Why does my engineer care so much about a few milliseconds?

Software engineers place a lot of emphasis on code performance. There is often tension between non-engineers who want more time to be spent on building new features and engineers who want to spend time on improving performance. The app seems perfectly fast to you. So why do engineers care so much about shaving a few… Continue reading Why does my engineer care so much about a few milliseconds?

WTF is NoSQL?

NoSQL is a popular buzzword these days. Let’s demystify it and discuss why your engineer might be talking about using a NoSQL database. WTF is SQL? As you may have guessed, the inspiration for the grammatically questionable name “NoSQL” is SQL. SQL was the state of the art class of databases from the 1980’s until… Continue reading WTF is NoSQL?

WTF is an API?

“API” is a ubiquitous term in modern application development. Technically, it stands for “Application Programming Interface,” but nobody calls it that. It’s a broad term, but it basically defines how one system communications with another system. I’ll divide it into two subcategories: third party APIs and internal APIs. Third Party APIs You probably hear about… Continue reading WTF is an API?

What’s the difference between a programming language and a framework?

By now you’ve learned WTF a tech stack is and, after consulting with your engineer, you’ve discovered that they’re building the app in Ruby on Rails. Or Python/Django. Or Python/Flask. Why do they always come in pairs? A programming language is what we use to tell a computer what to do. I can write a… Continue reading What’s the difference between a programming language and a framework?