Akka.NET - One Year Later

Akka.NET - Distributed Actor Model for .NET

I originally posted this at Beyond HTTP, Petabridge's official blog. Read the original there.

This month marks the one-year anniversary of Akka.NET and it has been a massive year for Akka.NET. In December of 2013, Roger Alsing and I had never met and we were both working on our own actor framework implementations in .NET.

Before it was Akka.NET...

My startup at the time, MarkedUp Analytics, was just starting its R&D efforts to begin developing its real-time marketing automation product on top of our existing in-app analytics product. We knew we needed the Actor model and reliable...

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My Next Thing: Petabridge - the Future of Distributed Software in .NET

Petabridge - Akka.NET Training and Distributed Computing in .NETAfter wrapping up MarkedUp, I took some time off to consider my future. Travel. See old friends. Catch up on rest.

During the entire time I was gone I received a steady stream of questions and inquiries about two open source projects I helped found:

In Response to a Letter from a Beginning Programmer

I received a heartfelt response from a new software developer in response to my “What Do You Need to Become an Elite Developer?” blog post. With his permission, I decided to post his letter and my response – with his name omitted.

Hi Aaron,

First, I want to thank-you for the article you wrote concerning becoming an elite programmer. I have not read it through entirely as of yet because I am overly tired making it difficult to process properly, so I will do so once I have had some rest. I did feel a sense of urgency to write this e-mail to you while I had it in my mind.

I made a career change to become a developer last December, and spent six months learning Ruby. I got my first position as a developer in July of 2014, and was in the position...

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The Next Fork in the Road

I had several friends and advisors review this post prior to publishing it; most encouraged me to go forward with publishing it but others cautioned that future investors / business partners may choose to pass on a deal with me due to the content below. I took time to consider their warnings. I’ve decided that any businessperson who would deny me business simply because I express what it’s like to be a vulnerable, actual human being going through a sustained period of immense stress is someone I don’t want to do business with in the first place. That being said…

It was just over a month ago that we made the decision to shut down MarkedUp, and in the time since I’ve been on the road visiting with family and friends I neglected during my three years of 100+ hour work weeks working on MarkedUp.

While...

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Real-time Marketing Automation with Distributed Actor Systems and Akka.NET

I published a lengthy post on MarkedUp’s blog yesterday about the new product we recently released, MarkedUp In-app Marketing Automation for Windows Desktop (with support for Windows Store, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android planned) and how it uses Akka.NET’s distributed actor system to execute real-time marketing automation campaigns for our customers.

If you’re interested in learning how to use actors inside your application or want to know how they can help you build types of applications that are virtually impossible to build over simple HTTP APIs, then you should read it (click here!)

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Tradeoffs in High Performance Software

I’ve spent down the past week tracking down an absolutely brutal bug inside Akka.NET. Sometimes the CPU utilization of the system will randomly jump from 10% to 100% and stay pegged like that until the process is recycled. No exceptions were thrown and memory / network / disk usage all remained constant (until I added monitoring.)

I couldn’t reproduce this CPU spike at all locally, nor could I determine the root cause. No one else had reported this issue on the Akka.NET issue list yet, probably because the product is still young and MarkedUp In-app Marketing is the only major commercial deployment of it that I know of (hopefully that will change!)

I had to hook up StatsD to MarkedUp’s production Akka.NET deployments to figure out what was going on ultimately[footnote: I open sourced our Akka.NET + StatsD integration into a NuGet package –...

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The Profound Weakness of the .NET OSS Ecosystem

I’m in the process of writing up a lengthy set of blog posts for MarkedUp about the work that went into developing MarkedUp In-app Marketing, our real-time marketing automation and messaging solution for Windows desktop applications (and eventually WP8, WinRT, iOS, Android, Web, etc…)

During the course of bringing this product to market, I personally made the following OSS contributions:

Business to Business Services Are What Will Make Dogecoin Succeed

dogecoinFollowing on from my previous post about the second / third generation cryptocurrencies advancing the start of the art, I’ve spent a lot of time participating in /r/dogecoin on Reddit and seeing dozens of new businesses start accepting Dogecoin every day.

I’ve mined a fair bit of Dogecoin so far (albeit on laptops, not dedicated mining rigs) and purchased a substantial amount, so I’ve been looking for some ways to spend or invest it.

Here’s some of the purchasing that I’ve done or am considering at the moment:

Bitcoin Paved the Way, but it’s Not the Future of Cryptocurrency

bitcoinUntil recently, I was extremely skeptical of cryptocurrency in general. In the midst of the investment speculation and mania in late 2013, when the price of Bitcoin first climbed to $500-$800, it smelled too much like digital Beanie Babies for my blood. So whatever interest I had in learning about the technology and its disruptive potential was buried underneath multiple layers of speculation sediment.

Two things piqued my interest, however: 1) I attended a Bitcoin meetup in Santa Monica and heard more about it and 2) the Jamacian bobsled team raised money to attend the Winter Olympics with a huge amount of support from Dogecoin.

So my interest in cryptocurrency grew and as an entrepreneur I wondered...

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The Taxonomy of Terrible Programmers

The MarkedUp Analytics team had some fun over the past couple of weeks sharing horror stories about software atrocities and the real-life inspirations for the things you read on The Daily WTF. In particular, we talked about bad apples who joined our development teams over the years and proceeded to ruin the things we love with poor judgment, bad habits, bad attitudes, and a whole lot of other bizarre behavior that would take industrial pyschologists thousands of years to document, let alone analyze.

So I present you with the taxonomy of terrible software developers, the ecosystem of software critters and creatures who add a whole new meaning to the concept of “defensive programming.”

At one point or another, every programmer exists as at least one of these archetypes – the good ones see these bad habits in themselves and work to fix them over time....

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