Coding Blocks

This episode we are talking about the future of tech with the Gartner Top Strategic Technology Trends 2024. Also, Allen is looking into the crystal ball, Joe is getting lo, and Outlaw is getting into curling.

The full show notes for this episode are available at https://www.codingblocks.net/episode224.

News

  • Thank you for the reviews! justsomedudewritingareview, Stephan
    • You can find links to leave us reviews on the website (/reviews)
  • Orlando Code Camp is coming up February 24th, woo! (orlandocodecamp.com)
  • Make sure you read up on your next MacBook pro, if you want to maximize the performance then you are going to need to pay for it!
  • Reminder: Don't install packages from the internet in your CICD pipeline!
  • You can find links to leave us reviews on the website (/reviews)

Gartner Top Strategic Technology Trends 2024

No surprise, AI is a big topic - it looks like Gartner is suggesting the technologies and processes companies must follow to be successful using and incorporating AI
In this overview, Gartner has grouped these technologies into three different sections

  1. Protect Your Investment
  2. Rise of the Builders
  3. Deliver the Value

Protect Your Investment

  • Be deliberate
  • Ensure that you've secured appropriate rights for deploying AI driven solutions

AI Trism - AI Trust, Risk and Security Management

  • AI model governance
    • Trustworthiness
    • Fairness
    • Reliability
    • Robustness
    • Transparency
    • Data protection
  • Gartner Prediction - By 2026, companies that incorporate AI Trism controls will improve decision-making by reducing faulty and invalid information by 80%

Why is AI Trism Trending?

  • Largely, those who have AI Trism controls in place move more to production, achieve more value, and have higher precision in their modeling
  • Enhance bias control decisions
  • Model explainability

How to get started with AI Trism?

  • Set up a task force to manage the efforts
  • Work across the organization to share tools and best practices
  • Define acceptable use policies and set up a system to review and approve access to AI models

Continuous Threat Exposure Management - CTEM

  • Systemic approach to continuously adjust cybersecurity priorities
  • Gartner prediction - By 2026, companies invested in CTEM will reduce security breaches by 2/3 (statista.com)
  • Aligns exposure assessment with specific projects or critical threat vectors (fortinet.com)
  • Both patchable and unpatchable exposures will be addressed
  • Business can test the effectiveness of their security controls against the attacker's view
    • "Expected outcomes from tactical and technical response
      are shifted to evidence-based security optimizations supported
      by improved cross-team mobilization."

How to get started?

  • Integrate CTEM with risk awareness and management programs
  • Improve the prioritization of finding vulnerabilities through validation techniques
  • Embrace cybersecurity validation technologies (cybersecurityvalidation.com)
    • "security validation is a process or a technology that validates assumptions made about the actual security posture of a given environment, structure, or infrastructure"
    • Sustainable Technology Framework
    • Solutions for enabling social, environmental and governance outcomes for long term ecological balance and human rights
    • Gartner prediction - by 2027, 25% of CIO's will have compensation that's linked to their sustainable technology impact
    • Why trending?
    • Environmental technologies help deal with risks in the natural world
    • Social technologies help with human rights
    • Governance technologies strengthen business conduct
    • Sustainable technologies provide insights for improving overall performance
    • How to get started?
    • Select technologies that help drive sustainability
    • Have an ethics board involved when developing the roadmap (gartner.com)
    • Use the Gartner "Hype Cycle for Sustainability 2023" - helps identify well-established vs leading-edge technologies for enterprise sustainability (gartner.com)

Resources We Like

  • "Where Online Returns Really End Up And What Amazon Is Doing About It" (YouTube)

Tip of the Week

  • Lofi Girl is a youtube channel that plays lo-fi hip hop beats, with a relaxing minimalistic animations. The people behind Lo-Fi Girl also released a new channel featuring a Synthwave (80's influenced mid-tempo electro music) Boy. Same type thing, but Synthwave music. (youtube.com)
  • If you are interested in streaming technologies and/or Apache Pinot then you should check out the Real-Time Analytics podcast by Tim Berglund (rta.buzzsprout.com)
  • Are you having runtime issues with your Docker container? Why not run it, and poke around? (curl.se)

Direct download: coding-blocks-episode-224.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 6:44pm EST

To see all the items on 2023's holiday shopping list, head over to 
https://www.codingblocks.net/episode223

Direct download: coding-blocks-episode-223.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 5:03pm EST

News

  • Thanks for the reviews!
    • Debug Dugg
    • myotherproglangisjava
    • Daniel Kastinen
  • The call for speakers is open till December 15th for Orlando Code Camp
  • Sony announces a9 III: World's first full-frame global shutter camera (dpreview.com)

Technology Adoption Roadmap for Midsize Enterprises 2022-2024

  • Gartner Report Technology Adoption Roadmap for Midsize Enterprises 2022-2024More than 400 MSE's interviewed (gartner.com)
  • 53 technologies were mapped to adoption stage (pilot, deployed 2022, deploy in 2023), value and risk
  • Value was determined by looking at the following factors
    • Increasing cost efficiency
    • Improving speed and agility
    • Enabling resilience
    • Enhancing employee productivity
  • Deployment risk
    • Cybersecurity risks
    • Implementation cost
    • Talent availability
    • Vendor supply chain disruption
    • Geopolitical risks

Key Takeaways

  • Cybersecurity
    • Investments prioritized in (M)anaged (D)etection and (R)response - this to deal with the growing threat of digital risks including things like ransomware
    • (S)ecure (A)ccess (S)ervice (E)dge is gaining traction for moving away from hardware based security solutions to cloud based security services
    • (Z)ero (T)rust (N)etwork (A)ccess is being evaluated to replace VPNs
  • Future work environments
    • Investments are being made in hybrid and remote work environments over collaboration and productivity tools
      • Deployment of cloud security tools being prioritized to enable more security hybrid and remote work environments
      • DIstributed cloud systems and cloud storage are also being prioritized
    • (C)itizen (A)utomation and (D)evelopment (P)latforms are also being investigated to allow business users to leverage low-code services to help speed business decisions
    • NLP - Natural Language Processing appears to be something that businesses want to adopt but are falling behind on plans to deploy due to some challenges
      • Accuracy in language translation
      • Even though NLP has come a LONG way in the past couple years, the human language is still a very challenging problem to solve
  • Productivity and Operation Efficiency
    • Investing in AI and Data Science and Machine Learning to help observe infrastructure across on-prem, cloud and edge computing
      • Comes with high deployment risks but still very highly adopted
    • Investments in 5g for larger demand of networking
    • Investments in API management PaaS

Some of the high-value low-risk items being piloted

  • Cloud Data Warehousing

High-value low-risk items deployed or being deployed

  • Security Orchestration Automation and Response
  • Digital Experience Monitoring
  • Robotic Process Automation
  • Virtual Machine Backup and Recovery
  • Integration Platform as a Service
  • SD-WAN (software-defined WAN)
  • Network Detection and Response

High-value high risk

  • Zero Trust Network Access
  • Artificial Intelligence IT Operations - AIOps
  • Cloud Application Discovery
  • Hybrid Cloud Computing
  • AI Cloud Services
  • Cloud Managed Networks - CMNs

Who have you partnered with?

  • Email Addresses
  • Registrar
  • Cloud Storage (Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud, etc)
  • Backups (Do you still need them!?)
    • Contacts
    • Passwords
    • Photos

Tip of the Week

  • Have a presentation to do? Slidev is a VueJs and markdown-based way to create slides. Because it's web based you can do cool interactive type stuff, and it's portable. Bonus: recording and camera view support built in. Thanks Dave! (sli.dev)
  • There are a lot of great resources for Kubernetes on the official Kubernetes Certifications and Training page (kubernetes.io)
  • Notes in iOS are pretty good now! Did you know you can use it for inline images, videos, along with note taking…. (youtube.com)
  • Use Docker? Check out dive, it's a tool for exploring a docker image, layer contents, and discovering ways to shrink the size of your Docker/OCI image. (github.com)

Direct download: coding-blocks-episode-222.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 7:55pm EST

https://www.codingblocks.net/episode221

Direct download: coding-blocks-episode-221.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 7:58pm EST

We've got a smorgasbord of delights for you this week, ranging from mechanical switches to the cloud and beyond. Also, Michael's cosplaying as Megaman, Joe learns the difference between Clicks and Clacks, and Allen takes no prisoners.

See the full show notes a https://www.codingblocks.net/episode220

 

News

  • Thanks for the reviews! Meskell, itsmatt
  • Leave us a review if you have a chance! (/reviews)

The Show

  • Why are mechanical keyboards so popular with programmers?
  • Is it the sound? Is it the feel? What are silent switches? Are they missing the point?
  • You can buy key switches for good prices (drop.com)
  • Cloud Costs Every Programmer should know (vantage.sh) (Thanks Mikerg!)
  • List of static analysis tools, so you can get with the times! (GitHub) (Thanks Mikerg!)
  • From itsmatt:
  • "I’d love a breakdown of what each of you think are your key differences in philosophies or approaches to software development. Could be from arguments or debates on older episodes, whether on coding, leadership, startups, AI, whatever - just curious about how best to tell everyone’s voices apart based on what they’re saying. I know one of you is Jay Z (JZ?), but slow to pick up on which host is which based on accents alone."

Resources We Like

  • 8Bitdo Retro Mechanical Keyboard (amazon)
  • Hot Swap vs Solderable Keyboard PCBs (kineticlabs.com)
  • Cherry MX Switch Tester (amazon)
  • Keyboard Switch Sample Pack (amazon)

Tip of the Week

  • How do you center a div? Within a div? With right-align text? What about centering 3 divs? What if you want to space them out evenly? If you've been away from CSS for a while, you may be a bit rusty on the best ways to do this. Not sure if it's "the best" but an easy solution to these problems is to use Flexbox, and lucky for you there is a fun little game designed to teach you how to use it. (flexboxfroggy.com)
  • Drop.com is a website focused on computer gear, headphones, keyboards, desk accessories etc. It's got a lot of cool stuff! (drop.com)
  • Have you ever accidentally deleted a file? Recovering files in git doesn't have to be hard with the "restore" command (rewind.com)
  • Have trouble with your hands and want to limber up? Also doubles as a cool retro Capcom Halloween costume. It's a LifePro Hand Massager! (amazon)

Direct download: coding-blocks-episode-220.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 7:45pm EST

See the full episode's show notes at:
https://www.codingblocks.net/episode219

Direct download: coding-blocks-episode-219.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 10:12am EST

In this episode, we are talking all about GitHub Actions. What are they, and why should you consider learning more about them? Also, Allen terminates the terminators, Outlaw remembers the good ol' days, and Joe tries his hand at sales.

See the full show notes at https://www.codingblocks.net/episode218

News

  • Thanks for the reviews! iTunes: nononeveragain, JoeRecursionjoe, Viv-or-vyv, theoriginalniklas
  • Leave us a review if you have a chance! (/reviews)
  • Allen did some work on his computer:
    • DeepCool LT720 Liquid Cooler (amazon)
    • Noctua Dual-Tower CPU Cooler (amazon)

What are GitHub Actions?

  • GitHub Actions is a CI/CD platform launched in 2018 that lets you define and automate workflows
  • It's well integrated into Github.com and fits nicely with git paradigms - repository, branches, tags, pull requests, hashes, immutability (episode 195)
  • The workflows can run on GitHub-hosted virtual machines, or on your own servers
  • GitHub Actions are free for standard Github runners in public repositories and self-hosted runners, private repositories get a certain amount of "free" minutes and any overages are controlled by your spending limits
    • 2000 minutes and 500MB for free, 3000 minutes and 1Gb for Pro, etc (docs.github.com)
  • Examples of things you can do
    • Automate builds and releases whenever a branch is changed
    • Run tests or linters automatically on pull requests
    • Automatically create or assign Issues, or labels to issues
    • Publish changes to your gh-pages, wiki, releases,
  • Check out the "Actions" tab on any github repository to check if a repository has anything setup (github.com)
  • The "Actions" in GitHub Actions refers to the most atomic action that takes place - and we'll get there, but let us start from the top

Workflows

  • Workflow is the highest level concept, you see any workflows that a repository has set up (learn.microsoft.com)
  • A workflow is triggered by an event: push, pull request, issue being opened, manual action, api call, scheduled event, etc (learn.microsoft.com)
  • TypeScript examples:
    • CI - Runs linting, checking, builds, and publishes changes for all supported versions of Node on pull request or push to main or release-* branches
    • Close Issues - Looks for stale issues and closes them with a message (using gh!)
    • Code Scanning - Runs CodeQL checks on pull request, push, and on a weekly schedule
    • Publish Nightly - Publishes the last set of successful builds every night
  • Workflows can call other workflows in your repository, or in a repository you have access to
  • Special note about calling other workflows - when embedding other workflows you can specify a specific version with either a tag or a commit # to make sure you're running exactly what you expect
  • In the UI you'll see a filterable history of workflow runs on the right
  • The workflow is associated with a yaml file located in ./github/workflows
  • Clicking on a workflow in the left will show you a history of that workflow and a link to that file (cli.github.com)

Jobs

  • Workflows are made up of jobs, which are associated with a "runner" (machine) (cli.github.com)
  • Jobs are mainly just a container for "Steps" which are up next, but the important bit is that they are associated with a machine (virtual or you can provide your own either via network or container)
  • Jobs can also be dependent on other jobs in the workflow - Github will figure out how to run things in the required order and parallelize anything it can
    • You're minutes are counted by machine time, so if you have 2 jobs that run in parallel that each take 5 minutes…you're getting "charged" for 10 minutes

Steps

  • Jobs are a group of steps that are executed in order on the same runner
  • Data can easily be shared between steps by echoing output, setting environment variables or mutating files
  • Each step runs an action

Actions GitHub Enterprise Onboarding Guide - GitHub Resources

  • An action is a custom application written for the GitHub Actions platform
  • GitHub provides a lot of actions and other 3p (verified or not) providers do as well in the "Marketplace", you can use other people's actions (as long as they don't delete it!), and you can write your own
  • Marketplace Examples (github.com)
    • Github Checkout - provides options for things like repository, fetch-depth, lfs (github.com)
    • Setup .NET Core SDK - Sets up a .NET CLI environment for doing dotnet builds (github.com)
    • Upload Artifact - Uploads data for sharing between jobs (90-day retention by default) (github.com)
    • Docker Build Push - Has support for building a Docker container and pushing it to a repository (Note: ghrc is a valid repository and even free tiers have some free storage) (github.com)
  • Custom Examples
    • "run" command lets you run shell commands (docker builds, curl, echo, etc)
    • Totally Custom (docs.github.com)

Other things to mention

  • We glossed over a lot of the details about how things work - such as various contexts where data is available and how it's shared, how inputs and outputs are handled…just know that it's there! (docs.github.com)
  • You grant job permissions, default is content-read-only but you must give fine-grained permissions to the jobs you run - write content, gh-pages, repository, issues, packages, etc
  • There is a section under settings for setting secrets (unretrievable and masked in output) and variables for your jobs. You have to explicitly share secrets with other jobs you call
  • There is support for "expressions" which are common programming constructions such as conditionals and string helper functions you can run to save you some scripting (docs.github.com)

Verdict

  • Pros:
    • GitHub Actions is amazing because it's built around git!
    • Great features comparable (or much better) than other CI/CD providers
    • Great integration with a popular tool you might already be using (docs.github.com)
    • Works well w/ the concepts of Git By default, workflows cannot use actions from GitHub.com and GitHub Marketplace. You can restrict your developers to using actions that are stored on your GitHub Enterprise Server instance, which includes most official GitHub-authored actions, as well as any actions your developers create. Alternatively, to allow your developers to benefit from the full ecosystem of actions built by industry leaders and the open-source community, you can configure access to other actions from GitHub.com.
    • Great free tier
    • Great documentation https://docs.github.com/en/actions/using-containerized-services/creating-postgresql-service-containers
    • Hosted/Enterprise version
  • Cons:
    • Working via commits can get ugly…make your changes in a branch and rebase when you're done!

Next Steps

  • If you are interested in getting started with DevOps, or just learning a bit more about it, then this is a great way to go! It's a great investment in your skillset as a developer in any case.
  • Examples:
    • Build your project on every pull request or push to trunk
    • Run your tests, output the results from a test coverage tool
    • Run a linter or static analysis tool
    • Post to X, Update LinkedIn whenever you create a new release
    • Auto-tag issues that you haven't triaged yet

Resources We Like

Tip of the Week

  • There is a GitHub Actions plugin for VSCode that provides a similar UI to the website. This is much easier than trying to make all your changes in Github.com or bouncing between VSCode and the website to see how your changes worked. It also offers some integrated documentation and code completion! It's definitely my preferred way of working with actions. (marketplace.visualstudio.com)
  • Did you know that you can cancel terminating a terminating persistent volume in Kubernetes? Hopefully you never need to, but you can do it! (github.com)
  • How are the Framework Wars going? Check out Google trends for one point of view. (trends.google.com)
  • Rebasing is great, don't be afraid of it! A nice way to get started is to rebase while you are pulling to keep your commits on top. git pull origin main --rebase=i
  • There's a Dockerfile Linter written in Haskell that will help you keep your Docker files in great shape. (docker.com)

Direct download: coding-blocks-episode-218.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 7:44pm EST

See the full show notes and join in the discussion by heading to

https://www.codingblocks.net/episode217

 

Direct download: coding-blocks-episode-217.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 6:51pm EST

In this episode, we're talking all about OpenTelemetry. Also, Allen lays down some knowledge, Joe plays director and Outlaw stumps the chumps.

See the full show notes at https://www.codingblocks.net/episode216

News

  • Thanks for the reviews Lanjunnn and scott339!
  • Allen made the video on generating a baseball lineup application just by chatting with ChatGPT (youtube)

https://youtu.be/i6jSeLvoFmM
Allen made the video on generating a baseball lineup application just by chatting with ChatGPT

What is OpenTelemetry?

  • An incubating project on the CNCF - Cloud Native Computing Foundation (cncf.io)
  • What does incubating mean?
    • Projects used in production by a small number of users with a good pool of contributors
      • Basically you shouldn't be left out to dry here
  • So what is Open Telemetry? A collection of APIs, SDKs and Tools that's used to instrument, generate, collect and export telemetry data
    • This helps you analyze your software's performance and behavior
  • It's available across multiple languages and frameworks

It's all about Observability

  • Understanding a system "from the outside"
    • Doesn't require you to understand the inner workings of the system
  • The goal is to be able to troubleshoot difficult problems and answer the "Why is this happening?" Question
  • To answer those questions, the application must be properly "Instrumented"
  • This means the application must emit signals like metrics, traces, and logs
  • The application is properly instrumented when you can completely troubleshoot an issue with the instrumentation available
  • That is the job of OpenTelemetry - to be the mechanism to instrument applications so they become observable
  • List of vendors that support OpenTelemetry: https://opentelemetry.io/ecosystem/vendors/

Reliability and Metrics

  • Telemetry - refers to the data emitted from a system about its behavior in the form of metrics, traces and logs
  • Reliability - is the system behaving the way it's supposed to? Not just, is it up and running, but also is it doing what it is expected to do
  • Metrics - numeric aggregations over a period of time about your application or infrastructure
    • CPU Utilization
    • Application error rates
    • Number of requests per second
  • SLI - Service Level Indicator - a measurement of a service's behavior - this should be in the perspective of a user / customer
    • Example - how fast a webpage loads
  • SLO - Service Level Objective - the means of communicating reliability to an organization or team
    • Accomplished by attaching SLI's to business value

Distributed Tracing

To truly understand what distributed tracing is, there's a few parts we have to put together first

  • Logs - a timestamped message emitted by applications
    • Different than a trace - a trace is associated with a request or a transaction
    • Heavily used in all applications to help people observe the behavior of a system
    • Unfortunately, as you probably know, they aren't completely helpful in understanding the full context of the message - for instance, where was that particular code called from?
    • Logs become much more useful when they become part of a span or when they are correlated with a trace and a span
  • Span - represents a unit of work or operation
    • Tracks the operations that a request makes - meaning it helps to paint a picture of what all happened during the "span" of that request/operation
    • Contains a name, time-related data, structured log messages, and other metadata/attributes to provide information about that operation it's tracking
    • Some example metadata/attributes are: http.method=GET, http.target=/urlpath, http.server_name=codingblocks.net
  • Distributed trace is also known simply as a trace - record the paths taken for a user or system request as it passes through various services in a distributed, multi-service architecture, like micro-services or serverless applications (AWS Lambdas, Azure Functions, etc)
    • Tracing is ESSENTIAL for distributed systems because of the non-deterministic nature of the application or the fact that many things are incredibly difficult to reproduce in a local environment
    • Tracing makes it easier to understand and troubleshoot problems because they break down what happens in a request as it flows through the distributed system
    • A trace is made of one or more spans
      • The first span is the "root span" - this will represent a request from start to finish
        • The child spans will just add more context to what happened during different steps of the request
      • Some observability backends will visualize traces as waterfall diagrams where the root span is at the top and branching steps show as separate chains below - diagram linked below (opentelemetry.io)

To be continued…

Resources We Like

Tip of the Week

  • Attention Windows users, did you know you can hold the control key to prevent the tasks from moving around in the TaskManager. It makes it much easier to shut down those misbehaving key loggers! (verge.com)
  • Does your JetBrains IDE feel sluggish? You can adjust the heap space to give it more juice! (blogs.jetbrains.com)
  • Beware of string interpolation in logging statements in Kotlin, you can end up performing the interpolation even if you're not configured to output the statement types! IntelliJ will show you some squiggles to warn you. Use string templates instead. Also, Kotlin has "use" statements to avoid unnecessary processing, and only executes when it's necessary. (discuss.kotlinlang.org)
  • Thanks to Tom for the tip on tldr pages, they are a community effort to simplify the beloved man pages with practical examples. (tldr.sh)
  • Looking for some new coding music? Check out these albums from popular guitar heroes!

Direct download: coding-blocks-episode-216.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 7:55pm EST

See full show notes at:
https://www.codingblocks.net/episode215

Direct download: 215_Software_in_Audio_and_How_to_Lead.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 2:31pm EST

In this episode, we're talking about the history of "man" pages, console apps, team leadership, and Artificial Intelligence liability. Also, Allen's downloading the internet, Outlaw has fallen in love with the sound of a morrvair, and Joe says TUI like two hundred times as if it were a real word.

See all the show notes at https://www.codingblocks.net/episode214

News

  • Thanks for the reviews!
    • itunes: michael_mancuso
  • DevFest Florida is a community-run one-day conference aimed to bring technologists, developers, students, tech companies, and speakers together in one location to learn, discuss and experiment with technology. (devfestfl.org)

What are (were?) man pages?

  • "man" is a command-line "pager" similar to "more" or "less" that was designed specifically to display documentation - ahem, "manuals"
  • "man" pages would show you documentation for many apps in a (mostly) consistent manner that was available offline
  • Do people still use them?
  • People would print these out in the 70's and beyond!
  • How do you create a man page? (allthings.how)
  • Uses an old markup language named "roff"
  • Install to the proper location, typically /usr/man/man: (tldp.org)

Software Engineering at Google: Lessons Learned from Programming Over Time (amazon)

How to Lead a Team (Anti-Patterns edition)

Software Engineering at Google: Lessons Learned from Programming Over Time (amazon)

  • Hire Pushovers
  • Ignore Low Performers
  • Ignore Human Issues
  • Be Everyone's Friend
  • Compromise the Hiring Bar
  • Treat Your Team Like Children

Terminal UIs

  • A new frontier in programming?
  • The Good:
    • Keep your hands on the keyboard!
    • Easily install on remote servers
    • Often built by devs for devs
    • Low overhead
    • Purpose-built for their purposes (as opposed to IDE extensions)
    • Looks ancient
  • The Bad:
    • Looks ancient
    • Scriptability
    • Each has it's own learning curve

Examples:

Meta AI

  • Meta has been making serious strides in AI with LLAMA and...it's open source! Does that make them any more or less liable for the information? Does "publically available information" change things

Resources we like

Tip of the Week

  • Want to learn something new while also making your life easier? Why not try writing a TUI!? Here's an article that will kindly introduce you to terminal user interfaces, libraries like "Clap", "TUI", and "Crossterm" that people are using to write them, and…you can get some XP with Rust while you're at it! (blog.logrocket.com)
  • Are you looking to upgrade your Kubernetes cluster? Check for API problems first!
  • Are you a browser tab fiend? Did you know you can reload all your tabs simultaneously with a simple shortcut? (groups.google.com)
  • No more nasty wiring jobs, get yourself to the hardware store website and pick up some wire and splicing connectors. Keep things nice, tidy, and organized. (wago.com)
  • Matt’s Off-road recovery channel is amazing if you're into cars or... beautiful-sounding things.
  • Are you tired of manually correlating logs and events? No more! Check out the Open Telemetry project for your distributed tracing and analytics needs! (opentelemetry.io)

Direct download: coding-blocks-episode-214.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 7:55pm EST

See the full show notes at:
https://www.codingblocks.net/episode213

Direct download: 213_Better_Application_Management_with_Custom_Apps.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 6:55pm EST

In this episode, we're talking about lessons learned and the lessons we still need to learn. Also, Michael shares some anti-monetization strategies, Allen wins by default, and Joe keeps it real 59/60 days a year!

The full show notes for this episode are available at https://www.codingblocks.net/episode212.

News

  • Thanks for the review rioredwards!
  • Want to help us out? Leave a review! (/reviews)

Exceptions vs Errors in Java

  • Exceptions: Unwanted or unexpected events
    • NullPointerException
    • IntegerOverflowException
    • IllegalArgumentException
  • Errors: Serious problems that you should try not to catch - generally no recovery
    • OutOfMemoryError
    • StackOverflowError
    • NoClassDefFoundError
  • What happens if your code runs in a background thread?
    • Thread gets terminated, but the application keeps running
    • Resources are released, dependent threads are terminated
    • It's up to the owner of the thread to handle the situation
    • The best practice is to attempt to handle these situations by validating at startup

Question from Twitter: (thanks jvilaverde!)

How do you guys keep up with your data sources?

  • Coding Blocks Slack (/slack)
  • Hacker News

StackOverflow Survey (thanks mikerg!)

  • 70% of all respondents are using or are planning to use AI tools in their development process this year
  • 82% of people learning to code plan to use AI
  • 30% don't plan on it
  • 40% of devs trust the accuracy of AI
  • Highest paid languages? Zig, Erlang, RB, Scala, Lisp, F#
  • Lowest paid? Dart, MATLAB, PHP, Visual Basic, Delphi
  • Warning: remember the audience!
  • Web Frameworks: React 40% Angular 17%, Vue 16%
  • Other frameworks: .NET, NumPy, Pandas
  • What does this tell you about the demographics?
  • Docker 51%, Kubernetes 20%

Unit Testing Principles, Practices, and Patterns: Effective testing styles, patterns, and reliable automation for unit testing, mocking, and integration testing with examples in C#

Resources We Like

  • StackOverflow 2023 Survey Results (survey.stackoverflow.com)
  • We <3 Kubernetes (episode 147)
  • Is Kubernetes Programming? (episode 141)
  • Chik-Fil-A A Kubernetes Success Story (appvia.io)
  • How to write amazing unit tests (episode 54)
  • Zig Language (ziglang.org)
  • Unit Testing Principles, Practices, and Patterns: Effective testing styles, patterns, and reliable automation for unit testing, mocking, and integration testing with examples in C# (Amazon)





Direct download: coding-blocks-episode-212.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 7:50pm EST

You can find the full show notes at:

https://www.codingblocks.net/episode211


In this sequence of sound, we compute Joe's unexpected pleasure in commercial-viewing algorithms, Michael's intricate process of slicing up the pizza, and Allen's persistent request for more cheese data augmentation. Will you engage in this data streaming session?

The full show notes for this episode are available at https://www.codingblocks.net/episode210.

Resources we like

Tip of the week

  • MusicLM lets you create music from descriptive text, similar to Dalle-2. The output is a little strange, but could still potentially be really useful and inspiring with a little bit of effort. It's in private beta now, as part of the "AI Test Kitchen" but you can sign up to join the waitlist today.
  • You can easily compare query results In DataGrip, using the "Compare Data" button (it's the button with two blue arrows) (jetbrains.com)
  • IntelliJ now supports the entire IDE Zoom, great for...well...Zoom! View --> Appearance --> Zoom IDE (blog.jetbrains.com)
  • Visual Studio Code Bookmarks (marketplace.visualstudio.com)
  • Warped Kart Racers is a fun mobile game, kinda like Mario Kart but featuring characters from 20th Century Studios (apps.apple.com)

Direct download: coding-blocks-episode-210.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 8:00pm EST

In this episode we talk about several things that have been on our mind. We find that Joe has been taken over by AI's, Michael now understands our love of Kotlin, and Allen wants to know how to escape supporting code you wrote forever.

For the full episode show notes, visit:
https://www.codingblocks.net/episode209

 

Direct download: 209_Supporting_Your_Code_README_vs_Wiki_and_Test_Coverage.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 11:11am EST

We're doing a water cooler talk today. Also, Allen can tell you how not to leak secrets, Michael knows how to work a spreadsheet, and Joe has been replaced by an AGI.

The full show notes for this episode are available at https://www.codingblocks.net/episode208.

Topics

  • Want to score Vue.js London tickets? Tweet using both @CodingBlocks and #vuejs for a chance to win! (vue.js)
  • How do you decide which projects are worth trying to convert into a money-making endeavor?
  • Samsung ChatGPT sensitive information leaks (mashable.com)
  • U.S Military Documents Leaked To Minecraft Discord Server (kotaku.com)
  • Real-Time Analytics Podcast with Tim Berglund (podcasts.apple.com)
  • CodeWhisperer from Amazon (aws.amazon.com)
  • How much did GPT 3 cost? (pcguide.com)
  • How much did GPT 4 cost? (medium.com)
  • How much did Alpaca cost to train? (newatlas.com)
  • Have any experience with Twilio? It's work! (twilio.com)

Resources we like

  • docker init is a tool (in beta) built into the latest Docker Desktop that you can use to get a leg up on your next project. It makes it easy to create docker files with best practices, as well as a docker-compose file to get you up and running. (docker.com)
  • screen is an open-source powerful terminal multiplexer that allows users to create, manage, and switch between multiple terminal sessions, enabling seamless multitasking and persistent remote connections in a single window.
  • The VIVO Universal Treadmill Desk Riser is an adjustable, ergonomic workspace solution designed to fit most treadmills, allowing users to seamlessly combine their work and exercise routines for a healthy, productive lifestyle. (amazon.com)
  • The LifeSpan Fitness Under Desk Walking Treadmill is a compact, low-profile treadmill designed to fit under standing desks, enabling remote workers to maintain an active lifestyle by seamlessly integrating walking or light jogging into their daily work routine, promoting better health and increased productivity. (amazon.com)
  • Kubernetes Network Policies are a set of rules that define how pods within a cluster can communicate with each other and with external resources, allowing administrators to enforce fine-grained access control and enhance the security of their containerized applications. (kubernetes.io)

Direct download: water-cooler-gpt-208.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 7:55pm EST

This episode is a deep dive on serial transactions and how they're even possible.  For the full show notes go to:

https://www.codingblocks.net/episode207

 


What are lost updates, and what can we do about them? Maybe we don't do anything and accept the write skew? Also, Allen has sharp ears, Outlaw's gort blah spotterfiles, and Joe is just thinking about breakfast.

The full show notes for this episode are available at https://www.codingblocks.net/episode206.

News

  • Thank you for the amazing reviews!
    • iTunes: JomilyAnv
  • Want to help us out? Leave us a review.

Designing Data Intensive Applications
Great book!

Preventing Lost Updates

  • Last episode we talked about weak isolation, committed reads, and snapshot isolation
  • There is one major problem we didn't discuss called "The Lost Update Problem"
  • Consider a read-modify-write transaction, now imagine two of them happening at the same time
  • Even with snapshot isolation, it's possible that read can happen for transaction A before B, but the write for A happens first
    • Incrementing/Decrementing values (counters, bank accounts)
    • Updating complex values (JSON for example)
    • CMS updates that send the full page as an update
  • Solutions:
    • Atomic Writes - Some databases support atomic updates that effectively combine the read and write
      • Cursor Stability - locking the read object until the update is performed
      • Single Threading - Force all atomic operations to happen serially through a single thread
    • Explicit Locking
      • The application can be responsible for explicitly locking objects, placing responsibility in the devs hands
      • This makes sense in certain situations - imagine a multiplayer game where multiple players can move a shared object. It's not enough to lock the data and then apply both updates in order since the shared game world can react. (ie: showing that the item is in use)

Detecting Lost Updates

  • Locks can be tricky, what if we reused the snapshot mechanism we discussed before?
  • We're already keeping a record of the last transactionId to modify our data, and we know our current transactionId. What if we just failed any updates where our current transaction id was less than the transactionId of the last write to our data?
  • This allows for naive application code, but also gives you fewer options…retry or give up
  • Note: MySQL's InnoDB's Repeatable Read feature does not support this, so some argue it doesn't qualify as snapshot isolation

What if you didn't have transactions?

  • If you didn't have transactions, let alone a snapshot number, you could get similar behavior by doing a compare-and-set
  • Example: update account set balance = 10 where balance = 9 and id = ABC
  • This works best in simple databases that support atomic updates, but not great with snapshot isolation
  • Note: it's up to the application code to check that updates were successful - Updating 0 records is not an error

Conflict resolution and replication

  • We haven't talked much about replicas lately, how do we handle lost updates when we have multiple copies of data on multiple nodes?
  • Compare-and-Set strategies and locking strategies assume a single up-to-date copy of the data….uh oh
  • The options are limited here, so the strategy is to accept the writes and have an application process to decide what to do
    • Merge: Some operations, like incrementing a counter, can be safely merged. Riak has special datatypes for these
    • Last Write Wins: This is a common solution. It's simple but inaccurate. Also the most common solution.

Write Skew and Phantoms

  • Write skew - when a race condition occurs that allows writes to different records to take place at the same time that violates a state constraint
    • The example given in the book is the on-call doctor rotation
    • If one record had been modified after another record's transaction had been completed, the race condition would not have taken place
    • write-skew is a generalization of the lost update problem
  • Preventing write-skew
    • Atomic single-object locks won't work because there's more than one object being updated
    • Snapshot isolation also doesn't work in many implementations - SQL Server, PostgreSQL, Oracle, and MySQL won't prevent write skew
      • Requires true serializable isolation
    • Most databases don't allow you to create constraints on multiple objects but you may be able to work around this using triggers or materialized views as your constraint
    • They mention if you can't use serializable isolation, your next best option may be to lock the rows for an update in a transaction meaning nothing else can access them while the transaction is open
  • Phantoms causing write skew
    • Pattern
      • The query for some business requirement - ie there's more than one doctor on call
      • The application decides what to do with the results from the query
      • If the application decides to go forward with the change, then an INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE operation will occur that would change the outcome of the previous step's Application decision
        • They mention the steps could occur in different orders, for instance, you could do the write operation first and then check to make sure it didn't violate the business constraint
      • In the case of checking for records that meet some condition, you could do a SELECT FOR UPDATE and lock those rows
      • In the case that you're querying for a condition by checking on records to exist, if they don't exist there's nothing to lock, so the SELECT FOR UPDATE won't work and you get a phantom write - a write in one transaction changes the search result of a query in another transaction
  • Snapshot isolation avoids phantoms in read-only queries, but can't stop them in read-write transactions

Materializing conflicts

  • The problem we mentioned with phantom is there'd no record/object to lock because it doesn't exist
  • What if you were to have a set of records that could be used for locking to alleviate the phantom writes?
    • Create records for every possible combination of conflicting events and only use those to lock when doing a write
      • "materializing conflicts" because you're taking the phantom writes and turning them into lock records that will prevent those conflicts
        • This can be difficult and prone to errors trying to create all the combinations of locks AND this is a nasty leakage of your storage into your application
          • Should be a last resort

Resources We Like

Tip of the Week

  • Docker's Buildkit is their backend builder that replaces the "legacy" builder by adding new non-backward compatible functionality. The way you enable buildkit is a little awkward, either passing flags or setting variables as well as enabling the features per Dockerfile, but it's worth it! One of the cool features is the "mount" flag that you can pass as part of a RUN statement to bring in files that are not persisted past that layer. This is great for efficiency and security. The "cache" type is great for utilizing Docker's cache to save time in future builds. The "bind" type is nice for mounting files you only need temporarily. like source code in for a compiled language. The "secret" is great for temporarily bringing in environment variables without persisting them. Type "ssh" is similar to "secret", but for sharing ssh keys. Finally "tmpfs" is similar to swap memory, using an in-memory file system that's nice for temporarily storing data in primary memory as a file that doesn't need to be persisted. (github.com)
  • Did you know Google has a Google Cloud Architecture diagramming tool? It's free and easy to use so give it a shot! (cloud.google.com)
  • ChatGTP has an app for slack. It's designed to deliver instant conversation summaries, research tools, and writing assistance. Is this the end of scrolling through hundreds of messages to catch up on whatever is happening? /chatgpt summarize (salesforce.com)
  • Have you heard about ephemeral containers? It's a convenient way to spin up temporary containers that let you inspect files in a pod and do other debugging activities. Great for, well, debugging! (kubernetes.io)

Direct download: coding-blocks-episode-206.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 7:55pm EST

There's this thing called ChatGPT you may have heard of. Is it the end for all software developers? Have we reached the epitome of mankind? Also, should you write your own or find a FOSS solution? That and much more as Allen gets redemption, Joe has a beautiful monologue, and Outlaw debates a monitor that is a thumb size larger than his current setup.

If you're in a podcast player and would prefer to read it on the web, follow this link:
https://www.codingblocks.net/episode205

News

  • Thank you for the amazing reviews!
    • iTunes: MalTheWarlock, Abdullah Nafees, BarnabusNutslap
  • Orlando Code Camp coming up Saturday March 25th

ChatGPT

  • Is this the beginning or the end of software development as we know it?
  • Are you using it for work? Does your work have an AI policy?
  • OpenAI has recently announced a whopping 90% price reduction on their ChatGPT and Whisper APi calls
    • $.002 per 1000 ChatGPT tokens
    • $.006 per minute to Whisper
  • You also get $5 in free credit in your first 3 months, so give it a shot!
  • https://openai.com/pricing

Roll Your Own vs FOSS

  • This probably isn't the first time and it won't be the last we ask the question - should you write your own version of something if there's a good Free Open Source Software alternative out there?

Typed vs Untyped Languages

  • Another topic that we've touched on over the years - which is better and why?
  • Any considerations when working with teams of developers?
  • What are the pros and cons of each?

Cloud Pricing

  • If you're spending a good amount of money in the cloud, you should probably talk to a sales rep for your given cloud and try to negotiate rates. You may be surprised how much you can save. And...you never know until you ask!

Outlaw has the Itch to get a new Monitor

Resources from this episode

Tips of the Week

  • Did you know that the handy, dandy application jq is great for formatting json AND it's also Turing complete? You can do full on programming inside jq to make changes - conditionals, variables, math, filtering, mapping...it's Turing Complete!
    https://stedolan.github.io/jq/
  • Want to freshen up your space, but you just don't have the vision? Give interiorai.com a chance, upload a picture of your room and give it a description. It works better than it should.
  • You can sort your command line output when doing something like an ls
    sort -k2 -b
  • On macOS you can drag a non-fullscreen window to a fullscreen desktop
  • When using the ls -l command in a terminal, that first numeric column shows the number of hard links to a file - meaning the number of names an inode has for that file
  • Argument parser for Python 3 - makes parsing command line arguments a breeze and creates beautiful --help documentation to boot!
    https://docs.python.org/3/library/argparse.html
  • .NET has an equivalent parser we've mentioned in the past
    https://www.nuget.org/packages/NuGet.CommandLine

Direct download: coding-blocks-episode-205.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 12:58am EST

Ever wonder how database backups work if new data is coming in while the backup is running? Hang with us while we talk about that, while Allen doesn't stand a chance, Outlaw is in love, and Joe forgets his radio voice.

The full show notes for this episode are available at https://www.codingblocks.net/episode204.

Direct download: coding-blocks-episode-204.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 8:00pm EST

It’s time we learn about multi-object transactions as we continue our journey into Designing Data-Intensive Applications, while Allen didn’t specifically have that thought, Joe took a marketing class, and Michael promised he wouldn’t cry.

The full show notes for this episode are available at https://www.codingblocks.net/episode203.

News

  • Thanks for the reviews!
    • iTunes: Dom Bell 30, Tontonton2
  • Want some swag? We got swag! (/swag)
  • Orlando Codecamp 2023 is coming up in March 25th 2023 (orlandocodecamp.com)

Single Object and Multi-Object Operations

Designing Data Intensive Applications
Best book evarr!
  • Multi-object transactions need to know which reads and writes are part of the same transaction.
    • In an RDBMS, this is typically handled by a unique transaction identifier managed by a transaction manager.
    • All statements between the BEGIN TRANSACTION and COMMIT TRANSACTION are part of that transaction.
  • Many non-relational databases don’t have a way of grouping those statements together.
  • Single object transactions must also be atomic and isolated.
  • Reading values while in the process of writing updated values would yield really weird results.
    • It’s for this reason that nearly all databases must support single object atomicity and isolation.
    • Atomicity is achievable with a log for crash recovery.
    • Isolation is achieved by locking the object to be written.
  • Some databases use a more complex atomic setup, such as an incrementer, eliminating the need for a read, modify, write cycle.
  • Another operation used is a compare and set.
  • These types of operations are useful for ensuring good writes when multiple clients are attempting to write the same object concurrently.
  • Transactions are more typically known for grouping multiple object writes into a single operational unit

Need for multi object transactions

  • Many distributed databases / datastores don’t have transactions because they are difficult to implement across partitions.
    • This can also cause problems for high performance or availability needs.
    • But there is no technical reason distributed transactions are not possible.
  • The author poses the question in the book: “Do we even need transactions?”
    • The short answer is, yes sometimes, such as:
      • Relational database systems where rows in tables link to rows in other tables,
      • In non-relational systems when data is denormalized for “object” reasons, those records need to be updated in a single shot, or
      • Indexes against tables in relational databases need to be updated at the same time as the underlying records in the tables.
  • These can be handled without database transactions, but error handling on the application side becomes much more difficult.
    • Lack of isolation can cause concurrency problems.

Handling errors and aborts

  • ACID transactions that fail are easily retry-able.
  • Some systems with leaderless replication follow the “best effort” basis. The database will do what it can, and if something fails in the middle, it’ll leave anything that was written, meaning it won’t undo anything it already finished.
    • This puts all the burden on the application to recover from an error or failure.
  • The book calls out developers saying that we only like to think about the happy path and not worry about what happens when something goes wrong.
  • The author also mentioned there are a number of ORM’s that don’t do transactions proud and rather than building in some retry functionality, if something goes wrong, it’ll just bubble an error up the stack, specifically calling out Rails ActiveRecord and Django.
  • Even ACID transactions aren’t necessarily perfect.
    • What if a transaction actually succeeded but the notification to the client got interrupted and now the application thinks it needs to try again, and MIGHT actually write a duplicate?
    • If an error is due to “overload”, basically a condition that will continue to error constantly, this could cause an unnecessary load of retries against the database.
    • Retrying may be pointless if there are network errors occurring.
    • Retrying something that will always yield an error is also pointless, such as a constraint violation.
    • There may be situations where your transactions trigger other actions, such as emails, SMS messages, etc. and in those situations you wouldn’t want to send new notifications every time you retry a transaction as it might generate a lot of noise.
      • When dealing with multiple systems such as the previous example, you may want to use something called a two-phase commit.

Tip of the Week

  • Manything is an app that lets you use your old devices as security cameras. You install the app on your old phone or tablet, hit record, and configure motion detection. A much easier and cheaper option than ordering a camera! (apps.apple.complay.google.com)
  • The Linux Foundation offers training and certifications. Many great training courses, some free, some paid. There’s a nice Introduction to Kubernetes course you can try, and any money you do spend is going to a good place! (training.linuxfoundation.org)
  • Kubernetes has recommendations for common-labels. The labels are helpful and standardization makes it easier to write tooling and queries around them. (kubernetes.io)
  • Markdown Presentation for Visual Studio Code, thanks for the tip Nathan V! Marp lets you create slideshows from markdown in Visual Studio Code and helps you separate your content from the format. It looks great and it’s easy to version and re-use the data! (marketplace.visualstudio.com)
Direct download: coding-blocks-episode-203.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 8:46pm EST

We decided to knock the dust off our copies of Designing Data-Intensive Applications to learn about transactions while Michael is full of solutions, Allen isn’t deterred by Cheater McCheaterton, and Joe realizes wurds iz hard.

The full show notes for this episode are available at https://www.codingblocks.net/episode202.

News

  • Thanks for the reviews!
    • iTunes: Jla115, Cuttin’ Corner Barbershop, mirgeee, JackUnver
    • Audible: Mr. William M. Davies
  • Want some swag? We got swag! (/swag)
Designing Data Intensive Applications
It’s baaaaack!

Chapter 7: Transactions

  • Great statement from one of the creators of Google’s Spanner where the general idea is that it’s better to have transactions as an available feature even if it has performance issues and let developers decide if the performance is worth the tradeoff, rather than not having transactions and putting all that complexity on the developer.
  • Number of things that can go wrong during database interactions:
    • DB software or underlying hardware could fail during a write,
    • An application that uses the DB might crash in the middle of a series of operations,
    • Network problems could arise,
    • Multiple writes to the same records from multiple places causing race conditions,
    • Reads could happen to partially updated data which may not make sense, and/or
    • Race conditions between clients could cause weird problems.
  • “Reliable” systems can handle those situations and ensure they don’t cause catastrophic failures, but making a system “reliable” is a lot of work.
  • Transactions are what have been used for decades to address those issues.
    • A transaction is a way to group all related reads and writes into a single operation.
    • Either a transaction as a whole completes successfully as a “commit” or fails as an “abort, rollback”.
      • If the transaction fails, the application can choose what to do, like retry for example.
  • In general, transactions make error handling much simpler for an application.
    • That was their purpose, to make developing against a database much simpler.
  • Not all applications need transactions.
  • In some cases, it makes sense not to use transactions for performance and/or availability reasons.

How do you know if you need a transaction?

  • What are the safety guarantees?
  • What are the costs of using them?

Concepts of a transaction

  • Most relational DBs support transactions and some non-relational DBs support transactions.
  • The general idea of a transaction has been around mostly unchanged for over 40 years, originally introduced in IBM System R, the first relational database.
  • With the introduction of a lot of the NoSQL (non-relational) databases, transactions were left out.
    • In some NoSQL implementations, they redefined what a transaction meant with a weaker set of guarantees.
      • A popular belief was put out there that transactions meant anti-scalable.
      • Another popular belief was that to have a “serious” database, it had to have transactions.
        • The book calls out both as hyperbole.
        • The reality is there are tradeoffs for both having or not having transactions.
  • ACID is the acronym to describe the safety guarantees of databases and stands for Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability.
    • Coined in 1983 by Theo Harder and Andreas Reuter.
    • The reality is that each database’s implementation of ACID may be very different.
      • Lots of ambiguity for what Isolation means.
      • Because ACID doesn’t specify the actual guarantees, it’s basically a marketing term.
  • Systems that don’t support ACID are often referred to as BASE, BAsically available, Soft state, and Eventual consistency.
    • Even more vague than ACID! BASE, more or less, just means anything but ACID.

Atomicity

  • Atomicity refers to something that can not be broken into smaller parts.
    • In terms of multi-threaded programming, this means you can only see the state of something before or after a complete operation and nothing in-between.
    • In the world of database and ACID, atomicity has nothing to do with concurrency. For instance, if multiple actions are trying to processes the same data, that’s covered under Isolation.
      • Instead, ACID describes what should happen if there is a fault while performing multiple related writes.
        • For example, if a group of related writes are to be performed in an operation and there is some underlying error that occurs before the transaction of writes can be committed, then the operation is aborted and any writes that occurred during that operation must be undone, i.e. rolled back.
  • Without atomicity, it is difficult to know what part of the operation completed and what failed.
  • The benefit of the rollback is you don’t have to have any special logic in your application to figure out how to get back to the original state. You can just simply try again because the transaction took care of the cleanup for you.
    • This ability to get rid of any writes after an abort is basically what the atomicity is all about.

Consistency

  • In ACID, consistency just means the database is in a good state.
  • But consistency is a property of the application as it’s what defines the invariants for its operations.
    • This means that you must write your application transactions properly to satisfy the invariants that have been defined.
    • The database can take care of certain invariants, such as foreign key constraints and uniqueness constraints, but otherwise it’s left up to the application to set up the transactions properly.
    • The book suggests that because the consistency is on the application’s shoulders, the C shouldn’t be part of ACID.

Isolation

  • Isolation is all about handling concurrency problems and race conditions.
    • The author provided an example of two clients trying to increment a single database counter concurrently, the value should have gone from 3 to 5, but only went to 4 because there was a race condition.
  • Isolation means that the transactions are isolated from each other so the previous example cannot happen.
    • The book doesn’t dive deep on various forms of isolation implementations here as they go deeper in later sections, however one that was brought up was treating every transaction as if it was a serial transaction. The problem with this is there is a rather severe performance hit for forcing everything serially.
      • The section that describes the additional isolation levels is “Weak Isolation Levels”.

Durability

  • Durability just means that once the database has committed a write, the data will not be forgotten, even if a database failure or hardware failure occurs.
    • This notion of durability typically means, in a single node database, that the data has been written to the drive, typically to a write-ahead log or similar implementation.
      • The write-ahead log ensures if there is any data corruption in the database, that it can be rebuilt, if necessary.
  • In a replicated database, durability means that the data has been written to the other nodes successfully.
    • The performance implication here is that for the database to guarantee that it’s durable, it must wait for those distributed writes to complete before committing the transaction.
  • PERFECT DURABILITY DOES NOT EXIST.
    • If all your databases and backups somehow got destroyed at the same time, there’s absolutely nothing you could do.

Resources we Like

  • Coding Blocks Jam ’23 (itch.io)
  • NewSQL (Wikipedia)
  • Visual Studio (Wikipedia)
  • Chrissy’s Court (IMDb)
  • Tracy Morgan gets in a crash right after buying a $2 million Bugatti (CNN)
  • IBM System R (Wikipedia)
  • Database Schema for Multiple Types of Products (Coding Blocks)
  • Uber’s Big Data Platform: 100+ Petabytes with Minute Latency (Uber)
  • How to store data for 1,000 years (BBC)
  • Longevity of Recordable CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays – Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) Notes 19/1 (canada.ca)

Tip of the Week

  • The Bad Plus is an instrumental band that makes amazing music that’s perfect for programming. It’s a little wild, and a little strange. Maybe like Radiohead, but a saxophone instead of Thom Yorke? Maybe? (YouTube)
    • Correction, Piano Rock will quickly become your new favorite channel. (YouTube)
  • docker builder is a command prefix that you can use that specifically operates against the builder. For example you can prune the builder’s cache without wiping out your local cache. It can really save your bacon if you’re working with a lot of images. (docs.docker.com)
  • Ever want to convert YAML to JSON so you can see nesting issues easier? There’s a VSCode plugin for that! Search for hilleer.yaml-plus-json or find it on GitHub. (GitHub)
  • Spotify has a great interface, but Apple Audio has lossless audio, sounds great, and pays artists more. Give it a shot! If you sign up for Apple One you can get Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+ and a lot more for one unified price. (Apple)
Direct download: coding-blocks-episode-202.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 11:16pm EST

Michael spends the holidays changing his passwords, Joe forgot to cancel his subscriptions, and Allen’s busy playing Call of Duty: Modern Healthcare as we discuss the our 2023 resolutions.

The full show notes for this episode are available at https://www.codingblocks.net/episode201.

News

  • Thanks for the reviews CourageousPotato, Billlhead, [JD]Milo!
    • Want to help us out? Leave us a review.
  • Game Jam is coming up, January 20-23! (itch.io)
  • Thoughts on LastPass?
    • Check out the encrypted fields, as figured out by a developer. (GitHub)
    • LastPass users: Your info and password vault data are now in hackers’ hands (Ars Technica)
Game Jam Time!

Our 2023 Resolutions

Michael’s

  • Learn Kotlin,
  • Go deeper on streaming technologies, such as Kafka, Flink, and/or Kafka Connect, and
  • Learn more music theory and techniques.
Designing Data Intensive Applications
Drink!

JZ’s

  • Of course Joe has categorized his resolutions into the following areas: finances, health, personal development, and career management,
  • Go deeper on Spring and streaming technologies, and
  • Do more game dev and LeetCode.

Q&A Round 1

  • What skills are opposite and which are adjacent that can be picked up this year?
    • Angular unit testing,
    • Front end development,
    • Spring,
    • Big data concepts and technologies
  • Any books, courses, or certifications?
    • Designing Data-Intensive Applications: The Big Ideas Behind Reliable, Scalable, and Maintainable Systems by Martin Kleppmann (Amazon)
    • Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) (cncf.io)

Allen’s

  • Spend more time focusing on health and fun,
  • Updating the About Us page with recent info,
  • Go deeper on streaming technologies and conepts,
  • Go deeper on big data concepts such as data lakes, and best practices, etc.,
  • Get back into making content again, such as YouTube, and/or maybe presenting.

Q&A Round 2

  • What do you want to avoid in 2023?
    • Less Jenkins,
    • Avoid piecemeal Spring upgrades,

2023 Predictions

  • Data, privacy … do we need it?,
  • New languages, frameworks,
  • Generated content (Dalle-2ChatGPTCopilot), and
  • AI ethics
    • ChatGPT Wrote My AP English Essay—and I Passed (WSJ)

Resources

Tip of the Week

  • You can pipe directly to Visual Studio Code (in bash anyway), much easier than outputting to a file and opening it in Code … especially if you end up accidentally checking it in!
    • Example: curl https://www.codingblocks.net | code -
  • Is your trackpad not responding on your new(-ish) MacBook? Run a piece of paper around the edge to clean out any gunk. Also maybe avoid dripping BBQ sauce on it.
  • How does the iOS MFA / Verification Code settings work? We want MFA, but we we’re tired of the runaround!
  • Jump around – nope, not Kris Kross, great tip from Thiyagarajan – keeps track of your most “frecent” directories to make navigation easier (GitHub)
    • There’s a version for PowerShell too – thank you Brad Knowles! (GitHub)
Direct download: coding-blocks-episode-201.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 8:01pm EST

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