Over the weekend, my wife and I traveled to Korea for my sister’s wedding. We’ve been ordered to quarantine at home for the next two weeks. This experience has opened my eyes to how a government can use technology and bureaucracy to surveil its population (of course, in this case, it is for the better).
When we entered Korea, we were asked to install an always-on tracking application and register our information (including our identification numbers, phone numbers, and address where we will stay to quarantine). The airport agents then checked that we actually installed the applications and even called our contact on file to ensure we were reachable. Now, for the next two weeks, we have to enter our self-diagnosis three times a day into the application. If the application detects our GPS signal is off or not at the said address, we get calls from the agents right away. In the meantime, we get multiple emergency alerts about confirmed COVID cases in our city.
The combination of technology and bureaucracy is impressive, especially compared to the US’s response so far. But it is just as scary when I think about its possible misapplications.
Software Engineering ⚙️
AWS suffered a long outage last week, impacting a variety of services such as Coinbase. Due to complex dependencies and latent issues, a simple act of adding more servers triggered cascading failures across different services for almost a full day. I appreciate that this summary is both detailed and honest.
GitHub Actions vs CircleCI – Kim Gault
I haven’t used GitHub Actions since my team has Spinnaker and Jenkins to do our continuous integration. So I found an article on the capabilities of Github Actions. tl;dr is that GitHub Actions is a good alternative to the more established services like CircleCI.
GraphQL Terminology – Cheatsheet – Ido Shamun
Do you wonder what a mutation, a directive, or a federation means? This cheatsheet is all you need.
Sending gifts to future-you – Tanya Reilly
Our “planning” (for our team or ourselves) often devolves into just listing what we planned to do anyway. But the right approach is to imagine ourselves in the future and figure out what we would wish we’d invested in. Like a 🎁
What did I forget by working for the same company? – Jaana Dogan
Jaana left Google because she no longer felt she knew where the rest of the industry was going. I fear that I will feel the same if I stay at Netflix for too long. I need to make sure that I can be productive outside Netflix’s internal infrastructure.
A business model affects more than the marketing and sales organizations. It changes how your product teams prioritize and how your engineering teams interact with the customers. This account gives a good view of how a business model change (from enterprise-sales to freemium) led to a full company transformation.
Two notable quotes from the executive vice president of gaming at Microsoft:
“Now, as you said, a TV is really more of a game console stuffed behind a screen that has an app platform and a Bluetooth stack and a streaming capability.” -on TVs as a gaming platform
“I want third parties to see the distribution and monetization capability of Game Pass as something that is accretive to their business and important to them.” -on Xbox’s platform strategy
Are you a seal? – Benedict Evans
Startups often worry about how to fight the big tech companies off their turfs. So did my teams. But the right question is, if and why they would enter your market?