Any complex and flexible algorithm reacts to configs to customize software behavior. In this article we look at different types of config and when to use each. We also touch on a light weight auditable runtime configuration system that has been in production for several years configuring millions of web requests per day.
The simplest and most predictable configs are the ones that are statically baked into the code. These are usually easy to unit test because they don’t change after the software is deployed.
Static configs provide great predictability. For example in the case of an incident, one can…
When the software is successful, it usually grows in size and complexity but the brain of humans behind it, doesn’t!
Adding more humans may slightly improve the situation but it has its limits. A better solution is to divide the software into logical pieces small enough for a few humans to cope with and conquer the complexity by integrating all these pieces together.
This division is usually guided by two main tenets:
Over the past 2 decades I’ve had the chance to develop software for a wide range of businesses: robotics, insurance, telecom, online retail, fintech, medtech, media and my own startup. Regardless of the diverse range of products and technologies, in my observation there’s a symbiotic relationship:
I work at the Core team behind some of the top 10 most visited sites in Scandinavia (Sweden & Norway). The product itself is a white label platform to build news sites. Its implementation is governed as an inner source with a community of around 150+ employees and consultants (I have previously written about how this community came to be).
In less than 3 years we went from 1 site to 20+. This growth had deep implications from the way we collaborate to the way we ensure scalability, security and reliability.
Before digging into the processes, one fact needs to…
I joined Schibsted back in 2016 when the relatively new Products and Technology (SPT) unit was filled with ambitious, smart and visionary people. There was a special energy in the company those days. I was happy. I learned a lot over the past 5 years. Anyone who has been at the same place for too long would tell you:
The pace of learning slows down over time.
I artificially prolonged this period by swtiching teams a couple of times to work on new challenges.
Schibsted has many business areas from news sites to marketplaces to financial services and even a…
Large companies are usually comprised of many teams — each focusing on a subset of the problem domain.
To increase agility the company may give autonomy to the teams to decide their work process, tooling, or even defining their own scope. The side effect is that if there is too much autonomy, the teams may grow apart from each other and develop “silos”.
At its extreme, domain knowledge hardly leaves the borders of the team silos and external ideas are dismissed with the “Not Invented Here” syndrome (NIH).
If the company is doing well for many years, it’s possible for…
A Array.map() is a very useful function but, unfortunately, it only works with synchronous functions. A simple workaround for using
async map functions is to use
Promose.all() or its more tolerant brother
It works like this: the
.map() will convert each array item to a promise, so we’ll end up with an array of promises to resolve. There are two ways of doing this:
Promise.all()throws if the map function throws (MDN)
Promise.allSettled()runs the map function for the whole array even if sometimes it throws (MDN)
Therefore, the output of the
.allSettled() is an array of objects…
Career ladder is a great tool for cultivating growth mindset in an organization:
Unfortunately many companies fail to take full advantage of this tool. Let’s visualize some of the common mistakes.
$ node yourfile.js
By typing the name of the interpreter (
node), you are explicitly telling the shell how to run your script.
But that knowledge can be put inside the script itself so it can be run directly as if it was a binary:
This will work only if you have execution permission on that file (you can set that with
chmod u+x yourfile.js …