#298 — January 6, 2021

Web Version

👋 We're back! Usually we end the year by looking back at the biggest items of the year, but December was so busy that we've decided to leave it till now :-) If you didn't see every issue last year (and you probably didn't!) you should find a few things in this issue that will catch your imagination.
Peter Cooper, your editor

StatusCode Weekly
What's happening in software development, ops, platforms and tools.

The most clicked stories of 2020

Amazingly, all of your most clicked links were to evergreen, broad picture stories, rather than timely news or announcements, so they stand up very well to reading again :-)

1.  Why Senior Engineers Get “Nothing” Done — This was one of those insightful but slightly flippant opinion posts where things could hit a little close to home. However you feel about 'nothing', being a senior software engineer in an organization is not necessarily what you think it might be at first glance and may not be the actual job you want.

Swizec Teller

2.  The Devastating Decline of a Brilliant Young Coder — Not a technical article but a fascinating, though sad, look at the fate that befell one of Cloudflare's original developers. What happened to him is something that could affect any of us 😔 Warning: You may find it a hard read.

Sandra Upson (WIRED)

Remote Instructor-Led Go, Docker, Kubernetes, Terraform, & Python Training — We offer live-streaming remote training sessions for individual engineers and companies that want to augment their knowledge in Go, Docker, Kubernetes, Terraform, and Python. We’ve trained over 10,000 engineers via our carefully crafted classes.

Ardan Labs sponsor

3.  A Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day at Slack — While you can't take pleasure in someone else’s outage, the story behind an outage can make for good reading indeed and so it went here with Slack early in 2020. It came down to how they were using HAProxy, one of my favorite bits of infrastructure software ever.

Laura Nolan

4.  The 'Year 2038 Problem' Is Already Causing Issues — In 2038, the number of seconds since January 1, 1970 (commonly used as an ‘epoch’ point) will exceed what can be stored in a signed 32 bit integer and this is A Problem™. Not only that, but it can be a problem now as seen in this Twitter thread.

John Feminella on Twitter

5.  'Things I Wished More Developers Knew About Databases' — A Google engineer (whose name may be familiar to those Go developers amongst you) shares 17 insights about databases she’s picked up over the years. I strongly recommend this piece and I identify with lots of the points myself.

Jaana B. Dogan

6.  An Illustrated Guide to How NAT Traversal Works — Just how can peer-to-peer connections be established between two machines in spite of all the obstacles in the way? This is a thorough look at a complex problem and solution.

David Anderson

7.  Why Discord Is Switching From Go to Rust — An engineer at Discord (the popular gaming oriented chat system) talks about how they dramatically improved the performance of a backend service by switching from Go to Rust. The comparison is against an older version of Go (1.9.2) vs a nightly build of Rust, though, so it’s a bit apples to oranges as Go has made many GC related enhancements since then.

Jesse Howarth

Honorable mentions:

  1. Amazon Web Services Described in One Line Each
  2. Comparing HTTP/3 vs. HTTP/2 Performance
  3. GitLab's Tech Stack and Systems Diagram and Spreadsheet

📘 Top Tutorials of 2020

Some SQL Tricks of an Application DBA — A neat article with a variety of non-trivial tips for database development. If you ever touch SQL, you should find something useful here or at least enjoy the exploration.

Haki Benita

Things You Want to Do in Git and How to Do Them — If you don’t get much further with git than clone, commit, push, and pull, this might help you take some extra steps into its full power.


Conversational AI as a Service - A New Tool in Your Developer Toolkit — By the end of the 2020's, over 80% of all business communications will be automated on a human-level.

Dasha sponsor

How the Famous 'Fast Inverse Square Root' Code Works — Quake 3’s source code famously included a clever, but rather opaque, function for rapidly calculating inverse square roots.. how does it work? Tim digs about.

Tim Hutt

Managing Technical Quality in a Codebase — Wise insights that clearly come from extensive experience in running software teams.

Will Larson

  5 Most Clicked YouTube Videos of 2020

By StatusCode Weekly readers, anyway! No PewDiePie here ;-)

🔧 Top Tools of 2020

htop 3.0 Released: The Interactive Process Viewerhtop is a long standing tool that provides a better process viewing experience than standard top. v3.0 was released in 2020. Changelog here, but mostly this is an evolutionary step.

htop maintainers

Supercharge Stream Feeds with Algolia & GraphQL

Stream sponsor

Windows Got a Package Manager, a Terminal, Linux GUI Apps, And.. And.. — A flurry of news from May's Microsoft Build event including Windows getting a package manager: Windows Package Manager. In other news, MS worked on getting Linux GUI apps running on Windows 10, a new Terminal app, the .NET Multi-Platform App UI, and even DirectX for Linux. It remains an exciting time even if, like me, you’re not often in the Windows world.


Waypoint: A Build and Deploy Workflow System from Hashicorp — HashiCorp began in the Ruby world with Vagrant, a still popular open source tool for (originally) creating VMs. Waypoint was their latest open source project which aimed to provide a Heroku-esque build and deploy experience on a wide array of platforms.


JuliaMono: A New Typeface for Developers — There’s a lot to enjoy in this font originally created to be revealed at JuliaCon 2020 but now freely available for us to use and enjoy. It’s packed with useful mathematical symbols, alphabets, alternate characters, and symbols.


GitExplorer: Find the Right git Commands To Use — It’s not unusual to have only mastered a handful of commands with tools like git, but what if you want to go a little off piste? Rather than Googling for an answer, this could help you hone in on the command you need.


💻 Jobs

Find Your Next Job Through Vettery — Create a profile on Vettery to connect with hiring managers at startups and Fortune 500 companies. It's free for job-seekers.