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Software Weekly - 07/08/2019

Google WebAssembly, bad tracing, logs vs metrics, configuration management in TypeScript, cloud outages & more


Last week’s most popular episode: Google Earth WebAssembly with Jordon Mears. Jordan talks about the engineering behind Google Earth and how WebAssembly is being used to improve efficiency. He also discusses the state of tooling around WebAssembly today.

Old favorite: WebAssembly Engineering with Ben Smith and Thomas Nattestad. Ben and Thomas talk about the state of WebAssembly, what the different browser manufacturers are doing, and some cool uses for WebAssembly–from games to CDNs to cryptocurrency infrastructure.

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Interesting Picks in Software Engineering and Architecture

Distributed Tracing — we’ve been doing it wrong. Truly thought-provoking read on why trace-view is not the right abstraction to debug systems. Instead, the author provides suggestions for new views based on trace data that would help in hypothesis-driven debugging.

Logs vs. metrics: a false dichotomy. This article hits some very important points about logs and metrics. I always believed that logs, metrics, and traces should really be one thing.

Using Microservices to Solve Developers Stepping on Each Other’s Toes. "There is a scale beyond which collective code ownership doesn't work for a single codebase. But that doesn't mean you should abandon it. What's better is to create smaller scopes of code and teams within which it can continue to work well."

jk - Configuration as code with TypeScript. This really ends up being templated JSON -> YAML but it is still more powerful and I am sure this will improve over time.

Configuration management: The good, the bad and the ugly. A short preview on challenges of configuration management focusing on secret management.

Cloudflare outage caused by bad software deploy (updated). Cloudflare pushed a change manually globally. The internet had a lot to say about this outage. Mainly: testing in production is hard, but overriding system safety controls and pushing globally is worst. Cloudflare needs control systems to make sure code and configuration changes follow a controlled pipeline. Not to be critical but Cloudflare has a "this is shameful" mentality which is a harmful idea when it comes to building resilient systems and doing root-cause analysis. 

Which MOOC has the best game development courses? Click to find out the answer. I approve of the answer because I have done courses through the same MOOC and it's truly my favorite way to learn things online (more academically).

Using AWK and R to parse 25tb. Long read, skip to Lessons Learned section if interested. My fav is "Spark is a lot of overhead for simple jobs." I agree, most times awk and simple processing would suffice.

Why We Run Managed CockroachDB on Kubernetes. CockroachDB is using Kubernetes not for efficiently managing workloads but for a unified interface for managing workloads. It makes sense only because CockroachDB is running in both GCP and AWS. I wouldn't recommend someone do this unless they truly need to be multi-cloud. 

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What's New in Tech

iCloud goes down: Apple joins the Google, Facebook, Cloudflare cloud outage club. This was a bad week for the internet. A lot of providers were down, major consumer services were down. Availability and resiliency are hard.

Canadians are being targeted by foreign influence campaigns, CSIS says. Although Canada has strict rules about political ads on social media, it seems like there are not enough controls to stop foreign campaigns online. 

Meet Godlua, the first known malware that leverages DNS over HTTPS. A DDoS bot that can hide its traffic using DNS over HTTPS (DoH). Time to invest in better DDoS prevention mechanisms.

YouTube’s Policy on Hacking Tutorials is Problematic. YouTube is banning educational hacking videos which means kids will turn to shady forums to learn to hack.

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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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