• Is no QA the way to go?

  • There’s no getting away from it, quality is a whole team responsibility. If you’re aiming for Continuous Delivery, then you’ll recognise one of the core principles of Continuous Delivery is to “Build quality in”.

    If you’ve heard of lean development, then you will no doubt have heard of the principle of “The Toyota Production System” of “building quality into” software.

    It’s inevitable then, that there will be a tension between filling that “QA” role and building a team of “T-Shaped people” who treat quality as a first class citizen. Read More »

  • Avoid using switch-case statements

  • Recently I’ve been asked why switch-case statements should be avoided, it turns out to be a pretty common question, and although I’m pretty happy with the reasoning of switch statements being less readable and maintainable, I had forgotten the source of this wisdom so I thought it would be worth revisiting.

    Read More »

  • How I stopped worrying about servers and learned to love serverless

  • I first heard of the term “serverless” in about 2015, probably around the time that the “Serverless Framework” launched, October 2015.

    I next heard about “serverless” about a year later, only this time, it was used on the much broader topic of “Serverless Computing”, around June/July time there seemed to be a huge push from InfoQ on this topic, in particular at QCon London.

    According to many, the concept of “serverless” really only became a reality in 2014 when Amazon Web Services (AWS) launched their functions as a service (FaaS) “Lambda” service, allowing you to run Node.js code in the cloud on demand, without really any knowledge or care for the servers they run on.

    Around 2016 there was lots of talk of FaaS (functions as a service), PaaS (platform as a service), and the benefits of the serverless architecture, which was really encouraging and began to feel like it was ready for “prime time”.

    In November 2016, I wrote an article entitled “Will the last person to leave turn the LAMP off?”, which was a play on words, a nod to serverless and an introduction to the concept of “stackless”.

    Think about it, the “stack” is becoming less important; who cares about what hardware you’re running, platform you’re on, service you’re using, or even operating system, so long as it does what you need it to do.

    Gone are the days where you need to buy or rent part or all of a physical server in a data centre somewhere, perhaps near to docklands London, as is financially viable. The concept of “serverless” only helps to cement this idea.

    So when it came to rewriting a legacy API the idea of using AWS API Gateway and Lambda felt like it might be the right way to go. Read More »

  • Microservices - Managing the flow of data

  • There’s a number of companies that have been pioneering the microservices architectural style, including Amazon, Netflix, The Guardian, the UK Government Digital Service and But is it living up to the hype?

    “Microservices is a label and not the description” - Martin Fowler

    You can think of Microservices much like Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), an architectural approach, rather than a technical implementation, like Enterprise Service Bus (ESB).

    It is therefore not a silver bullet and it’s easy to get things wrong.

    Read More »

  • Agile, what’s it all about?

  • Why does the agile software development exist? What’s it all about? Why do people use it? Who uses it? How do you use it?

    It’s about communication and flexibility, delivering business value sooner, breaking work down into manageable chunks and even automated testing.

    It’s a way to provide businesses with the discipline and focus needed to maintain agility and sustainably deliver customer value.

    Read More »

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