By Jacopo188 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Analytics with SQLAlchemy

Alex Thomas wrote “What to do if a conventional, line-of-business app starts morphing into an analytics one? The situation here may be that a bit of custom SQL, introduced to do one specific bit of summarising or pivoting, expands and forms a kind of creeping undergrowth of tightly-bound code, impervious to Agile norms of modularity and testability. In…”

Dawn: Mobile bus stops display

Tom Parker wrote “When I’m out and about, I find myself repeatedly wanting to know when a bus will stop near where I am. This generally involves a phone as the TfL Countdown displays are a bit thin on the ground. Despite the advent of such things as Citymapper, I’ve still been a fan of the Countdown mobile website,…”

By Hubbard, Tom, 1931-, Photographer (NARA record: 8464449) (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Simple user authentication: ASP.NET Identity and NHibernate

Martin Eden wrote “ASP.NET MVC 5 introduced a new system for managing users and authentication, known as ASP.NET Identity. Over the last few years we have built and now maintain a couple of MVC applications. We started with MVC 2, and have since upgraded to 3 and then 4. So despite MVC 5 being out since the end of…”

By Mboldfield at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Call stack complexity

Matthew Sackman wrote “Over on the morning paper, Adrian’s recently covered a number of papers looking at trying to detect bugs in code using slightly unusual means (i.e. not the usual combination of lots of buggy tests and lots of static checks). So that’s been on my mind lately, at least when it gets a chance in between…”

By Engineers11 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Scripting vs. Engineering

Ian Rogers wrote “I’ve come to the conclusion that the terms like “programming”, “coding” etc. have become horribly ambiguous which has enabled: organisations to offer courses on html/css editing as “coding” people to make claims like “nodejs is more productive than java” (which is a nonsense statement either way) various arguments along the lines of “is X a…”

Docket: Fun with Todoist and Beeminder APIs

Tom Parker wrote “So, I recently changed over my todo list usage to use Todoist. However, now I had a chunky amount of my phone screen chewed up with both a display of that and my existing Beeminder list, and I wondered if I could somehow merge the two. Also, because my Beeminder emergency days are one of the significant sources…”

By Maksym Kozlenko (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

It’s all happened before

Ceri Storey wrote “It’s all happened before Coming from an operations background, I’ve found that one of the best ways to understand a system’s behaviour is to trace the messages between components. Now, most languages go have a log library, that will at minimum, allow developers to log when an event occurred with a description. However, if we…”

Scrutiny: Github permissions audit and backup tool

Tom Parker wrote “These days we’ve all got an awful lot of our code in Github, and so we really need both a backup (so we can cope with them having a catastrophic failure) and a permissions auditing mechanism (so we know who’s getting access). For the latter, some of you may be saying “just use the audit…”

By Nevinson, C R W [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Pushing Back

Matthew Sackman wrote “Over the last year I’ve become more and more convinced that possibly the most important feature of any queuing system is the ability to take action immediately upon enqueuing of a new item, where the action can modify the queue, and is based on state of the queue itself. Most commonly, this is referred to…”

Herder: Automagic scheduling of a convention

Tom Parker wrote “About once a year I go off with about 30 of my friends and go and play role playing games and board games for a week in a big house out in the country. This is kinda awesome, but as we’ve increased the numbers we’ve been having fun with the scheduling. Namely, we need to…”