Troll Culture Goes Mainstream

The New York Times had an interesting article last week called “How the Trolls Stole Washington”. Beyond the political discussion, what fascinated me was this idea that trolling was a form of counterculture movement that goes beyond the individual troll. Mr. Bungle was a lone wolf, but trolling could also be a communal activity. I’d always looked at internet trolls as an individualized activity purposefully connected with the outside world only inasmuch as it was intended to incite others and garner attention, regardless of how negative. However, I left this article with the impression that there is a connection between...…

The Current State of Development

Yvo Schaap has created an interesting new tool he’s called State.Of.Dev. The idea behind the tool is that it maps out the state of various web, mobile and general development technologies and languages on something like the Gartner Hype Cycle. Yvo explains the basics behind the idea in an artile on dev.to. …

Can Machine Learning Potentially Stop Internet Trolls?

Last week, a new project named the Perspective API was opened to the public by Jigsaw (which is apparently supported by Google). Perspective uses a toxicity scale to try to determine how similar any given text is to other text that people rated as toxic. Details on exactly how they recruited people to help perform these initial ratings isn’t completely clear (according to this article, they presented them to panels of 10 people at a time for feedback), but there is a built-in learning aspect to the ratings (at least as demoed in the writing experiment on the site). Perspective...…

Corporate Culture is Pervasive and Resilient

There isn’t a lot to say that hasn’t already been said about Susan Fowler’s recount of her time at Uber. On the one hand. I am heartened by the growing backlash that is well-deserved. I am disheartened that it took so many years for us to realize what a horribly immoral company Uber appears to be. …

A Web Developer Is...

As I expected (and mentioned in my post on Monday), there was much more to PPK’s controversial slide statement than just being incendiary. First, Adrian Holovaty, the attendee who posted the offending tweet that set off the whole controversy, posted more thorough details on what he got out of the presentation and what he thought PPK meant by that slide. However, PPK himself has responded by asking, “What is a web developer?” …

Developers, It's ok Not to be Right About Everything

Late last week, there was a big todo about a recent presentation by PPK. Here’s the part that seemed to offend some: Preach on, @ppk. Brilliant talk tonight about what went wrong in modern frontend web development. Too many tools, too little thinking. pic.twitter.com/1jxaP97hsq— Adrian Holovaty (@adrianholovaty) February 9, 2017 This seemed to be following a larger theme you’ll often find amongst developers along the lines of “You’re not a real developer if…” It’s a tool often used to marginalize groups. Heck, it’s something I heard often lobbed at web developers early in my career (at least in that manner,...…