Xiao Ma

Hacker/scientist. I believe the ultimate goal of technology is to help people live better. Build systems @Medium @PatternInsight PhD @IllinoisCS @UCSanDiego

The Helping Mindset

One of a tech lead’s accountabilities is to help the team make technical decisions, but “helping” can be done in very different ways that lead to very different…

Push on Green

A memo email sent to Medium’s engineering team

This was a memo email sent to Medium’s engineering team on 11/4/14, unedited except for one note for clarity and one small redaction. See Hatching Inside Medium for context on this collection.

Hey team,

Today, the POG team wrapped up the engineering tasks, and Tech Ops…

Obviously Medium

Why I joined Medium and have loved it ever since

About a year ago, I interviewed Joy for an engineering position at Medium. We finished the…

Publications edited by Xiao Ma

Explorations with Medium data.

How we build

This is a collection of stories about how our children perceive the world, what we learn from them, and how to become better parents and better humans. “To the world you are one person, but to your child you are the world”



Medium 是互联网上一个新平台,人们在这里分享他们的想法和故事。这些文章比140个字符的微博长,而且不只是分享给朋友们。Medium是为那些让你的生活更美好的小故事设计的,也是为那些能够改变世界的著作而设计的。任何人都可以用Medium,从专业的新闻工作者,到业余厨师。她简单,漂亮,鼓励合作,…

The Code Review Mindset

Code review is an important and widely adopted practice, and there are numerous how-to guides that teach best practices. They’re all valuable, but what’s most…




An iOS app update note that you may want to read

“What’s New in Version 1.7.1" of Lift App

I don’t usually pay attention to iOS app update notes. I sometimes…

Apple’s new 64-bit A7 processor makes a lot of sense

Explained in detail and in plain English

One of the hottest tech debates these days is: Does Apple’s…

PhD or No PhD?

The question I’m finally learning to answer

People ask me all the time. I usually tell them the following:

  1. It really depends on what you want to do in the future. If you want to be a professor, get a PhD; otherwise, don’t.
  2. It is a very important decision because you will invest five-to-seven of the best years of…