Skill at computing comes naturally to those who are adept at abstraction. The
best developers can instantly change focus—one moment they are
orchestrating high level connections between abstract entities; the next they
are sweating through the side effects of each individual line of code.
Abstraction in computing not only provides necessary containment, but also
offers clear boundaries.
There is also something very liberating about that line you don’t need to
cross. When I write Java code I’m happy to never think about byte code
(unless something is going terribly wrong). And when I did board-level
digital design, I could stop at the chip and not think much about individual
gates or even transistors. It is undeniably important to understand the
entire stack; but nothing would ever get done without sustained focus applied
to a narrow segment.
Cloud is the latest in ... (more)
Cloud Expo on Ulitzer Technology Review has published an interview with
cryptography pioneer Whitfield Diffie that is worth reading. I had the great
pleasure of presenting to Whit down at the Sun campus. He is a great
scientist and a gentleman.
In this interview, Diffie–who is now a visiting professor at Royal
Holloway, University of London–draws an interesting analogy between cloud
computing and air travel:
“Whitfield Diffie: The effect of the growing dependence on cloud computing
is similar to that of our dependence on public transportation, particularly
air transportation, wh... (more)
We have worked with many APIs here at Layer 7. And over time we’ve seen it
all, ranging from the good to the bad. We even see the downright ugly. Now a
good API is a beautiful thing; it encourages innovation, abstracts
appropriately, and is designed with enough forethought that nobody needs to
change it down the road. Resiliency is a good quality in an API. APIs are a
little like cockroaches in that they will likely outlive the human race.
But what about the other ones? The ugly and bad ones? This is where
developers could use some guidance.
Truth is, good API design isn’t really... (more)
Quick question for you: What matters most, the client or the server?
Answer: Neither—they are really only useful as a whole. A client without a
server is usually little more than an non-functional wire frame, and a server
without a client is simply unrealized potential. Bring them together though,
and you have something of lasting value. So neither matters more, and in fact
each matters a lot less than half.
In the API world, this is an easy point to miss. The server-side always
wields disproportionate power by virtue of controlling the API to its
services, and this can easily fo... (more)
Recently I wrote about the excitement I feel working within CA. This company
is full of talented people, and when you draw on their capabilities, amazing
stuff happens. Here in R&D we have some innovative solutions underway that
are a tangible result of CA and Layer 7 working well together. I can’t
reveal these yet, but you can see the same 1+1=3 equation at work in other
groups throughout the organization.
Here is a good example. It’s an eBook we’ve assembled to help managers
and developers build more secure APIs. The material started with a
presentation I first delivered at a ... (more)