ThreeCopies.com—Server-Side Data Backup Service

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I have a number of data resources which exist in one place only and which I don't really want to lose. For example, I have a hosted PHP website, and a MySQL database hosted at the same place. I also have a NoSQL database at Amazon DynamoDB, a PostgreSQL database at Heroku, and also... Well, there are many of them. How to back them up was always a question for me.

What Motivates Me as a Programmer

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I wrote a number of sarcastic articles about management and motivation, where some traditional and very popular practices were criticized. Now I've decided to think it all over and summarize what actually motivates me as a programmer when I'm working for someone else. Let's say you hire me tomorrow as a Java coder and ask "What do you want us to do for you so that you will be most productive?" This would be my wish list.

Yet Another Evil Suffix For Object Names: Client

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Some time ago we were talking about "-ER" suffixes in object and class names. We agreed that they were evil and must be avoided if we want our code to be truly object-oriented and our objects to be objects instead of collections of procedures. Now I'm ready to introduce a new evil suffix: Client.

ReHTTP.net—HTTP Repeater

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I faced a problem a few weeks ago with 0pdd.com, one of my web apps that is supposed to receive HTTP requests (known as webhooks) from GitHub: sometimes the app is down, GitHub gets an HTTP error, and never sends the request again. The request simply gets lost. There is absolutely no way to receive it again once the app is back up. I realized that I needed a service mesh between GitHub and my web app, to accept HTTP requests and repeat them later if they can't be delivered immediately.

XCOP — XML Style Checker

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One of the biggest advantages of XML versus many other data formats is that it is human-readable. Well, to some extent, you may say. Indeed, a badly formatted XML document may be rather difficult to digest. I'm not talking about XML validity now, but about its formatting style. Just like we format our Java/Ruby/Python nicely and then check their "prettiness" with static analyzers, we can also check our XML documents. Six years ago I asked the StackOverflow community for such a tool, but unfortunately my question was down-voted and closed (you will need 10K+ reputation to see it). Last week I finally decided to create a tool myself and I called it xcop.

To Be Nice or Not to Be Nice?

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I stumbled upon this two-year-old article Why It's Safe for Founders to Be Nice, written by Paul Graham (a co-founder or Y Combinator), whom I honestly respect, and I decided to explain why I disagree. Not that I think we shouldn't be nice. Not at all. But I do think that "being nice" is not a solution for organizational, management, marketing, sales, or business development problems. Moreover, in most cases it is actually not safe for founders to be nice.

Bitcoin Is Not a Pyramid. Coinbase Is.

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In September 2016 I paid Coinbase $1,222 for two BTCs, $611 each. Seven months later, in April 2017, they paid me back $2,490, which was $1,245 for each BTC. My profit before tax was $1,268, over 100% of the investment, in just seven months. Moreover, if I had waited until today, I would have made $6,800 profit instead. Actually, I still have a few BTCs in my Coinbase account and I can make that 750% profit, if I sell now. Should I? The BTC price is over $4,000. Will it go up? Or down? What would you do?

RAII in Java

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Resource Acquisition Is Initialization (RAII) is a design idea introduced in C++ by Bjarne Stroustrup for exception-safe resource management. Thanks to garbage collection Java doesn't have this feature, but we can implement something similar, using try-with-resources.

How to Manage a Manager?

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No secret, we you all have managers. Some of them are great, while many are simply idiots. What do you do if you happen to have a boss that fits perfectly into this dominating category? Quit and try to find a better place? This may sound like good advice, but you know as well as I do that a new boss most likely won't be any better. Don't quit. Stay. Manage the manager. Most of them are manageable.

My Favorite Websites

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I recently published a summary of the software and hardware I'm using every day. Now I'll list my most favorite websites and online services, which help me do my daily job: write code and manage projects.