Software at scale

posted by Jeff | Saturday, August 21, 2021, 7:11 PM | comments: 0

As part of my parting words of advice to our interns a couple of weeks ago, I told them that the scale of what they do is all relative, and larger doesn't necessarily mean better. I do believe that, but it's interesting to find myself working with a bunch of engineers who make stuff to handle an enormous amount of commerce. In some ways, I'm happy to defer the actual code writing to them, although managing the process involves all kinds of different challenges. I though I would never see large scale again after working on the MSDN Forums back in the day, but here I am again in the middle of something even bigger.

Conversely, even with a nice 20% bump in traffic over last year (and more than three times the revenue), my sites are pretty small potatoes by comparison. Over the years, I've tweaked and tuned all of that stuff, and it's not likely to ever see traffic serious enough to test it. It's total overkill to apply all I've learned to a couple of goofy sites about amusement parks. Most of what I do these days is try to make sure that it all evolves with the technology so it doesn't become something old and crusty that can't be maintained.

The other night I actually made my first commit in months. I have been (very) slowly trying to get rid of all the old jQuery stuff, responsible for some of the dynamic junk in the forums. Javascript itself has made it not very necessary, and Bootstrap, the framework I use as the style base, no longer has a dependency on it. It's a lot of refactoring in the area that I'm weakest in, the front-end stuff.

But again, I think my point about the scale is legitimate. The output of it is important to someone regardless of the scale.


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