Jamie's Weblog

Lessons of a startup CTO — and other things

Here I am!

Jamie Lawrence

Jamie Lawrence

I help non-technical founders start their business, build their product, get their first customers, and grow their technical team. I'm a generalist software engineer and I've worked with many different languages over the past 15 years but my current tool of choice is Ruby on Rails. I'm also an enthusiastic photographer and a novice archer

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November 7, 2013 0

Links from last night’s RubyCork meetup

Here’s a quick selection of links from last night’s RubyCork meetup: Schema_plus: A very nice gem that let’s you create indices within create_table migration jsRoutes incredibly useful gem which bring your Rails routes into your Javascript. Solves a big pain in modern rails apps. SelfControl for helping you to focus without distracting news sites/blogs etc. […]

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September 20, 2013 0

Sneaky Ruby tricks me again (and and && and or or ||)

You see, I had this little piece of code like: if last_statistic.blank? or last_statistic.different?(options) # do stuff end but I wanted to make it a bit more obvious what that condition represented so I changed it to create_new = last_statistic.blank? or last_statistic.different?(options) if create_new # do stuff end That should be the same, right? Right?! […]

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August 2, 2013 0

PSA: Strip your user’s (email address)

Help preserve your sanity by strip’ing your user’s email address unless you enjoy being confused by things-that-should-work-but-don’t when confronted by a email address like ‘ jamie@ideasasylum.com’. Rails makes this exceptionally easy by overriding the default setter: “`ruby class User < ActiveRecord::Base # … def email=(email) write_attribute :email, email.strip end end describe User do it ‘should […]

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July 14, 2013 0

Printing story cards from Pivotal Tracker

The advantage of tools like Pivotal Tracker is that you can easily collaborate online but, just occasionally, it’s nice to print out a stack of story cards, lay them out on a table and physically move them around. Pivotal Tracker doesn’t have a means of printing (yeah, I was surprised too) but there are several […]

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July 7, 2013 0

Ruby Markers for Sublime Text

Have you ever wondered how Avdi gets those results-as-comments in his Ruby Tapas episodes? I did. And apparently it’s one of the most asked questions he receives. The answer is xmpfilter and it comes with extensions for vi/Emacs. But if you’re a Sublime Text hacker like myself and mildly allergic to vi/Emacs, can you get […]

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July 2, 2013 0

The Beauty of Hopelessness

Since 1995, I went by the username hopeless as my online identity. In explaining it, I would tell the story of how when I went to university I was replaced by a puppy called Hope (from the Hope Valley near Sheffield — my mum barely waited an hour to find my replacement). But, in truth, […]

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June 14, 2013 0

Routine backups for your Rails Server

Problem: protecting your user’s data I recently wrote about using tarsnap to backup a linux server and that’s especially important with the recent revelations about PRISM. Tarsnap is “backups for the truly paranoid” but it’s only part of the story and perhaps isn’t the best route for all servers. With a Rails server, you can […]

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June 13, 2013 2

Just keep it simple!

Simple is boring. Simple is easy. Simple doesn’t get you noticed. But simple works! Here’s a frustrating experience I had today with a overly-complicated web form:

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June 11, 2013 0

Don’t fear the PRISM

I read this article at the weekend which argues that we should view the PRISM-debacle as an opportunity to start EU-specific internet services. I disagree in a few ways. The best are popular because they’re the best First, many of these services are popular not because they are unique but because they are the best. […]

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June 7, 2013 0

This is how I’d build PRISM

The big news in the tech world today is PRISM. This is supposedly a system installed at the major Internet providers like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo that lets the NSA access any user’s data. They’ve probably read the drafts of this post before you have The NSA document says that the “Collection directly from the […]

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