Welcome to my PinkLetter. A short, weekly, technology-agnostic, and pink newsletter where we cultivate timeless skills about web development.
Have you deployed any spikes to production this week?
Recently, I do that a lot and it works out great. Yeah, yeah, I know.
Spikes on production suck. I’m the first to say it: after cowboy coding, you should save the git diff, reset hard, and rewrite from scratch with the proper discipline.
But best practices are right only when applied to the right context. I do agree that throwing random code at the users is not the proper way to test. Or maybe it is?
We do not get paid to write perfect code—whatever perfect means. Hopefully, we get paid to provide value.
Does a short session of Edit and Pray™ pushed to production help? It depends.
Maybe the code never runs, maybe the feature is only exposed to developers, maybe you are the only user of the application.
Just treat spikes as a validation tool: quick iterations to decide what to do. When the path becomes clear, you can invest in doing it properly.
Remember, best practices come with a context. If your situation does not apply, you may be better of “breaking” the rules.
How we ship code faster and safer with feature flags by Alberto Gimeno
At GitHub, we’re continually working to improve existing features and shipping new ones all the time. From our launch of GitHub Discussions to the release of manual approvals for GitHub Actions—in order to ship new features and improvements faster while lowering the risk in our deployments, we have a simple but powerful tool: feature flags.
(Riccardo: I love the philosophy behind it. Though, you can achieve similar results without feature flags (e.g., hidden URLs).)
Using ON Versus WHERE Clauses to Combine and Filter Data in PostgreSQL Joins by Jacek Trociński
In an SQL query, data can be filtered in the WHERE clause or the ON clause of a join. This guide will examine the difference between the two in PostgreSQL.
An Easier Method for Extracting Tacit Knowledge by Cedric Chin
Let’s say that you’re a junior employee at a company, and you find a senior person with a set of skills that you’d like to learn. You ask them how they do it, and they give you an incomprehensible answer — something like “oh, I just know what to do”, or “oh, I just do what feels right”. How can you learn their skills?
(Riccardo: As a lifelong student, tacit knowledge is a fascinating topic. And Cedric kills it as always!)