History Text Analysis Over Spreadsheets - A Poker Player and Developer's Road to Agile Project Management

Mar 09, 2015|5 Min Read|Comments|

Ever since I started transitioning into a team leadership role over three years ago, I had been trying to find ways to eliminate waste caused by repetitive work and to keep myself on the fringe of pushing the technical boundaries. Four months ago I started my current role where my official job title is Delivery Lead. People don’t often know what a delivery lead is, but in my mind it is a role to ensure the success of the project delivery by identifying and closing the gaps in the team and in the…

Leading Snowflakes by Oren Ellenbogen - A Pragmatic Book on Software Team Leadership I Wish I Read Sooner

Two weeks ago as I was reading Software Lead Weekly which I had subscribed to for a while, I discovered its curator, Oren Ellenbogen’s book - Leading Snowflakes. It was a moment of discovery that lead to a stream of delightfulness. It Started with a Long Day at Work… After a long day at work, I was so beat I couldn’t even listen to audio books like I always do on my way to and from work. So I drove home that night in total silence. One thing that was on my mind at the time was - who should I…

Photos from JSConf AU 2014

Apr 10, 2014|1 Min Read|Comments|

JSConf AU has been fun - great talks and great venue! It was also a wonderful opportunity for me to test out my new camera kit: SONY A7r + Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA + Voigtlander Color Skopar 20mm f/3.5 SL-II with Novoflex SONY E-Mount to Nikon adapter. Here’s the kit (taken by Nikon D800 + Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD): Photos from JSConf AU 2014: Breakfast in North Melbourne: Conference: Check out my Google+ Photo Album for larger versions.

On Hiring: Trial Week - Yay or Nay?

Oct 29, 2013|5 Min Read|Comments|

Today a blog post titled "Trial Week: Our Hiring Secret" has made to the Hacker News homepage. I naively tweeted my dislike and now I feel obligated to share my thoughts in a more meaningful and constructive way. First of all, congratulations to the Weebly team, as this trial week strategy is clearly working very well for them. I, on the other hand, am against using a trial week for vetting candidates, and I am going to share my thoughts. Let this serve as a reminder to the rest of us: every…

Protip: Unsync the "Index" Folder of Sublime Text 3 from Dropbox

Oct 12, 2013|1 Min Read|Comments|

If you’re like me who uses both Sublime Text 3 and Dropbox, chances are you have your Sublime Text 3 folder synced in Dropbox. I use my laptop as my primary workstation so most of the time it’s docked and charged. Occasionally when I do use it on battery power however I notice the extremely poor battery life - typically only 2-3 hours. Eventually I realised the power consumption was caused by Sublime Text 3 generating a temp file in its "Index" folder every second or so, and that triggers…

Protip: Faster Ruby Tests with DatabaseCleaner and DatabaseRewinder

Sep 18, 2013|2 Min Read|Comments|

Please also see this blog post on tweaking your ruby GC settings. I use and love DatabaseCleaner, although historically I had never paid too much attention on the performance of its varies cleaning strategies - I’d always used truncation. We use Postgres, and after digging around and finding out the difference between DELETE and TRUNCATE, I ended up improving our test suite speed by about 30-40% simply by tweaking the cleaning strategies. Essentially, we want to truncate the DB only once before…

Protip: Ruby Devs, Please Tweak Your GC Settings for Tests!

Sep 06, 2013|1 Min Read|Comments|

It was made apparent to me that many ruby devs either aren’t aware or couldn’t be bothered to tweak their ruby garbage collector settings. Well, if you are using MRI, please start tweaking your GC settings. Here’s what I use (on my 15" Macbook Pro Retina): Not only can you tweak it for your local dev machine, you can also tweak Jenkins, Travis CI, Wercker and other CI solutions, making instant speed gain for your test suite! Here’s what we get: YMMV depending on your system and available RAM.

Writing Sensible Tests for Happiness

Writing good, sensible tests is hard. As a Rubyist, I feel lucky to be part of a community that embraces tests. Though at the same time, I have come across too many projects that suffered from not having sensible tests. What are Sensible Tests? There often isn’t a silver bullet when it comes to software development. Technical stuff aside, many things contribute to the solution to a given problem - the team, the project and the business to name a few. This article does not attempt to present any…

Gotchas in the Ruby Sequel Gem

Aug 21, 2013|2 Min Read|Comments|

I haven’t really used Sequel much therefore I am definitely a newbie. However, after days and nights of frustration, endless debugging and some search-fu during the development of Datamappify, I have finally arrived at the conclusion that Sequel is a capable library, as long as you are aware of the gotchas. Gotcha 1: Always use "select"/"select_all", or your data records will mysteriously have wrong IDs! In ActiveRecord, joining an associated model couldn’t be simpler: In Sequel, despite having…

The Future of Computing, The Future of Computer Programmers - An Interview with Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto

A while ago I translated an interview with Matz done by a Chinese book publisher. The interview and the translation were well received, so this time I am translating another interview with Matz, done by Ito, the editor-in-chief from Japanese website Engineer Type. Since I don’t read Japanese, the translation is based on Turing Book’s Chinese translation. The Chinese translator has done a great job translating the interview, but there are still many words and sentences lack sufficient context and…