a blog by Sara Farquharson

what I'm reading: catch-up edition

Due to my site generator woes, I went a few weeks without sharing what I’ve been reading. I have still been making a list though, and it’s enormous! This post took twice as long to compile because I had to revisit all these links to remember why I liked them, and also group into topics to hopefully make it more readable

Non-tech reading

  • Finished up the audiobook for Other Minds: The octopus, the sea, and the deep origins of consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith. The author is a philosopher, so this was a bit more abstract than I expected when I bought it, but it still had a lot of interesting science.
  • A article by Sarah Milstein on how to maintain a friendship once your friends start having kids was hilarious but also good advice

Software design and process

  • Very inspired to touch legacy projects after reading Carla Geisser’s post on getting rid of “haunted graveyards”, a great name for a phenomenon I usually call “here be dragons code”.
  • Haven’t gotten around to researching Domain Driven Design, but Kevin Mas Ruiz’s post on how to start thinking in DDD terms when designing microservices was informative and easy to follow
  • Allen Holub’s post on technical debt was recommended by my new manager, and I agree with the framing that tech debt is a normal part of writing the best code you can with incomplete knowledge of the future.
  • I was investigating how to design feature flags so they don’t proliferate indefinitely in the codebase, and came across Pete Hodgson’s deep dive on “Feature Toggles”, which is apparently another common term for the same idea. The article provides a bunch of different ways to think about or categorize flags, and I learned a lot, but I’m having trouble recalling details. May still look for more on this topic.
  • I ran into someone reading Will Larson’s book An Elegant Puzzle and as a result dug through a bunch of Will’s blog. This article on How to invest in technical infrastructure stood out.
  • Mads Hartmann’s reading list for learning about observability is a lot more focused than my random time-based lists!
  • Uggghhh I want to highlight just about every paragraph of this Increment article by Liz Fong-Jones: Code less, engineer more. I need to have that title tattooed on the inside of my eyelids to counteract my impulse to want to build every single thing from scratch.
  • Nora Jones announced a new community around learning from incidents in software and I’m excited to have this new resource for learning about resilience engineering.



  • A bunch of application security posts from hella-secure.com have crossed my radar recently. Ray’s Secure SDLC article is a refreshingly practical approach to adding security to an existing development lifecycle and Aaron’s related intro to threat modelling is a lot more approachable than a lot of the other threat modelling content I’ve come across.


  • This post by Cindy Sridharan on testing microservices was, uh, very relatable…Specifically when she talked about the folly of good-faith efforts to make the entire architecture testable in a single VM. The article then goes into serious detail about different types of testing and how to define tests, making some recommendations contrary to the normal testing rubric that I’ll be thinking about for a while.


Technical deep dives