HTML5, Fixing Bad Code, and the Fixed Mindset: What LinkedIn Engineers Are Writing about Today

March 25, 2016

Our publishing platform is a place where professionals can ask big questions and share their personal answers. Over the last two weeks, our engineers have been posting about what’s on their mind, like fixing bad code, the “fixed mindset,” HTML5, HR reform, and more. Read on to see our favorite pieces published on the platform.

Vanquish the HR Bell Curve
By Jens Pillgram-Larsen, Director of Engineering, Developer Tools
Jens calls for reform in employee performance analysis, arguing that mathematical approaches, such as using Gaussian functions (the classic “Bell Curve”), aren’t practical for measuring the dynamic contributions of real, human workers. He notes that there has been progress on this front at some companies but advocates for continued change.

Notes on "Clean Code" – Meaningful Names
By Mohamed El-Geish, Software Engineering Manager

Mohamed shares his thoughts on Chapter 2 of Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship. He agrees with the emphasis the book places on naming variables carefully when writing code, noting that taking the time to choose an appropriate name can avoid pitfalls down the road. Although he supports the idea that code entities should be renamed when appropriate, he also shares a few caveats for those situations.

HTML5 Canvas as Backbone Views
By Jim Gourgoutis, Principal UI Engineer
Jim describes how he tackled the problem of revamping an online bicycle-stem comparison tool he’d created by using multiple canvas elements as a Backbone view. By approaching the problem from that angle, he was able to still render the elements independently—a key aspect of the tool.

What's the Smart Answer to “Are You Smart?”
By David Max, Senior Software Engineer
An innocent question by an elementary school student turns out to have no easy answer. David explores how telling people they’re smart because they’ve done something successfully and with minimal effort can have unintended consequences by suggesting that “smart” people never struggle with challenges. He embraces the ideas of psychologist Carol Dweck, who suggests a “growth mindset” that emphasizes continued improvement over innate ability.

A Simple Note on Collaboration
By Jimmy Zhang, Software Engineer

Jimmy reflects on how instant digital communication through apps like Gmail is nice, but sometimes discussing a situation with a colleague in person is worth the extra effort. He offers three tips for making those interactions as beneficial as possible.