#61 Jon Skeet (part 2), Google Cloud Platform

Summary
This is part two of my interview with Jon Skeet, we continue from part 1 with some more on C# before discussing the Google Cloud Platform.

Details
.Net Core; is C# Jon's second language? starting on Spectrum, BBC Micro, writing his own language, c, Java was first professional language, took up C# in 2001, "Java is not that bad a language"; Google Cloud Platform, what differentiates Google from the other cloud platforms, Jon aims to make the best c# libraries; Stackoverflow "this could be my next form of addiction"; listener questions - why so many languages; keep it simple when learning and learn one thing at time; how Jon divides his time, work life balance, "don't do anything you don't enjoy or believe to be beneficial to the world".

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#60 Jon Skeet (part 1), Noda Time

Summary
This is part one of a two parter with Jon Skeet, here we talk about Noda Time and all things time, date, time zones and offsets. We also chat about the C# specification. In part two we cover the Google Cloud Platform.

Details
Who he is, what he does, Google briefly (more in part two); Noda Time, history, time libraries are bad, v1 is forever, databases store datetime badly too, what is wrong with current libraries, DateTime.Now is bad, time zones and offsets, how to store and transfer Noda Time, UTC and local times; C# specification, "Mads Toegensen is the nicest person in the world", C# standards bodies, how the language changes.

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#59 Stephanie Viccari, Girl Develop It

Summary
Stephanie Viccari tells me about the Boston chapter of Girl Develop It, an organization that encourages women to enter software development professions.

Details
Who she is, what she does; Girl Develop It, Code and Coffee Boston, anyone can go, wide range of technologies in use; getting a degree or not, easier to target web dev, cost of education vs benefit, are bootcamps a replacement for degrees, ease of getting started with development; how to join or help Girl Develop It.

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#58 Brock Allen, Identity Server

Summary
Brock Allen talks to me about Identity Server, authentication and balancing a consulting job with an open source project.

Details
Who he is and what he does; what Identity Server is and how it works, OpenId Connect, OAuth 2, examples of the protocols; Dominick Baier; what's wrong with a username and password, single sign on; how Identity Server works, can use multiple types of authentication, federation gateway pattern, third party permissions; Identity Server users, claims, roles, authorization, policy based authorization; are they building it for Microsoft, other third party libraries Microsoft is pushing; testing Identity Server; balancing consulting and building Identity Server; release candidate.

Links
Identity Server
Upcoming training and conference

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#57 Xavier Decoster and Maarten Balliauw, MyGet and Growing a Business

Summary
Xavier Decoster and Maarten Balliauw of MyGet talk to me about their service and how to grow a company while keeping a full time job.

Details
Who they are and how they met, what MyGet does, why not store package locally, cdn, load balanced; symbols and symbol servers, debugging; npm and bower; the tech behind MyGet; going from an idea and code to a company, going from free to a business, developing a business model; dealing with business laws, tax, etc; being part time, balancing the full time job with the business and life; challenges of selling to big companies; deciding on the price; hard to provide professional services and support; comparing and communicating with competitors, ProGet, Microsoft uses MyGet for many projects including .net core; considering investors; dealing with the practicalities, tax, vat, "banking is a sick world"; the day Microsoft nearly brought down MyGet ; 2 TB of data uploaded every month, 7 TB downloaded, MyGet by the numbers; getting feedback and supporting customers.

Links
Pro NuGet - book by Maarten and Xavier

Open Source

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#56 Suparna Damany, Repetitive Strain Injuries

Summary
Suparna Damany, physical therapist and hand therapist, author of It's Not Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, talks to me about repetitive strain injuries and how prevent or treat them.

Details
Who she is and what she does, patients with repetitive strain injuries are getting younger; we are not meant to be static, 8 year old patient; repetitive strain injuries (RSI) are common in many professions, one problem leads to another; general fitness doesn't prevent repetitive strain injuries, we are really not meant to be static, onset can seem sudden; vary activity throughout day, it all comes down to blood flow and oxygen; how to fit activity into your work day, drink lots of water; use of braces, body has great capacity for healing, getting to root the cause; carpal tunnel - what it is and what it is not; when to go to a professional therapist, focus on prevention, good posture, catching the problem early is better; Suparna's book, exercises, stretches, workspace layout; parting advice for computer professionals.

Links
Online Ache Solutions

Damany Health

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#55 David Gatti, Developer Communities

Summary
David Gatti talks about developer communities, why they are important and how to build them.

Details
Who he is; what is a developer community, difference with evangelist, Amazon as an example, smaller examples; how does a community developer deliver value; how to build a community, takes time, costs money; finding the right developer to help, good speaker, good with people; community relations becomes a career path, lot of travel; does it provide a return on investment.

 

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#54 Mark Seemann, Functional Programming and F#

Summary
Mark Seemann, author, creator of AutoFixture and Plural Sight coach tells me about functional programming and F# in particular.

Details
His background, started with VB and C++, now programs in C# only for money; what functional programming is; isolating side effects to boundaries of the program; is functional programming only suitable for certain types of application; isolation, great for testing; all of .net is available; composing functions; interfaces, strategy pattern, dependency injection; differences in architecture when developing in F#, quoting Alan Kay; deploying and devops; roslyn and f#; the book that started it for Mark by Tomas Petricek, wrap up.

Book recommendations

I sometimes ask people to recommend a few books that are relevant to the topic and a few that have been influential to them, Mark was kind enough to write the following about his choices.

Programming
Clean Code, by Robert C. Martin. This isn’t the book that changed my approach to programming the most, but it’s the book that I recommend that all programmers should read. While examples are in Java, and thus seem to apply to OOD, I think many of the points apply equally well to FP.

Design Patterns, by Eric Gamma et al. This book changed the way I programmed. The reason I don’t list it as number one today is that it’s not interesting to Functional Programmers, but anyone doing OOD should read it.

Refactoring, by Martin Fowler et al. Another OOD-specific book, this one is a gem because of the list of code smells it contains.

Non-programming

Blindsight, by Peter Watts. This book changed the way I think about consciousness, cognition, and a host of other things. To say anything more would be a spoiler.

Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. This one is embarrassing, but I grew up in the 1970s and 80s Denmark, which was as leftish it could be and still be a NATO member. Being good at something was more of a burden than a blessing. When I read Atlas Shrugged in my early thirties, it was a revelation to discover that there even exists a philosophy that views being good at something as a moral superior position. There’s a lot of Randism that I don’t buy into, but this book taught me that it was OK to be proud of being good at something, and for that, I’m grateful.

The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien. There’s really nothing profound about this, and it isn’t a book I think much about on a normal day. It still holds the singular record of being the only book I’ve read and enjoyed in more than one life stage (twice when I was an adolescent, and a third time around 30). All other books I enjoyed when I was young, I’ve later found basic and disappointing.

Mark also keeps a list of must read books for .Net developers.

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#53 On Freund, Scaling Development

Summary
On Freund VP of Engineering at WeWork talks to me about how a company scales as it grows.

Details
Who he is, background; WeWork is more than a real estate company; scaling in many ways, scaling ability to manage people is most important, promotion paths; change within the organization as it grows, speed vs agility, very hard for large company to change but it is still very productive; as you reach the growth stage more communication is needed; team structure communication channels and Conway's law; team types - big fat monolith type team, changing team structure to build microservices, MVC type team, infrastructure team; does an engineer have the skills to solve the monolith, fixing feature by feature instead of doing it all in one go, we work is hiring in Manhattan and Tel Aviv.

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#52 Eric Bloom, Productivity

Summary
Eric Bloom and I discuss productivity, what it means and how to be more productive in an IT environment.

Details
What is productivity, different kinds of productivity; not viewing IT as a cost centre; knowing what you are good at as a company - The Box book; how to increase your productivity, getting in the zone, picking the right task for your level of energy; culture as an influence on productivity in an organisation, how handle challenges, delegating; dealing with a bad culture, "people are often not against you, just for themselves", diversity of opinion and perspective; bringing about change; Eric's book.

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