Eric Ball

Setting yourself apart as a new developer. Also: Mumble, Raspberry Pi 2, Digital Dark Age, Occupy Flash, "Ninjas" and "Rockstars", and Git!

Eric Ball

Eric Ball


Show Notes

News (00:02:30)

Vint Cerf: Digital Dark Age (00:02:38)

Vint Cerf worked on the ARPANET and co-designed TCP/IP (along with Bob Kahn). He’s a pretty big deal.

Cerf’s talk was part of the Carnegie Mellon University Silicon Valley campus’ Distinguished Lecture Series.

TL;DR: In the far future, we may not be able to interpret all of the data (human history) that we’re creating now, because we’re storing them in formats that become obsolete and are forgotten about. Cerf says:

The solution is to take an X-ray snapshot of the content and the application and the operating system together, with a description of the machine that it runs on, and preserve that for long periods of time. And that digital snapshot will recreate the past in the future.

This “snapshot” would be in a single standardized format and should ensure that the data will always be interpretable.

The Olive Project is a current effort to preserve content in such a way.

HTTP/2 (00:09:34)

The IETF announced in February that its Internet Engineering Steering Group has approved HTTP/2 for standardization, and it’s now in the queue for final editing and publication!

There are a few implementations out there, with hopefully many more to come in the next year or so. NGINX has committed to having a release with HTTP/2 support “by the end of 2015”. Apache has a ticket to track support, but there haven’t been any announcements that work has started on it yet.

And don’t worry, IIS isn’t going away with the new ASP.NET vNext. The thing was that it will no longer be coupled to IIS, and will be server-agnostic.

Raspberry Pi 2 (00:14:25)

The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B came out in February, replacing the Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+ at the top of the product line.

The move to the Cortex-A7 means that the Pi now joins the myriad consumer devices on the market using the ARMv7 architecture. Operating systems previously out of reach, like Ubuntu and Windows, can now run unhindered on the platform.

The NUC (Next Unit of Computing) is an Intel-designed small form factor PC platform. Its priorities are energy efficiency and having a tiny footprint. And although it shares several potential applications with the Pi, it’s designed for desktop-level performance and versatility.

Check out our previous episode for more about the hackathon projects we’re talking about!

Starting Out in the Industry with Eric Ball (00:24:13)

What Eric Does (00:24:36)

Eric is a “Software Engineer in Performance and Tools” for ExtraHop!

The Interview Process (00:38:23)

  • Getting to know you from your past work.
    • GitHub comes in handy!
  • Solving problems on the whiteboard.
    • Some not necessarily solvable.
    • It’s about how you solve problems.

Advice for New Developers (00:43:03)

This is Awesome! (01:00:05)

Occupy Flash (01:00:05)

Turn off Flash!

In Chrome, go to chrome://plugins and click the Disable link for Adobe Flash Player.

In Firefox, go to about:addons, then Plugins, then disable Flash.

Mumble (01:04:43)

Mumble is an open source, low-latency, high quality voice chat software.

  1. Free, Open Source
  2. Easy to setup
  3. Extendible

There are bindings for C++, Java, .NET, Python, PHP and Ruby, and this is supported on all our platforms

We’re using it for the podcast!

The actual confirmed legitimate GitHub repo for the Mumble project!

Controversy Corner: “Ninjas” and “Rockstars” (01:09:46) thankfully shows downward trends in the use of terms like “rockstar”, “ninja”, and “guru”, but we still come across job titles and descriptions with them from time to time.

  • We don’t need our job descriptions to be spiced up – we’re already excited about programming!
  • It isn’t very descriptive; it’s just fluff.
  • It sounds like you don’t know what you want.
    • Maybe it’s being written by non-developers and they’re trying to make it sound more fun because they don’t know how fun programming is to us.
    • But maybe those non-developers writing programmer job descriptions should know more.
  • Maybe those terms are used to try to convey the level of respect and adoration that the company has for developers.
    • But a culture that puts one kind of employee on a pedestal breeds its own problems.
    • Do you want non-developers feeling second-class?
    • Do you want developers who think that they’re better than everyone else?
      • These kinds of developers tend to find it hard to admit when they don’t know something.
      • They might even put themselves above other developers, undermining the trust and cohesion of the team.
    • The terms are meaningless – show appreciation with real things, like paid time off, food, and recreation.

This is the Intel commercial we were talking about:

Plugs! (01:25:29)

Eric’s GitHub (01:25:36)

Here’s his GitHub!

Chris’ Git Talk (01:26:29)

Chris is giving a talk on Git on April 1st at 5:30pm in Sloan 150.