11 March 2018

Reading / Status, 11 March 18

The Google SRE book, up through chapter 26.  Chapter 25, on pipelines, and 26, on data integrity, were actually relevant to my work, so that was neat.  I was somewhat disappointed with Chapter 22, on cascading failures - they're a topic of great interest to me, but the treatment here was very practical, specific to distributed computing environments, rather than as a general phenomenon.  I was impressed by the degree to which PAXOS is central to Google's production systems (having previously considered PAXOS an academic / military-industrial curiosity with little commercial application).

Peopleware, 2nd Edition (because I'm cheap).  This is an excellent book, and agrees mightily with my experience as a software engineer and briefly as a team lead.  I'm considering springing for the 3rd edition.

Related to Peopleware's argument that most differences in programmer productivity are a product of the work environment, particularly distractions, Dan Luu on programmer moneyball and Abe Winter contra slack.

Paul Graham's Beating the Averages, and subsequently parts of ANSI Common LISP, particularly the macros chapter.  I was kind of unimpressed, which might mean that I didn't really understand it.

Parts of Thinking in C++, Second Edition, which stackoverflow recommended in answer to a query about "C++ for C programmers".

Parts of Cracking the Coding Interview.  Not an especially insightful book; I could see this having been very useful to me when I was an undergrad interviewing for internships, and it was a decent refresher on basic topics, but I guess the main thing I learned is that the bar for algorithmic knowledge might be lower than I thought and I shouldn't try to cram (say) optimal max-flow/min-cut and convex hull algorithms before interviews.

In sum: things which name and explain my dissatisfactions with my current employer, and resources for acquiring a new employer (maybe I should be trying to change things here instead of just bailing?).  Not so much stuff that I'm really interested in reading for its own sake.

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