Hack, HHVM and avoiding the Second-system effect

Posted on Sat 14 May 2016 in Books • Tagged with books, programming, hhvm, brooks

I read this book on my first vacation after I started working at Facebook and thus became a semi-regular Hack/HHVM user. I highly recommend reading (parts of) it. But not to learn Hack/PHP, which is irrelevant to most people. Instead, it’s to learn about how Facebook improved it’s www codebase and performance without rewriting the old PHP code in one big effort, and thus avoided the famous Second-system effect.

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Systems thinking and system traps

Posted on Wed 06 January 2016 in Books • Tagged with systems, books

Thinking in Systems, written by the late Donella Meadows, is a book about how to think about systems, how to control systems and how systems change and control themselves. A system can be anything from a heating furnace to a social system. The gem of the book is the part about system traps. System traps are ways a system can go wrong; examples are drift to low performance, seeking the wrong goals, shifting the burden, etc.

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