Generative AI is not going to build your engineering team for you

Charity Majors1 has a good, long-form article on the Stack Overflow blog. The title is misleading as, while AI’s impact on software engineering and its hiring process (spoiler: you’ll still want to hire junior engineers) is at the heart of the article, there’s so much more in it. It gets exciting in the second part, where she dispenses much from-the-trenches advice on team management and building. Hiring engineers is about composing teams....

June 14, 2024

Experts vs. imitators

I love this concise checklist on detecting fake experts, with which my experience wholeheartedly agrees. The first one: Imitators can’t answer questions at a deeper level. Specific knowledge is earned, not learned, so imitators don’t fully understand the ideas they’re talking about. Their knowledge is shallow. As a result, when you ask about details, first principles, or nonstandard cases, they don’t have good answers. For more advice, see the original post....

June 13, 2024

Container security meetup at DevRomagna

We’re doing a DevRomagna meetup on container security. It will happen on June 26 at 7pm, it will be in Italian, and the speaker will be the one and the only Ugo Lattanzi. Details and signup here.

June 13, 2024

Hidden Tracks: Domodossola – Weissmies

Lately, I have become increasingly interested in sound. Of the short films I shoot while hiking, for example, I’ve noticed that I’m primarily interested in their sounds. Footsteps on the ground, birds singing, wind rustling through leaves, things like that. During my motorcycle ride across Europe, I caught myself recording a walk with the Memo app on my iPhone. Listening to it allows me to reconstruct a sharp and surprisingly clear memory of that early morning, just out of the tent at Shelsley Walsh....

June 11, 2024

Quoting Sean Voisen

just writing down notes is all that really matters. Any tool that allows you to compose and save text will do. It is the act of writing, not the act of linking or reading or revisiting, that clarifies thought and leads to insight. The rest is all superfluous. – Sean Voisen Just yesterday, I fixed a bug in our legacy application. Once I was done, I turned to my notes to log what I’d just done....

June 4, 2024

The Toschi Hermitage

I went on a motorcycle and hiking trip yesterday. It was a glorious day, albeit windy, which helped keep the temperature chill. Mixing hiking with motorcycling is something I love, as it combines two of my hobbies. However, it requires some careful planning. I still want to wear full safety gear on the bike but not take any of that with me as I walk in the wilderness, where I’ll be in hiking gear instead....

June 2, 2024

How to handle custom claims in an Open ID Connect-authenticated ASP.NET Core app

Today, I learned how to handle custom claims in an Open ID Connect authenticated ASP.NET Core app. The scenario goes like this. I have an ASP.NET Core app that authenticates with Open Id Connect. It receives a bearer token from the authentication server. Besides OIDC claims, this token has been forged with additional custom claims for use in the app. However, only ODIC claims exist when I parse HttpContext.User.Identity.Claims in my middleware....

May 31, 2024

Kagi is profitable

Two years after its launch, Kagi, the pay-per-use search engine is profitable. We are also thrilled to report that we have achieved profitability. This significant milestone is a testament to our sustainable growth and fiscal responsibility. It demonstrates that our approach of offering a premium, ad-free search experience resonates with users who support a service aligning with their values. Becoming profitable allows us to reinvest in the business, further enhancing our offerings and ensuring that we can continue to provide a top-notch search experience....

May 31, 2024

LLMs don't remember everything you say

Simon Willison has a new article explaining an important and often ununderstood aspect of LLMs. There’s a remarkable difference between chatting with an LLM, as we users do, and training it. Short version: ChatGPT and other similar tools do not directly learn from and memorize everything that you say to them. Every time you start a new chat conversation, you clear the slate. Each conversation is an entirely new sequence, carried out entirely independently of previous conversations from both yourself and other users....

May 29, 2024

Quoting Elena Kostyuchenko

In 2021, in Russian courts, the fate of 783000 people was decided. There were 2190 acquittals. Two thousand one hundred and ninety. The probability of being acquitted is 0.28 per cent. – Elena Kostyuchenko in I Love Russia, which I’m currently reading.

May 29, 2024