Jamie's Blog

Lessons from a life of startups, coding, countryside, and kids

2015 01 23 at 22.07

Default has_one instances in Rails without the performance hit

My first ill-fated attempt

A while ago, I added an optional profile object for our users. I thought, in my haste, that the easiest way to provide an default profile instance would be like this:

class User < ActiveRecord::Base
  has_one :profile

2014 11 23 at 23.17

Schema vs Query-based Multitenancy

Most SaaS application are “multi-tenancy” to some extent (i.e., host more than one customer on the same system) but typically the term is reserved for apps that have company accounts, each with multiple users, authorisations etc. These companies would...

2014 11 13 at 22.08

When you hire them, their problems are your problems

As a young corporal in the Air Training Corps, one of the most valuable lessons I learnt was:

You can delegate responsibilty but you cannot delegate accountability

What does that mean? It means that when you delegate a task to a subordinate, you...

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Can your entrepreneurial need be satisfied working for someone else?

I was listening to a recent episode of the Fizzle show where they announced the departure of one of their team. Caleb was a founding member of Fizzle but is leaving to start his own business, and it prompted them to ask:

Can you be satisfied, entrepreneurially...

2014 10 20 at 17.04

The Ruby in Rails

Back in August I did a short talk at Corkdev about the features of Ruby that make Rails so easy to work with.

The aim was to show off Rails to a general tech audience but without being all preachy about it. So instead I flew through the actual Rails...

2014 10 20 at 21.50

Generating a hierarchical graph with Rails & Javascript

At WorkCompass, we can import a .csv file of employees from a customer but, as anyone who’s done anything with CSV files knows, you need a lot of validation to make sure the data is clean. Among the automated checks are some manual things like “these...

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We killed them and didn’t even notice

We’ve killed 50% of the wildlife on this planet in the past 40 years. Does that disturb you? Probably not, I suspect.

Most people will walk past a rustle in the bushes not realising that a Blackbird is foraging in there. They’ll drive past the flock...

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Is the Apple Watch ‘good’?

So Apple finally announced their watch and everyone can claim they predicted it. As a piece of design, it is pretty nice, much cheaper than I’d have expected and will be sure to gather a fervent following of fans. To be honest, I think the design is...

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Business is about happiness

There’s an attitude that business is about money. It’s not. Or, at least, it shouldn’t be. The thing that business does is to exchange goods and services for money; but at the core, it’s not about money, and it’s not driven by money.

If it was about...

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How to Build a Raspberry Pi Camera Trap

I started with a low-tech footprint tunnel to get proof of our local hedgehogs but that was never going to be enough. I had a Raspberry Pi sitting in a drawer that wasn’t getting much love so, after a little googling a Raspberry Pi Camera Trap, aka...

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