What do you do with five minute chunks of time?

During my morning planning today, I was thinking about the highest priority work task I had on my plate. Without getting too into the details, I introduced a new component into our system, and it's been failing in... interesting ways. I can issue a command to invoke that failure, but it takes about five minutes to run its course. I figured that I might be alternating several times between provoking this failure and analyzing the new findings - so, I thought to myself: what's the best way to spend that time? Here are some thoughts I had on that:

Posted on 2020-09-11

Save time by focusing on the result - using Prometheus' textfile collector to avoid writing an exporter

My friend Frew, as well as others, have said that our job as developers is not to write code, but rather to solve problems. I had a win in this regard relatively recently where I saved myself a good chunk of time by leveraging a Prometheus component for a purpose it may not have been designed for, but is remarkably well suited to.

Posted on 2020-09-07

Surprising Logic in the Firefox Codebase

Recently, I was curious about how Firefox's reader view implements its estimated reading time, so I spent a little time looking through the Firefox codebase. It turns out that it uses the readability package to extract the content of a page. Once it has that, it gets the length of that content and divides it by an estimated reading speed - and it was this part that surprised me:

Posted on 2020-08-25

Making Slack go slack-jawed: reducing the mental load around Slack notifications

As I mentioned in a previous post, I use Slack at work, and I find it to be a constant source of distraction. I have taken to shutting it off for much of the day, which has the obvious disadvantage that if people need to reach me, they can't! In that post, I admit my weakness of needing to acknowledge unread badges and proposed a sort of "narrowing" features for Slack. I wanted to follow up on that and discuss some of the solutions I thought of, as well as the one I'm currently using.

Posted on 2020-08-11

A little mistake I made in Go

I was working on a little Go project last night a few nights ago last weekend (boy it takes me way longer to finish blog posts these days!), and I wrote something like the following code, which has a bug in it:

Posted on 2020-07-26