Writing

I write many words on everything from the deeply technical to the vehemently human. I’ve written for .net magazine, Linux Magazine, Linux Journal, Computer Arts amongst others.

Recent words

Heffalumps and user experience September 11, 2013
Instead of wasting time developing features based on untested hypotheses that turn out to be incorrect, ideas should be tested as early as possible so that less useful assumptions can be discarded.

Make sharing easier October 11, 2012, Computer Arts
We spend most of our working lives creating, editing, publishing and re-editing documents. So how long will it be until the publishing industry makes the move to mobile, and gives us a chance to let this happen again?

Writing better specifications February 24, 2012, .Net Magazine Blog
Specs, along with testing and managing deployments, are time sinks. They swallow days of a project’s life and don’t do what they promise.

10 things devs must know July 16, 2012, .Net Magazine Blog
Developers need to be more than code-generating grunt workers. We’re expecting more of our digital life and it’s these guys who build it, so what do the best devs need to know?

How to be a great developer, June 11, 2012, .Net Magazine Blog
At heart, I’m a techie. I love the nerdy detail and the things you can do with lines of code. But at times I hate the pain of coaxing results from developers or coercing them to ‘think like a human’. This can damage the project, the product and the team.

Older, more nerdy words

DBaaS part 1 – Xeround and Model Driven Deployment 26 June 2012, Admin Magazine
We go beyond the press release and beyond the tutorial to find out a little bit about what makes some of these stuff-as-a-service services go.

Monitoring Cloud Service Charges 17th Aug 2011, Admin Network &amp Security Blog
…it’s very easy to take your eye off the meter, fire up dozens of services, store gigabytes of files, and end up spending a fortune.

Importing SSH keys on AWS 5th Aug 2011, Admin Network &amp Security Blog
All the tutorials you’ll find refer to downloading the generated private key from the AWS console. This is fine for the first 10 times you create instances or cloud setups, but the time will come when you want to use the same key for lots of instances or you want to use your own keys all the time.

Config Management with Bash 7th Dec 2011, Admin Network & Security Blog
…in the move to cloud, you have to be prepared to unlearn everything you know about hosting.

Coping with Regional Failure 10th Dec 2011, Admin Network &amp Security Blog
Dealing with failure means you have to be able to bring back the entire environment on a different infrastructure, and do it easily.

Platform Games on Heroku 12th Oct 2011, Admin Network &amp Security Blog
With the move to cloud computing, particularly cloud hosting, developers often opt for infrastructure as a server rather than PaaS. Why would you go PaaS?

Web dev’s intro to the cloud 8th May 2011, Linux Magazine
The web dev’s intro to the cloud, Improve performance on the cloud, Scaling on the cloud, Moving onto the cloud…

Killing Instances with Chaos Monkey 8th May 2011, Admin Network &amp Security Blog
To kick off this series, I thought I’d look at how you go about breaking your cloud setup once everything seems to be running nicely

Programming for the Amazon EC2 cloud 2009, Linux Magazine
Techniques for using AWS – SQS and EC2 – using ruby.

Google App Engine April 2009, Linux Format
Google App Engine enables you to build scalable apps without worrying about scaling details. Here is how to get your first cloud app off the ground.

Git: Versioning for the masses March 2009, Linux Format
Git. The best thing ever to happen in programming. Intro tutorial covering how it works and where all the magic is.

Amazon’s Compute Cloud August 2008, Linux Format
Want your own personal, huge Linux cluster to throw your worst and most exciting problems at? Big computing is now really cheap…

GWT – what’s changed August 2010, Linux Magazine
Things had changed in GWT. We look at the changes, what can be done and the new power of building JS with Java. Reprinted in Google special edition.

Admin Network &amp Security Blog 2011, Admin Network & Security
I started blogging this year (2001) on cloud, scaling, platforms for Admin Network & Security

Using Capistrano 2009, Linux Journal
For most programmers, deployment is an area that could do with a touch of laziness. Deploying to a cluster – or even one machine – can be repetitive and tiring. Enter Capistrano, a Ruby deployment tool that makes the task of deploying an application to servers easier but running defined tasks for you on the remote servers.

Getting started with Google Web Toolkit 2009, Linux Magazine
I have lost many days, weeks, possibly even months to JavaScript. The rise of JavaScript frameworks (prototype, mootools etc) over the past couple of years, and their increasing stability has helped. GWT looks like the next evolution in JavaScript development – instead of writing in JavaScript, write in Java.

Scalable web hosting on the cloud June 2009, Linux Pro Magazine
Running sites on EC2 is easy, but really making use of the scalability and flexibility of cloud computing requires a new approach.

Scalable web hosting on the cloud June 2009, Linux Pro Magazine
Running sites on EC2 is easy, but really making use of the scalability and flexibility of cloud computing requires a new approach.

How we built TheChemicalBrothers.com August 2008, Linux Format
How we mashed Flickr, YouTube and a bunch of other services together and got the band updating the site with SMS

Akelos framework July 2007, Linux Format
Intro and tutorial on Akelos, a port of Ruby on Rails to PHP

Web 2.0 frameworks June 2007, Linux Magazine
Overview of the various Web 2.0 frameworks that are available – e.g. scriptaculous, mootools…

The <canvas> tag June 2007, Linux Format
Intro and tutorial on the new Canvas tag for drawing in HTML pages.

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