Happy February! I had a high school teacher of mine call month #2 the F-month: a month so terrible it wasn’t even worth naming. While February does tend to be the coldest month here in New York, there’s still plenty to take advantage of — It’s always easier to find tables at my favorite bars when the weather’s bad outside :)


  • jj init (Chris Krycho): A great deep dive into jujitsu and how its mental model draws on and differs from current-gen version control systems. I’ve felt fow a while that Git+GitHub has some major shortcomings when it comes to collaboration, and I’m excited to see how new tools like jujitsu and Graphite start to change the status quo.
  • Long Term Refactors (Max Chernyak): Technical challenges are often unseparable from their related organizational challenges. This post was an interesting breakdown on how to adress both sides of the coin.
  • Stanchion: Stanchion is a SQLite extension that adds column-oriented tables to SQLite. It’s cool to see how someone was able to tack on column-oriented data structures to row-oriented SQLite. I’d be interested to see what performance benefits they’re able to get on analytic queries, though.

Career and Culture

  • Work hard and take everything seriously (Tom Macwright): This post articulated really well something I’d been thinking about for a while: Working hard for the sake of “the grind” is almost never worth it: it’s important to make sure that you’re personally getting something out of the work you put in. It was also another reminder of the ways in which life can be far from zero-sum. The whole post is worth reading (like everything in this weekly), but I wanted to quote the last two paragraphs:

You can burn out by going too fast, or your flame can dim because you don’t let yourself spend silly amounts of time on silly projects to satisfy your intellectual curiosity. Beware of both outcomes: cultivate your enthusiasm for the things you want to hang onto.

It isn’t a revolutionary idea that people who are excellent in their fields often get there by trying really hard. If you can figure out the difference between busy-work that only benefits your employer, and the kind of work that makes you as a person feel like you’re making progress and becoming more skilled, then you’re ready to learn.

From the archives

  • Was Javascript really made in 10 days? (Hillel Wayne): A look into the history behind what is probably one of the most common truisms in software. I learned a lot about JavaScript specifically and the environment at Netscape at the time — I had no clue that there was an actual deal with Sun to make the language more “Java-like,” for one.
Liked this post? Get future weekly posts in your inbox!

Powered by Buttondown.