The Bamboo Blog

Our thoughts on agile development and web technology

  1. Oscar Barlow

    Join us: we're looking for a Head of Account Management

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    We’re getting more business than Gwyn can deal with on his own. That means we have an exciting problem to solve: we need to hire a Head of Account Management. We’re looking for someone who will joyfully spend every minute of their day making sure our live clients are happy, looking for new partnerships, and setting up projects.

    We believe in getting deeply involved in our clients’ businesses, building a relationship as their technical partner rather than as a ship-it-and-move-on shop. Our approach is personal, it’s time-consuming, and it’s completely worthwhile.

    If that sounds like your sort of thing, find out more here: http://new-bamboo.co.uk/careers

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  2. Oliver Nightingale

    Keeping development logs under control

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    For deployed Rails apps it is good practise to set up log rotation to prevent the production logs filling up the server’s disk. Usually this is achieved with logrotate or similar.

    When developing locally your Rails app will also be logging, both in development and in test environments. If you have been working on a project for a long period of time you may find that a large amount of your disk space is being taken up by your development logs.

    You may find it useful to set up log rotation locally to ensure that your development and test logs don’t get out of hand.

    newsyslog

    OS X comes with newsyslog, a tool for rotating log files, similar to logrotate. OS X uses this for managing the system logs and you can see the configuration for these at /etc/newsyslog.conf and inside /etc/newsyslog.d/. We will use this to manage truncating our development logs.

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  3. Oscar Barlow

    Video: Sam Whiting explains Lencioni's 5 Dysfunctions of a Team

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    Good teamwork is an intangible but sustainable advantage that your competitors are going to find it really hard to copy. You can be backed up by finance and the best technology, but if your teams are dysfunctional, you’re probably going to see suboptimal outcomes.

    Our scrum master Sam Whiting gave a talk on Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team to the London Agile Practitioners meetup recently which gives you five symptoms to look out for in a dysfunctional team. He’s seen many of these symptoms myself, and in the video he shares the ways he’s learned to combat them.

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  4. Lee Machin

    Deploying Rails 4 on Heroku

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    Rails 4 was released a short while ago, and it’s usually good practice to keep your app up to date. Improved performance makes for a better development experience as much as it benefits the users in production; security fixes are equally valuable just for the peace of mind; and getting all of it done sooner rather than later invariably means fewer headaches while fixing your code.

    The last thing you want to worry about when performing such an upgrade, though, is a bunch of strange errors that stop you dead in your tracks when you try to deploy it. Why does the app connect to Redis when precompiling the assets? Why are none of the things in the public folder displaying correctly? This is a particular problem when using Heroku, which for the time being requires extra configuration and set up to run a Rails 4 app.

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  5. Oscar Barlow

    Video: London d3.js meetup #4 with Tim Ruffles and Alastair Maw

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    A few months ago we filmed the May London d3.js meetup. You can read a report of the meetup in a blog post we published at the time. I’m pleased to say that the recording is now online - the video below contains presentations from both speakers:
    * “Visualising code in d3.js” by Tim Ruffles, and
    * “Realtime time series visualisation” by Alastair Maw

    We filmed the June meetup too, and will be publishing that shortly. Register for the July d3.js meetup on the Lanyrd group.

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  6. Tony Marklove

    Custom ActiveMerchant Gateway Connections

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    Choosing a payment processor is always a tricky decision. There are various technical and business factors that can influence the decision. We have been working with a client who needed to act effectively as an escrow service between customers and the service providers they were in partnership with. This is a business model that not all merchant account providers are willing to accept.

    The merchant account that the client ended applying for would only accept Ogone as the payment gateway. Not one I have personally used before, but luckily there was already an ActiveMerchant implementation.

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  7. Makoto Inoue

    London d3.js Meetup #5

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    Our 5th meetup was held at the Skimlinks office.

    Special thanks to @skimlinks for providing the venue, pizzas and beers again.

    We had 2 speakers, Peter Cook(@prcweb) and Alistair Jones(@apcj) and here are the links to each talk.

    (NOTE: We took videos again, and hopefully will update them once edited)

    “Ten Visualisations of a Single Dataset using D3” By Peter Cook

    “Drawing graphs: arrows are beautiful” By Alistair Jones

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  8. Laurie Young

    How to tell when your agile project will be done

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    Working out when your Agile project will finish is easy - you just divide the number of points remaining by the velocity, right? Well it turns out it’s a bit harder than that.

    In my last post, I said that as the Product Owner, you are the only one who can answer the question “when will the project be finished?”. However, the one thing you don’t get to do is decide when a specific feature, or collection of features will be done. The universe just doesn’t work that way (sorry!). The best you can do is take the data you have and use them to estimate how long it’ll take to get through the work remaining.

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  9. Lee Machin

    Rails Girls London, Second Workshop

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    Rails Girls Kitties

    We are pleased to announce that we are sponsoring the second Rails Girls event in London, to be held on the 21st and 22nd of June.

    Friday evening will consist of a short installation party and a chance for attendees and coaches to introduce each other. On Saturday, the Rails Girls coaches will help you to design, code and deploy your first Rails app.

    If you’re interested in attending, apply now. All you need is a laptop, an active imagination and a willingness to learn.

    If you’d like to know more, check out railsgirls.com.

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