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Before you "judge" a python programmer

If you're coming from a compiled language context, using exceptions for flow control would look odd to you. But here's the thing - in the python world, exceptions are super cheap and using them for flow control is the "idiomatic python" way!
In fact, exception-driven flow control is built right into the language itself e.g. the "for" loop in python terminates when the iterable raise a "StopIteration" exception!

There is a lot of material on the internet already on the topic, so if there's one thing you take out of this post, it's this - in python, it's "Easier to Ask for Forgiveness than Permission"!
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Capture and compare stdout in python unit tests

A recent fan of TDD, I set out to write tests for whatever comes my way. And there was one feature where the code would print messages to the console. Now - I had tests written for the API but I could not get my head around ways to capture these messages in my unittests.
After some searching and some stroke of genius, here's how I accomplished capturing stdout.


Biggest project management mistake

This holds true for developers, project managers, entrepreneurs, everybody who has shipped software to the real world. The biggest mistake one can make while shipping software is not shipping buggy code or half-baked features (and they are all easy to uncover given sufficient QA), or not planning for failure. The biggest mistake that folks make is - not planning for success.

Trust me - shit breaks loose when your app gets hot over the night! So here's a list of concerns one needs to plan for, before launching a site:

Caching
Cache everything - images, javascript, style sheets, html templates - everything. I use nginx at the frontend proxy layer and it does a full page caching for entire html pages. Works like a charm!
At the application layer, use Redis as a TTL-based cache.

Deliver static content really fast
Images, JS, stylesheets - they need to be rendered by a specialized static files host - a CDN in essence. Use a managed service provider (Amazon CloudFront), or deploy nginx (…

When you are a one-man startup

Everyone needs a hobby. And some take it more seriously than others. Here's some cliched startup gyaan for someone wanting to take the plunge!
Time is moneyHave a time table and follow it, specially if you have a day jobSharpen your toolsDon't spend time on anything you are not good at, because #1Automation is the key. if it can be automated, it should be automatedHealth comes firstDevelop to sell. If it cannot be sold, it should not be builtHave an exit plan and follow it. "I'll shut shop if I cannot get 10 paying customers in 6 months"You are the average of five people you spend most of your time withDon't stop having fun! Cheers!

Learn frontend to get good at backend : lessons for my 20 year old self

Only when you are the consumers of your own products, can you design the best ones! Same philosophies go for API design and programming in general.

This advice may seem counter-intuitive at first, but trust me, the best way to get better at backend programming is to spend some time doing frontend! It will teach you a lot about how your APIs are being used in the "real world". A first-hand experience of API consumption will tell you a lot about your design philosophies!

On working remote

The last company I worked for, did have an office space, but the code was all on Github, infra on AWS, we tracked issues over Asana and more or less each person had at least one project they could call "their own" (I had a bunch of them ;-)). This worked pretty well. And it gave me a feeling that working remote would not be very different from this.

So when we started working on our own startup, we started with working from our homes. It looked great at first. I could now spend more time with Mom and could work at leisure. However, it is not as good as it looks like. At times it just feels you are busy without business, that you had been working, yet didn't achieve much. If you are evaluating working from home and are not sure of how to start, or you already do (then please review and add your views in comments) and feel like you were better off in the office, do read on. Remote work is great. But a physical office is better. So if you can, find yourself a co-working sp…