Michael Weiner

Hey, visitor! I'm Michael, a software engineer based in Minnesota, USA. I am an IBMer working on IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service. Feel free to poke around some of my work at michaelweiner.org. Below are some of my personal thoughts on business and my experiences in the computer science industry. Thanks for reading!
January 22, 2024

Developer from the Future [#1]: Mock-ing Third-Party Libraries in an ESM with Jest Unstable Mocking

As a full-time developer and someone who likes working on various side projects, I often find myself looking for advice from those who have gone before me. I find that some of my best learning happens from watching and reading what others have already created, how they went about it, and their pain points. Other times, I just need a po...
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November 25, 2023

Measuring Progress Requires Context

I often question if I'm making any progress. How am I supposed to know that I'm advancing (personally, professionally, emotionally, etc.) in life? I think that the reason progress has become such an important metric in our society is because we use one's concept of progress to estimate outcomes. Equating progress to an expected outcome...
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September 24, 2023

Debugging an Odd Docker Image Build Failure

This week I was building a simple Docker image to use for some debugging and ran into an odd case that was rather frustrating to track down. I wanted a simple Docker image that contained the ibmcloud CLI and some plugins for that CLI that would simply sleep indefinitely. So, I created a rather simple Dockerfile: FROM alpine RUN curl -f...
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August 19, 2023

Treating the True Problem Begins with Asking "Why?"

Problems come up every day, for everyone. Development teams are no exception. Those concerns are raised by a variety of stakeholders - customers, executives, and colleagues. Where I've seen trouble arise is when the immediate reaction by a decision maker is to treat the symptom of a problem. • This design concept has shortcomings? Scra...
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August 14, 2023

Don't Half-Assign Work

Does the following situation sound familiar? A colleague or team member has just assigned you a new task, but they've already done all the investigation into the underlying issue, spec-d out a solution, and explained why going down this path is the correct choice. The work that remains? Going and implementing the solution. You've just ...
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August 6, 2023

Using grep in a Shell Script Called by a Makefile

This week I ran into a confusing issue when trying to use grep in a shell script that was called via a Makefile. In hindsight, the error should have been obvious, but in the moment I was lost. So, I hope this simple description of my problem and the solution helps someone else in the future. I had a simple text file that contained a li...
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August 6, 2022

Reflecting on my second internship

I am entering the final week of my second technical internship. I've spent approximately 3 months working as a Backend Developer intern. This has been another excellent opportunity for me to learn more about the industry, grow my technical and soft-skills, and learn about the day-to-day work of a Backend Developer. In keeping with the ...
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August 22, 2021

Reflecting on my first software engineering internship

I just completed my first software engineering internship this past week. The opportunity to join a team enabled me to learn about the health and tech industries as a whole, software development, and myself. Below are some of my biggest takeaways that I will bring with me to future professional opportunities. Document everything. Whene...
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April 12, 2021

Genuine appreciation is invaluable (to me)

Compensating individuals (monetarily or otherwise) for what they contribute is important. For me personally, there is a form of payment that is more valuable than anything else: genuine appreciation. Don't get me wrong being compensated monetarily is nice, but in the long-term money can only do so much for my internal well-being. I fin...
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April 8, 2021

Slow down

If anything good were to come from this ongoing global pandemic, I was hoping that it would be that people would slow down. Maybe we (by "we" I mean humanity) wouldn't be in such a rush to get to where we are going or be in such a hurry to get to tomorrow. About a year into this whole ordeal, it seems as if the exact opposite has happe...
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March 18, 2021

Say no.

Saying "No." is hard for me. I like to help people when they ask for it, irrespective to what I might have on my own plate. I tend to say "Yes." and "Yes." and "Yes." and "Yes." Then I regret saying "Yes." more than I would have regretted saying "No." Saying “Yes.” has gotten me into sticky situations. Situations that I could have avoi...
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March 10, 2021

Back your work with your name

I have exceptionally high standards for the work that I do. My entire life I have had a single principle to guide the quality of my work: do work that I was proud to stamp my name behind. Does this mean I take credit for any and everything I do? No. Not even close. It means that I stand behind the work I do when it gets checked off of ...
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March 7, 2021

The ability to listen is disappearing

Listening to what others say is infinitely more intricate than simply listening to the words coming out of their mouth. Now, more than any other time in my life, I feel as if most people have lost their ability to listen to what people are saying - beyond just the words they are speaking. There are many things to observe and absorb whe...
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March 5, 2021

An open letter to those that teach computer scinece

I love technology. Always have. I took my first true computer science (CS) course in a public school system in middle school. I took CS courses throughout my high school education and I am currently a student at a major four-year university working towards a degree in computer science (emphasis/focus within the field is still to be det...
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March 5, 2021

Dumping Google Analytics

Earlier this week I decided to do away with Google Analytics on my personal website. It was long overdue. Privacy is important. Privacy should be considered a right for everyone on the internet. You wouldn't walk up to a person in the grocery store and tell them where you live and that you keep a spare key under the plant on your patio...
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March 5, 2021

The most rewarding software bug I have ever fixed

Three or four-ish years ago I was an intern working at a website design and development company. We worked exclusively with WordPress. For those that are not familiar, WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) that runs roughly 40% of the world's websites. WordPress has plugins that run on top of the core WordPress functionality t...
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March 4, 2021

The problem with "intuitive" knowledge

Intuitive is defined as "using or based on what one feels to be true even without conscious reasoning." The feeling of something being intuitive is hard to explain, we just know it when we feel it. It's what "feels right." Each of us has our own feelings on what is intuitive and what is not. That is a good thing. It creates diversity, ...
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