Year in Review: Publishing Platform Roundup

December 23, 2015

Year in Review: Publishing Platform Roundup

The beauty of LinkedIn’s publishing platform is that it gives professionals a way to share their personal opinions about topical professional news and interests. Throughout the year, LinkedIn’s engineers have put countless hours into writing thoughtful pieces that break down the ins and outs of the jobs they do every day. Here are the top 20 Pulse posts from LinkedIn engineers in 2015. With topics ranging from Kim Kardashian and LeBron James to the Internet of Things and Virtual Reality, the diversity of these posts is a reflection of the LinkedIn Engineering team – a truly smart and incredibly insightful group of people!

Why LinkedIn is the Best Place to Publish
By Byron Ma, Sr. Engineering Manager, Pulse and Publishing Platform at LinkedIn
Get the numbers behind the millions of ideas that have been shared on LinkedIn. See who’s posting, who’s reading, and more, among professionals all around the world.

The Business Benefits of Open Sourcing
By Kevin Scott, SVP Engineering & Operations at LinkedIn
Piggybacking on Igor Perisic’s post on the same subject, Kevin explains why companies decide to make technology that their engineers create available and free to the public. It all comes down to craftsmanship, he says. When engineers have their names attached to public code that the world can see, they're motivated to write better, more readable, well documented code. With collaboration at the heart of the industry, open source contributes to the development of an engineer’s personal craft.

Open and Invisible: A Glimpse at the Future of Infrastructure
By Alex Vauthey VP Engineering at LinkedIn
Alex outlines Nuage, a new infrastructure service at LinkedIn that exposes database provisioning functionality through a rich user interface and set of APIs.

Are the Best Decisions Instinctual, or Data-Driven?
By Igor Perisic, VP Engineering at LinkedIn
How do you develop products? Do you blindly trust your instinct, or do you hide behind a mountain of data to make decisions? Igor argues that both are needed. Building great products requires you to be a master of instinct and data-driven decision-making. Ignoring either one will inevitably lead to failure.

Data Obsession and Risk Aversion
By Deepak Agarwal, Senior Director of Engineering at LinkedIn
For most engineers, the best way to make good decisions in the face of uncertainty is through data, but does that make them too risk-averse? How can we make decision-making tools adapt to whatever risk tolerance an individual has? How do we balance reliance on data vs. reliance on intuition, and which one is appropriate when? (For a related perspective, read Are the Best Decisions Instinctual, or Data-Driven?, above)

Did You Pick the Wrong Web Framework?!
By Marvin Li, Senior Engineering Manager at LinkedIn
Every software engineer has an opinion on how to pick the right web framework to start a project. Here are a few useful tips on selecting the one that’s right for your project.

The Unintended Consequences and Negative Impact of New Machine Learning Applications
By Guy Lebanon, Senior Manager and Head of Feed Infrastructure and Relevance at LinkedIn
Machine learning applications are becoming more powerful and more pervasive, and as a result, the risk of unintended consequences increases and must be carefully managed. Guy talks through a few examples and discusses ways to reduce unintended consequences associated with new machine learning applications.

How is Software Like a Skyscraper?
By David Max, Senior Software Engineer at LinkedIn
A software engineer’s first instincts about how to start a project almost always begin with tearing down old code and starting fresh. That instinct – similar to buying a building to demolish and remodel – is almost always wrong.

How to Give Feedback (That People Will Actually Listen To)
By Albert Lai, Engineering Manager at LinkedIn
Giving constructive criticism on a product is hard; providing the unconstructive kind is quite easy. Albert gives some advice on how to give good feedback in a team environment.

Interviews Are Not Exams
By Jacob Kessler, Staff Software Engineer at LinkedIn
Too many interviews for coding jobs end up being exams in disguise. While this can determine if a candidate can do the work, it doesn’t do much to figure out if they’re the right person for the job.

Go Big Data, Young Man … and Woman
By Ganesh Venkataraman, Engineering Manager at LinkedIn
Learn what the gold rush can teach us about big data, how big data engineers are like LeBron James, and why all engineers should seriously consider working with big data at scale.

Sorry, HP — T-Shirts ARE the Story of Innovation
By Brandon Duncan Principal Staff Engineer, NYC Site Director at LinkedIn
Brandon reflects on the ongoing debate of whether t-shirts and hoodies are proper attire for the workplace, after HP announced a dress code for its engineers banning T-shirts. Long gone are the days when suits dominated the professional world, he writes. The uniform of today's engineers – t-shirts and hoodies – is here to stay, and more importantly, vital to the culture of innovation.

How to Handle Your Office Avengers
By Sumanth Kolar, Head of Engineering, SlideShare at LinkedIn
The Avengers are a group of superheroes, with large egos and even larger physiological issues. They are a messed-up team of over-achievers with high potential. Together, they can either save the world or wreak havoc if they aren't handled with care. Sumanth details how to deal with the Avengers you work with on a daily basis.

Don't Swap Coding Classes for Foreign Language
By Igor Perisic, VP Engineering at LinkedIn
A passionate argument against the idea of learning a programming language as a way to satisfy a foreign language requirement. Learning a programming language can help one master technology, but learning a foreign language helps one understand fellow humans in different cultures.

Fixing Memory Leaks in Android Studio
By Albert Lai, Engineering Manager at LinkedIn
Albert talks about the best way to find and fix memory leaks in Android Studio, where the stack traces you get from OutOfMemoryErrors (lovingly referred to as OOMs) are fairly useless. They tell you what line of code happened to be running when your app hit the memory limit, but that does not always correspond to the source of the memory issue.

The World’s Most Hated Woman is Probably More Successful Than You
By Claire McGinty, Senior Software Engineer at LinkedIn
Common wisdom says that Kim Kardashian is famous for nothing, but is that true? She’s worth an estimated $65 million and has several successful businesses. Is that common perception created by a society that treats male sexuality different than female sexuality?

I See the World Through the Incredibly Privileged Lens of a White Dude
By Chris Hazlett, Senior Engineering Manager at LinkedIn
Chris explores how he coped with the reality that he sees the world through a lens of privilege and opportunity that people around him might not have, and how to adjust that world view to empathize with others.

(Good) Habits I Learned in My 20s
By Mark Lee, Senior Software Engineer at LinkedIn
At 29, Mark sees himself as a virtual senior citizen in the tech world. He outlines several of the good habits that he developed in his 20s that he thinks will set him up for success in his 30s.

Previewing Google I/O: Disrupting the Internet of Things
By Erran Berger, Head of Engineering, Content Products at LinkedIn
Before the Internet of Things can truly become a revolution, it needs a basic foundation: a single platform for connected devices to run on and communicate with each other. Erran looks at what this platform might be like, and how it will change how we interact with devices.

The Rift Between Oculus and Reality
By Scott Sheffield, Web Developer at LinkedIn
Virtual Reality holds a lot of promise, but it's still far from being an everyday experience for most of us. This in-depth perspective clearly separates fantasy from reality when it comes to the current state of the virtual world.