Recent Feature Articles

Feb 2019

The Three-Month Itch

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Compass in coil

It was March 2016, and Ian was in need of a job. Fairly early into his search, he was lucky to find a tiny startup in need of someone with Python architecture and design skills. By "tiny," we mean that there were only three other developers working for Jack, the founder.


A Backup Pipeline

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“Um… can you come take a look at something for me?”

Pat looked up from happily hacking away at some new features to see Milton hovering at the edge of the cubicle.


Set the Flux Capacitor for 12/30/1899

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I mentally think of the early 2000s as "the XML Age". XML was everywhere. Everyone wanted to put XML into their applications. Java was the XML king, using XML for everything. People were starting to ask themselves, "do we need the big expensive RDBMS, when we can just use XML instead?"

In other words, just like JSON today, but worse. Tomislav A inherited one such database- a clunky pile of XML documents with only the vaguest hint of a schema to them, and a mix of valuable, useful data, and a mountain of crap. With the assumption that all data validation was happening in the application layer, the database was mostly "garbage in, garbage sits there forever and can never be deleted because it might be important".