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Livable Code

Notes on the RailsConf 2018 Keynote - Livable Code by Sarah Mei


I’m really drawn to the analogy that Sarah Mei makes in this talk.

Infrastructure, operating systems, languages, frameworks: these make up our city. Some people work on these but these days most of us don’t most of the time.

As an app development team, we buy (or inherit) a house made of these things. We then have to live in it, decorate it, maintain it. We’d like to find a happy middle ground between the two extremes:

  • “Hoarders”: one bad decision at a time, we make our place unlivable. Impossible to live in happily.
  • “Simple Living magazine”: also impossible to live in. Where’s all the stuff we need?

How to find the middle ground? 4 Rules:

  • don’t make it worse
  • improvement over consistency
  • inline everything (no spring cleaning story. It is just part of everything we do)
  • talk more
    • don’t ask for permission (but be upfront)
    • don’t ask for forgiveness (but learn every time)
    • do ask for advice (but don’t always take it)
    • do work together (because we all live here)

RailsConf 2018: Keynote - Livable Code by Sarah Mei


The important part of software is not the code The important part of software is not the people either The important part of software is the system

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This page is a web-friendly rendering of my project notes shared in the LittleCodingKata GitHub repository.

LittleCodingKata is my collection of programming exercises, research and code toys broadly spanning things that relate to programming and software development (languages, frameworks and tools).

These range from the trivial to the complex and serious. Many are inspired by existing work and I'll note credits and references where applicable. The focus is quite scattered, as I variously work on things new and important in the moment, or go back to revisit things from the past.

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