It’s a challenge to work with big data and still get answers about it quickly.

You may have heard about probabilistic data structures which summarize data to help you get fast approximate answers, but it takes some reading to understand the types of questions they help you answer, the guarantees they give you, and the situations where they break down. This article explains a selection of probabilistic data structures to serve as a starting point for investigating probabilistic solutions to big data problems.

Set Membership (AMQ)

Probabilistic set membership data structures help you determine if an element is in a set using just a small summary of the set, an operation known as an Approximate Membership Query (AMQ)…

I recently had to write a server that supported connecting via TLS/SSL, which is something that thousands of people do. It took me many hours and many pages of Google search results to learn how TLS basically works from the perspective of someone writing a server, so I wrote this explainer. I hope it helps you get started with TLS better than the explainers I could find.


TLS makes sure nobody is reading or changing the data in your network communications (encryption) and you are communicating with who you think you’re communicating with (authentication).

The encryption part uses public key…

Travis Vanderstad

Platforms Engineer with Madhive, a startup that’s doing AdTech properly. Ex-Google, ex-Chase, ex-Bridgewater.

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