Project Schedule Estimation in Software Development
In tech, we spend little time talking about the softer skills like communication, project management, and prioritization. These are the skills that elevate someone from a good programmer to a great software engineer. Today, I’m going to focus on one aspect of project management that we’re famously bad at — the art of estimating a project schedule.
If there’s any doubt that this is a necessary skill, just consider that dreaded but frequently-asked question “How long will it take?” Even if you’re uber-Agile and don’t believe in far-off project deadlines,
Today we’re excited to welcome a new member of the Dropbox family under unusual circumstances. Though he’s joining us now, his contributions to Dropbox date back to day one, all the way to the very first lines of code.
Some people only need to be introduced by their first name, and the BDFL is one of them. Dropbox is thrilled to welcome Guido, the creator of the Python programming language and a long-time friend of ours.
From the beginning,
It’s almost time for another Hack Week at Dropbox, and with that in mind I’d like to present one of the projects from our last Hack Week.
A profiler is an indispensable tool for optimizing programs. Without a profiler, it’s hard to tell which parts of the code are consuming enough time to be worth looking at. Python comes with a profiler called cProfile, but enabling it slows things down so much that it’s usually only used in development or simulated scenarios, which may differ from real-world usage.
At our last hack week, I set out to build a profiler that would be usable on live servers without impacting our users.
Over the last few months, I’ve seen a password strength meter on almost every signup form I’ve encountered. Password strength meters are on fire.
Here’s a question: does a meter actually help people secure their accounts? It’s less important than other areas of web security, a short sample of which include:
- Preventing online cracking with throttling or CAPTCHAs.
- Preventing offline cracking by selecting a suitably slow hash function with user-unique salts.
- Securing said password hashes.
With that disclaimer — yes. I’m convinced these meters have the potential to help.
We host a monthly tech talk series we call “Droptalks“. In the past, we’ve hosted Steve Souders, Guido van Rossum, Greg Papadopoulos, and Amit Singh.
A couple weeks ago, we were lucky to have Hilary Mason in town. Hilary is the Chief Scientist of bit.ly, the world-famous URL shortener. Bit.ly may seem like a simple service, however, when done at such a large scale there is much more behind the scenes. There’s also a lot of neat data to play with.
Hilary spoke about some of the challenges and lessons from her work trying to derive meaningful uses from the mass of data that flows through bit.ly.
I love Haskell. My first encounter with Haskell started out about eight years ago. Like many people in those days, when I was in high school I spent a lot of time playing around with code on my computer. Reading and understanding open source projects was a main source of knowledge and inspiration for me when I was learning how to program. When I came upon the bzip2 homepage and consequently Julian Seward’s homepage I found a short note about Haskell and how it was a super fun and interesting language to write a compiler for.