Always be quitting

A good philosophy to live by at work is to “always be quitting”. No, don’t be constantly thinking of leaving your job 😱. But act as if you might leave on short notice 😎. Counterintuitively, this will make you a better engineer and open up growth opportunities. A thread 👇.

April 12, 2021 · Tags: opinion, twitter-thread
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How does Google keep build times low?

Monorepos are an interesting beast. If mended properly, they enable a level of uniformity and code quality that is hard to achieve otherwise. If left unattended, however, they become unmanageable monsters of tangled dependencies, slow builds, and frustrating developer experiences. Whether you have a good or bad experience directly depends on the level of engineering support behind the monorepo. Simply put, monorepos require dedicated teams and tools to run nicely. In this post, I will look at how almost-perfect caching plays a key role in keeping build times manageable under such an environment.

February 26, 2021 · Tags: bazel, featured, opinion
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How does Google avoid clean builds?

During my 11 years at Google, I can confidently count the number of times I had to do a “clean build” with one hand: their build system is so robust that incremental builds always work. Phrases like “clean everything and try building from scratch” are unheard of. So… you can color me skeptical when someone says that incremental build problems are due to bugs in the build files and not due to a suboptimal build system. The answer lies in having a robust build system, and in this post I’ll examine the common causes behind incremental build breakages, what the build system can do to avoid them, and how Bazel accomplishes most of them.

December 31, 2020 · Tags: bazel, featured, google, opinion
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Windows Subsystem for Linux: The lost potential

If you have followed Windows 10 at all during the last few years, you know that the Windows Subsystem for Linux, or WSL for short, is the hot topic among developers. You can finally run your Linux tooling on Windows as a first class citizen, which means you no longer have to learn PowerShell or, god forbid, suffer through the ancient CMD.EXE console. Unfortunately, not everything is as rosy as it sounds.

November 13, 2020 · Tags: featured, opinion, windows
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pkgdb belongs in libdata, not var

The pkgsrc package database, which by default lives in /var/db/pkg/, should not be there. Instead, it should be under /usr/pkg/libdata/pkgdb/. The same applies to FreeBSD’s and OpenBSD’s ports and also Debian’s dpkg, but I’ll focus on pkgsrc because it’s the system I know best. Let’s see why the current default is suboptimal and why libdata is a good alternative.

August 26, 2020 · Tags: netbsd, opinion, pkgsrc
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rc.d belongs in libexec, not etc

The scripts that live under /etc/rc.d/ in FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD are in the wrong place. They all should live in /libexec/rc.d/ because they are code, not configuration. Let’s look at the history of these systems to see how we got here, why this is problematic, and how things would look like in a better world.

August 24, 2020 · Tags: freebsd, netbsd, opinion, sysupgrade
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