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Increment

From Stripe — a print and digital magazine about how teams build and operate software systems at scale.
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What the history of HTTP status codes can tell us about the future of APIs

Darius Kazemi writing in Issue #14 of Increment magazine:

HTTP status codes are largely an accident of history. The people who came up with them didn’t plan on defining a numerical namespace that would last half a century or work its way into popular culture. You see this pattern over and over in the history of technology.

Because technology isn’t immune to historical contingency, it’s important for us as engineers to remember that long-lasting technical inflection points can occur at any time. Sometimes we know these decisions are important when we’re making them. Other times, they seem perfectly trivial.

Evan You Increment

Making Vue 3

Evan You writes up lessons learned from rewriting the next major version of Vue.js.

Two key considerations led us to the new major version (and rewrite) of Vue: First, the general availability of new JavaScript language features in mainstream browsers. Second, design and architectural issues in the current codebase that had been exposed over time.

I found the section on overcoming the bottleneck of the Virtual DOM (and decreasing CPU time by up to 90%) fascinating. ASTs FTW once again!

Liz Fong-Jones Increment

Code less, engineer more

The new issue of Increment is out and it’s all about team dynamics. This piece by Liz Fong-Jones is 🔥

Effective teams write less software, and writing less software enables teams to be more effective. This may sound counterintuitive at first: Aren’t we all here as engineers to write software? Isn’t our productivity measured in lines of code? To dispel this illusion, we need to stop conflating what we sometimes do with why.

Kent Beck Increment

Testing the boundaries of collaboration

Kent Beck, for Increment:

It’s 2030. A programmer in Lagos extracts a helper method. Seconds later, the code of every developer working on the program around the world updates to reflect the change. Seconds later, each of the thousands of servers running the software updates. Seconds later, the device in my pocket in Berlin updates, along with hundreds of millions of other devices across the globe.

Perhaps the most absurd assumption in this story is that I’ll still have a pocket in 10 years.

Sophie Alpert Increment

The benefits (and costs) of corporate open source

Sophie Alpert writes on Increment:

Releasing and maintaining an open-source project at a corporation takes a lot of work. I saw this firsthand working for four-plus years on React, a popular open-source JavaScript library developed by Facebook.

Many companies hope that releasing an open-source project will pay dividends in the form of code contributions from people outside the organization—but I’ve never seen that work in practice. Responding to issues, answering usage questions, carefully planning release schedules: It all takes time. Even code contributions, despite their reputation as the big reward that’s supposed to make corporate open source worthwhile, are rarely the panacea they’re made out to be.

If you’re looking to optimize your company’s open source development strategy, read this!

Dan Abramov Increment

The melting pot of JavaScript

Dan Abramov, writing for Increment:

Unconstrained by a single vendor, the JavaScript ecosystem closely reflects human culture. It is inventive, incremental, messy, assimilating everything on its way, and ubiquitous.

I’ll be honest: I love the melting pot of JavaScript. And while there’s no denying that it’s harder for beginners now to get into it than it was for me five years ago, I believe there are a few things we can do to make it more approachable.

But first, let’s see how the JavaScript ecosystem came to be this way.

Whether are weighed down by JavaScript fatigue or revved up about the JavaScript renaissance, you’ll probably enjoy this insightful piece all about the melting pot that we call JS.

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A primer on documentation content strategy

Do you have documentation? Do you have a documentation content strategy? No?!!

If you want to create guides for your software, having a solid content strategy can help you write useful content. This article will walk you through how to develop that strategy, whether you’re an engineer or a technical writer, new to writing documentation or just looking to get more strategic about it.

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