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Dispatches from Class: Software Engineering and Data Center Design

This continues my Dispatches from Class series

We web developers love our cloud platforms; AWS, Heroku, and others help us focus on code and not on servers. And while it’s nice to not have to worry about infrastructure, there is a lot of interesting innovation happening at data centers worldwide. Many of these leaps forward mirror best practices we use daily while writing software: modularity, reusability, and profiling, to name a few.

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Dispatches from Class: Getting from Point A to B on the Internet

Everyone knows that the Internet is a series of tubes, but until a few weeks ago, I had never really thought about how the whole journey from computer A to B unfolds, on a low level.

For google.com to travel from a remote server to my laptop, an ungodly amount of technical wizardry unfolds. The beauty of the system is that you as a programmer don’t have to think about any of it, because you sit atop layers of clever abstractions.

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Dispatches from Class: How Your Website Boils Down to 1s and 0s. Part 2.

In the previous post I explained how computers store data internally. Everything is stored as a base 2, binary number, then that number can be taken at face value (if treated as an integer), mapped to a character (if it represents text), or interpreted differently based on the use case. We’re now in a position to understand how computers execute binary instructions.

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Dispatches from Class: How Your Website Boils Down to 1s and 0s. Part 2.

In the previous post I explained how computers store data internally. Everything is stored as a base 2, binary number, then that number can be taken at face value (if treated as an integer), mapped to a character (if it represents text), or interpreted differently based on the use case. We’re now in a position to understand how computers execute binary instructions.

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Dispatches from Class: How Your Website Boils Down to 1s and 0s

In Part 1 I'll explain how computers read 1s and 0s. Part 2 explains how software emerges from these numbers. Most people know that 1s and 0s are the foundation for everything that happens inside a computer. What often isn’t so clear is what these 1s and 0s are actually doing. How does the text on your screen materialize from 1s and 0s? How can such complex applications--which include graphics, user interaction, you name it--all boil down to a string of binary?
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