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 social media and attention economy. …


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 far-right and far-left have always been at the forefront of anti-intellectualism in all countries. In an increasingly polarized world, since FB, Twitter, and others are identified as technology companies rather than media companies, these shenanigans further erode the trust in technology to build a better world for everyone and in fact further the “fake news” narrative instead of setting tech as a custodian of empowerment. …


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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 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 —…


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


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Hi Folks,

The eighteenth edition of my weekly newsletter is out! Check it out!

This week on the blog, I wrote about what feature toggles are and how we can use them to make code changes faster and safer to deploy.

From the internet, Google’s RCA on the recent outage, Kyle Evans on Product thinking over Project thinking, Kousik Nath’s great series on understanding the Raft protocol and distributed consensus, and an overview of architectures for modern data platforms from the Andreesen-Horowitz blog.

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. …


Decouple deployment from release

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Photo by Florian Olivo on Unsplash

I mentioned feature toggles a couple of time in one of my recent articles on increasing deployment speed, and they have been a topic of discussion in my team at work, so today I want to dig into them in some detail to see what they are, how they can be used, and what may be the problems of using them.

What are feature toggles

Feature Toggles (also sometimes called Feature Gates) are a kind of configuration used to switch specific features on and off at runtime. By on and off I mean that they control whether or not certain code paths are executed (on) or not (off). They are used by developers when they want to change some existing functionality or introduce new functionality but they want to do it in a controlled manner, rather than having the changes go into effect as soon as the code is deployed. …


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Hi everyone!

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

This week on the blog, I take a deep dive into the workflow architecture pattern. Done right, this can bring the dual benefits of architectural decoupling and organizational clarity to the system.

From the internet, Alex Wang on information compression and communication overheads, Orkhan Gasimov on the fundamentals of solution architecture, Bruce Wang on the pursuit of creating impact, and Kilian Weinberger on the importance of deconstructing the complex to reveal the simple.

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.

About

Kislay Verma

Code, products, platforms, books, music

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