Articles

At Dynamicland, The Building Is The Computer

Dynamicland is a non-profit that resides somewhere between an academic research lab and a Silicon Valley startup, between physical and digital, and between computing’s distant past and its future.

What Developers Should Know About Networks

At the physical layer, data flies invisibly through thin air. It's Harry Potter-level magic, right on this planet.

What Really Kills Most Startups

The other day I started digging through startup post mortems, and I came across a few founders courageous enough to feel their own bruises.

Print Out Your Code. On Paper.

Reading code is hard work-in some ways harder than writing it-so most of us have a tendency to avoid looking closely. That's why you should print it.

The Productivity Tip No One Wants to Hear

No modern productivity guru would dare suggest it, but minimalist painter Agnes Martin got into creative flow by staring at the wall for a few hours.

Fear is a muscle that you can release

I had learned to push through the fear. As a startup founder, every day I faced situations where I had to push through it. But pushing wore me out.

The Hidden Bets of Agile

The future is unknown, so we bet on which abstractions will make sense. We codify the bets.

The Complete Guide to Choosing a Programming Language and Buying a Mattress

Choosing a programming language for a new project is a bit like mattress shopping.

How I Helped My Partner Learn to Code

When my partner Siobhán decided she wanted to make a career change into data science last spring, I knew it would be a chance for me to see first-hand how someone learns to code today.

Managing Technical Debt

Many linear feet of books have been written about the complexity of software development, estimation, cost control, QA, and so on.

A Brief History of Random Numbers

“As an instrument for selecting at random, I have found nothing superior to dice,” wrote statistician Francis Galton in an 1890 issue of Nature

Programming Is Like Traveling the World

There are so many languages and communities, each with its own local customs, philosophical stances, secret handshakes, and social norms.

The Moment When You Realize Every Server in the World is Vulnerable

The story of a major hash table vulnerability, and how it took a decade to uncover and resolve.

The Rocket Doesn’t Come With a Moral Compass

We all know the Zuckerbergian myth of dropping out of college, hungrily and foolishly, for glory, risk, and the promise of scalable impact and a big payout...

How to Pair Program

Drop the rockstar ego. Pairing is a duet, and you are an accompanist.

Death By A Thousand Great Ideas

At first, my co-founder and I felt like we could do anything. We hadn’t set out with an idea — it was just, “Let’s start a company!”

How Multi-User Dungeons Taught Me To Code

As I made friends with the game's administrators and developers, I started looking at its design, trying to understand how it was able to facilitate such a deeply immersive experience—and wondering how we might make it even better.

“The Art of Computer Programming” by Donald Knuth

Bill Gates doesn't think most people can finish this book. I gave it a shot.