a blog by Sara Farquharson

what i'm reading: June 6

I, like most people I know, have been a little distracted from technology-as-usual by a constant feed of police brutality. It’s been a jarring reminder that some people don’t have the luxury of ignoring racial injustice, and that we should all be working harder for equality every day. I’ve been donating money to community organizations and researching my local police department’s history of using force, how about you?

I still read a lot before I heard about the protests, and continue to poke at tech stuff on occasion for my own mental health. Stay safe out there. Black lives matter.




Racial Justice

Core skills

  • Several days after I made a mediocre presentation about threat modelling for developers, Jim Gumbley posted this guide to threat modelling for developers, including advice on how to run a remote session. Sigh.

  • Interview about Twitter University, an interesting approach to documentation

  • Jamie Dobson’s post on Emergent Strategy isn’t quite as comprehensible as I want it to be, though I am interested to see if his strategy patterns would be easier to make practical use of.

  • I was hoping this article on building psychological safety in teams would be more practical, but it’s mostly about how Elsevier has set up a peer facilitation program. May need to instead look into the recommended book, Amy Edmondson’s The Fearless Organization

  • Ryn Daniels has a whole series on introspecting as a mid-career technologist, starting with On Mid-Career Challenges

Distributed Sytems

Programming languages

Remote working

Scaling systems

  • Venkatesh-Prasad Ranganath’s reviews of books on architecting for scale contains some books I’m familiar with and others I’m not, so more to add to the reading list.

  • Marta Kosarchyn writes on the Khan Academy Engineering blog about how Khan Academy handled 2.5x normal load during Covid, which amounts to “our cloud hosting scaled automatically”, but still neat to see what some of their specific architecture choices are.