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Max Kanat-Alexander
Works at Google
Attended University of California Santa Cruz
Lives in Mountain View, CA
616 followers|13,303 views
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363 people
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Software Engineer
  • Google
    Software Engineer, 2011 - present
  • BugzillaSource, Inc.
    Chief Engineer, 2005 - 2011
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Mountain View, CA
Santa Cruz, CA - Greenbrae, CA - Clearwater, FL - Winter Park, FL - Simi Valley, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Contact Information
Google, YouTube, Code Simplicity
I'm the author of Code Simplicity: The Fundamentals of and I was the Chief Architect of the Bugzilla Project, then the Tech Lead for YouTube on the Xbox. Now I'm the Technical Lead for Developer Solutions at YouTube, which means that I help establish development processes and improve development productivity for all internal YouTube developers at Google. I also write songs, play guitar, and sing.
  • University of California Santa Cruz
    1999 - 2003
  • Redwood High School
    1996 - 1999
  • Tampa Preparatory School
    1995 - 1996
  • Country Day Academy
    1993 - 1995
  • Delphian School
    1992 - 1993
  • Hollow Hills Elementary School
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Max Kanat-Alexander

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I discuss Incremental Development and Design with +Google Developers.
Feiye Yew's profile photoRashid Omar's profile photoStephen Charman's profile photoTed Bouskill's profile photo
"Words that mean what they mean" groundbreaking :D
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Here's part 2 of my talk with +Google Developers.
3 Flaws In Software Design: Part 2: Not Making the Code Easy to Change

In part two of the series, +Jeremy Walker and +Max Kanat-Alexander  discuss the second Flaw of Software Design, "Not Making the Code Easy to Change," from Max's book Code Simplicity: The Fundamentals of Software. Also see the full presentation:
Yau Ri's profile photoMax Kanat-Alexander's profile photoAndre Untiedt's profile photoTed Bouskill's profile photo
"Assume the requirements are gong to change."  Deep.
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As of today, I've been working at Google for three years.

I still love my job, my co-workers, and Google as a whole. All the good things you've heard about working here are true.

By the way, if you have a passion for software design, I have openings to work directly with me on code quality, development processes, and developer tools for YouTube. It's a huge job, actually, and I'd love for you to come help me. :-)
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Huh. You started at Google almost exactly the same time I started at IMVU then. And have similarly positive feelings about it 3 years later.
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When I first read this, something about it bothered me, but it took me a little while to pin down what it was.

It's that it's overly prescriptive. You've heard the old thing that some people are visual learners, and some audible learners, etc? It's a a cliche, but there's some truth there. For some people, sketching something out on a board is the best way to work through a difficult problem. For others, writing down the problem is far more effective. For others still, the best way is to talk through the problem with somebody else. And for some, the most effective way is to sit back, close their eyes, and think on it.

It's a very personal thing, and depends on how your brain works. The problem is not that thinking is a universally bad approach, but that it's what a lot of people default to even when it's not the optimal approach for them. The real reason for this, I think, is that it's the one approach to working through a difficult problem which doesn't require any special tools or external action. You just have to stop what you're doing and focus. No need to pull up a whiteboard, or write an e-mail, or find somebody to talk to. This makes it an easy default.

So it's a problem that people who don't solve problems effectively that way still try to do it, but I think it's very important to acknowledge that some people DO effectively solve problems that way.

For what it's worth, methods that work for me, in order of effectiveness, are: writing about them, talking them over with other people, and then thinking and drawing. Yes, I put drawing (your recommended approach) on about the same level as just thinking. I know drawing is very effective for others, though.
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In his circles
363 people
Have him in circles
616 people
Alex Pletcher's profile photo
Dia Qirreh's profile photo
Here's me discussing the Third Flaw--I find this one hits senior engineers from time to time, in particular.
3 Flaws In Software Design: Part 3: Being Too Generic
#design   #developers   #software  

In part three of the series, +Jeremy Walker & +Max Kanat-Alexander  discuss the third Flaw in Software Design, "Being Too Generic," from Max's book Code Simplicity: The Fundamentals of Software.

Link to presentation:
Max Kanat-Alexander's profile photoMichael Powell's profile photoJochen Wiedmann's profile photoTed Bouskill's profile photo
+Ted Bouskill Completely! :-)
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I did a series of talks recently for +Google Developers on the Three Flaws of Software Design. Here's the first in the series: Writing Code That Isn't Needed.
3 Flaws In Software Design: Part 1: Writing Code That's Not Needed

This week, we'll be sharing a four part series on software design flaws, featuring +Jeremy Walker and +Max Kanat-Alexander. Today, in part one, they discuss the first Flaw of Software Design, "Writing Code that isn't Needed," from Max's book Code Simplicity: The Fundamentals of Software.

You can also view the full presentation:
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+Stephen Charman Sweet! :-)
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I really liked Philipp Seymour Hoffman. And it's true that the fact that he is dead is unfortunate and tragic. But it's also great that he gave us so many incredible performances, which we have recorded basically forever and can see any time we want, sometimes just for a few dollars.

The real tragedy would have been if he had died without giving any of those things to the world. If he had accepted too much criticism, or if he had somehow been convinced his goals weren't important enough to persue through hardship. So yes, though we should take this as another reminder on the danger of (most likely) drugs, we should also take it as a reminder that our goals are worthwhile, and think a bit about what we are going to leave behind when we go. Sometimes life ends up being shorter than expected, but if you're Philipp Seymour Hoffman, you've still taken that time to contribute something inspiring and beautiful to the world. I think any of us would be proud to say the same, no?
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Max Kanat-Alexander

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Google Security is Hiring!

I’m looking for talented individuals to join Google’s Information Security Engineering team in a variety of roles and projects, and in various global locations. 

You can apply for some specific roles via the links below, but feel free to contact me directly too (via G+ or @subvurt on Twitter). We are working on some of the most interesting challenges in information security; we help build and secure cutting-edge software and hardware projects used by hundreds of millions of users worldwide.

We’re looking for people with diverse skill sets in both attack and defense; some roles emphasize software development whereas others are more focussed on application testing, penetration testing or vulnerability research.  We are also always looking for great Technical Program Managers and Product Managers to help keep us organized and on track!

I’m particularly interested to hear from folk who are active contributors to the security community as we strongly encourage such participation: many of our colleagues work on open source projects such as OpenSSH, OpenBSD, or develop free testing tools in their spare time. Quite a few of us are also involved in security vulnerability research, or efforts such as our Vulnerability Reward Program or Patch Reward Program.

Please do re-share if you know anyone who might be interested in this post!

Information Security Engineer, Google Plus

Information Security Engineer

Data Privacy Engineer, Privacy Red Team
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Max Kanat-Alexander

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"A problem is resolved when no human being will ever have to pay attention to it again."
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+Martin Pool Are you referring to the quote or the entire article? I clarify the quote in the article itself.
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