We think of computation in terms of its consequences. The big MapReduce job returns a large result. Web interactions display information. Enterprise applications update the database and return an answer. These are the reasons we do our work.
What we rarely discuss are the side effects of doing the work we intend. Side effects may be unwanted, or they may actually cause desired behavior at different layers of the system. This article points out some fun patterns to keep in mind as we build and use our systems.
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