David Heinemeier Hansson

November 25, 2021

Programmers should stop celebrating incompetence

In the valiant effort to combat imposter syndrome and gatekeeping, the programming world has taken a bad turn down a blind alley by celebrating incompetence. You don't have to reduce an entire profession to a clueless gang of copy-pasta pirates to make new recruits feel welcome. It undermines the aspiration to improve. It reduces the w...
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November 22, 2021

Authoritarian hippie parents

There was a time when liberal ideals of self-determination, self-regulation, and free-range independence naturally extended to parenting as well. Such ideals were seen in stark opposition to conservative parenting based on obedience, discipline, and reverence. Today it seems like these roles are often reversed. The strictest parents I ...
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November 17, 2021

It must be worth it even if it doesn't work

The way to work without regrets is to pursue projects that'll have been worth your time even if they don't pan out. Projects that'll tickle your curiosity, flex your competency, and teach you something new regardless of where they ultimately end up. Projects that leave you better off, as a person, despite not being a commercial or crit...
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October 6, 2021

How do you know what people have been working on?

Losing the sense of being in the know about what's going on at the company is one of the most common concerns I hear regarding working remotely. Both at the managerial level and between coworkers. There's a real fear that staying remote for too long will eventually lead to nobody really knowing what's going on, and thus the organizatio...
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September 24, 2021

Stimulus 3 + Turbo 7 = Hotwire 1.0

For so long, it felt like I could only tell half the story of how we make software for the web at Basecamp. Too many of the chapters about our front-end approach were missing key pages. Sure, we had some of it out there. Turbolinks, for example, hark back to 2012, when I was inspired by Chris Wanstrath's ideas in pjax, and took them fu...
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September 20, 2021

Conceptual compression is lossy (and loss hurts)

To make things simpler, you have to take something away. That means giving up something of real value to get something else of greater value still. You can't counter complexity without being willing to sacrifice. That is the nature of conceptual compression. It's why it's so hard to do. People become attached to the choices and advanta...
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September 16, 2021

Your likes, hearts, and flattering comments are bad for my brain

I’ve been publishing controversial thoughts, essays, books and software for half my life. It has endowed me with a thick skin to repel the haters, and kept me going whatever they said. But after close to two decades of having my work often judged favorably, I’m still no better at dealing with gestures of adoration. In fact, I think it’...
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September 14, 2021

Apple's forced IAP is either dead, a joke, or illegal

I can understand Epic's disappointment with the verdict in their trial against Apple. They sought to have the iPhone recognized as the pocket computer it is. One where consumers should have the right to install the applications of their choice, like with any other general-purpose computer, and where developers should be free from extor...
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September 6, 2021

Rails 7 will have three great answers to JavaScript in 2021+

Rails has been unapologetically full stack since the beginning. We've continuously sought to include ever-more default answers to all the major infrastructure questions posed by modern web development. From talking to a database, to sending and receiving emails, to connecting web sockets, to rendering HTML, to integrating with JavaScri...
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September 3, 2021

No one wants to be a code monkey

So many software companies these days are stuck on a ticket treadmill, working a never-ending backlog. When those companies look at Basecamp, they think "this can't work for software development?!", because it's not a ticket feeder. Heads explode when I tell them we do everything in Basecamp. That's the challenge of selling software ou...
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