The Engineer Uniform, Vegetable-Themed OSS, and Other Must Reads

August 14, 2015

LinkedIn’s publishing platform gives professionals a way to share their personal opinions about topical professional news and interests, including our engineers. Here, we regularly round up some of the best pieces written recently by LinkedIn engineers.

"Sorry, HP – T-Shirts ARE the Story of Innovation"
By Brandon Duncan, Principal Staff Engineer 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.

"Rediscovering Things You Should (Almost) Never Do"
By Brendan Drew, Staff Software Engineer at LinkedIn

Have you ever felt so frustrated with a piece of code that you just wanted to throw it all away and start from scratch? A software engineer explains why you should never do that. Engineers are drawn to hard problems. Fixing an existing problem rather than ignoring it by starting over is that much more satisfying – and saves a lot more time in the long run.

"Why Your Web Developers Won't Stop Talking About Their Vegetables"
By Bradley Cypert, Associate Web Developer at LinkedIn

To engineers, broccoli, celery and cucumbers are a lot more than just a daily dose of leafy greens – they're the eponymous vegetables of three very useful web development tools. Bradley outlines the basics of Broccoli.js, Celery, and Cucumber, explaining why web developers need more veggies in their lives.

"Network Effects and Viral Loops in LinkedIn and Medium"
By Guy Lebanon, Senior Manager and Head of Feed Relevance at LinkedIn

Guy Lebanon compares the success of the same post on two different platforms, LinkedIn Pulse and Medium. The results were striking for several reasons, all of which revolve around the network, from the network effects to viral loop effects. Can you guess which post had more views?

"When Code Is Too Hard, Design Instead"
By Matthew Hackmann, Senior Web Developer at LinkedIn

Hitting mental roadblocks at work is a daily occurrence for most people. Everyone has their own ways of getting around them, but one engineer shares his unique solution: switch mediums completely. By using Photoshop to mock up what he wants the end product of his project to look like, he can work his way through the code he needs to write to get there and break through the impasse in his head.

"How to Be a Good Mentee"
By Juliana Aldous, Content Manager at LinkedIn

Julia shares a few tips on the importance of being a good mentee. From setting their own goals, to being proactive, students have the ability to determine the success of their relationship with their mentors – and ultimately become a better teacher in the process once it's their turn to do the mentoring.