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Friday Blast #78

horia141 profile image Horia Coman Originally published at on ・2 min read

Building and motivating engineering teams (2016) - from the author of “The Manager’s Path”, but before the book. There’s something in here for anybody - for ICs it’s a handy reminder of what you can or could expect from a company. For managers it’s more practical. While founders or higher-up types can actually influence things like salaries or purpose, line managers can work within what they can control - respect for example - to create better teams and orgs.

The hopeless task of the Unicode Consortium (2019) - musings on Unicode. Modeling any concept where humans have had a big say - time, calendars, borders, language is a huge task, and often the simple solution is plain wrong.

Incrementally migrating over one million lines of code from Python 2 to Python 3 (2019) - war stories from Dropbox’s migration of their desktop client. Interesting that it could happen without massive massive re-engineering efforts. Relevant in the wake of Python 2 EoL.

Machine Learning powered search ranking of Airbnb Experiences (2019) - this was a fun one about how the Airbnb “experiences” feature basically evolved it’s recommendation system from “basic” to “advanced”. A good guide for anyone trying to build such features - start out simple, provide value, then iterate!

Details on Tesla’s new big beefy chips (2019) - one of the results of the end of Moore’s law is that we aren’t getting general purpose chips which are more powerful year over year. More power efficient yes, more cores yes(ish), but not “free lunch” more powerful like before. So if you’re a big company and you have a bunch of compute that’s really important to you - ML training/inference, image processing, computational photography, object detection etc. one solution is building custom chips for that problem. We’re very far from taping out “this” market!


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