Buongiorno. Here are my most recent blog posts:
  • attended Brighton Ruby Group Meetup

    June 4, 2015

    ​This is a regular monthly Meetup that brings Ruby developers together.

    Andy Croll gave a talk about the joys of Rails ActiveJob. This is essentially a standard interface to different technologies that enable work items to be queued and/or scheduled for later processing. The main benefit being that potentially slow tasks can be offloaded from the main processing thread and run at a more convenient pace.

    The most common usage is for emailing as this is notorious for having slow-running processes.

    UserMailer.welcome(@user).deliver_later
    

  • Data tiles in Leaflet

    June 2, 2015

    Here is a little something i've been playing with. After the first flush of plotting points on a Leaflet map I soon realised that things can get quite slow. I've been building a tile-based data server which is hooked in to the map tile calls in the javascript. It isn't an original thought (i'll add in links to original references when I find them) but i've taken it a bit further than other people have.

    This post is not complete, I will be expanding it.

    ​​A short video...

    https://youtu.be/2PCPa8PuHng

    Leaflet is very quick and easy to get a map up and running.

    /images/basic_map.png

    If you return points from your data server as geojson they can be hooked straight in /images/some_points.png


  • read "Inside of a Dog" by Alexandra Horowitz

    May 20, 2015

    ​​This might seem an unusual choice for a User Experience book. But, how humans and canines interact is very telling on the human condition. Our intense desire to anthropomorphise animals (and objects) is a core component of being human. Conversely, dogs ability to act as-if they have human qualities is what brought them inside our homes whilst the wolves stayed outside. A computer system has less intelligence than a dog. If we thought a little bit more about how they behave then we might be able to build systems that are loveable


  • spoke at #Geomob

    May 19, 2015

    ​It was with great pride that I spoke at #Geomob


  • spoke at #Geomob

    May 19, 2015

    ​It was with great pride that I spoke at #Geomob


  • read "Inside of a Dog" by Alexandra Horowitz

    April 20, 2015

    ​​This might seem an unusual choice for a User Experience book. But, how humans and canines interact is very telling on the human condition. Our intense desire to anthropomorphise animals (and objects) is a core component of being human. Conversely, dogs ability to act as-if they have human qualities is what brought them inside our homes whilst the wolves stayed outside. A computer system has less intelligence than a dog. If we thought a little bit more about how they behave then we might be able to build systems that are loveable.


  • read microservices article "Agile coding in enterprise IT: Code small and local"

    April 7, 2015

    ​​http://www.pwc.com/us/en/technology-forecast/2014/cloud-computing/features/microservices.jhtml

    As Landmark move into the world of Microservice​​​s I think that it is important that we all understand what it actually means. This article gives a reasonable understanding and i've made some notes...​

    Microservices are very decoupled. "​Developers can create and activate new microservices without prior coordination with others. Their adherence to microservices architecture principles makes continuous delivery of new or modified services possible."

    Simplicity, tight scope, minimal change request process.

    Microservices architecture is evolving and unproven over the long term.


  • read up about Apache Kafka

    April 7, 2015

    ​​​After seeing it mentioned in a Microservices article I took a look at Apache Kafka

    Kafka was originally built by LinkedIn and then hived off to make a new company called Confluent. It is intended for processing of real-time data (such as web site tracking).

    This article from Confluent helps.


  • read "How to Think Like Sir Alex Ferguson" by Damian Hughes

    April 5, 2015

    ​​Much is said about achieving results, but little about sustaining that success. Perhaps some of the books about IBM and the giants who failed. This book is all about the approach of Sir Alex Ferguson to football and how it might be applied to work. Much of it is about change.


  • read "Gang Leader for a Day" by Sudhir Venkatesh

    April 4, 2015

    ​​An interesting angle for user experience understanding: what it is like to live in one of the huge housing projects in Chicago where the unemployment rate is nearly 100%.

    Sudhir Venkatesh went on to co-write the hugely successful Freakonomics.


  • read "Maximise Your Potential" by various, edited by Jocelyn K. Glei

    April 3, 2015

    ​​This set of advice articles from a variety of recent thinkers is packed full of good stuff. I think that i'm going to read it again to pick out the best bits.


  • read "How To Stay Sane" by Philippa Perry

    April 2, 2015

    ​​The title is a little alarming to most people, but personally I have no problem with actively seeking to protect my own sanity. This book discusses:

    • being mindful,
    • relating to others,
    • managing stress,
    • telling your own story

  • read up about Azure WebJobs

    April 1, 2015

    ​Unfortunately, I missed the Scott Hanselman TIS Talk at work about Azure WebJobs, but his 'Introducing...' article has helped as an introduction.

    It looks like a WebJob is a custom task the can either run continuously or be kicked off as a scheduled task. It can take input such as a Blob of data in a storage container, process it and put the output into another container. I don't know yet whether it will perform a callback to tell the trigger that it has finished.


  • watched Organising For Microservices

    March 31, 2015

    Microservices can be referred to as 'Hipster SOA'

    Single responsibility principle

    If there is a single, large, codebase then it gets unwieldy. You may be using cloud services, but you are still scaling the whole app rather than the bit that actually needs to scale.

    One codebase leads to having only one language/tool/hammer to use. Sometimes a problem can be cured by using a different language but you don't want to mix this in with the big codebase.

    If a part of the system fails, you don't want it to affect the others.​ Eliminate Single Points Of Failure. Set up fallback options. A search function can use a cache if the database fails. Semi-live is acceptable.


  • read "How to be Alone" by Sara Maitland

    March 18, 2015

    Sara Maitland's ideas are related to those of Susan Cain of 'Quiet' fame. There is nothing wrong with being an introvert and needing a bit of quiet to work and think in.