[2017-11-17] [Weekly Drip 035.1] Be a better technical leader, make Firefox fast with Rust, resize tons of images with Go, don’t use NoSQL


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Firefox has gone Quantum. Guess what? It’s really fast. Like, twice as fast as 6 months ago. And, as of Nov. 13 WebAssembly support shipped on all major browsers. The Quantum Era is just beginning, and Firefox already has plans on where it’s going to improve even more. Anecdotally after playing with FF57 for a couple hours, it was so fast I switched back to it, off of Chrome. I was really pleasantly surprised how great the developer tools have gotten in it, as well!

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VR on the web is here. DailyDrip produced a free short video introducing ReactVR. ReactVR is a crazy-productive environment for building VR experiences rapidly for the web. If you’re interested in digging in further, there are an additional four videos diving into building slightly more complex VR webapps. NOTE: It’s better than VRML.

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Discord uses Go and C++ to resize over 150 million images every day. They created a tool, which they open-sourced called Lilliput. Read more about how Discord handles a ridiculous amount of image resizing on the their blog.

Stavros Korokithakis writes about mistakes startups make when choosing their datastore. At a high level, it’s a discussion of something I tell people all of the time: schemaless isn’t a thing - the word you’re looking for is “unplanned.” Since most data is relational, eschewing RDBMSes to “move fast” largely means shifting problems with known, optimized solutions onto your (overworked) application developers. Favorite quote: “For every business that just couldn’t get the speed or scalability they needed out of Postgres, a hundred others had performance problems because they had to do their joins in the application.”

A big week for engineering management posts brings some great advice on how to be a solid technical leader. The Senior Engineer’s Guide to Helping Others Make Decisions talks about how senior engineers can better guide their juniors to make good technical decisions. In Feedback That Gives Focus talks about how to both give and receive technical feedback, while building a shared vision around practices that work. The Role of being Technical in Technical Leadership explores how to stay relevant as a leader when you aren’t coding. Finally there are great reasons why you shouldn’t deal with Brilliant Jerks in Engineering which also explores their effects on a team.

Happy Birthday Go and Fortran! Fortran turned 60, it was introduced in 1957, and Go was released as an open source project 8 years ago. Read more about what is keeping Fortran going, or the history and growing popularity of Go.

Development Dregs

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