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Thoughts on startups, product & software engineering.

Bad Medicine In .NET OSS

A recent flare-up of chronic drama in .NET OSS has got me re-thinking the prevailing diagnosis & cure for our ecosystem woes. For context, the prevailing diagnosis & suggested cure goes something like this: Anytime Microsoft introduces common abstractions / libraries that overlap with current OSS offerings, .NET developers will abandon relevant OSS libraries en-mass to adopt Microsoft’s “lowest common denominator” offerings. To avoid cannibalizing the ecosystem, Microsoft must abstain from participating in any areas occupied by existing OSS libraries....

May 18, 2024 Â· 5 min Â· 945 words Â· Me

Tech Stack Religion Will Let You Down

There’s a genre of tech social media/content that goes something like this: This language / framework / cloud is shitty because…reasons. The authors of this content seem to apparate into any threads about the failings of said “tech.” And there’s you, the poor sod who spent the night wresting said “tech”, it is nice. You’re not alone out there, someone else has struggled with these docs or those obscure error messages....

November 12, 2021 Â· 3 min Â· 619 words Â· Me

Serverless Compute Is Just The Beginning

Functions as a Service (FaaS) are only a narrow subset of Serverless. And yet, FaaS (a form of serverless compute) dominates most discussions of the topic. This narrow focus on FaaS, and the endless debates around it make it difficult for us to understand & explore what it really means to be serverless. The wider concept of serverless holds much more promise than just compute. A (Partially) Serverless Architecture from Microsoft...

March 8, 2019 Â· 3 min Â· 513 words Â· Me

How to Evaluate Functions as a Service (FaaS) Providers

There’s a glut of FaaS providers on the market right now. Cloud providers, database vendors, notification services, your plumber (probably): everyone’s doing it. And they’re constantly telling you how great it is. Needless to say, it’s getting increasingly difficult to untangle this writhing pile of hype beasts. How do you choose between them? On what dimensions should you assess them? Note: I’m going to try really hard not to talk about specific providers here even though we all know the main players are: AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions and IBM Cloud Functions....

February 25, 2019 Â· 5 min Â· 1050 words Â· Me

Defining Serverless

We need a good name for when a word is so overused it loses all meaning. Semantic Satiation doesn’t quite cut it (too bland). No, we need something like “enshittification” that really captures our collective disappointment at a good thing ruined. And yes, the word “Serverless” is most definitely ruined. Sementic Tomfoolery It is no longer possible to use the word “Serverless” (in good faith) without immediately clarifying what you mean....

February 19, 2019 Â· 3 min Â· 498 words Â· Me