#247 — December 18, 2019

Read on the Web

StatusCode Weekly
Covering the week's news in software development, ops, platforms, and tooling.

Traditionally at Cooperpress, we end the year with a look back at the most popular links of the year (for example, this week's 2019 React roundup or Postgres roundup). StatusCode is so varied, however, that collecting together the most popular links didn't seem quite enough.

Instead, I've put together an issue packed with my favorite stories, videos, and resources from across the entire year that I've personally enjoyed.

Most of you don't read every issue in full (and I don't expect you to!) which means you should find some interesting stories here that you've missed — definitely take a quick skim through this issue at least :-)

Thanks for your continued support — I appreciate it. Remember that if you have any articles, news, quotes or anything else that other readers might be interested in, you can always hit reply and let me know.
— Peter Cooper, your editor

💡 Stories and Opinions

Lessons GitLab Learnt When Debugging A Scaling Problem — GitLab, a popular alternative to GitHub, deals with over 300 Git-over-SSH connections per second so debugging a handful of broken ones is a serious undertaking. It makes for a great story though and you’ll definitely take something away from this one.

Craig Miskell

The Lines of Code That Changed Everything — A fantastic high level look at the bits of code that have ‘transformed our world’ from Spacewar and the JPEG algorithm to the Morris Worm and RSS.

Slate Magazine

Why Our Team Cancelled Our Move to Microservices — A headline like that was always going to attract my attention (and it did yours, too). An interesting story, though, and proof that no one architecture is a one-size-fits-all.

Steven Lemon

Start 2020 Strong. Ultimate Go Training: Charlotte, NC - January 27-29, 2020 — Take advantage of the early bird pricing and attend Bill Kennedy's Ultimate Go Training in Charlotte, North Carolina in January 2020. If you have a team of 5 or more engineers request a group discount here.

Ardan Labs sponsor

Everything I Googled in a Week as a Professional Software Engineer — I think most of us identified with things in this post.

Sophie Koonin

'How I Use The Good Parts of AWS, While Filtering Out All The Hype' — A rolled up Twitter thread that was very popular this year and raised some interesting points in how to use AWS well (which controversially involves avoiding Lambda, API Gateway, Kubernetes, and more..)

Daniel Vassallo on Twitter

Teaching A Cheap Ethernet Switch New Tricks — It's fair to say I'm a Ben Cox fanboy as all of his posts are so enjoyable to read. Here we get an interesting story of hacking a cheap router that involves running Go code on it. If you’re a networking/hardware geek who loves a good story, this is for you.

Ben Cox

💻 Jobs

Data Pipelines, Reinvented. Find Your Place at Fivetran — Rooted in Oakland, we are a fast-growing company hiring across software engineering, SRE, product, and data analytics. Come join us.


Find a Job Through Vettery — Make a profile, name your salary, and connect with hiring managers from top employers. Vettery is completely free for job seekers.


📺 Fun Programming Videos and Talks

▶  GraphQL: The Documentary — How and why did GraphQL come to be and what impact is it having? To learn more, enjoy this smoothly produced 30 minute documentary on GraphSQL starring its co-creators and other ‘big names’ from the community.


▶  Rust At Speed — Building A Fast Concurrent Database — This talk packed in a lot of interesting stuff both for people interested in Rust but also database systems in general and their implementation. Unsurprisingly it’s pretty technical but you’ll learn something here.

Jon Gjengset

▶  A 2.5 Hour Interview with John Carmack — Whatever you think of Joe Rogan, being able to hear John Carmack, the main developer behind Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Quake, talk about his work is always a joy.

Joe Rogan Experience

▶  Looking Back at 25 Years of PHP (With Its Creator) — Certainly my favorite developer from Greenland.

Rasmus Lerdorf

▶  How Spotify Accidentally Deleted All its Kube Clusters with No User Impact — It happened in 2017 when Spotify was migrating to Google Kubernetes Engine. Spoiler? Spotify have rock solid ops policies around migrations.

David Xia

📕 Tutorials

All the Most Useful git Commands Showed Off in a Single Script — There’s a lot to digest here. I use about 5 of them to be fair :-)

Dvir Volk

Building Interactive SSH Applications — Writing interactive SSH-accessible applications isn’t hard, but requires a little specialized knowledge and good Unix literacy.

Drew DeVault

Everything curl: An Extensive Guide to All Things curl — If curl isn’t a key part of your toolkit, now’s the best time to start, and this book will help. The Curl cookbook may also be useful.

Daniel Stenberg

Your Data Is Your Business — Let us help you build, troubleshoot, and scale your PostgreSQL data systems.

PostgreSQL Experts, Inc. sponsor

There's More Than One Way to Write An IP Address — While it goes into somewhat more depth than this, if you didn’t know you can write as 127.1.. this is for you.

Mattias Geniar

How Multiplexing Changes Your HTTP APIs — One of HTTP/2’s headline features and advantages over HTTP/1 is multiplexing, the ability to have multiple requests and responses in flight on one connection. This has big implications for APIs in general, says Mark Nottingham.

Mark Nottingham

HTTP Security Headers - A Complete Guide — A description of each security header of significance, its importance, and how to use them to secure sites you manage in one way or another.

Charlie Belmer

Elixir, Phoenix, Absinthe, GraphQL, React, and Apollo: An Absurdly Deep Dive — A really deep dive into the practical challenges and issues faced adopting a new stack of webapp technologies.

Zach Schneider

🛠 Tools and Useful Stuff

AWS Architecture Icons: An Official Icon Set — You can download archives of EPS, PNG and SVG icons (the EPS archive is over 400MB in size!) or play right away on draw.io (as an aside, draw.io is a fantastic browser based diagram editor and worth becoming familiar with).

Amazon Web Services, Inc.

free-for.dev: A Bumper List of Stuff That's 'Free' for Developers — An interesting and extensive list of hosted services or otherwise paid-for products that have free tiers or options for developers. Perfect for those Xmas break projects?


Diagram.codes: An Instant Diagram Generation Tool — Describe diagrams in simple text form and this online tool generates the graphical part. Check out this flowchart, for example. The code reads almost like BASIC! As well as flowcharts, trees, graphs, and sequence diagrams are also supported.

Volare Labs

Reach Millions of Developers with One Integration

Manifold sponsor

Recursive Sans and Mono: A Free Variable Type Family — This is a new ‘highly-flexible’ type family that takes advantage of variable font tech to let you pick the right style along five different axes. It’s pretty clever, well demonstrated, and very suitable for presenting data, code, or to be used in documentation and UIs.

Arrow Type

BADSSL: A Site for Testing Clients Against Unusual SSL Configs — Want to see how your HTTP client, library, or tool of choice copes with an expired certificate, different types of hash algorithms, or invalid certificate authorities? This is very useful.


The Original Apollo 11 Guidance Computer (AGC) Source Code — An interesting historical artefact, and if you want to actually understand it in full, Pluralsight released a course covering how it works. Don't use this in production...? ;-)

Chris Garry

Bazel 1.0: Google's Open Source Build System — Bazel is an open source build system designed to support a wide variety of programming languages and platforms.

Google Open Source

🤞 My hopes for next year..

I've been monitoring a lot of trends and developments this year and have some hopes and dreams for the developer world in 2020. Maybe I'll reflect next year on how many of them come to pass!

  • WebAssembly goes mainstream as a runtime target on the server side.
  • Something significant happens regarding IPv6 adoption because we are now really, really, really running out of IP addresses.
  • Microsoft continues to be a good open source citizen and continues to see the benefits of such.
  • Improvements to both DNS and BGP security deployed on a wider scale. We saw quite a few attacks and issues this year using DNS or BGP as vectors.
  • AWS to continue to launch services at a dizzying rate, if only so I have things to include in the newsletter each week ;-) But without as much drama as surrounded their implementations of MongoDB and Elasticsearch technology this year.
  • Broader industry acceptance that there are clearly many viable ways and systems with which to solve problems, and to avoid running down a Kubernetes, Docker, microservices (or whatever the next buzzword is) rabbit hole just because it's the current fad. Except serverless, which is excellent of course.
  • GitHub's Sponsors program continues to grow and attract interest and doesn't just fizzle out as similar efforts have tended to do over the years.
  • Google to stop shutting random services down quite so quickly. I can dream.
  • More developer podcasts to listen to, but hopefully breaking away from the purely one-on-one interview-driven format somehow.
  • Let's Encrypt to continue to be funded and to become more core to how we deploy services. The security certificate market doesn't need to be a sticky swamp any more.
  • AWS to cut their egress rates a bit. C'mon, just a bit.
  • Gmail to continue to find ways to enable genuine, non-spammy email senders to reach opt-in subscribers inboxes more reliably. We continue to encounter occasional deliverability problems.
  • Launching a briefer, daily "here's what you need to know in software development right now" email newsletter. Yes, a StatusCode Daily, if you will. If this sounds interesting, register your interest here.