MaisonBisson

a bunch of stuff I would have emailed you about

There are no architects at Facebook

We get there through iteration. We don’t try to build an architecture that is failproof. Building an architecture and worrying about it for months and months at a time before you actually go deploy it tends to not get us the result we want because by the time we’ve actually deployed something the problem has moved or there are more technologies available to solve different problems.

We take it seriously enough to say “there are no architects on the team.”

We do a very “you build it you own it” process, where any team or any individual or any engineer that builds or designs something, they own it, and they do the on-call for it.

On call is where we learn, and that’s how we improve over time.

You build a system…you don’t have to be perfect. Deploy it, and as long as you have enough detection and mitigation capabilities, you will do OK. And you will learn, and you will iterate over it, and you will get better over time.

From the NANOG73 keynote: “Operations first, feature second” by Facebook VP of Network Engineering Najam Ahmad. It’s at about the 10:20 mark in the video:

The problem with economies of scale

Economies of scale quickly become economies of hassle

From Jessamyn, amplifying the exasperation people feel when daily activities are made more complex by poor application of technology. In the example given, the phone app reduces costs for the provider, but doesn’t improve the experience for the customer. People may not expect parking to be delightful, but that’s not an excuse for making it frustrating.

Wither hardware startups?

[I]t’s getting harder to find independent hardware startups that can scale up to something big without getting bought.

From Dieter Bohn on the collective disappointment so many people feel about the Eero acquisition. The rise of product ecosystems is increasing the costs and risks for independent hardware startups in every category. (Perhaps that’s why reMarkable positions itself as the intentionally unconnected alternative to our phones.)

Turning off exposure preview on my Fuji X-E3

Nanda Kusumadi has quite a number of tips for configuring a Fuji X-E3. Those tips include using RAW photo recording and turning on 4K video capture (they’re off by default), and one I hadn’t considered: enabling Adobe RGB color space with its wider than sRGB gamut. I prefer not to use some of other the suggestions, such as enabling electronic shutter (it reduces dynamic range).

One setting not mentioned in Nanda’s tips is turning off exposure preview. This is critical when using manual exposure modes with flash. With exposure preview enabled, ambient light is too dark to allow proper composition and focusing when exposure is set for the flash. Turning it off is a smart move to make it easier to shoot with flashes and strobes.

  • Set up → Screen set-up → Preview exp./WB in manual mode → Off

Something from nothing: a dog park, a parade, and...

On a lark, Jaime Kornick created Patrick’s Park. Then she created a dog parade, then….

iHeart mentioned the Dog Parade on the radio, local publications wrote about it, and the RSVPs started rolling in. In total, more than 350 people said they were coming.

That’s when I realized I needed to get a permit.

Then she got a call:

I told them the panel would consist of thought leaders within the canine community, bull shitting. They were wondering if the co-founder of Wag, Jason Meltzer, could be on the panel. When I hung up the phone, I was like, damn, you can really create something out of nothing in this town.

Jaime Kornick tells the whole story here.

Kubesprawl

This leads to the emerging pattern of “many clusters” rather than “one big shared” cluster. Its not uncommon to see customers of Google’s GKE Service have dozens of Kubernetes clusters deployed for multiple teams. Often each developer gets their own cluster. This kind of behavior leads to a shocking amount of Kubesprawl.

From Paul Czarkowski discussing the reasons and potential solutions for the growing number of Kubernetes clusters.

Hard solutions to container security

The vulnerability allows a malicious container to (with minimal user interaction) overwrite the host runc binary and thus gain root-level code execution on the host.

From Aleksa Sarai explaining the latest Linux container vulnerability.

To me, the underlying message here is: Containers are Linux.

From Scott McCarty washing his hands of it.

Kata Containers is an open source project and community working to build a standard implementation of lightweight Virtual Machines (VMs) that feel and perform like containers, but provide the workload isolation and security advantages of VMs.

From the Kata Containers website. The project is intended to be “compatible with the OCI specification for Docker containers and CRI for Kubernetes” while running those containers in a VM instead of a namespace.

The future of Kubernetes is Virtual Machines, not Containers.

From Paul Czarkowski, discussing multitennancy problems and solutions for Kubernetes.

On asking the right questions

Instead of asking photographers what they might like, Fuji was said to have made up sets of comparison prints and slides: One set showed color as accurate as Fuji could make, the other sets had varying degrees of enhanced saturation—richer, warmer, deeper colors; healthier skin tones; bluer skies, greener grass, redder barns. Photographers, it seemed, consistently preferred the saturated versions. » about 400 words

Conflicting advice on time management

On the one hand:

As a leader, you want to encourage people to entertain “unreasonable ideas” and give them time to formulate their hypotheses. Demanding data to confirm or kill a hypothesis too quickly can squash the intellectual play that is necessary for creativity.

On the other hand:

[Force] teams to focus narrowly on the most critical technical uncertainties and [rapidly experiment for] faster feedback. The philosophy is to learn what you have gotten wrong early and then move quickly in more-promising directions.

From Gary P. Pisano writing on organizational culture for HBR. Paul E. McKenney emphasizes:

[S]tress-testing ideas early on avoids over-investing in the inevitable blind alleys.

But what kind of tests does Pisano suggest?

[do] not run experiments to validate initial ideas. Instead, […] design “killer experiments” that maximize the probability of exposing an idea’s flaws.