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Green Software: some thoughts

Good morning everyone and happy MonDEV ☕
We are at the first newsletter of May, and weekends increasingly call us outdoors and away from the desk.
It will be somewhat in line with this mood that I was led to write this newsletter differently from usual; today I will not talk about any specific tools, nor will I launch ideas for new projects.

Instead, I will leave you with a brief invitation to reflect on a topic that often in the IT field we overlook without thinking too much, namely the environmental impact of our work.

Indeed, we hardly stop and think about the emissions resulting from the lines of code we write, while various studies and research have been initiated to analyze this phenomenon and develop a series of development best practices aimed at reducing the impact of our applications and websites.

To have an idea of some of these, one can think about how each loading of external resources entails a greater energy consumption level; therefore, the use of heavy resources (high-quality images, videos, large data sets), are very impactful. Loading resources when not directly requested by the user is another element that can lead to unnecessary loading (environment-friendly lazy loading before it was cool). It has also been observed how, for example, dark mode can be helpful, consuming less battery and therefore being less "costly" in terms of energy. Of course, the size of the project itself also influences, both when we launch it locally and at the time of deployment. Are we sure we need that umpteenth npm package that adds who knows how many megabytes to our project just for a minimal adjustment? And then if we think about hardware and how much we love a thousand monitors and various desk tools, bright mice and keyboards... you got the gist, right? ;)

The material on this topic is indeed vast, and there are more suitable references to delve into the topic more technically; today's newsletter just wants to be a suggestion for deeper exploration in this extremely important ethical direction, as well as very interesting from a technical perspective. Below are some useful links on the topic:

Envirotechnical Site developed and maintained by Lorenzo Pieri, was my first landing on this topic and contains many resources to refer to and to learn from.

Green Software Foundation Site of the Green Software Foundation, a foundation whose aim is, to quote verbatim, "To build a people ecosystem, standards, tools, and best practices for creating eco-sustainable software."
Among their projects and resources is also interesting this GitHub repo containing a large number of projects, articles, and resources on the topic. Web hosting service powered by 100% renewable energy.

Using a slightly overused quote, "With great power comes great responsibility"; the truth is that in the digitized society in which we operate as developers, we have a huge responsibility; being aware of it is a first step, acting accordingly is then a choice!

Have a great start to the week,
Happy Coding 0_1

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