Sunday, 13 April 2014

How Much QA Tax Do You Pay?

Your QA team is there to protect quality. Without them you would release buggy software and lose your loyal, cash-supplying customers. Or so the theory goes. But what if your QA team were actually costing you money?

In my experience, some teams may be paying unnecessary QA taxes: distractions to developers, time-consuming release processes, and missed opportunity for really raising the quality threshold.

So let's have a look at a few of the QA taxes you might be able to avoid so you can purchase a shiny new Ferrari instead.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Bad Estimates and Broken Confidence

We missed our deadline, we jeopardised the business’s strategy, and all confidence in our abilities from the rest of the company was lost. How would you recover a situation like that?

Whilst the tech job market is good in London, the team I was working on during that project were absolutely committed to turning things around. And justifiably so. As we started to make progress it was very rewarding.

To get things on track, all we had to do was stop committing project delivery suicide.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

A Short Technology Retrospective

I've been using some new technologies in the past 7 months whilst working on a major re-write of an old legacy search application. Some of these technology choices have had a big impact and I'm excited to share brief details of them with you (catch me on twitter if you want more detail).

Everything from the web framework to the search engine to infrastructure tools will be discussed. But first let's start with the most fundamental pieces. We built our application using Scala which runs on the JVM.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Making Your Linux Desktop Spellbinding

A desktop environment styled to my intricate needs makes all those hours I spend at a computer feel like I'm an excited child again. Vibrant colours, futuristic effects and everything positioned to my liking makes me both super-happy and super-productive.

I value a compelling desktop environment as highly as a comfy chair or a chirpy colleague.

Arch Linux gives you incredible choice and flexibility because it's a bare-minimum style of distro where you only add what you want. Because of this the defaults are  usually quite basic in looks. As you can see below, Xfce, my choice of DE when using Arch (you can pick others like gnome, KDE, etc), has quite a basic look that lacks the eye candy of other distros such as Ubuntu that style up Xfce by default.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

2013 - Highlights and Shoutouts

Don't know about you but some exciting things happened to me in 2013 as a developer. A few people in particular helped me not only achieve, but enjoy this year as well. Scroll down to see if you're one of them on my list of shoutouts.

Would love to hear your highlights and shoutouts... inspire me for next year.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Scala eXchange 2013 Review - Day 2

Scala fans from far and wide were present at this year's Scala eXchange in London. In my last post I gave an insight into the venue, the atmosphere, and of course the talks... but only from day 1.

This post is a follow-up capturing the essence of the talks I attended on day 2.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Scala eXchange 2013 Review - Day 1

For people working with Scala, curious about learning it, or intrigued about how it might help their company achieve it's goals more efficiently, the Scala eXchange 2013 in London run by skillsmatter was absolute gold dust.

In this post I'll briefly review the talks I attended about distributed systems, the JVM and of course the language itself. Also I'll point out some wider themes that were noticeable which may really compell you towards Scala.