One of the greatest advantages of Ruby as a language is its simplicity. It has a lack of syntax and structure that lends it an elegance that is missing from more complex languages. Outsiders think that since it’s easy to read it must also be easy to write. But this is a false comparison: Ruby’s flexibility¹ often opens the door to mistakes. Building an elegant design is universally challenging.

It’s not only about the API

I’ve been working with Ruby for several years and in my opinion, a good example of how you can use things the wrong way are attribute accessors, especially attribute readers. Most…

I had finally finished to code the MVP of Alfred. Everything seemed perfect, the flow was simple and intuitive, the colours attractive and the whole system finally in place and live.

The beta tester

I decided to let one my friend try out and ask me something as if he were a customer; it turned pretty fast into a disaster.

I want you to find a flight around those dates for me and my girlfriend, be it as cheap as possible

That’s the kind of requests I was expecting, no problem. So I started to search and answer it as good as I…

First, work on the idea, like a lot

For Alfred, I easily went through the idea for 2 entire months, yes that’s a ton of time without doing anything visible. I was averaging 6 hours per day on thinking and noting. I was talking with friends and gathering business models ideas. I knew this would help with the marketing and the design afterwards, so I was willing to take my time, more than usual.

I used Notion to write up a series of steps that wouldn’t happen until much later. First I had to think about the spirit of the product, then what phases I should go through…

Do not start by the code

Despite having built up several projects, I realized this was the mistake I was doing, a huge one. I was choosing a tech and going with the flow. Except the code should be a tool you use at the very end, like a small detail in the project. Coding isn’t hard nor challenging after a few years of practice.

That’s what I had mastered the most, so I purposely removed it totally from the decision taking. The code or technology is not what leads the idea, but a simple tool to make it happen. …

I had several project ideas in my life, but never thought of writing up the process leading to the making of the MVP, or even the company building.

This time, I decided even if the idea may not work, I won’t let it fall into darkness, and share the knowledge I gathered throughout the conception. I’ll try to stay pragmatic so you can read up the big lessons I’ve learnt; may this help you avoid doing the mistakes I did.

The seed of Alfred

I travel a lot, and because of that I had to find alternatives to the usual shit bank you find…

Cet article est une retranscription d’un article rédigé sur mon [ancien] blog personnel le 28/02/2014

Les gens ont du mal à réaliser le nombre de propositions provenant de petits entrepreneurs qu’un développeur indépendant reçoit dans sa boite mail.

Je ne parle bien évidemment pas de super projets r̶a̶p̶i̶d̶e̶m̶e̶n̶t̶ payés et ne posant aucun problème technique, mais bien de fabuleuses offres sur lesquelles on te propose des parts sur la future société qui sera créée suivant le succès phénoménale du projet reposant quasi-entièrement sur ton développement.

Si tu me lis, c’est peut-être que j’ai préféré te renvoyer vers cet article plutôt…

What’s the problem ?

Recently, I was in charge of some heavy migrations in my company and I had to find a solution to make it smooth.

We work with Capistrano, and I couldn’t lock the deployment process for too long, which was the biggest problem. Some of those migrations were structural, and some were data related, updating hundreds thousands to millions of rows in the database.

I ended up writing a migration flow which was a mix of raw SQL, database schema changes through ActiveRecord, and asynchronous workers launched either from the migration itself or some rake tasks. …

If you weren’t living under a rock this past year, you noticed everyone turned into some kind of wall-street trader lately.

Well I’m writing now to tell out loud what some understood, but not all.

Nobody really knows what’s happening and where we are going. We just have theories and daily trading is the equivalent of going to the casino.

Now, let me confess something, I also went mental multiple times and tried to go for short positions thinking I was a smart ass. The thing is, it eventually crashes.

In fact, after one year in, I realised the cryptosphere…

Laurent Schaffner

I’m very bad at drawing

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