed, so why not move forward? A big part isn’t the infamous module system that launched in Java 9, and broke a lot of stuff. Part of it is the fact that Java is owned and controlled a by a company that seems more interested in rent-seeking off oa Java than doing anything innovative with it.
Software is written to solve a problem. Sometimes, it’s more than one problem, but you get the idea. Being someone who both uses and writes software, I’ve found the best software out there doesn’t just solve a problem, but was written with a clear and definitive opinion about how that problem should be solved. That’s not by accident or coincidence, it’s very much causal.
I’ve worked for *aaS companies for about the last 7 years. Monthly software subscriptions literally pay my mortgage, so I get the benefits of building businesses around predictable monthly payments. But that being said, not every online business lends itself to being subscription-based, and there’s a few companies out there that need to stop.
There’s a general trend in appplications these days to turn every element of their user interface into a “block,” or some other type of common component. WordPress is the latest public offender on this front, but I’ve also put up with this approach with other products in a professional setting, and it needs to freaking stop.
Generally speaking, my posts are for people who are already working professionals. However, after a couple of spectacularly bad initial interviews (not even making it to a technical screen), I’m starting to think it may be prudent to offer some advice to the younger set hoping to become working professionals.
After my recent post about moderation on social and community applications, I realized that my comments focused almost exclusively on moderating public posts (or posts to a largely public feed). But what about private 1-1 messages, private groups (whose updates may or may not appear in a feed on the main page), and other, more “private” (relative to the rest of the site) forms of posting? Would the sort of tools and guidelines I called for work there, or would something else be needed, and if so, what?
I got a comment on my post about performance tuning a REST API call asking about code tuning with examples. I don’t have code examples handy, but I can certainly run through some general performance tuning tips I’ve found over the years. No matter where you find advice about improving your code’s performance, keep in mind that every situation is different, and those differences could impact the relevance and usefulness of any advice offered.
Wil Wheaton recently left Twitter and gave Mastodon a try, only for it to not last very long. The “long story short” version of it was that as soon as he joined an instance and starting posting (or “tooting” as the Mastodon kids call it), people started spamming the report this post function until the instance’s admin had to remove him in an attempt to stop the flood of report spam. There’s an interesting blog post by Nolan Lawson about looking at this as an attack or harassment vector that got me thinking about some changes to community-level moderation tools that might help stem this sort of abuse.
This is a case study in why it’s important to focus on the problem rather than what you think you want. Perhaps you remember griping about how expensive your cable bill was, and how you only watched a small subset of the channels offered and wondered why couldn’t you just pay for just those channels. Well guess what? Now that Disney is launching it’s own streaming service (Disney Play), we’re approaching that future. Unfortunately, it’s a future that comes after we’ve already seen the promise of a future with aggregated digital content like YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu.
Almost every time I see a report on how a company’s stock is doing, or why the price did whatever it just did, I become more and more convinced that there’s no actual rational behavior or logic going on in stock trading anymore. Companies will report a great quarter and the price will tank. A company will announce plans to expand as well as what they did to complete that plan, and the stock price will drop because they had a large expense that quarter. It used to be that it was considered good advice to have a lot of your stock portfolio consist of “blue chip” stocks – the price would be largely stable and they paid dividends regularly. Now everyone wants to get in on “unicorns” (startups valued at over $1 billion dollars, which is generally insane to begin with), or focus on high growth stocks, with an insistence that they always be high-growth stocks. More and more I’ve become convinced that the stock market is largely a BS engine driven more by hype than actual economics.