The Bamboo Blog

Our thoughts on agile development and web technology

  1. Oscar Barlow

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


    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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  2. Tony Marklove

    Custom ActiveMerchant Gateway Connections


    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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  3. Makoto Inoue

    London d3.js Meetup #5


    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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  4. Laurie Young

    How to tell when your agile project will be done


    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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  5. Lee Machin

    Rails Girls London, Second Workshop


    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

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  6. Oliver Legg

    Presenters on Rails – The Discussion


    It’s always good to get some feedback on a blog post. I was pleased when several members of makandra GmbH took the time to watch, analyse and discuss my recent screencast about Presenters in Rails.

    makandra published a blog post with their thoughts. I responded to several of their comments and decided to also post them here.

    (Henning) Bad: The presenter accessors don’t do any typecasting, so everything is a string all the time. This could have been done more elegantly.
    (Arne) Bad: No automagic type casting on attributes – this can’t be fun and there surely is a way to get it.

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  7. Laurie Young

    3 Reasons You Shouldn't Ask Developers to Plan Beyond 1 Sprint


    Congratulations! You are now the Product Owner on an Agile project. Maybe your boss gave you the role, or perhaps you’re working with an agile agency and you volunteered after learning a little about it. Either way, now you have a problem: people are already asking you “When will the product be ready?”

    It doesn’t matter if it’s your boss wanting to know when you will deliver the product, or if it’s your customers wanting to know when they can use shiny new features, or even if it’s the voice in the back of your mind wondering when you can ship the Next Big Thing. Someone wants to know.

    I heard that deadlines are un-agile?

    Businesses need some form of timeline for many valid reasons (and some invalid, but emotionally charged ones). A couple of examples: budgeting is highly time sensitive, and marketing campaigns take a long time to plan and orchestrate. Often also market demand is time sensitive - imagine launching a Valentine’s Day app on the 15th of February. Deliver too late and you will find your customers have moved on.

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  8. Makoto Inoue

    London d3.js Meetup 4


    <img src=”” width=590 alt=”enter stage left” />

    Our 4th meetup was held at the Skimlinks office.

    We had about 70 people in the meetup twice as big as the last meetup.
    Special thanks to @CiaranR, and @skimlinks people for providing the venue, pizzas and beers again (it’s the first time we ran out of Peroni).

    We had 2 speakers, Tim Ruffles(@timruffles) and Alastair Maw(@herebebeasties) and here are the links to each talk.

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

    “Visualising code in d3.js” By Tim Ruffles

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  9. Tony Marklove

    Code Review with Github


    In my last blog post we took an overview of using code reviews to increase communication and knowledge sharing between remote teams in Agile projects.

    Since we use GitHub it was natural to turn to them for code reviews. Happily GitHub’s code review tools are very nice.

    Much of this will be familiar to you if you already use GitHub, but for clarity here is the step-by-step process:

    1. Work on a new feature branch
    2. Merge feature branch to the staging server so that it is visible for QA (Quality Assurance)
    3. Push feature branch and create a Pull Request
    4. Wait for QA and Code Review
    5. Merge the Pull Request

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  10. Tony Marklove

    Code Review for Remote Teams


    There is nothing like face-to-face contact to get an important point across or to fully benefit from planned (and unplanned) team interactions. Still, there are times where it’s just not possible.

    I’ve been working with a client in Kent over the past few months. Clearly, it’s not practical to move the entire New Bamboo team down from London for the day. To complicate things further, the client has development teams in multiple places around the UK.

    We needed to find ways to still get the benefits of Agile, even though the circumstances force a setup that wouldn’t normally be conducive to it. After a few iterations, we developed several ways of doing this. One of these which I’d like to share with you is…

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