Newsletter #5: First e-Mails, then tabloids

Stefan Baumgartner

Stefan on Mastodon

Welcome to the fifth edition of my lovely little newsletter on all things software engineering. If you’ve been a long-time subscriber of this newsletter you realize that not only I’ve taken a long time to produce the next e-Mail, but that I’ve also switched from Mailchimp to a small little service called Buttondown.

The reason is that Mailchimp proved to be inaccessible for some, unreachable for many (Spam galore!), and questionable for people who worry about their privacy.

The truth is: Only Mailchimp cares which links you clicked and if you opened your mails. I care if they reached you and provide good content.

That’s for the switch. Buttondown is a nice service and feels very stable, but I also have to do a lot to get things going. Expect improvements (hopefully…)

I also run out of possible descriptions for the FETT acronym 😱 Let me know if you have any ideas!


– Stefan

New on my blog #

Narrow types in catch clauses - Typing JavaScript exceptions like you’re used to from C# and Java is something I see a lot. I tried to clear up why this is not a thing in TypeScript, and what you can do instead.

Schroedinger’s module names - My first architecture piece! Naming folders shared or util is something I see so often in software. This is an antipattern, and I want to tell you why.

Learning Rust and Go – I’m coming full circle and going back to systems programming again. I’m learning Rust and Go, and both languages couldn’t be more different to use. They are also a lot of fun! I’ve written a couple of thoughts on each and shared my initial experiences.

Elsewhere #

Dynamic Static Typing - You might have seen my latest piece at Smashing Magazine. It’s the base of one of my talks and gives you a run-through of a complex type for an Express.js style server. Topics covered: Union types, generics, template literal types, and more!

Dynamic Static Typing - The Video - I’ve shown the same thing at the Laravel Worldwide meetup. Check this YouTube video for a recording.

CUPID. The backstory – There’s a person called Dan North who thinks that Bob Martins SOLID principles are bogus. I agree with him, albeit for totally different reasons! In this article, Dan debunks the famous principles and teases his own.

Cold Starts in AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, and Google Cloud Functions – I do a lot of Serverless architecture at the moment and cold starts are a hot topic! Get it? Cold start … Hot … topic? I’m sorry. Anyways: Mikhail compares cold starts of the big 3 and provides all the details. And, Mikhail keeps this series up to date! Very helpful!

Upcoming appearances #

Global Azure - I’m speaking at Global Azure 2021 on April 16. I’ll show how we can use TypeScript and Azure Functions to go back to some classical PHP-style rendering, but serverless!

Podcast recommendations #

Changelog: Servo and Rust - This episode of the changelog is pretty old, but I come back to it every now and then. Jack Moffitt talks about the motivations to create Rust, how a web engine is written in Rust, what the problems with C++ are and how CSS rendering can be improved by memory ownership. Very insightful! It also makes me sad that Firefox is basically a footnote now. It seems there’s a far superior rendering engine available.

Quote of the day #

In an open-source world, you’re selecting community as you select everything else. […] If the community doesn’t reflect your values, you’ll find that the software will come to not reflect your values.

Bryan Cantrill

Cinema #

Katrina Owen: The Scandalous Story of Dreadful Code Written by the Best of Us. I’m a huge fan of Katrina’s talks, and this one is no exception. The way she presents refactoring stories is outstanding. She guides us through code that seems so different at first, and step by step brings everything closer together. Brilliant! I want to do something like that for JavaScript sometime.

Anders Hejlsberg and Luke Hoban: Introducing TypeScript. I have a playlist on YouTube I call “HistoryJS”. This playlist contains famous presentations where either something really nice was introduced, or because they went down in history for stirring up the community. This one is the first presentation of TypeScript. And it’s interesting how every value they present holds up to this day!

That’s it for today! #

That’s my first email with my new newsletter provider. I hope you like it and found it useful! The design is not where it was, but it works with dark mode and most mail readers now. If you have something interesting to share, let me know!

Cheers, Stefan

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