The Algorithms Of Discrimination

Go read this. If you prefer you can listen too.

I posted a blog post a few weeks ago about an experience I had interviewing at a rather large and well known company that had a white board interview where I was being asked to implement a linked list in Java.

I expressed that I felt this was a useless task.

I got a lot of pushback from people on Twitter about this. A lot of older programmers chastised me that you can’t be a great programmer if you don’t understand data structures and algorithms. I tried to make the point that if you are an iOS developer that most of your job is to have knowledge of the iOS frameworks and that the language is secondary. Someone who had never owned a Mac or opened Xcode could theoretically get a job as an iOS developer.

Janie sparkled a conversation about this. I’m on her side (not that anyone’s taking sides, anyway).

I remember when I interviewed at TopTal for an iOS Developer position, and they had me writing algorithms in C. A company that posts about what to ask developers in iOS interviews.

Facebook announces Yarn, a new package manager for JavaScript

From Facebook’s announcement:

In the JavaScript community, engineers share hundreds of thousands of pieces of code so we can avoid rewriting basic components, libraries, or frameworks of our own. Each piece of code may in turn depend on other pieces of code, and these dependencies are managed by package managers.

Exactly. That’s the problem.

From NPM’s blog, acknowledging the release of Yarn:

Today, Facebook announced that they have open sourced Yarn, a backwards-compatible client for the npm registry. This joins a list of other third-party registry clients that include ied, pnpm, npm-install and npmd. (Apologies if we missed any.)

Trying to solve the dependency management problem by adding another layer of dependencies to the equation is as stupid as it sounds.

From an outsider that doesn’t do web development for a living, this is crazy. I don’t know how people cope with the web ecosystem. Specially the front-end part.

If you’re a web developer, my condolences.

P.S.: this article really resonated with me, as I’ve been spending some time doing web development for the past few weeks.