Bookmarks for March 19th through March 20th

These are my links for March 19th through March 20th:

  • The Hard Science of Teamwork – Alex "Sandy" Pentland – Harvard Business Review – patterns as a way of making sense of group behaviour (and I'd say emergent phenomena galore)

    "People should feel empowered by the idea of a science of team building, The idea that we can transmute the guess work of putting a team together into a rigorous methodology, and then continuously improve teams is exciting. Nothing will be more powerful, I believe, in eventually changing how organizations work."

  • How to do cheap backups at Mixpanel Engineering – As a company, we want to do reliable backups on the cheap. By “cheap” I mean in terms of cost and, more importantly, in terms of developer’s time and attention. In this article, I’ll discuss how we’ve been able to accomplish this and the factors that we consider important. Backups are an insurance policy. Like conventional insurance policies (e.g. renter’s), you want piece of mind that your stuff is covered if disaster strikes, while paying the best price you can from the available options. Backups are similar. Both your team and your customers can rest a bit more easily knowing that you have your data elsewhere in case of unforeseen events. But on the flip side, backups cost money and time that could be better applied to improving your product — delivering more features, making it faster, etc. This is good motivation for keeping the cost low while still being reliable.
  • PyCon US 2012 Presentation: Stop Writing Classes – Classes must be nouns but not every noun must be a class. If your class only has two methods and one of them is init you probably meant to write a function. MuffinMail recently refactored their API; it went from 20 classes scattered in 22 modules down to 1 class just 15 lines long. It was a welcome change, but we'll further refactor that down to a single function 3 lines long. The Python stdlib is an example of a namespace that is relatively flat. You won't find packages that consist of a single module defining an exception, and you won't find many exceptions at all – just 165 kinds in 200k lines of code. That's a tiny ratio compared to most projects including Django. Of course there are things, like containers, that should be classes. As a final example we'll add a Heap type to the heapq module (admit it, you already have one in your
  • Rands In Repose: Hacking is Important – Failure to create some form of predictability will result in chaos. Failure to create some sort of well-maintained Barbaric chaos inside the company guarantees that a fast-moving, ambitious, risk-taking and ruthless someone else – someone outside the company will invade, because they know what you forgot: hacking is important.
  • The Architecture of a Social Business : Enterprise Irregulars – Elements of a Social Business Architecture
    – Social Media Platforms
    – External Social Business Services
    – Service Delivery
    – Social Foundation
    – Systems of Engagement
    – Systems of Record
  • A Guide to Python’s Magic Methods « – This guide is the culmination of a few months' worth of blog posts. The subject is magic methods. What are magic methods? They're everything in object-oriented Python. They're special methods that you can define to add "magic" to your classes. They're always surrounded by double underscores (e.g. __init__ or __lt__). They're also not as well documented as they need to be. All of the magic methods for Python appear in the same section in the Python docs, but they're scattered about and only loosely organized. There's hardly an example to be found in that section (and that may very well be by design, since they're all detailed in the language reference, along with boring syntax descriptions, etc.). So, to fix what I perceived as a flaw in Python's documentation, I set out to provide some more plain-English, example-driven documentation for Python's magic methods. I started out with weekly blog posts, and now that I've finished with those, I've put together this guide.
  • – DigiKey is hosting a schematic editor as a web application, complete with PNG and PDF export, compiling a bill of materials, etc. It actually works better just running in the browser than some commercial schematic capture programs I’ve used. Now, if someone would just do this with printed circuit board layout…
  • Arduino Blog » Blog Archive » Python meets arduino – A nice talk by Peter Kropf at PyCon 2012 on using Python to control external devices through an Arduino.

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