Frontend Performance Optimization

Some Best Practices are Now Not-So-Best — It’s 2020 folks.

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Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

This morning I got pulled into a Throwback Thursday. I started my career as a full-stack developer at StyleMePretty — a wedding and lifestyle blog owned by AOL back in 2015. Yes, you heard it right AOL is still alive. I never had real web development experience before and one of the first things I had to do at the job were some optimizations on the image-heavy site using “image sprites”.

If you haven’t heard of them before, image spriting is an optimization technique used to reduce the number of requests to the server and reduce bandwidth. You basically create an image by stitching together several small images using an image sprite tool. …

I learned it the hard way, so y‘all don’t have to…

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Photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash

I started working with React about 6 years ago and started advocating its superiority in terms of Developer Experience (DX) ever since. However, an important thing to consider is that React is by no means a one size fits all solution and if you’ve tried to build a simple static website with React, you might have realized you’ve complicated yourself into unnecessarily convoluted concepts. But if you’ve decided React is the right fit for your next project, you might as well leverage the power of React to its full stretch.

For that exact purpose, a deeper understanding of one of the core principles behind React’s performance superiority — the virtual DOM, is recommended. Knowing the internals is probably not necessary to build React apps but by understanding the underlying concepts, you should be able to write better, more robust React apps. …

Github Arctic Code Vault

and so did millions of fellow open-source contributors.

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Photo by Willian Justen de Vasconcellos on Unsplash

Somewhere in a decommissioned coal mine in the Svalbard archipelago of the Arctic, Github is archiving terabytes of open-source code stored onto special film which could last up to a thousand years through the Github Archive Program. A snapshot of public repositories hosted on Github with contributions from millions of developers from across the globe will go into it. As per Github’s official page for the program, repositories with the following criteria were taken into account:

The 02/02/2020 snapshot archived in the GitHub Arctic Code Vault will sweep up every active public GitHub repository, in addition to significant dormant repos. The snapshot will include every repo with any commits between the announcement at GitHub Universe on November 13th and 02/02/2020, every repo with at least 1 star and any commits from the year before the snapshot (02/03/2019–02/02/2020), and every repo with at least 250 stars. …

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Photo by Oskar Yildiz on Unsplash

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. …

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Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

It is astonishing how fast encryption algorithms that were thought to be fail-proof are being cracked open by security experts. The need for better secure communication techniques has never been more obvious than now, especially with the revelations such as NSA’s PRISM and “President’s Surveillance Program” coming to light in recent times. Enter Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) — a less heard of secure communication mechanism that eavesdropping government agencies wouldn’t want you to know.

Before we delve any further into the internals of the QKD mechanism, be informed that there are some limitations for this extremely powerful protocol that we will need to overcome for this technology to become ubiquitous. QKD is based upon a basic phenomenon of quantum mechanics known as quantum entanglement. I’m no physicist so to keep it simple, entangled particles are basically correlated particles that cannot be described independently even when separated by great distances. This interesting phenomenon is leveraged by QKD to share information where the sender holds one of the entangled particle (photon in this case since the communication medium is usually fiber optics) and the receiver gets the other entangled particle. The receiver’s entangled photon acts as the encryption key without which the transmitted information cannot be deciphered. A important security advantage here comes from the fact that entangled particles cannot be observed or measured without the other particle in the pair knowing about it. …

So today, I was assigned with a task at work to rewrite an existing Groovy service that handles deduplication logic for our notification service. The application was bootstrapped using Spring Boot, and I stumbled upon this statement in the docs.

IoC is also known as dependency injection (DI)

^ That doesn’t seem right. The author of the docs probably meant something else.

IoC is an excellent design principle that allows focussing on decoupling your execution in a dynamic application flow. Dependency Injection is a technique that involves passing a service’s dependency during runtime instead of the service building the dependency on its own. Cool so far, but they obviously aren’t one and the same. IoC is a principle and DI is a technique. …

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Photo by Amanda Dalbjörn on Unsplash

It is astonishing to see how the Internet transformed itself from its humble beginnings at the US Department of Defense’s ARPANET to its current form, an inseparable entity of modern human lives. The effects of the Internet have already been disrupting our economies and super-charging our societies. Something exceptional is happening though, which we often let fall between the cracks while we think about the Internet — the collective intelligence and cognitive enhancement potential of it. Let’s take a futuristic ride through the cracks to explore the endless possibilities of the Internet from this new perspective.

Elon Musk’s Neuralink, a medical research startup that is working on building high bandwidth human-machine interfaces made headlines last year. His idea is to create brain-computer interfaces called neural laces that can eventually help humans connect with AI. Though the concept behind Musk’s company might sound like straight out of a sci-fi movie, neural lacing is already being tested by many researchers. Kernel, a company founded by Braintree CEO Bryan Johnson is trying to create a neural lace that could help treat neurological disorders. To understand how the Internet is connected to all this, let’s step back and redefine the Internet. …


Satya Sampathirao

I love making disastrous decisions. And learning how not to repeat them. Let’s call it the human attempt at machine learning.

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