TLDR Web Dev 2024-02-09

Google releases Gemini ✨, AWS releases LLRT 🚀, Vercel’s AI integrations 🤖

Articles & Tutorials

GitHub's Engineering Fundamentals program: How we deliver on availability, security, and accessibility (8 minute read)

GitHub’s Engineering Fundamentals program helps GitHub deliver on its commitments to availability, security, and accessibility. The program uses scorecards, which are created by teams and are specific to each service, to track progress against these goals. An example is the “secret scanning” scorecard, which looks for secrets in repositories.

DotSlash: Simplified executable deployment (13 minute read)

DotSlash is an open-source tool developed by Meta that manages large executables efficiently by replacing them with small text files. These files tell DotSlash where to download and verify the actual executable for your platform. This avoids storing large binaries in source control and reduces clone times. DotSlash is used at Meta for managing internal tools and open-source projects alike and it integrates with GitHub releases for easy distribution.

Remix Takes on Next.js in Battle of the React Frameworks (6 minute read)

Remix and Astro are currently getting a lot of buzz as simpler alternatives to Next.js, the dominant framework of the React era. Remix is a more direct competitor to Next.js, since they are both based on the React library, but its origins go back a full decade. This article looks at what inspired the creators of Remix to start the framework and how Remix tackles the complexity of React. Shopify, for example, is using Remix internally for its admin dashboard and apps.
Opinions & Advice

What it was like working for GitLab (24 minute read)

This author shares their learnings from their time at GitLab, focusing on aspects like company culture, product development, and team structure. GitLab prioritized self-hosted installations over the SaaS offering, leading to performance issues. Since GitLab offered both a SaaS and self-hosted model, it created conflicts of interest and challenges in maintaining separate codebases. Using Ruby on Rails allowed the company to grow fast, but created some challenges with performance and maintainability.

How to hire low experience, high potential people (8 minute read)

Hiring inexperienced but high-potential individuals can be valuable for startups. Some tips on identifying such individuals include assessing their "wins above replacement," unconventional path, chip on their shoulder, positivity, high EQ, "theory of excellence," openness, and sense of humor. Finding such candidates is like looking for diamonds in the rough, but taking calculated risks on unconventional candidates can often pay off well.

How to Onboard (4 minute read)

To onboard a new company or team effectively as a software engineer, it’s helpful to start by building knowledge and relationships quickly through targeted conversations with colleagues. Then, contributing code quickly, even through small changes, helps solidify understanding and integrate into the team even faster. Onboarding buddies and well-structured processes like documentation and backlog support smooth the process.
Launches & Tools

Introducing AI Integrations on Vercel (2 minute read)

Vercel has announced new AI integrations that allow developers to easily incorporate AI models and services into their applications. This includes a model playground for testing various providers and an AI SDK for seamless integration.

Sudo for Windows (6 minute read)

Microsoft has announced Sudo for Windows, a new command-line tool that allows users to run elevated commands without opening a separate window. It offers three configuration options: opening a new window, closing input, or running inline. This blog post discusses the security implications of each configuration and the differences between Sudo and the existing “runas” command.

LLRT (GitHub Repo)

LLRT is a lightweight JavaScript runtime designed to meet the demand for fast and efficient serverless applications. It can offer up to 10 times faster startup and 2 times lower cost compared to other JavaScript runtimes that run on AWS Lambda. LLRT is developed and created by AWS.

Google Bard is now Gemini: How to try Ultra 1.0 and new mobile app (5 minute read)

Google Bard is now called Gemini and offers two new experiences: Gemini Advanced and a mobile app. Gemini Advanced gives access to the most powerful AI model, Ultra 1.0, for complex tasks like coding and creative projects. It costs $19.99/month with a free 2-month trial and is available in English with more languages coming soon. The mobile app lets you chat or add images for help on the go. It's currently available in English on Android and iOS in the US.

Google Prepares for a Future Where Search Isn’t King (8 minute read)

Sundar Pichai, Google's CEO, says that the way people find information online is changing. Social media apps, short-form videos, and generative AI are challenging the traditional way of using search engines. Pichai says that Google is still committed to search, but that the company is also experimenting with new ways to help people find information. He says that the future of search may be a combination of traditional search and more generative AI experiences.

Should you Stay Technical as an Engineering Manager? (10 minute read)

While staying "hands-on" with coding decreases as you climb the leadership ladder, maintaining technical knowledge ("staying technical") is still important. It allows you to understand your team's challenges, make informed decisions, and communicate effectively. Aim to dedicate 20% of your time to technical activities like attending meetings, contributing to documentation, working on small internal tools, and participating in ongoing learning.
Quick Links

CSSformalize (GitHub Repo)

CSSformalize is a CSS framework for effortless customization of native HTML forms. With just a few clicks on an on-site interface, you can define paddings, dimensions, and color schemes tailored to your preference. Then, you link the generated CSS file to your project, integrate the automatically generated CSS variables, and watch your form designs come to life.

A Distributed Systems Reading List (16 minute read)

A comprehensive reading list and short explanations of fundamental concepts in distributed systems, including foundational theory (models, failure modes, consensus) and practical matters (fallacies, logical clocks, etc.).

Interaction to Next Paint becomes a Core Web Vital on March 12 (4 minute read)

Interaction to Next Paint (INP), which is a holistic approach at measuring responsiveness, will officially become a Core Web Vital on March 12, 2024, replacing First Input Delay (FID). This means that website owners should check and improve their INP ahead of time.

Dan Abramov on React, RSCs, and the future (35 minute podcast)

Dan Abramov, a core React contributor, offers his insights on Server Components in a podcast interview. Server Components help deal with the limitations of pure client-side React, especially performance bottlenecks and data fetching complexity.
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