Bringing hobby applications to production

Hang out around techie circles enough and you’ll eventually hear a variation of the astonished “X has how many engineers?”, where X is every notable startup and technology company ever created. For example, here are some undated (but relatively recent) ballpark numbers for product and engineering staff divisions of randomly selected companies: Instagram: 1,800 engineers […]

Changes to constant unloading in Ruby 2.4

We noticed some interesting behavior recently while upgrading to Rails 5.0.1 and Ruby 2.4. Between MRI 2.3x branch and 2.4.0, constant unloading no longer affects variable references to the unloaded class constant: ref = Object.const_set(“ASD”, Class.new) => ASD 2.4.0 :014 > Object.send(:remove_const, “ASD”) => ASD 2.4.0 :015 > ref.name => “ASD” In previous versions of […]

The two-man rule in engineering

In nuclear weapons design, there is a two-man rule that prevents any single individual from accidentally — or maliciously — launching nuclear weapons. Each step requires knowledge and consent from two individuals to proceed. Even when the President initiates a launch order, he must jointly authenticate with the Secretary of Defense (they’re given separate codes, […]