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Software Weekly - 01/20/2020

Apollo GraphQL, sharding strategies, HTTP/3, tool choices, duct tape programming & more


Last week's most popular episode: Apollo GraphQL with Geoff Schmidt. Geoff talks about the GraphQL ecosystem, the business opportunities around GraphQL, and the process of pivoting from Meteor to Apollo.

Old favorite: Facebook GraphQL with Lee Byron. Lee is the co-creator of GraphQL and he joins the show to tell the story of GraphQL, and how it fit into Facebook’s shift to mobile.

Heroku’s fully managed Postgres, Redis, and Apache Kafka data services help you get started faster, and be more productive, which means you can focus on building data-driven apps, not data infrastructure. Visit to learn more about Heroku’s                                               managed data services.

Interesting Picks in Software Engineering and Architecture

Four Data Sharding Strategies We Analyzed in Building a Distributed SQL Database. Learn about algorithmic sharding, linear hash sharding, consistent hash sharding and range sharding. Which one is better for scalability, availability, and latency?

Istio as an Example of When Not to Do Microservices. Microservices are not one-size-fits-all. Going monolithic came with a lot of advantages: mainly a better CX for the control plane operator.

5 patterns to make your microservice fault-tolerant. Timeouts, retries, circuit breakers, deadlines, and rate limiters.

The truth is that many games are held together by duct tape. The game VVVVVV went open-source, sparking tons of screenshots of unexpected code. Truly entertaining and educational. Also check out VVVVVV’s Source Code Is Now Public, 10 Year Anniversary Jam Happening Now! for some insights on how the game was programmed.

Avoiding burnout as an ambitious developer. Say No. It's not enough to figure out what you want, also figure out what you don't want and say no to that.

No, dynamic type systems are not inherently more open. "Static type systems are not fundamentally worse than dynamic type systems at processing data with an open or partially-known structure." The article presents concrete code examples to make its point.

How we built Picture-in-Picture in FireFox Desktop with more control over video. From the design to inside the DOM, how FireFox built it and a comparison to how other browsers built it.

The Status of HTTP/3. HTTP/3 is still being defined by IETF, with no official release date set yet. Meanwhile, adoption of HTTP/3 is growing worldwide, with almost 300,000 services using it across the world. Google is still the top organization to deploy HTTP/3, but several others take a non-insignificant share.

We’re approaching the limits of computer power – we need new programmers now. "Ever-faster processors led to bloated software, but physical limits may force a return to the concise code of the past." Yes to removing bloat, but no I am not going back to writing assembly/machine language. On the other side, Intel is bullish about a bright future for Moore’s Law.

Building a virtualized list from scratch. UI virtualization is a technique for emulating a list with many elements while rendering as few as possible to make the screen look correct. 

Go slices, maps, pitfalls — and generics. "If you’re writing a function that takes a slice as a parameter, include the slice as a return value."

Letting tools make choices. Summary: tools with opinionated defaults are good. They get developers up and running quickly.

Datadog's intuitive, full-stack monitoring platform provides unified insights into your metrics, traces, and logs. Check it out.

What's New in Tech

The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It. A little-known start-up helps law enforcement match photos of unknown people to their online images — and “might lead to a dystopian future or something,” a backer says.

LEAK: Commission considers facial recognition ban in AI ‘white paper’. The European Commission is considering measures to impose a temporary ban on facial recognition technologies used by both public and private actors, according to a draft white paper on Artificial Intelligence.

Native Web Components come to Microsoft Edge. With the release of Microsoft's new Chromium-based Edge, all major evergreen browsers now support Web Components natively.
 MongoDB is the most popular document-based database built for modern application developers and the cloud era. Try MongoDB today with Atlas, the global cloud database service that runs on AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. Configure, deploy, and connect to your database in just a few minutes. Check it out at


We have partnered with SafeGraph for the SafeGraph Data Hackathon Challenge. We are giving away $4000 in cash prizes, as well as SE Daily and SafeGraph swag. SafeGraph is a geospacial data company which curates a dataset of more than 6 million points of interest. SafeGraph provides a high volume of location data–and you build apps and data science projects with that data. If you have been looking for a creative opportunity to explore large data sets with the potential to win $4000 in cash prizes, this is a great opportunity. The hackathon is hosted on FindCollabs. To enter, go to and sign up.

If you are planning a hackathon, check out FindCollabs Hackathons. Whether you are running an internal hackathon for your company, or you are running an open hackathon so that users can try out your product, FindCollabs Hackathons are a tool for people to build projects and collaborate with each other. You can create your own hackathon at

We are hiring a software engineer who can work across both mobile and web. This role will work on, our iOS app, and our Android application. We are looking for someone who learns very quickly and can produce high quality code at a fast pace. If you are interested in working with us, send an email to

New SEDaily app for iOS and for Android. It includes all 1000 of our old episodes, as well as related links, greatest hits, and topics. You can comment on episodes and have discussions with other members of the community.

Hi there, I'm Abdallah. I am a software developer myself and love talking news, insights, analysis of software engineering, and bringing you interesting content from across the web.
Your support for the show and the newsletter is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Abdallah Abu-Ghazaleh (@TheGhazStation)
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