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Programming: RICE, Bugs, and Java

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Development
  • Double Your Development Velocity without Growing Your Team

    The Developer Experience team at SendGrid is a small, but mighty force of two. We attempt to tackle every problem that we can get our hands on. This often means that some items get left behind.  At the outset, we surveyed everything that was going on in our open source libraries and we quickly realized that we needed to find a way to prioritize what we were going to work on. Luckily, our team lives, organizationally, on the Product Management team, and we had just received a gentle nudge and training on the RICE prioritization framework.

    On our company blog, I wrote an article about how employing this framework, using a spreadsheet, helped us double our velocity as a team within the first sprint. Our development velocity doubled because the most impactful things for the time spent are not always the biggest things, but the biggest things tend to attract the most attention due to their size.

  • Review by many eyes does not always prevent buggy code

    Writing code is hard. Writing secure code is harder—much harder. And before you get there, you need to think about design and architecture. When you're writing code to implement security functionality, it's often based on architectures and designs that have been pored over and examined in detail. They may even reflect standards that have gone through worldwide review processes and are generally considered perfect and unbreakable.*

    However good those designs and architectures are, though, there's something about putting things into actual software that's, well, special. With the exception of software proven to be mathematically correct,** being able to write software that accurately implements the functionality you're trying to realize is somewhere between a science and an art. This is no surprise to anyone who's actually written any software, tried to debug software, or divine software's correctness by stepping through it; however, it's not the key point of this article.

  • Java Moving Forward With Faster Pace Release Schedule, Modular System
  • Onwards to Valhalla: Java ain't dead yet and it's only getting bigger

    Scale was big at the JavaOne conference this week. Spotify lauded its success scaling with Java, and Oracle execs practically squealed as they reeled off adoption statistics. Big Red believes the next ten years belong to Java.

    "We want the next decade to be Java first, Java always," vice president Mark Cavage said on stage.

    Of course Java is already big and among those on stage was Alibaba, one of the world's largest Java users, which talked up its ability to run more than a million JVM instances at once.

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Open Source OS Still supporting 32-bit Architecture and Why it’s Important

One after the other, Linux distributions are dropping 32-bit support. Or, to be accurate, they drop support for the Intel x86 32-bit architecture (IA-32). Indeed, computers based on x86_64 hardware (IA-64) are superior in every way to their 32-bits counterpart: they are more powerful, run faster, are more compact, and more energy efficient. Not mentioning their price has considerably decreased in just a few years. If you have the opportunity to switch to 64 bits, do it. But, to quote a mail I received recently from Peter Tribble, author of Tribblix: “[… ] in the developed world we assume that we can replace things; in some parts of the developing world older IA-32 systems are still the norm, with 64-bit being rare.” Read more

KDE Applications 17.12 Lands with Dolphin Enhancements, HiDPI Support for Okular

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Stable kernels 4.14.6 and 4.9.69

Two new stable kernels have been released by Greg Kroah-Hartman: 4.14.6 and 4.9.69. As usual, they contain fixes all over the kernel tree; users of those series should upgrade. Read more See: Linux 4.14.6 and Linux 4.9.69