Hello everyone!

The twenty-fifth edition of my weekly newsletter is out! Check it out here.

This week, I wrote a summary of “10% Human” by Alanna Collen. Research into the codependence between humans and the bacteria living in our gut is revealing startling facts, and this book is a good introduction to how our bodies work together with bacteria to make “us”.

This week from the internet, @MarcJBrooker on how web-scale systems are built, Juntin Etheredge on why it takes so long to build software, and Richard Bartlett on why he believes that the problem in organization design is not hierarchies but power structures.

If you like reading about software engineering, organization design, and the occasional book review, you should subscribe to receive the next editions of this newsletter. Check out the archive and sign up!

Cheers!

Kislay


How your body’s microbes hold the key to health and happiness

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Buy on Amazon

10% Human: How your body’s microbes hold the key to health and happiness by Alana Collen is my first introduction to the hidden world of the microbes that live in our gut. This topic has been gathering momentum (especially after the Gamechangers documentary) and this book is a great introduction to many to the basic concepts and makes a great case for thinking about our body’s bacterial residents a little more holistically than we have done so far.

The book is well written and engaging. There are a lot of surprising facts and new concepts that I could not help…


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Hello everybody!

The twenty-third edition of my weekly newsletter is out! Check it out!

This week I write about the frequently occurring problem of “go-around” in central products — when teams start building small, custom solutions because the central platform does not expose all its capabilities. This is a pernicious problem of too much abstraction, and platform thinking offers a direct way of addressing it.

From the internet, @tmcw on a fresh start for the internet, a visual introduction to machine learning concepts by @stephaniejyee and @tonyhschu, the Google paper describing Zanzibar (their authorization system), and @acemarke on his experiences in learning and using Typescript.

If you like reading about software engineering, organization design, and the occasional book review, you should subscribe to receive the next editions of this newsletter. Check out the archive and sign up.

Cheers!

Kislay


Apply platform thinking to prevent teams from bypassing core systems

Consider this fairly common scenario. A team builds a system that is meant to be used by the entire company e.g. a video management platform (VMP). This system is supposed to take care of all needs like video storage, editing, bitrate optimizations, delivery/CDN, etc so that no one else has to deal with them. You just bring your video and all else is taken care of. As a result of this overarching goal, only one interface is exposed to the user of the system to consume its capabilities — the bring-your-own-video API/UI. …


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Hello Everyone!

The twenty-second edition of my weekly newsletter is out! Check it out here!

From the internet, a comparative analysis of Rest-vs-GraphQL, @indiyoung on when to explore problem spaces, a 1996 interview with Andy Grove and Bill Gates, and a curated library of resources for engineering leadership by @chapati23

If you like reading about software engineering, organization design, and the occasional book review, you should subscribe to receive the next editions of this newsletter. Check out the archive and sign up.

Cheers!


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Hello everyone,

The twenty-first edition of my weekly newsletter is out! Check it out!

This week on the blog, I wrote a short rant on the role technology is playing in political crises around the world. I don’t know what the answer is, but technology operating at unfettered scale probably isn’t it. Let me know what you think of this.

From the internet, Jose Valim on a decade of the Elixir programming language, A 7 part series by Uwe Friedrichsen on the common myths of microservices, a classic on how complex systems fail, and an analysis of the ethic of…


The internet is killing our collective fictions, and what to do about it

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Photo by Louis Velazquez on Unsplash

I’ve been watching the events unfolding in the US political scene with a sort of dread fascination and thinking about the role technology has played in this. While it is good to see technology companies responding in some way to the madness of Donald Trump, the timing is so suspect that it creates more mistrust than faith in my mind. FB et al are jumping in the convenient direction — all this cancelling should have been done 2, if not 4 years ago. But then, is a for-profit company obliged to have a moral imperative, high-minded mission statements notwithstanding?

The…


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Hi everyone!

The twentieth edition of my weekly newsletter is out! Check it out — https://kislayverma.com/newsletter-archive/?email_id=35

This week I wrote a retrospective of the things I did in 2020 and my learnings and realizations from doing them. In a year full of turmoil, this is my attempt at looking at the things that went well.

From the internet, a compilation of articles on building platforms by Simon Cicero, the Open Group Architecture Framework for enterprise architects, Kevlin Henney on paradigms, refactoring, control flow, data….., and Ruth Malan on the importance of visual design in engineering.

If you like reading about…


My highlights and learnings from 2020

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2020 was a milestone year in all our lives. From acknowledging that such a plague had visited us, to pretty much living indoors for 9 months (and counting), to hearing horror stories of death and loss of livelihood, political turmoil the world over, getting used to a continuous stream of Zoom/Team/Hangout meetings while never actually meeting your colleagues — it has all been a handful.

At the end of the year, I wanted to look at some of the things I managed to achieve, and some of the things I managed to learn. …


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Hello Everyone!

The nineteenth edition of my weekly newsletter is out! Check it out here!

The Stripe engineering team on the first 10 years of their payment API, Packy McCormick on the power of an API strategy, John Cutler on one-person non-teams, and a guide to building great command-line tools.

If you like reading about software engineering, organization design, and the occasional book review, you should subscribe to receive the next editions of this newsletter. Check out the archive and sign up.

If you like what you find, bring your friends and let’s talk software and teams! Drop me a line if you have any feedback about the newsletter or the stuff shared in it.

Cheers!

Kislay

Kislay Verma

Code, products, platforms, books, music

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