What MeetMe is reading this month


by Blake J. Harris (available on Audible)

David Weinstein


by Simon Sinek (available on Audible)

“With a heavy lean toward biology, this book talks about being a great leader and as a result building great teams.  Among other things, this includes being a strong team player and highly empathetic, rather than being in more of a dictatorial role.”

Matt Kemmerer

mindstarrising quantummurder

The Greg Mandel Series: Mindstar Rising, A Quantum Murder, and The Nano Flower

by Peter F. Hamilton (available on Audible)

“Peter F. Hamilton is a wonderful Sci-Fi author.  This series is different from his other series, as it’s a detective series with a sci-fi backdrop.  All three books are a fun read.  It’s also a nice departure from his normally long novels.”

Jason Lotito

A Short History of Everything

by Bill Bryson (available on Audible)

“There will always be a point in time where we think there is no more to learn on a subject, only to learn that there is plenty more to learn about a subject. Knowledge never stops.”

Rich Friedman

Daemon      Freedom (TM)

Travis Himes


The Netflix Simian Army




“Phoenix servers recently came up in conversation and lead to these articles.  Chef gets us most of the way there, but there is certainly more we can do. And the Netflix idea of having an automated army that purposely breaks unexpected random parts of your infrastructure is scary and awesome at the same time.  It would lead to a LOT more automation and less stress in the long run.”

Diana Shkolnikov

by Ben Horowitz (available on Audible)

The Hard Thing About Hard Things is an in-depth look at what it’s really like to run a startup – exploring the tough times where defeat seems imminent and the difficult decision making that occurs that completely changes the future of the company.

Matt Kemmerer

Invention and Entrepreneurship

by Peter F. Drucker (available on Audible)

“A classic on management and innovation. His approach to strategically and tactically approaching innovation is a must read. This one of the many books from Alan Kay’s reading list I am starting to devour.”

 Rich Friedman


by Dale Carnegie (available on Audible)

“Often considered a classic and a must-read in business, Dale Carnegie discusses how to improve your human interactions.  In short, people like to be treated with respect and like a person, rather than as simply a means to an end.”

Matt Kemmerer   



Worm: The First Digital World War

by Mark Bowden

“Crazy smart folks chasing other crazy smart folks. The code that can be packed into so few bytes that can run rampant across the world in a short time will blow your mind.”

Rich Friedman

Einstein’s Cosmos: How Albert Einstein’s Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time

by Michio Kaku

“The simple analogies that Einstein had put forth to explain such hard concepts is welcome, but reading this book you get an appreciation for everything that happened for his ideas to come to light. Amazing to see both the support he gets but also the hard times that fall upon him and others of his time.”

Rich Friedman

by Rob Lowe

“Interesting change of pace to read a biography of someone’s life that has gone in a vastly different direction than my own. “

Matt Kemmerer

Open Talk: Making Sense of JavaScript Using Backbone & RequireJS, May 27th

Making Sense of JavaScript Using Backbone & Requirejs

JavaScript can often feel like a free-for-all. The past few years have brought us amazing tools such as jQuery, Backbone, Requirejs, and more, which we can leverage to bring some sanity to our front-end applications.

This talk will set you on a path you may not have thought possible with JavaScript – clean, well-organized code, separated into views, data models, and other modules where dependencies are clearly defined and laid out in front of you. You don’t need to be a JavaScript “ninja” to start kicking serious butt on the front-end. Just an hour or two of dedicated training.”

About the presenters

Corky Brown – Corky has been doing web development for nearly a decade and is closing in on his eighth year at MeetMe. During his career, he’s worked on both the front and back-ends of web applications, but has in recent years focused primarily on building JavaScript applications using tools such as Backbone, RequireJS, and Bootstrap.

RSVP here.

What MeetMe is reading this month…

For the last few months, we’ve been collecting book recommendations internally to present at our monthly all-hands engineering meeting.  It started out as work related material, but in the processes of collecting everyone’s recommendations it became very apparent that people are far more excited to share their non-work-related picks.  It turned out those books were also the more interesting ones to discuss.  Of course, the tech books were also solid picks and show what our engineers are excited about on a professional level.  The list seemed too good to keep to ourselves… So we thought we’d share it with everyone. We hope you enjoy these as much as our team has. Leave us a comment if you’ve already read or plan to read any of these.



“From the days of the early MIT hackers to the explosion of the personal computer and software industry revolutions, Hackers explores the history of the subculture of tinkerers and creators that made it happen. The stories are testimonials showing that when you give people access to tools and infomation, they are capable of great things. This book is inspirational not in the mushy sense, but in a very direct way that makes you want to grab a soldering iron, some microcontrollers, and start compiling code.”

David Slabonik


by Daniel H Plink

“Lots of random ideas. Seems like the author went out and did a bunch of cool travels and reading then found a way to tie it in to how right-brainers are becoming super important. Not many take-aways, other than for how to design tools to be holistic, beautiful, and meaningful.”

Brian Herbert


by Bryan O’Sullivan

“The Haskell book was quite mind blowing as an approach to programming.  I found Haskell appealing because it combines static typing, compile time checking, functional programming, and a powerful type system, among other things. Usually you only get two or three of those in a language.”

Peter Eisentraut


by Michael Lewis

“If you want to know the power of a milli-second and at the same time pissed about the going ons in the financial industry read this.  It’s really a story about the power developers have over the world.”

Rich Friedman


by David Herman

“Between web and node.js, we are using JavaScript.  This means needing to really understand JavaScript.  This is an excellent book on the topic.”

Jason Lotito

by Nate Silver

“Nate Silver dives into a diverse set of topics to explore the statistics and methods for making predictions within each of those areas.  The topics vary from Major League Baseball to weather prediction to chess.  It’s a longer book, but the diversity of topics keep it seeming relatively fresh throughout.

Matt Kemmerer    

Article by Bret Victor

“Great thoughts on getting the initial process of coding beyond minds and into hands. Written by a powerhouse in UI design.”

Brian Herbert


Super Normal

by Dave Morin

“The blog post details the Japanese design philosophy of “Super Normal,” which means that when you are trying to create a new product, instead of reinventing the wheel, you take a product or concept that is “normal” to the world and improve upon it.  I recommend this article because people often fall into a position of comfort and settling for experiences that seem to be just what we want when they can often be better. We accept a product’s shortcomings, like the cold, difficult-to-hold bucket mentioned in the article, because it gets the job done and/or no one else has done or conceived of anything better yet. The more friction we can remove in all aspects of having our members achieve their goals, the better, and that’s something we should continuously strive toward.

Anton Djamoos

by Dan Ariely

“Discusses how humans aren’t always as rational and logical as we might expect.  The book uses interesting experiments and case studies to highlight these irrational behaviors.”

Matt Kemmerer

by Brandon Sanderson

“Book 2 of the Way of Kings series. EPIC fantasy.  EPIC AWESOME”

Jason Lotito

by Roger Lowenstein

by Stephen King

“Three bios –  What they all had in common, was they had a passion for what they did, they were driven to do it, and were not in for fame and money.  They were willing to spend an inordinate amount of time and energy following their dream, though it often impacted personal relationships.  The Buffet one was good in that he always boiled everything down, no matter how complicated, into simple things. The King one, likewise, he had a straightforward process and stuck to it diligently. The Richards one, just because I’m amazed he’s still alive.

Peter Steinheuser

by Mark Bowden

“Three takeaways:

  1. there’s a lot going on at a low level on the internet that I don’t know much about
  2. the guys that do are pretty scary smart 
  3. we’re all gonna die 

same author as Black Hawk Down 
(point 3 might be hyperbole)”

Michael Glaesemann

by Michio Kaku

An interesting blend of biography and science.  Offers up some insight into Einstein’s life and his revolutionary theories.

Matt Kemmerer

by Rob Lowe

“It’s actually fascinating. lots of cool Hollywood stories”

Corky Brown 

by Neal Stephenson

Snow Crash predates the Matrix movies and the .hack series of games, and its influence on the subject of virtual-reality in fiction is obvious. A sword-wielding, code-slinging pizza-delivery driver working for the mafia is fired from his job, and begins to uncover the mystery of a new virtual narcotic, “Snow Crash” – which is both a computer virus and a degenerative nerve disease in the real world.”

David Slabonik


by Matt Galloway

“It’s a great book on Objective-C. I find I can go back to those books and learn and relearn.”

Jason Lotito

by Nir Eyal

“A typical and ok book about how we get hooked into habit forming products.  Interesting but if you read something similar probably not worth your time.”

Rich Friedman

Harnessing pgTAP in the Large

My colleague Peter Eisentraut and I had the opportunity to speak at PGConf NYC 2014. I gave a talk on how we use pgTAP as part of our Postgres test harness to unit test the PostgreSQL function API we provide to the application developers at MeetMe.

You can find the the slides at http://github.com/grzm/2014-pgconf-nyc-harnessing-pgtap.

The audience asked a lot of good questions and I got to meet some great developers. One of the benefits of speaking at a conference is interacting with the attendees and other speakers. Everyone has a different story to tell based on their own experience. It’s a wonderful way to get fresh perspectives on issues that we see in our own work.

As always, a lot of sharp minds turn out for Postgres events, challenging (in a good way!) the ideas I present, which in turn gives me the chance to reevaluate and improve what we do.

We’ll be releasing the test harness as a Ruby gem in the coming days. We’ve found it useful in providing a straightforward way to develop and test our API. There’s a lot of great work being done in the area of database testing and deployment (such as sqitch), and I’m looking forward to feedback.