Jamie's Blog

Ruby developer. CTO. Swimmer. Always trying to write more

Appy New Year

I looked back over the past year to find the new apps that changed the way I work, those that lived up to their promise, and those which have earned their place on my laptop (or iPhone, or web browser).

ZoomIt (mac)

A great little app for inspecting...


Microconf Europe 2015

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Microconf Europe 2015

It’s been 3 weeks since Microconf Europe and I’m finally getting time to reflect on the experience. I felt like a seasoned veteran now that it was my second Microconf; last year’s conference in Prague was hand-down the best conference...


Why Rollbar is the exceptional Exception Tracker

2015 07 02 at 23.00

I’ve used a few exception trackers over the years: first Airbrake (I won a lifetime account way back when); BugSnag for about a year; and Rollbar for the past few years.1

What does an Exception Tracker do?

We all make mistakes. Sometimes we forget...


It's all about the (creative) process

Its all about the creative process

How do you get from a design to actual code?

That was my big question last week and, if you’re primarily a developer, you might be wondering the same thing.

I hear a lot of web designers talking about working in Sketch or Photoshop, but I just couldn...


Implementing HexGrids in Ruby

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One of my favourite board games is Tantrix. I can be played as a puzzle like Solitaire or as a competitive game. We picked it up in New Zealand over 10 years ago (it was invented there) and we played it in the evenings as we travelled around. The rules...


Analysing a List of Names for Gender

2015 05 26 at 22.51

WebSummit decided that sending the names of 3000 attendees to people who still hadn’t availed of their wonderful offer would be a great idea. Personally, I found it offensive to receive the email — and my name wasn’t even on the list. I wonder how...


Delegation for Founders

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At last night’s “Built in Cork” event, an audience member asked the panel about growing a team and how they let go of doing all the jobs themselves (I’m paraphrasing).

There were some good answers on the night but here’s mine:

Read ‘The E-Myth Revisited...


Scared / Proud

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I’m about to do something really scary. Something that is scaring the crap out of me but which, in moments of logical clarity, I’m confident that I can do. This is what it’s like to have a fixed mindset.

I’m a few hours away from my first open water...


A Book Journey for Non-technical Founders

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There’s a gazillion business books out there, everything from tactile guides to strategic visions, from dry textbooks to inspiration biographies. A lot of good books didn’t make this list1 but I think it represents a good “journey” from the fear and...


Show, don’t tell

Show dont tell

Our 7yo started horse riding last summer and she really loved it but a fall, various sicknesses and bad weather meant she hadn’t been going regularly since December. Naturally, she’d built up some resistance to going back: horse riding is scary, tiring...


The key to my best swimming

My best swims come when i…

I was pacing around the house this morning drinking a Berocca, looking for paracetamol and procrastinating about going to the pool. My back was really sore; I was tired; and was feeling sick (I’ve got some long-term stomach problems). When I arrived...


The Triangle Question

2015 04 23 at 13.30

I’m currently entertaining myself by working through the Ruby Koans which I’d somehow missed over the last few years.

Most of the questions are fairly mundane like

def test_iterating_with_each
  array = [1, 2, 3]
  sum = 0
  array.each do |item|
...

Zapier Marketing Automation for Consultants

2015 04 07 at 18.38

I’m rebuilding my consulting site as part of a wider process of marketing my services. One crucial part is how people contact me: I like to have a form because the typical emails I get are usually pretty vague, leading to even more vague and confusing...


Rebuilding my Consulting Site from scratch

Screenshot ideasasylum.com 2015 04 07 22 21 00

I’ve tried themes. Lots of themes. I always start with a theme and often customise it until it’s barely recognisable. I was on my third theme for my consulting site and it really wasn’t speaking to me. It was busy. It used all the modern things like...


SSL the easy way

2015 02 03 at 11.46 1

A long time ago I wrote up how to setup SSL with Rails 3.2, nginx and NameCheap. That will forever be known as “the hard way”. I still need to do things the hard way with my current project but for all new projects I’m going to take one of the easier...


Default has_one instances in Rails without the performance hit

2015 01 23 at 22.07

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
 ...

Schema vs Query-based Multitenancy

2014 11 23 at 23.17

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...


When you hire them, their problems are your problems

2014 11 13 at 22.08

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...


Can your entrepreneurial need be satisfied working for someone else?

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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...


The Ruby in Rails

2014 10 20 at 17.04

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...


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