10 Technologies We’re Thankful For

It almost goes without saying that at New Relic, we really, really love software. We love to build it, we love to use it, and we love to see exactly what makes it tick. After all, we want developers to build software they can be proud of and that truly delights their users. That would be a lot more difficult without the tools and technologies that empower us to do our jobs.

Straight from the people who build and support New Relic products—these ten technologies make us so thankful, sometimes we want to hug our screens!


1. The Linux kernel: The Linux kernel revolutionized everything about computer software. It brought the power and reliability of Unix to the mainstream, and helped the open source software movement flourish. Now it powers the Internet, cell phones, TV set-top boxes, network routers, and many other modern conveniences. And it is 100% free. New Relic would not exist as we know it without the Linux kernel and the myriad software systems built atop it. — Cory Johannsen, software engineer

2. Ruby: Ruby is the first programming language I’ve found that thinks the way I do. I don’t have to translate my thoughts at all; I speak Ruby natively because Ruby speaks like me. — Brent Miller, lead software engineer

Ruby is a fantastic language, supported largely from the open source community. Not only do I use the technology every day, but the people that work to improve it are friendly, responsive, and make things just plain fun. — Jason Clark, Ruby agent engineer

3. Creative Commons: I’ve built the Federated Wiki around the CC-BY-SA license. The two other legs of the stool are CORS and JSON. So my new wiki is held together by a license, a header, and a schema. — Ward Cunningham, staff engineer

4. Github: In addition to Github being a great repository host, it has done so much towards encouraging projects to be open source. When software source is available it is much easier for New Relic engineers to add instrumentation, and Github is often the first place we go to find common usages of a framework or sample apps. — Tyler Benson, Java agent engineer

5. IntelliJ IDEA: Because it’s the smartest, fastest, better crafted IDE out there. It aims to please both the VIM/EMACS aficionados, as well as the “code for me please” lazy developer. And somehow it manages to strike the perfect balance. — Ivan De Marino, senior software engineer

6. f.lux: When responding to late-night incidents, don’t stare at the blue star of your laptop screen, go red like a submariner and troubleshoot in the dark! fl.ux dims your screen comfortably when the sun goes down so you can get back to sleep when you need to. — Jonathan Owens, site reliability engineer

This software is really simple—you tell it where you work, and it adapts your display settings appropriately. Dimming in dark times reduces eye stress and the triggers that keep you awake after looking at a bright monitor all night. It also gives a good indication (dawn and dusk) of some times that you might want to change your habits, like leaving the office or closing the laptop to go make breakfast for your loved ones. — Chris McCraw, senior tech support engineer

7. Docker: At work, Docker makes it easier to deploy services. At home, it makes it easier to write projects in lots of different languages (JavaScript, Ruby, Python, Go) with various frameworks and libraries, all while keeping the server they’re hosted on well organized and clear of outdated libraries from old projects. — Eric Betts, software engineer

 8. MacBook Pro with Retina Display: These notebooks are light, they’re powerful, and if they break it only takes a couple minutes to swap a developer’s SSD with all their work on it over to a backup unit. As someone who supports software engineers on the go, that easy-to-swap SSD definitely takes the cake. — Vanessa White, desktop support specialist

 9. Browserify: Browserify lets us bundle small JavaScript modules into one deployment file. It is straightforward and easy to use. By making small modules easy to combine and deploy it lets us split up our source into single-purpose files that are easy to understand. — Nick Niemeir, JavaScript agent engineer

 10. Homebrew: It has all the developer packages I need for my Mac. Packages are kept up to date, and it’s generally very stable. I’m thankful for the time its maintainers put into making Homebrew so useful. — Ted Pennings, senior software engineer


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Thea is New Relic's Online Community and Developer Relations Manager View posts by .

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