Xander R.

The Awesome Optimization

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Dave liked to think that he was a responsible, thorough application developer. He always tried to understand a problem before tackling it, to think through all ways a change could affect things, and to gather information before making decisions. So when he received complaints about the speed of the custom web application used by his work’s health department, he decided to do a little research to gather all the facts before reporting the issue to his boss.

Do not throw in trash

The Backend

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Andrei had just moved to a new country, and was looking for work. With the ideal job not immediately forthcoming, he jumped when an interesting opportunity opened at a small tech company: OldIsNewCo.

OldIsNewCo was one of the pioneers bridging the gap between old methods of communication (e.g. paper) and new methods of communication (i.e. the Internet), and was looking to overhaul their entire infrastructure. Their existing backend was built in C++, and according to The Big Boss: “C++ developers are expensive and hard to find. PHP developers are plentiful and cheap. Therefore, we need to re-implement everything in PHP.”

This seemed fishy to Andrei right from the start, but he figured it would be a good opportunity to brush up on his C++ and PHP skills and experience, and “a job’s a job”. So he accepted the position and met with his development tour guide to start diving into the sources and seeing how the backend applications worked.

The Membrain

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Michael was annoyed. Their in-house package manager- software that everyone needed to do their jobs- was complaining about a missing file that had just existed a second ago.

No big deal. First step: close the program, then re-open.

Cell membrane drawing-en