What will work look like for developers after the pandemic lockdowns are relaxed? Is this the end of Silicon Valley? Is remote work the new norm? Will overseas remote work with large timezone differences be normalized? Will engineering salaries stop growing? Where are we headed? And where are we at?

There’s a lot of speculation in the air, and some trends are already in motion, but I thought I’d try to add another perspective that’s a bit less extreme. We’ll start by briefly discussing office vs. remote work, then dig into the present and future.

Caveats

As I’m a software…


After reading What You Do Is Who You Are early this year, I decided to write down what virtues I would want in my organization. After letting it sit around for 6 months, I think I’m still in agreement both with the ideas behind them and actually implementing them in reality, not just paying lip service to them. What do you think?

Behavior

  • Operate initially in good faith, trusting that other people want to help you, and will do what they can within their means
  • Deal with bad faith actors when necessary, but minimize contact and focus on the immediate goal…


The poor authors of the Agile Manifesto had high hopes for humanity when they outlined a way to determine a methodology for doing work. As with many hopes, they were dashed by humanity’s desire for silver bullets and an inability to grok that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to every problem. Worse yet, like incorrectly translated scripture, people chose to cement whatever they felt sounded nice, excluded any logic behind it, and went about religiously trying to convert everyone to their will. They even wrote books of their own, and made their own clergy. Plenty of ink has been spilt…


Engineering resumes are often filled with a sea of buzzwords, embellishments, and too often outright fabrications. An insatiable demand for talented engineers creates a beggars can’t be choosers dynamic, wherein recruiters and interviewers are forced to lower their standards for a phone interview candidate, or they have difficulty separating the charlatans from the real deal. As with all funnels, it’s desirable to spend the greatest vetting effort earlier on in the process, where the overall cost of filtering is cheapest, and this my friends brings us to the humble resume.

Let’s face it, most people hate writing or updating their…


I want to study everything, but I’m paralyzed by modern realities. I want to dive deeper into cluster computing and machine learning, and also into philosophy and natural languages, and I want to do this while working full-time. I have no children, no second or third job, and I do have free time, so there’s no obvious structural hard limitation getting in my way. And yet, I can’t pull it off, but why is this? Is it just a matter of discipline? Or is there something deeper going on here?

The internet now has several Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)…


Through some set of circumstances you end up silo’ed away from the rest of the group and left to your own devices. Normally you’d celebrate the freedom that comes with this, but prisons come in all shapes and sizes, and the world of ambiguity that arises from this can be just as trapping as the strictest micromanagement. You’ve become a trusted entity, trusted enough to operate with independence and impunity, and trusted to do this work in the darkness, far away from the judging eyes of your peers, and far from their reach. …


The path to successful professional life isn’t always straightforward. Assuming you have a relatively stable life growing up, the path that’s usually prescribed is: great university, great internships, and great marks throughout. Once employed, you need to have publicly-recognized signs of greatness. In the case of a software developer, this means creating or working on popular open source projects, perhaps speaking at conferences, or being involved in white papers.

Especially in the earlier years of my career, and even during and before university, I was convinced that according to most measures of success, I was failing. Some years later, I…


Making a new web app from top to bottom today is filled with choices we didn’t have to make even a few years ago. Cluster computing has gone from being a specialty case for things like Hadoop map-reduce to a viable environment for an HTTP API service that we’d normally just throw on a bare metal server or VM, either on-premises or externally hosted, and call it a day. Containers are everywhere. The NoSQL vs SQL debates rage on after almost a decade of Mongo, Redis and other popular stores. HTTP API designs that were to have been automated for…


Developing software is always a race between time and quality, and knowing when to lean one way or the other is part gut and part gamble. Some people will lie to themselves and others and say something can be done immediately, when what they really mean is that a proof of concept can be built quickly. Others will lie saying that something will take weeks that can really be done in less than a day. Those who venture to be honest about their best guess are either chastised for being too ambitious, or for not being ambitious enough. That is…


There’s nothing too exciting about working at a western-style company in Tokyo. In a way, it’s like being in a bubble. When you’re at the office, it feels for the most part like you could easily be anywhere else on Earth, so it’s only when you step outside that you feel something is different.

For me, when going to hang out with Japanese friends, it often felt like we lived in two different cities. Many of them would have long working hours, often found it hard to even go out for lunch, and they were often quite tired. Even when…

Alejandro Wainzinger

Backend web developer. Silicon Valley / Tokyo.

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