Felienne talks with Peter Hilton on how to name things. The discussion covers: why naming is much harder than we think, why naming matters in programming and program comprehension, how to create good names, and recognize bad names, and how to improve your naming skills.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-278-Peter-Hilton-on-Naming.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 7:47pm CET

Gil Tene joins Robert Blumen for a discussion of tail latency. What is latency? What is "tail latency"? Why are the upper percentiles of latency more relevant to humans? How is human interaction with an application influenced by tail latency? What are the economics of tail latency? What are the origins of tail latency within a system? What is the difference between response time and service time? How does queuing within a system contribute to response time? Java garbage collection and its contribution to latency outliers. How can we build systems with bounded tail latency out of components with variable latency? What type of observability to do we need to build systems with bounded latency? How is latency a driver of capacity planning?

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-277-Gil-Tene-on-Tail-Latency.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 8:59pm CET

Björn Rabenstein discusses the field of Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) with host Robert Blumen. The term SRE has recently emerged to mean Google's approach to DevOps. The publication of Google's book on SRE has brought many of their practices into more public discussion. The interview covers: what is distinct about SRE versus devops; the SRE focus on development of operational software to minimize manual tasks; the emphasis on reliability; Dickerson's hierarchy of reliability; how reliability can be measured; is there such a thing as too much reliability?; can Google's approach to SRE be applied outside of Google?; Björn's experience in applying SRE to Soundcloud - what worked and what did not; how can engineers best apply SRE to their organizational situation?; the importance of monitoring; monitoring and alerting; being on call, responding to incidents; the importance of documentation for responding to problems; they wrap up with a discussion of why people from non-computer science backgrounds are often found in devops and SRE.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-276-Bjorn-Rabenstein-on-Site-Reliability-Engineering.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 7:52pm CET

Marcus Blankenship talks with Josh Doody about salary negotiation. Topics include a framework for thinking about salary negotiations, how you can know what you're worth, the employers view of salary negotiation, and missed negotiation opportunities. Also discussed are common fears about negotiating and how to overcome them, common mistakes during negotiations, and how negotiation makes your more desirable as an employee.


Felienne talks with Sam Aaron on Sonic Pi about how he designed Sonic Pi, a language, both for professional musicians performing with code as well as for schoolchildren.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-274-Sam-Aaron-on-Sonic-Pi.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 7:11pm CET

Sven Johann talks with Steve McConnell about Software Estimation. Topics include when and why businesses need estimates and when they don’t need them; turning estimates into a plan and validating progress on the plan; why software estimates are always full of uncertainties, what these uncertainties are and how to deal with them. They continue with: estimation, planning and monitoring a Scrum project from the beginning to a possible end. They close with estimation techniques in the large (counting, empirical data) and in the small (e.g. poker planning).

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-273-Steve-McConnell-on-Software-Estimation.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 8:41pm CET

Jeff Meyerson talks with Frances Perry about Apache Beam, a unified batch and stream processing model. Topics include a history of batch and stream processing, from MapReduce to the Lambda Architecture to the more recent Dataflow model, originally defined in a Google paper. Dataflow overcomes the problem of event time skew by using watermarks and other methods discussed between Jeff and Frances. Apache Beam defines a way for users to define their pipelines in a way that is agnostic of the underlying execution engine, similar to how SQL provides a unified language for databases. This seeks to solve the churn and repeated work that has occurred in the rapidly evolving stream processing ecosystem.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-272-Frances-Perry-on-Apache-Beam.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 8:41pm CET

Jeff Meyerson talks to Idit Levine about Unikernels and unik, a project for compiling unikernels. The Linux kernel contains features that may be unnecessary to many application developers--particularly if those developers are deploying to the cloud. Unikernels allow programmers to specify the minimum features of an operating system we need to deploy our applications. Topics include the the Linux kernel, requirements for a cloud operating system, and how unikernels compare to Docker containers.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-271-Idit-Levine-on-Unikernelsl.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 6:31pm CET

Jeff Meyerson talks with Brian Brazil about monitoring with Prometheus, an open source tool for monitoring distributed applications. Brian is the founder of Robust Perception, a company offering Prometheus engineering and consulting. The high level goal of Prometheus is to allow developers to focus on services rather than individual instances of a given service. Prometheus is based off of the Borgmon monitoring tool, widely used at Google, where Brian previously worked. Jeff and Brian discuss the tradeoffs of choosing not to replicate our monitoring data. In some situations, the monitoring system will lose data because of this decision. Other topics that are discussed are distributed consensus tools, integrations with Prometheus, and the broader topic of monitoring itself.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-270-Brian-Brazil-on-Prometheus-Monitoring.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 11:32pm CET

Eberhard Wolff talks with Phillip Carter about F# - a multi-paradigm programming language supporting object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming paradimgs. Its unique features make it especially fit for parallel programming or DSLs.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-269-Phillip-Carter-on-F.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 7:36pm CET

Kief Morris talks to Sven Johann about Infrastructure as Code and why it is important in the “Cloud Age”. Kief talks about the practices and benefits and why you should treat your servers as cattles, not pets.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-268-Kief-Morris-on-Infrastructure-as-Code.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 7:06pm CET

Eberhard Wolff talks with Jürgen Höller about Reactive Spring. Reactive programming is a hot topic, but adoption has been slow in the enterprise. Spring 5 incorporates Reactor and the RxJava API to help Java developers build scalable high-performance web applications. The discussion explores architectural challenges, transactions, porting existing applications, and increased code complexity.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-267-Jrgen-Hller-on-Reactive-Spring-and-Spring-5.0.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 7:37pm CET

Charles Nutter from the JRuby project talks to Charles Anderson about JRuby and the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) as a platform for implementing programming languages. They begin by discussing the Java platform beyond just the Java language. As a case study in implementing a language other than Java on the JVM, they discuss JRuby - what it is and how it’s implemented on the JVM. They discuss recent additions to the Java platform like the invoke-dynamic byte code and lambdas in Java 8. The conversation concludes by discussing the future of the Java language, platform, and virtual machine.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-266-Charles-Nutter-on-the-JVM-as-a-Language-Platform.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 10:06pm CET

Johannes Thönes talks to Patrick Kua about the role of a technical lead and how to become one. The show starts with introducing the concept of a lead and contrasts the lead role with other roles, such as technical manager, architect and senior developer.  The discussion continues to the responsibilities of a tech lead (supporting engineering practices, managing, resolving conflict, and growing people). The discussion continues on to talk about the challenges of becoming a tech lead and how to overcome them and closes with the question: “how can you tell if you are succeeding as a tech lead”?

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-265-Pat-Kua-on-Becoming-a-Tech-Lead.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 11:52pm CET

Charles Anderson talks with James Phillips about service discovery and Consul, an open-source service discovery tool. The discussion begins by defining what service discovery is, what data is stored in a service discovery tool, and some scenarios in which it’s used. Then they dive into some details about the components of a service discovery tool and how reliability is achieved as a distributed system. Finally, James discusses Consul, the functions it provides, and how to integrate it with existing applications, even if they use configuration files instead of a service discovery tool.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-264-James-Phillips-on-Service-Discovery.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 1:35am CET

Stefan Tilkov talks to Camille Fournier about the challenges developers face when building distributed systems, whether the can avoid building them at all, and what changes occur once they do.

Direct download: Camille-Fournier-on-Real-World-Distributed-Systemsl.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 7:24pm CET

Sven Johann talks with Bill Curtis about Software Quality. They discuss examples of failed systems like Obama Care; the role of architecture; move an org from chaos to innovation; relation between Lean, quality improvement and CMM; Team Software Process.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-262-Software-Quality-with-Bill-Curtis.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 6:23pm CET

David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of the Ruby on Rails framework and a partner at the software development company Basecamp, talks to Stefan Tilkov about the state of Ruby on Rails and its suitability for long-term development. He addresses some of its common criticisms, such as perceived usefulness for only simple problems, claimed lack of scalability, and increasing complexity. David also talks about the downsides of building JavaScript-centric, “sophisticated” web UIs, and why he prefers well-structured, “majestic” monoliths to microservices.


Jeff Meyerson talks to Haoyuan Li about Alluxio, a memory-centric distributed storage system. The cost of memory and disk capacity are both decreasing every year–but only the throughput of memory is increasing exponentially. This trend is driving opportunity in the space of big data processing. Alluxio is an open source, memory-centric, distributed, and reliable storage system enabling data sharing across clusters at memory speed. Alluxio was formerly known as Tachyon. Haoyuan is the creator of Alluxio. Haoyuan was a member of the Berkeley AMPLab, which is the same research facility from which Apache Mesos and Apache Spark were born. In this episode, we discuss Alluxio, Spark, Hadoop, and the evolution of the data center software architecture.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-260-Haoyuan-Li-on-Alluxio.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 10:25pm CET

SE-Radio-Episode-259:-John-Purrier-on-OpenStack

John Purrier talks with Jeff Meyerson about OpenStack, an open-source cloud operating system for managing compute resources. They explore infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, virtualization, containers, and the future of systems development and management.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-259-John-Purrier-on-OpenStack.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 10:07pm CET

Robert Blumen talks with Cody Voellinger, the founder of a recruiting firm that specializes in filling software engineer roles for San Francisco-area startups, about how jobs are created and how companies and engineers get matched up. Their discussion covers the entire job search process, from job descriptions to salary negotiations. They look at the job market from both sides: how companies define what they want, find the right people, and evaluate candidates, and how job seekers can position themselves for the role they want. Other topics include culture fit versus skill and resumes in an age of social networking. They conclude with a look at the mistakes that job seekers, recruiters, and companies should avoid.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-258-Cody-Voellinger-on-Recruiting-Software-Engineers.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 8:28pm CET

Michael Nygard of “Release It!” fame talks with Stefan Tilkov about his experience using the Clojure programming language. Topics include the tool chain and development process, the Clojure learning curve, and on-boarding new developers. Michael explains the similarities and differences compared to typical OO languages when implementing domain logic, and uses both game development and typical web development projects as examples. Finally, the two discuss how well Clojure can be used in the face of long-running projects, and some typical obstacles and strategies for introducing it to real-world scenarios.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-257-Michael-Nygard-on-Clojure-in-Practice.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 8:07pm CET

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-256-Jay-Fields-on-Working-Effectively-with-Unit-Tests.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 12:18am CET

Monica Beckwith joins Robert Blumen for a discussion of java garbage collection. What is garbage collection? GC algorithms; history of GC in the java language; fragmentation and compaction; generational strategies; causes of pauses; impact of pauses on application performance; tuning GC; GC on multi-core and large memory machines; should production servers be implemented in non-GC languages?; going off heap and other programming techniques to avoid garbage; the future of java GC.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-255-Monica-Beckwith-on-Java-Garbage-Collection.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 9:56pm CET

Mike Barker talks with Sven Johann about the architecture of the LMAX system. LMAX is a low-latency, high-throughput trading platform. Their discussion begins with what LMAX does; the origins of LMAX; and extreme performance requirements faced by LMAX. They then delve into systems that LMAX communicates with; LMAX users; the two main components of the system (broker and exchange); Mechanical Sympathy as an architectural driver; message flow using the Disruptor library; and lock-free algorithms. Mike and Sven wrap up by discussing how a well modeled domain model can improve the performance of any system; automated (performance) tests; continuous delivery; and measuring response times.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-254-Mike-Barker-on-the-LMAX-Architecture.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 11:39pm CET

Fred George talks with Eberhard about "Developer Anarchy" - a manager-less development approach Fred has been using very successfully in different organizations - combined with microservices.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-253-Fred-George-on-Developer-Anarchy.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 12:57am CET

Robert Blumen talks to Christopher Meiklejohn about conflict-free replicated data types. The discussion covers consistency in distributed systems, CRDTs, and their use in NoSQL databases.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-252-Christopher-Meiklejohn-on-CRDTs.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 8:32pm CET

Martin Klose talks with Eberhard Wolff about Coderetreats - events where developers practice development techniques to become better programmers. He explains how to join such events and what it takes to do your own Coderetreat.

Direct download: SE-Radio_Episode_251_Martin_Klose_on_Code_Retreats.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 1:49am CET

Alex Budzier of the Oxford Saïd Business School and Jürgen Laartz of McKinsey Berlin join Robert Blumen to talk about the their research on large IT project failures. Why do large projects fail and to what extent are these failures avoidable?



Johannes Thönes talks to Axel Rauschmayer about JavaScript and ECMAScript 6. They talk about the origin and version history. Then they dive into key JavaScript concepts and explain the features coming into the language with ECMAScript 6.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-248-Axel-Rauschmayer-on-JavaScript-and-ECMAScript-6.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 6:56pm CET

Sven Johann talks with Andrew Phillips about DevOps. First, they try to define it. Then, they discuss its roots in agile operations, its relationship to lean development and continuous delivery, its goals, and how to get started. They proceed to system thinking and what “You build it, you run it” means for a system when developers have pager duty.

They continue with the diversity of DevOps requirements among companies and industries; copying ideas versus finding your own way; culture, mindset, and recommended practices; and the mandatory tool chain. They wrap up by discussing architectural styles that support DevOps and DevOps costs versus benefits.

Direct download: SE-Radio-Episode-247-Andrew-Phillips-on-DevOps.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 6:26pm CET

John Wilkes from Google talks with Charles Anderson about managing large clusters of machines. The discussion starts with Borg, Google’s internal cluster management program. John discusses what Borg does and what it provides to programmers and system administrators. He also describes Kubernetes, an open-source cluster management system recently developed by Google using lessons learned from Borg, Mesos, and Omega

Direct download: SE-Radio-Show-246-John-Wilkes-on-Borg-and-Kubernetes.mp3
Category:Episodes -- posted at: 9:43pm CET

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