Weekly Notes 24 & 025 - Programming Languages, Network Effects and Principles for Outsized Success

Hey there! Welcome to my weekly notes. I hope you get some value from interesting things I've seen these past weeks.

I merged 24/25 into one weekly note. This will be the last time, I promise...

Almost every minute in week 24 & 25 was spent on completing a take-home for a role I'm interviewing for. I built this chat application with TS, Node, Socket.io & Mongo. I learned a whole lot from this exercise and I hope my efforts don't go to waste. You can see a demo video here.

What I'm reading

  • Six questions on programming languages - An article from Increment Magazine. The article asks 6 questions to top engineers from Fastly, Digital Ocean, etc to explore how languages affect their everyday work.

    Something that stood out to me is how the choice of programming language isn't some kind of science. It's basically a function of familiarity and community. It makes a lot of sense - most languages can perform very well in basic scenarios. I also liked how one of the engineers talked about Domain-Specific Languages (DSL) and how new languages can be created to solve very limited problems.

  • A snapshot of programming language history - Another article from Increment Magazine - This one goes through the history of programming languages. One thing to point out here is how old some languages are. Python, PHP, Java, etc were all written in the 90s, while Rust & Swift are the youngest mainstream languages - 2010s.

  • The unreasonable effectiveness of just showing up every day - Typesence is a framework for building search engine experiences. The authors write about how they made a simple decision to show up and write code every day. 6 years later, they have a growing project and have both quit their jobs to work on it full-time.

  • Your Life is Driven by Network Effects - Mathematical patterns govern almost all aspects of our daily lives. From the people we know, cities we live in, partners we date, and how much we earn. All these follow a well-defined pattern - Zipf distribution. One very surprising fact from this article is that in 2017, 40% of heterosexual marriages formed from meeting online

    "It is one of the most profound changes in life in the US” and the best example of what we’ve been hoping the Internet might do for a long time — moving from unchosen network forces constraining options to a global, digital network empowering your own preferences and agency

  • 10X Your Career: First Principles For Outsized Success - This doubles as the most invaluable piece of writing I've seen in a long time. I discovered nfx earlier this and the articles are a blessing. The most important point to note from this article is that

    A 10x career is one where you reach escape velocity and become truly high flying — with compounding opportunities for personal growth, societal contributions, and strong financial outcomes. What these people know, that others do not, is that every decision you make along the way should optimize for learning, speed, and network growth — which are all-powerful functions of personal and career growth.

    I also came across another saying earlier today...

    Who you know gets you there, what you know keeps you there.

    This is a huge lesson for me. I use to think that if you're good, people will find you and give you opportunities without really knowing you. While this is true, it seldom happens. It's better to be an average engineer that a lot of people know than to be a unicorn that no one knows.

I'm glad you're reading my weekly notes. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter if there's something that resonates with you. Thanks for reading 😊.