rachelbythebay.com rachelbythebay.com

Remembering a classic "time travel" bug

It's been twenty five years since something goofy happened involving time handling on computers, and I figured it's worth celebrating that anniversary with a post. In August of 1995, Windows 95 came out. It was a Very Big Deal for anyone who was tuned into the whole Microsoft world, and simultaneously a source of scorn and anguish for those of us who were not. Any time it did something stupid, we laughed. Any time it did something...

rachelbythebay.com rachelbythebay.com

Answers to a reader's questions about bits of tech

It's time for a round of responses to reader feedback. This one is a little different in that it came in as a single blob of many questions from a single anonymous submitter. It's largely about technologies and programming languages, and I'll just warn you right now that I tend to be pretty boring in this regard. Read on if you must! What is your take on AVX-512? Have you used it in any of your projects to accelerate your code? Have...

rachelbythebay.com rachelbythebay.com

How a hypothetical learning project might evolve

Do you ever wonder how some projects go from nothing to something, and guess at the twists and turns that must have happened during development? I came up with a hypothetical situation here that's inspired by a bunch of things that have happened in the past, but this doesn't describe any one product... knowingly, at least. If you're the sort of person who reads descriptions of problems and tries to design your own solution in your...

rachelbythebay.com rachelbythebay.com

What is your take on checking return values?

One day not so long ago, I was in a meeting listening to a team explain why their service had gone down and taken out a big chunk of a business. They were one of those things that has to exist and work in order for the actual "thing that makes money" to go. Think of delivering pizzas, connecting dog walkers with dogs who need to be walked, that kind of thing. It turned out they had been crashing every time a request came...

rachelbythebay.com rachelbythebay.com

Baking those potatoes with microservices and vendors

There's this notion of hot or cold potato routing that I picked up while learning about how the Internet backbones work. Let's say you have two large backbone providers and they interconnect in multiple places. Then, there's someone who opens a connection from one side of the country to the other that involves both networks. What happens next? Magic. It has to do with how long the packets travel on the source network before being...

rachelbythebay.com rachelbythebay.com

Reader feedback: leetcode, HSTS, and more on Unix files

It's time for another round of responses to reader feedback. ... But I was curious what you think of hackerrank/leetcode screening of potential employees. I think it is an absurd waste of time but it doesn't seem to hurt any of the companies that employ it. Since you worked for one that does (and perhaps still do), I'd like to know your view (if you choose to write a post on it). I must admit, the fact I worked someplace that...

rachelbythebay.com rachelbythebay.com

Setting the story straight on quite a few issues

Sometimes, I understand why jwz.org redirects you to particularly nasty web cruft if you hit it from news.ycombinator.com, aka Hacker News. It's because of the unseemly element that comes out of the sewers on there sometimes. I wrote a post a few hours ago. It's about onboarding that sucked. It was about them building a process that worked like a damn pressure cooker when there were absolutely no stakes involved. That, then, brought...

rachelbythebay.com rachelbythebay.com

Just some red flags. No big deal. Just ignore them.

Onboarding at a new company can be a weird thing. Besides the very corporate-sounding name itself (that makes some of us think "waterboarding"), there are some odd ways they try to "teach" the new employees. Here's a situation: you're in a conference room with about a dozen other new people. You're handed a touch bar Macbook Pro in a backpack. It's the first such model you've ever used, and you're discovering that...