newsletter February 24, 2023

The Overflow #166: Writing code for other people

Serverless databases, expensive hash functions, and floating point numbers

Welcome to ISSUE #166 of The Overflow! This newsletter is by developers, for developers, written and curated by the Stack Overflow team and Cassidy Williams. This week: making sure your monitoring debt doesn’t drive you bankrupt, hiding malicious code within whitespace, and pondering the inevitability of numbers.

From the blog

Coding 102: Writing code other people can read
Bootcamp may have taught you to write code that works. But the next level is to write code that works with other people.

Serverless scales well, but most databases don’t
The benefits that come from serverless computing can be lost if you have to spend your time provisioning hardware for your database.

Monitoring debt builds up faster than software teams can pay it off
Today, it’s easier than ever for a team to monitor software in production. But it’s also easy to build up a lot of tech debt around monitoring.

You don’t have to build a browser in JavaScript anymore (Ep. 538)
What’s new in Next.js 13, how growing demand for front-end applications has made the React codebase “ginormous,” and what’s required to support a sustainable community of open-source contributors.

A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started in DevOps promotion
Get practical information about what DevOps is and how a collaborative culture will benefit your work and company. GitLab’s detailed list of resources and real-world examples provides you with opportunities for continuous learning.

Interesting questions

Is there a hash function that’s more expensive for an attacker than for the server?
If you really want to season your hash, include both salt and random peppering.

Should serialization and deserialization be “atomic” transactions?
As in, either it works or it blows up.

How did the generic masculine emerge?
This is about noun and adjective forms, not basic bros.

Malicious code somehow hidden with whitespace?
An actual code ninja spotted in the wild.

Why does 0.1 + 0.2 = 0.30000000000000004?
Floating points, love ’em! …sometimes.

An engineering leader’s guide to tackling change
Change may be constant, but that doesn’t make it easy. The right engineering leader should have a plan to work with change!

The modern web’s underrated powerhouse
CSS is an ever-evolving language that is a core building block of the web—and an underappreciated one!

How inevitable is the concept of numbers?
Numbers have been a core part of our culture since the beginning of recorded history. But are they inescapable?

If you’re curious about our other products: How to get started with Stack Overflow for Teams.

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