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A history of open-source licensing from a lawyer who helped blaze the trail (Ep. 473)

The home team is joined by Heather Meeker, a specialist with a deep history in the world of open-source software licensing. Heather tells the home team how the open-source landscape has changed since the 1990s, how access to air conditioning helped nudge her into a computing career, and how, when her dad worked in a computer lab in the 1960s, his work...

How to interrogate unfamiliar code

A popular claim about code is that it’s read ten times as often as it’s written. This is generally used as an argument for fastidious coding: you’re going to be seeing your code a lot, so spend some extra time on quality. Peer-reviewed evidence for this claim is scarce but everything I was able to find paints the 10-to-1 ratio as extremely conservative....

The Overflow #138: Social learning for engineers

Welcome to ISSUE #138 of The Overflow! This newsletter is by developers, for developers, written and curated by the Stack Overflow team and Cassidy Williams. This week: the changing demand for developer skills, CPUs and the power of two, and a brief history of the number pad. From the blog Skilling for success: How demand for development...

A conversation with Spencer Kimball, creator of GIMP and CockroachDB (Ep. 472)

Spencer Kimball, cofounder and CEO of Cockroach Labs and co-creator of the GIMP image editor, tells Ryan and Ceora about how database technology has evolved to handle massive data volumes, how Cockroach labs came to focus on solving latency issues through serverless technology, and his “relatively gentle” transition from engineer to CEO. Episode...

Will low and no code tools ever truly disrupt tech development?

Nearly everyone working in tech has an opinion about low and no code tools—believe me, I asked. Whether they code or not, low/no code incites some kind of reaction. For something designed to be so simple, its existence is surprisingly complex. Over the last several months, I spoke with developers, engineers, data analysts, CEOs, designers, and marketers...

The internet’s Robin Hood uses robo-lawyers to fight parking tickets and spam calls (Ep. 471)

There are three constants in life: death, taxes, and parking tickets. Joshua Browder, founder and CEO of DoNotPay, tells us how a heap of expensive parking tickets inspired him to build software that helps people avoid fines, secure refunds, claim free land, win back lost savings, and even combat systemic racism. Plus: Could you be monetizing those...

Can you stop your open-source project from being used for evil?

Free and open-source software licenses remove your ability to control what others do with your code. That’s kind of the point. It’s also why they’re so popular: anyone can use, remix, and sell your code into new technological possibilities with little restriction! What could go wrong? Ethical impulses aren’t new to software. The Free Software...

The Overflow #137: The San Francisco exodus

Welcome to ISSUE #137 of The Overflow! This newsletter is by developers, for developers, written and curated by the Stack Overflow team and Cassidy Williams. This week: building distinct metrics for developer skills, programming languages for bioaccoustics, and improving your productivity by improving your workspace. From the blog ...

Satellite internet: More useful than sending a car into space (Ep. 470)

The home team talks about the coding error that forced ten million Canadians offline, advice for coders trying to get out of a rut, and how low-earth orbit satellites are reshaping the internet. Plus: a Netflix documentary for getting out of a rut and reshaping your mind all in one. Episode notes: A coding error reportedly caused...

Great engineering cultures are built on social learning communities

Stack Overflow is named as a Sample Vendor in the 2022 Gartner® Hype Cycle for Agile and DevOps for Communities of Practice. We believe this is a powerful step forward in enabling organizations of all sizes to build strong internal communities that foster collective learning.   But before we get into too much detail, here’s why this matters…...

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