React and MVC

React is improving the way we build frontends, but I find common patterns are making our apps more complex to write and manage, and more difficult to understand.

Doing dumb things with Postgres

A couple of months ago I gave a talk about PostgreSQL, and specifically using the Array datatype, at London Ruby User Group and I wanted to take some time to dive into this in more detail.

The Strawman: TDD

There have been a few rumblings recently between the subculture of TDD-lovers and the rest of the programming community, as always. I’ve heard reports that TDD doesn’t work, that it is snake oil, and that there are studies to suggest that TLD and TDD are no better than each other in a scientific study.

Choosing the right supplier post IR35 reform

With the latest reforms to IR35 having come into effect on April 6th, public sector bodies (PSBs) are facing the mounting challenge of keeping teams filled. This, coupled with the Civil Service-wide recruitment freeze introduced in 2010, is a particular problem for PSBs tasked with delivering digital projects, where software engineering teams were once largely made up of contractors who now have an incentive to look elsewhere for work. The reforms are here to stay, so what options do PSBs have in terms of continuing to deliver good digital products?

Finding Ethics in Data Security

We live in a world increasingly intertwined with software; the Internet of Things allows companies to collect data relating to not only what we type, but on where we are, who we are with, how we drive our vehicles, and more intimate details like our sleeping patterns and heart rates. In the near future it will be trivial to sequence an individual’s genomic information and make predictions about their personality traits and health.

Using Ansible for infrastructure

For the last year or so, the majority of our new projects at Made Tech have used Ansible as our go-to tool for provisioning and configuring our servers with the software that runs on them. We’ve paired Terraform with Ansible and Chef previously for creating our cloud resources, but have recently been experimenting with using Ansible to see if the one tool was capable of both of these stages in our infrastructure setups. We’ve not been disappointed with our experiences so far.

Dismantling Silos

A silo exists in an organisation when one group within the organisation has differing goals to another. In most organisations there are groups of people that, usually, have an objective to fulfil by an agreed upon date. For example, the Sales team is set a mandate to increase the number of customers of the company by 10% every month, whereas the Support team has internal performance goals, and one of them is to deliver support within a fixed budget.

The importance of software support and maintenance for all organisations

It’s rare to encounter an organisation where software isn’t an important aspect of their day-to-day operation. Whether it’s a small business with a simple website, an international retailer with an e-commerce store and a Warehouse Management System, or a charity organisation collecting, storing and reporting environmental data, at some point, each of those organisations will need to engage on some level with a piece of software in order to ensure its smooth operation.