Author Archives: rkaranja1002

Backend Unveiled: A Historical Journey from Server Stumbles to Network Pioneers

The Roots of Today’s Modern Backend Engineering Practices:

In this blog post, we explore the evolution of modern backend practices through the lens of Joshua Burgin, an industry veteran with a rich background in backend development. The journey begins with his early days at Amazon, where accidental outages led to valuable lessons in observability and robust systems. We then travel back to 1969, witnessing the birth of ARPANET, a pioneering project that laid the groundwork for today’s distributed networks. The narrative continues into the 1980s, marking the rise of the internet and web-based computing, crucial milestones that shaped the challenges and solutions of backend development.

Reason for Selection:
This resource was chosen for its deep exploration of the historical roots of modern backend engineering practices. Joshua Burgin’s firsthand experiences, coupled with insights into the development of ARPANET and the internet, provide a holistic view of the challenges, innovations, and pivotal moments that have shaped the backend landscape.

Comments on Content:
Joshua’s recounting of the early days at Amazon offers a vivid picture of the challenges faced by developers in the late ’90s. The simplicity of tools like shell scripting and Perl, coupled with the manual deployment processes, highlights the stark contrast to today’s sophisticated backend practices. The emphasis on observability and the significance of monitoring, learned through real-world incidents, resonates with the importance of these aspects in contemporary development.

The exploration of ARPANET’s birth showcases the pioneering spirit of the engineers who laid the foundation for distributed networks. The introduction of packet switching and its impact on fault tolerance and high availability provides valuable context for current backend practices. Understanding these early challenges fosters an appreciation for the sophisticated tools available today.

As the narrative transitions to the internet’s rise in the 1980s, the challenges faced by businesses like Amazon in scaling infrastructure and serving international audiences become apparent. The change from text-based interfaces to graphical browsers reflects the transformative power of user-friendly technologies, a lesson relevant in today’s user-centric development approaches.

Personal Reflection:
This resource has deepened my understanding of the roots of backend engineering, emphasizing the iterative nature of progress in technology. The anecdotes from Joshua’s career underscore the importance of learning from failures and adapting to the evolving landscape. The historical context provided by ARPANET and the internet’s emergence serves as a reminder of the continuous innovation that defines backend development.

Moving forward, I plan to apply the lessons on observability and robust system design in my own projects. The historical insights have reinforced the idea that every complex system today stands on the lessons from earlier times, encouraging a forward-looking approach that considers the evolution of technology.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Site Title by rkaranja1002 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

The Art of Future-Ready REST API Design

Best practices for REST API design:

In today’s digital landscape, REST APIs play a pivotal role in facilitating seamless communication between various clients and services. However, designing these APIs requires careful consideration of factors such as security, performance, and ease of use for consumers. In this blog post, we will delve into the key best practices for designing REST APIs that are not only easy to understand but also future-proof and secure.

Summary: The selected resource outlines essential guidelines for designing REST APIs. It covers crucial aspects like choosing the right data format (JSON), using nouns instead of verbs in endpoint paths, logical nesting for hierarchical objects, handling errors gracefully with standard error codes, and implementing features such as filtering, sorting, and pagination. The article also emphasizes the importance of maintaining good security practices, caching data for improved performance, and versioning APIs to manage changes effectively.

Reason for Selection: This resource was chosen because it directly aligns with the course material, providing a comprehensive guide to REST API design principles. The clarity of the content and its relevance to common challenges in API development makes it a valuable reference for anyone involved in creating robust APIs.

Comments on Content: The guidelines presented in the resource offer practical insights into building effective REST APIs. The emphasis on using JSON for data exchange aligns with industry standards, ensuring compatibility across various technologies. The recommendation to avoid verbs in endpoint paths simplifies API readability and adheres to the RESTful principles of using HTTP methods for actions. The article’s discussion on error handling and status codes enhances the overall robustness of API implementations.

Personal Reflection: As a developer, this resource reinforced the importance of consistency and adherence to best practices in API design. The concept of logical nesting for related resources provides a structured approach that can enhance both API usability and maintainability. Learning about caching strategies and the significance of versioning in API development has broadened my understanding of how to address performance and compatibility concerns in real-world scenarios.

Application in Future Practice: The insights gained from this resource will significantly influence my future API development projects. I plan to implement the recommended practices, especially in areas like error handling, security, and versioning. Additionally, the emphasis on caching strategies will be integrated to optimize data retrieval and enhance the overall performance of the APIs I develop.

In conclusion, the resource serves as a valuable guide for both beginners and experienced developers, offering practical tips for designing REST APIs that stand the test of time. By incorporating these best practices, developers can create APIs that not only meet current requirements but also adapt seamlessly to future changes in technology and user needs.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Site Title by rkaranja1002 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Exploring the Significance of REST APIs

REST APIs: How They Work and What You Need to Know:

Introduction: In the ever-evolving landscape of software applications, the demand for seamless data sharing and communication has propelled the prominence of Representational State Transfer Application Programming Interfaces (REST APIs). The blog post titled “What is REST API?” serves as a comprehensive guide, shedding light on the fundamental concepts, principles, and practical applications of REST APIs.

Reason for Selection: The selection of this resource stems from its ability to provide a clear and concise overview of REST APIs, making it accessible for both beginners and those seeking a refresher. The blog’s structured approach, starting with basic terms and progressing to the principles of REST, makes it an ideal starting point for anyone looking to understand the role of APIs in modern software development.

Content Overview: The blog begins by defining key terms such as clients, resources, and servers, setting the stage for a nuanced understanding of REST APIs. It then introduces the concept of REST as a set of guidelines facilitating internet communication for efficient integrations. The six rules of REST APIs, including client-server separation, a uniform interface, and statelessness, are elucidated, providing a solid foundation for grasping the core principles.

Reflection on Material: The content not only explains what REST APIs are but also delves into the reasoning behind each rule, offering insights into their importance. The emphasis on statelessness, for instance, is justified by the reduction in server memory requirements and improved scalability. The layered system principle is exposed, highlighting the role of intermediary servers without disrupting client-server interactions.

Applicability in Future Practice: Understanding REST APIs is crucial for anyone venturing into software development or related fields. The blog’s breakdown of HTTP methods, URLs, and the common language of communication, HTTP, provides practical knowledge that a student can directly apply in API development. The explanation of caching and its role in enhancing server efficiency offers a valuable insight that can be leveraged to optimize web applications.

The blog’s real-world examples of REST APIs, such as Twitter, Instagram, Spotify, and HubSpot, illustrate the versatility of REST in various domains. For a student aspiring to build applications with social media functionalities or integrate music-related features, this resource serves as a roadmap for leveraging existing APIs effectively.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the blog post serves as an excellent resource for grasping the fundamentals of REST APIs. Its adherence to the recommended length, coupled with its clear and informative content, makes it a valuable asset for students and professionals alike. The insights gained from this resource can empower students to navigate the complex world of API development with confidence, laying the groundwork for successful future practices in software development.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Site Title by rkaranja1002 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Should Software Architecture be Simpler?

Software Architecture is Overrated, Clear and Simple Design is Underrated:


Software architecture is a topic that has always fascinated developers and tech enthusiasts. It’s often seen as the backbone of any software project, the guiding force that ensures a system functions smoothly. However, the article titled “Software Architecture Is Overrated” by Gergely Orosz challenges this conventional wisdom. In this blog post, we’ll explore the relationship between software architecture and the article, offer a short summary, and delve into the reasons for selecting this thought-provoking resource.

The Relationship:

Gergely Orosz’s article, “Software Architecture Is Overrated,” is a bold statement that immediately makes me curious. The relationship between the article and our discussion is clear – it questions the importance and relevance of software architecture in modern software development. This article critiques the overemphasis on architectural design in software development, showing real-world experiences where being “by the book” with architectural principles may not always be beneficial. It also goes into the risks associated with excessive up-front planning and the potential benefits of focusing on simplicity, iteration, and feedback.

Summary of the Article:

In a nutshell, the article argues that while software architecture is undoubtedly crucial, it’s not the holy grail of software development. Instead, it suggests that agility, adaptability, and a pragmatic approach to problem-solving should be prioritized over rigid architectural dogma. Orosz shares anecdotes and insights from his own experiences, illustrating how a more flexible approach to software development can lead to better outcomes.

Reason for Selection:

This particular resource was selected for several reasons. First and foremost, it challenges a widely accepted fact within the software development community, sparking a debate that can lead to a more balanced perspective. Second, Gergely Orosz draws from his own practical experiences, making the article relatable and providing valuable real-world context. Third, in a world where software architecture is often glorified and overemphasized, it’s refreshing to consider alternative viewpoints that advocate for adaptability and down-to-earth software planning.

Personal Reflection:

This article has opened my mind towards making software architecture more strict and not as free flowing as the current culture makes it out to be. I do like simplicity when it comes to anything, but software architecture especially is key because of team work. When a team is meant to come up with a solution to a problem, you should be making things as simple as possible so all team members can process the information and act accordingly.


In conclusion, software architecture is undoubtedly essential, but as the article “Software Architecture Is Overrated” argues, it may not deserve the exalted status it often receives. The relationship between the article and our discussion is clear, as it challenges traditional beliefs and encourages us to rethink the role of architecture in software development. By selecting this resource, we aim to stimulate critical thinking within the software development community and inspire a more balanced approach to creating software systems. It’s a reminder that, in the ever-evolving landscape of technology, adaptability and pragmatism should always be valued alongside architectural excellence.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Site Title by rkaranja1002 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Ryan Karanja, CS Journey

This is my blog! I’ve never done a blog before for any subject, let alone computer science, so I’m going to go about this as best as I can. It’s September 11th and I am a senior in college going for my bachelors in computer science. I’ve had a passion for technology since I was in elementary school and video games was what started it all. I want to become a video game developer and I’m working daily to achieve that goal.

This blog is meant to showcase my expirence with computer science during my last year in college and onward. That’s all for the introduction, I hope you enjoy the ride (and hopefully I do too)!

From the blog CS@Worcester – Site Title by rkaranja1002 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.