— issue #11 {March 2015} —


Hello, and welcome to the eleventh issue of Equilibrium. :)

If you have been participating in any kind of community, you most likely encountered or even took part in a flame war regarding which tool to use for a specific thing. Code editors, frameworks, image manipulation tools, you name it.

Although I'm guilty of participating in such discussions in the past, I consciously stay out of them for several years now. That decision mostly stems from my belief that the best tool for a job is usually quite subjective.

I do like to mention the tools I use (as I occasionally do in this newsletter or on my blog) and read what other people prefer to use, but I don't get dragged into arguments about which one is better.

This is what I tell people when I find myself involved in such discussions:

Use whatever you feel comfortable with. When you want to experiment, do it by all means, but don't feel bad and obliged to use the new "hot" thing in the industry if you still can do the job quickly, efficiently, and with the same quality with the tools you are already familiar with.

In the bottom line, tools only matter to us, the engineers. The end users have no idea of the mechanics of how something was built and they don't care about them; they only perceive the end result.

As always, enjoy the issue!

.blogs (interesting reads from around the web)

How I Lost My $50,000 Twitter Username — medium.com, 2014

"A story of how PayPal and GoDaddy allowed the attack and caused [the author] to lose [his] $50,000 Twitter username."

An article extremely related to the topic of last month's editorial (read it on medium), social engineering. Read this Ars Techica article about what happened next.

WINDOWS93 — windows93.net, 2015

Not an article, but a full-stack operating system written in JavaScript which will make you want to convert to it instantly! Ok, I'm kidding, but it's still a very fun and cool project.

Push & Pull — medium.com, 2014

Not Git-related.

Airbnb JavaScript Style Guide() {}; — github.com

Although I don't follow everything, it's pretty close to how I write JavaScript code these days. Even if you don't intend to change your coding style, it's still a quite interesting read full of small tips and resources.

.images (worth a thousand words lines of code)

Source Code in TV and Films — moviecode.tumblr.com

Source code in movies

This blog gathers screenshots from TV series and films' scenes containing source code and tries to identify information about it. Reading its posts, you'll discover that the space station in Elysium was built by Intel, CSI agents investigate printouts (is that Comic Sans?) of -poorly coded- HTML, weapons guidance systems can be written in jQuery, and bombs can be defused by typing random stuff in Excel!

.podcasts (sometimes is better to listen)

Launch — startupstoriespodcast.com

Launch is a two hour audio documentary which follows the two creators (Rob Walling and Derrick Reimer) of their startup (which is called Drip) "from its first days of inception through the agonizing months of writing code, talking to customers, and the never-ending uncertainty of whether anyone will ever use what they are building".

.open source ("show me your license")

Guzzle — github.com

If you are a PHP developer, you regularly need to create and send HTTP request (e.g. to communicate with a web service), and you never used Guzzle, you are in for a treat!

.books (physical or electronic)

Steve Jobs — wikipedia.org

As I have mentioned before, I'm not such a big Apple fan. I did enjoy reading Steve Jobs' biography though. Along with the life of Jobs, it also unfolds the story of Apple which started in period of time (late '70s and '80s) which I always find fascinating to read about.

The book is very well written and has an engaging narrative. I also like the fact that Walter Isaacson (the writer) didn't focus only on good aspects of Jobs, but also described the other side of him, the one of a quite eccentric and not always well behaved man.

.videos (for education or entertainment)

Silicon Valley — wikipedia.org

Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is an American sitcom which focuses on a few young men who -as you can imagine- found a startup company in Silicon Valley. I've never been to Silicon Valley and I don't have any experience with angel funded startups, so I don't know if there is any relation to reality, but I do know that it is extremely fun to watch! Its first season -consisting of eight episodes- aired in 2014, and the second one is about to begin in a few days (April 12, 2015).

.games (everybody needs some play time)

Football Manager 2015 — wikipedia.org

Being such a long time player and fan of the Championship Manager -which was eventually renamed to Football Manager- series (since CM2, which was released back in 1995), I had to feature the series at some point. I assume that you know -or can guess- what the game is about, so I won't bother you with details.

I believe that in every new version, the game becomes even more realistic and moves closer to become an actual simulation of football management (up to the extent that is possible). For example, there are no super tactics anymore, something which existed in older versions of the series that would allow you to win most of the games without much trouble. Now, you have to build your tactics based on the available players, and modify it both based on your opponent before the match as well as during the match based on what is happening at it.

I have to mention though that it's not a game that I would play if I wasn't playing it for so many years already. That allows me to know the game's ins and outs, giving me a head start when I play a new version. The game is quite complicated and it might be overwhelming for a new player who doesn't have much time to spend on it. There is another version of the game (called Football Manager Classic) which is supposed to be simpler for a quicker gameplay, but I never tried it.

.non-profits (for a good cause)

Neuroblastoma Children's Cancer Alliance — ncca-uk.org

The NCCA UK helps children access potentially life-saving treatment, whilst supporting research that not only aims to introduce new treatments but also bring existing internationally available options to the UK. They support parents by sharing the most current resources available for neuroblastoma treatments and providing access to other parents who want to share their knowledge and experiences.


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