YMANI (yih-man-ee)

The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.

Google has a number of high-quality products and platforms such as Android and Chrome. They have been engineered to be highly modular with the ability to build new features across teams without impacting their billions of users.

You can see a number of platform capabilities that make engineering easier and more reliable: feature flags, continuous integration, and a modular approach with many integration hooks.

When you look at many open-source programs today, particularly when they’re starting out, you don’t see these. Features are added ad-hoc to production in…


The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.

I've been thinking about democracy a lot, as we seem to be in a period of democratic decline.

By democracy I'm speaking more about liberal democracy, protecting the rights of the minority and using a decentralized set of institutions that minimize authoritarian tendencies. Illiberal democracies can also exist, and seem to serve as an intermediary period. Corruption, nepotism, and declines in trust are looming threats to countries that soon see societal decay.

Technological progress and innovation have been increasing, and this can pose an opportunity or curse to…


The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.

New York City is back! COVID-19 cases continue going down, vaccinations keep going up, and things are reopening.

It’s admittedly weird to get back to something like normal. The past year cannot be forgotten, nor can the personal changes be shed. At the same time, I am excited for a fun summer and social events.

There are a lot of events happening: concerts, theater, poetry, and more. In years past I would traverse a list of bookmarks, each of which would be the events page for a particular…


The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.

“Believe in science!” “Trust the science!” “I stan Dr. Fauci!”

These are phrases that have been shouted by people over the past year, under the very real fear of a deadly pandemic. Yet despite their motivations, their result is not good for advancing scientific literacy or development.

Look, I get it. Faith is an important part of one’s life. I’m Catholic, so I’m not trying to diminish the value of one’s spiritual journey. And I realize that people are becoming less religiously affiliated.

Science should not be seen…


The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.

Several weeks ago I had a dream. In this dream I was at my computer writing code (very true-to-life) and I was working on a file compression tool which would use word frequencies, convert them to emoji, and then you would wind up with a smaller file.

When I woke up and ruminated on this dream, I thought that it could actually work. So I took some time to sit down and write a proof-of-concept.

In order to really prove out this idea, I needed a large text…


The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.

We choose to go to the Moon. We choose to go to the Moon…We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.

With this speech, now part of our…


The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.

One of the major US events in the 1970s is the oil embargo. Historical documents about the embargo includes photos of long lines for gas and countless shortages. Rationing policies had to implemented to ensure that there was enough for everyone.

This was not the case last week, when our supply was not actually limited. The supply chains we’ve built were hijacked, preventing our ample supply from getting to the right places. That didn’t stop hoarding, price gouging, and panic.

The panic was ultimately silly and certainly exacerbated…


The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.

A “moonshot” is all the rage. 10x engineering. Big ideas. Big execution. Dream.

Yet do moonshots actually work?

Obviously yes, you’ll say. After all, the phrase was coined after the original moonshot: literally going to the moon.

At the same time, many moonshots we have today seem to fail. In particular, there are two that I’ve recently one into.

Makani

Makani was founded in 2006 to tackle the problem of renewable energy. They decided that the best thing to do was deploy large kites on offshore platforms to generate…


The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.

I haven’t really been following along with the controversies at the Free Software Foundation. Apparently Richard Stallman was kicked out but now is being welcomed back. That has made a number of people angry that such a prominent organization is taking back this person.

This post is not about this controversy at all, and I don’t intend to defend this decision at all. Rather, I keep wondering how much this decision matters. How much does the FSF actually matter in my life, and the software industry in general?


The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.

There are a variety of tools to build a blockchain-based web app. For example, you can see a simple banking app below:

These contracts were written in Solidity and executed through Truffle. While I could verify they worked, getting them to run in a browser environment was hard. In fact, there is basically no documentation on the integration of these technologies.

This blog post gives you a setup of everything together, but does not go into the specifics of building a simple bank. …

Nick Felker

Social Media Expert -- Rowan University 2017 -- IoT & Assistant @ Google

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