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  • NJL Heavy Industries, LLC
    muse on how being good at something can be a detriment Simulating Disney Monorail Throughput In which I simulate throughput optimizations on the Walt Disney World Monorail Technical Debt In which I talk about what technical debt is and how it has a real impact on business results Services Implications In which I lay out a few feelings about the implications of a service oriented architecture Orangutans and Koalas In

    Original URL path: http://www.njl.us/essays/ (2016-04-27)
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  • NJL Heavy Industries, LLC
    I give links to stuff to control a helicopter from Python Easy JavaScript Templates In which I point out an easy way to do JavaScript templates HNScrape In which I unleash a library to scrape Hacker News front page jQuery Perlin In which I show a small jQuery plugin that adds Perlin noise to an elements background Making Postfix Accept All Mail and Stick It In One Inbox In which

    Original URL path: http://www.njl.us/code/ (2016-04-27)
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  • NJL Heavy Industries, LLC
    Meetup Lightning Talk Introduction to Flask In which I tell a Django meetup about the joys of Flask Boston Django Meetup Maps Sets and Graphs In which I tell you all about Maps Sets and Graphs Boston Python Meetup Cheap Helicopters In My Living Room In which I tell you how Cheap Helicopters Arduino Awesome Boston Python Meetup PyCon 2014 Enough Machine Learning to Make Hacker News Readable Again In

    Original URL path: http://www.njl.us/talks/ (2016-04-27)
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  • Color Tileable Background Grid Spacing 8 Opacity 0 3 Tile Size 200 Fallback Rerender

    Original URL path: http://www.njl.us/static/pages/jquery-perlin/demo.html (2016-04-27)
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  • NJL Heavy Industries, LLC
    discovery Surprises will happen Sometimes they re good surprises Often they re bad ones Anything that s a special case or messy or untested or hard to get a new programmer up to speed on is technical debt Your custom protocol that only takes half a day to understand That s technical debt use HTTP or something else off the shelf Your crazy build process that only two people in the organization understand That s technical debt Automate that stuff Your super clever code that does fancy math to figure something out Probably technical debt I bet the test coverage is atrocious and code with fancy math probably needs better comments than you ve got in it Technical debt is important because it is the thing slowing your development velocity The fundamental limit on a programmer s capacity is how much can be shoved into their mind at once This is why a low distraction environment is important for programming Technical debt adds to what you need to have in your head without adding corresponding power As technologists this is the case we need to take to business owners and it s a hard one When you re writing a list of features customers are screaming for on Post Its and arguing about order it can be hard to try to force in set up an automated build system or refactor the user code to remove all the code about multiple addresses These are costs that are hidden from business stakeholders It is our job as technologists to highlight the importance of adding tests rewriting broken modules refactoring and improving infrastructure At the same time we need to admit to ourselves that it s usually in our nature to want to build grandiose frameworks and extensive tooling that s overwrought

    Original URL path: http://www.njl.us/essays/technical-debt/ (2016-04-27)
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  • NJL Heavy Industries, LLC
    now Frederick Brooks is alluding to this in The Mythical Man Month when he advises us to plan to throw one away you will anyhow I was once asked in a job interview about code I felt proud about I might have been able to answer that question for the first few years out of college I am far too aware of my limitations these days This is where the true beauty of services shine Services are a single isolated piece of gross There are the obvious things that you would say when talking about collections of APIs talking to one another Services should be cohesive and loosely coupled you should be able to deploy and test them both in isolation and in concert They should be documented Services are a useful unit for monitoring alerting scaling deployment and backup It frequently makes sense to map a few services to a development team There are some less obvious things though Services should be designed to be replaced If you re lucky enough to be successful you re going to need to replace them sooner or later Maybe you ll need to add features your design makes improbable or you ll have an untenable scaling bottleneck I also strongly suspect that services should be scoped so that they could be rebuilt by a reasonable sized team in a reasonable length of time I ll leave the definition of reasonable up to the reader So how do you design your service to be replaced You should probably be talking to your service over a mechanism with support for lots of languages HTTP is the obvious choice as a bonus you get lots of free tooling Scaling an internal service with ELB or Varnish is a pretty nifty trick You should probably avoid

    Original URL path: http://www.njl.us/essays/services-implications/ (2016-04-27)
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  • NJL Heavy Industries, LLC
    dependent on a collection of circumstances that could be ended by one nasty strain of some eucalyptus blight Orangutans are highly opportunistic They can find dozens of ways to feed themselves Rather than adopting to and optimizing for one niche they are optimized to be creative and find ways to make it happen Orangutans have levels of patience and focus that are apparently near unique among animals which pay off

    Original URL path: http://www.njl.us/essays/orangutans-and-koalas/ (2016-04-27)
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  • NJL Heavy Industries, LLC
    good domains Decent names are still out there and you can find them it just takes work The name of your website and the name of your business should be the same Don t set up a website called Ed s Cool Television Stands on the domain name amazingtvstands com This will hurt you in search rankings when people search for Ed s Cool Television Stands Modern search engines use hundreds of factors to determine how various sites rank in the search results One interesting tweak is that a direct match between search terms and the domain name will almost always rank you first This is because a lot of people don t know how to use the address bar of their browser instead they type the website they want into the search box of the search engine on their home page If you can get a website name that could be a good search term for your website do so This is one of two arguments I have against website names like Meebo or Zillow or Zappos The second is budget If you had the budget to build a suitably large brand around a nonsense word you wouldn t be listening to my advice Finally your domain name should be as short as you can make it but no shorter Bobsneckties com is better than bobsfantasticneckties com Fantasticneckties com is even better When researching possible domain names you need to be careful A fair number of sites that purport to help you find a domain name will actually rush out and buy the domain name before you get a chance Yes there are some scummy people on the internet These are the tools I recommend One good tool is Instant Domain Search which will instantly tell you if a

    Original URL path: http://www.njl.us/essays/online-business-choosing-a-domain-name/ (2016-04-27)
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