Dan Milstein

Recent Posts

O'Reilly's Beautiful X Series

These last few weeks, I've had the pleasant luck to be staying with a friend who used to work at O'Reilly, and thus, has a house littered with pretty much every book they've ever published.  I've taken the time to catch up on some of their ever-growing "Beautiful <Some Face of Software Development X>" series.

A few notes:


Book Corner: Hadoop, The Definitive Guide

Just finished working my way through O'Reilly's new Hadoop offering, written by Cloudera's Tom White.  Overall, I recommend it very, very highly.  He does an incredibly effective job of moving back and forth from specific, detailed advice (e.g. per-node memory allocation recommendations), to high-level descriptions of how MapReduce works and how to write applications which make use of it.


A Theory of Beautiful Code

E.M. Forster, in his essay Aspects of the Novel, draws a distinction between "flat" and "round" characters in literature (two types that I suspect pretty much all of us can intuitively identify from our own reading lives), in the following deceptively simple manner:


Premature Flexibilization Is The Root of Whatever Evil Is Left

Okay, so you know how they teach you, in Computer Science school, that lovely quote: "premature optimization is the root of all evil"? (variously attributed to Donald Knuth, or Tony Hoare, or other CS luminaries).  Well, in my more recent experience, there's another programmer habit which is in hot competition for the evil-rooting title.  I don't think it has as catchy a name, so I'm going to propose one here: Premature Flexibilization.


Data Processing -- Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

So, here at HubSpot, and at my previous gig at Lookery, I've been writing a pile of Hadoop code to take log files, pull out key info, sum it up in various ways, and store the results.


Thoughts on Returning to Java

Early in my coding career, I did a lot of work in Java, but for the last few years, I've mostly worked in Python. Since joining HubSpot a few months back, I've been gradually getting back in to the Java world. Here's some quick takes on rejoining the Java borg.


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