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All the things that bother me, or bother me not that much, or not bother me at all

Culture of appreciation in dev communities

Github recently released its annual report – Octoverse 2018. Ben Halpern descried an interesting fact about the use of emojis in in Github issue tracker.

According to Github infographics in the report, “the kindest” development community is Ruby developers. In a sense of support and appreciation for other developers via the use of emojis.

Some might say that this metric won’t say much about the “the kindness” of the community. So you might consider also the age distribution of the developers. As younger generation use emojis more often, I would still consider Ruby programming language as a young one (it’s mid 90s). 

On another hand, showing some basic appreciation to someone’s work would retain these people contributing to the community.

People often forget that most of open-source projects are voluntary. So you have to give some feedback to contributors. 

On the contrary, it wouldn’t mean that the world is all unicorns and rainbows. Scott Gilbertson from Wired magazine published an article about the most “swearing” programming communities back in 2011. 

C++ takes top honours, but just barely. Ruby and JavaScript are neck and neck behind C++. 

Wired magazine

We’ve been trying to adapt culture of appreciation in Qobo, whenever we receive contributions from in the wild. So far, we managed to keep our WTF/minute ration quiet low, and show as much positive feedback as we could.

So, whenever you contribute to any of our projects – don’t forget to buy us the beer. It will definitely boost the approval speed  of your pull requests. 

Indiana Jones GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

It’s my 90s

3 years ago, I wrote about this great video from Vimeo user MorskoiKotik. This time it’s a throwback to 90s nostalgia:

Video to Text: Amazon Transcribe with S3

A quick story on how to do video to text conversion using Amazon S3.

How lazy can you possibly get? Well, that’s my story on how to transcribe text from boring videos, and checking for the keywords, before even checking the video/audio.

For the start, first cornerstone was to actually get the video. Most of the Streaming Players use HLS media player that heavily rely on m3u8 extension (those who remember playlists in WinAmp, might remember it), that sets base URL for all the video segments that will be streamed.

If you hit “Play” on the media player, while having your DevTools Network tab open, you’d see something like that:

After some time google around Python/PHP http bindings to fetch the content, the most optimal solution was ffmpeg:

ffmpeg -i http://example.org/playlist.m3u8 -c copy -bsf:a aac_adtstoasc output.mp4

Once done, you can check the video for consistency (either with -i command, or simply scrolling through the video).

Just to save on whole procedure, we convert mp4 to only mp3 audio stream with “`ffmpeg“` once again:

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -b:a 192K -vn music.mp3

Since we have mp3 ready for being check, Amazon Transcribe kicks in, but you need to store your mp3 somewhere. The easiest way is to get yourself S3 bucket from Amazon, and point S3 URL of the file using Transcribe.

Transcribe Admin Panel.

Overall result, of the same 1.5 hrs video being converted into transcribed text, with enabled/disabled speakers identification. Approximately 25-30 mins to get 1.5 MB JSON file of the text, with separate spk_1|spk_2 and time codes.

#delete campaigns: social solidarity vs privacy

Uber: Travel ban

January 2017, we witnessed #deleteuber social media campaign. The movement erupted after Trump’s ban on travel ban from Muslim-majority countries, when NYC taxi drivers went on strike. At the very same moment Uber announced “surged pricing on JFK airport” being turned off.

February 2017 benchmarks shown 200,000 accounts being deleted as an act of solidarity against US President decision.

Cambridge Analytica: Elections

March 2018, Christopher Wylie, whistleblower from Cambridge Analytica (has nothing to do with famous university), gives an interview to Guardian on how the company was collecting Facebook user profiles and presumably helped targeting elections campaign for Republican Party to win the elections.

The whole social media just went nuts on the subject. A chance of your social profile being harvested for micro-targeting to form your opinion on any sociopolitical matter, launched yet another delete campaign – #deletefacebook. Today, it’s been reported on 87m profiles may’ve been leaked to Cambridge Analytica, which is said to be a part of SCL Group.

Some details on who these folks are:

SCL’s involvement in the political world has been primarily in the developing world where it has been used by the military and politicians to study and manipulate public opinion and political will. It uses what have been called “psy ops” to provide insight into the thinking of the target audience. According to its website, SCL has influenced elections in Italy, Latvia, Ukraine, Albania, Romania, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Mauritius, India, Indonesia, The Philippines…(c) Wikipedia

What’s quiet interesting about this whole story, that it’s emphasised the privacy leak at first place. Next week it twisted into yet-another-Trump fault, and all the hell broke loose in social networks.

Frankly speaking, this Trump for/against campaign is not my thing, I’m not  a US citizen. I didn’t vote. Thus, I don’t care. American elections is solely the matter of US people.

Technically speaking, as a person who reads and does some IT things, it breaks down to the subject of privacy, and the medium that we use in day-to-day routines.

If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product

Whenever you use any social medium, you share your private information. Those crazy useless quizzes, asking for your locations, ads rotation, bounce rates. It was just the matter of time, when some company will appear on the horizon and start crunching your data for its own purposes. Marketing tools in combination with psychology and IT, might give you a proper railgun in social science and opinion forming.

It’s your decision to support or ignore #deletefacebook movement. Edward Snowden gave an interview on the matter, that has some insights on your data privacy and the state control. He might be right, that it’s us – our generation – that will impose the control of our personal data, or it’s too late.

What’s after senior developer by Christian Heilmann

It is painful to see how clumsy companies are in trying to keep their techies happy.

We do team building exercises, we offer share options.

Also, we pay free lunches and try to do everything to keep people in the office.

We print team T-shirts and stickers and pretend that the company is a big, happy family.

We pay our technical staff a lot and wonder why people are grumpy and leave.

What gets us going is a feeling of recognition and respect. And only peers who’ve been in the same place can give that. There is no way to give a sincere compliment when you can’t even understand what the person does.

Christian Heilmann

Great article from Christian Heilmann about the career ladders and what comes after senior developer.

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