Weekly Notes 016 - How important are CS Fundamentals? Ethereum Proof-of-Stake, Advice for young scientists.

This week has turned out very well for me...

  • I've met 3 new friends on the internet this past week. 2 have been from my practice interviews at Pramp and the other was by a casual reach out. I've learned a lot from my interaction with them and I want more of this. Talk to me, People !!!
  • I had a chat with a friend and they opened my eyes to a new way of thinking about side projects. First, they must be something that solves a problem for me and I should have that problem at least weekly. Then I should get to an MVP as fast as possible so I can start using it. This way, I can constantly have in mind to incrementally improve it.
  • I'll try this approach. I want to build an app for organizing ideas from the internet and a library for downloading videos from youtube. Let's see how these go...
  • I added the Modal component to avocado-ui. I wanted to build this from scratch, but it's honestly a waste of time since libraries like radix primitives and headless-ui exists. I built it on top of headless-ui's Dialog component. There's still a lot of work to do to make it solid.
  • My girlfriend is relocating in a few hours 😭😭😭. She's been the best thing that has happened to me this year (so far) and it's definitely going to change a lot in my life (for a few weeks, I guess). I pray for good things to happen to her.

Stuff I'm reading

  • How necessary are the programming fundamentals? - very insightful article on how understanding CS theory, Data structures, and Algorithms can make you a better software engineer. I wrote about my learnings here. Go read Bruno's blog.

  • Glue Work - Documentation, unblocking and onboarding teammates, and hosting technical meetings - Technical work that doesn't directly involve writing code. Not doing these types of work hampers the productivity of the team, but it's also easy to forget to acknowledge a person that picks up this kind of work. I have firsthand experience with this. My previous job involved a lot of this kind of work. One week, I noticed I had only coded for less than 3 hours. I complained to my boss and told him my only goal was to become a better engineer. These skills are important, but they can also hamper your growth as a junior or mid-level engineer.

  • A country's worth of power, no more! - Ethereum will be completing the transition to Proof-of-Stake in the upcoming months, which brings a myriad of improvements that have been theorized for years. Ethereum currently uses Proof-of-Work to add new blocks to the chain. Miners compete for who does the most work, the winner gets rewarded. The default way to win at mining is to increase hardware efficiency, which isn't great because it incentivites people to use more power. Moving to a Proof-of-Stake algorithm uses a different approach and here's the energy comparison and the expected improvements. Energy Consumption Comparison

    Energy comsumption comparison between blockchain, ethereum Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake (Source, article above)

  • Advice for Young Scientists—and Curious People in General - A few lessons from the Nobel prize-winning biologist, Peter Medawar. My biggest lesson here is that ambitious people have to work on problems that are worthwhile. It takes almost the same effort to work on more important problems.

    It can be said with marked confidence that any scientist of any age who wants to make important discoveries must study important problems. Dull or piffling problems yield dull or piffling answers.

Person of the week

  • Tanya Reilly - Tanya is a principal engineer at Squarespace. I came across her from her article, Glue Work and did a little digging. I love the way she documents her learnings and her writings have been helpful to me lately. It makes a lot of sense. A principal engineer is someone with a very deep understanding of almost everything. It's great to learn from her work.

Plus, I have this hidden goal of becoming a principal engineer someday.

Take a look at Her articles on leaddev, Twitter and personal Blog.

Other Stuff

  • Elixir v1.12 released
  • Leaddev - A community of software engineering leaders that come together to learn and get inspired on all things team, tech, process, and personal development.

Afrobeats

I've been listening way too much of Oxlade lately. My favorites are Ifeoma, Dutty Love and Myself. I've also enjoyed listening to Dimension by Rema, Skepta and JAE5.

One very funny song I've seen this week is Cho Cho. I wouldn't normally like songs like this, but then, I love the beats and I like to shake my body and catch small cruise.

Thank you for reading, see you next week.