Greetings! My name is… well, I’m not sure. More on that later. My pronouns are they/them. More on that later too.
About a year ago, I began the process of “coming out” — revealing to the people in my life that I am not the gender that they perhaps thought I was. This Trans Day of Visibility I’d like to share the good and the bad of what this means for me, as the owner and main point of contact at Fish Percolator.
When a person is born, they are normally assigned a gender of “male” or “female” by a…
Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge fan of GNU/Linux (Linux to its friends) and I’ve used it almost exclusively as my main computer operating system for both home and work since the early 2000s.
I’ve also been a loyal Dropbox customer for as long as I can remember and a paying customer since 2014, partly on the strength of their great support for Linux.
So like many other Linux Dropbox users, I was dismayed when they announced a few months ago a new extremely bizarre policy: specifically, that they needed your Dropbox folder to be located on…
Seventeen years ago, seventeen people¹ spent a weekend in Utah and the world of software development changed forever.
The delegates emerged from that ski resort with a one-page document called the Agile Manifesto: four values, backed by twelve principles, which distilled all their combined industry transformation experience.
The Manifesto took the development world by storm. Some people recognised it for what it was: a state of mind; a culture shift. Some people tried to convert it to a set of processes and methodologies, which rather misses the point. But either way, everything changed.
Software does things. And when it does them, we often want to tell users what has happened. For example, telling them that something has saved successfully, or that an error has occurred.
There are many ways to do this, but one of my favourites is the Material Design snackbar. This is a small message that appears temporarily at the bottom of the screen to tell users that something has happened.
Docker also excels in production, and it wouldn’t take too much effort to tweak those Dockerfiles and deploy it to something like Rancher, if that’s how your organisation works.
However, I’m still a big fan of Heroku for deploying applications to production. It’s not the cheapest, and it has some flaws (not least that it still doesn’t support http/2), but the advantages are huge when you’ve only got a small team — getting metrics and…
I’ve been a huge fan of Ruby on Rails since the early days, and although the web world has moved on a lot since then, Rails still has a place in this landscape, for rapid app development with clean, maintainable code.
But the web world has changed. The rise of Progressive Web Apps (and mobile apps before them) has led to a world where users want a strong interactive interface from their web apps: clicking on links and downloading the next page of UI from the server feels like something people did in the 2000s.
Every software developer has to do their fair share of tech support, and I’m no exception.
Of course no software is perfect, especially if it is solving a complex problem, and sometimes things do go wrong. I also find myself supporting other people’s products in my volunteer capacity as “the one who knows about tech stuff”, so I’m used to emails asking for help with something not working the way it should be.
Very often, the first tech support email I get from someone has, as its main text, something along these lines:
“I cannot log in to Careview.”
Fish Percolator is a small software development house that often helps startups get their technology off the ground by turning someone’s ideas into a reality that they can click on and play with.
There are lots of other people out there doing what I do, but many of them avoid this important subject, perhaps because they know business owners don’t realise quite how important it is.
Oh hey! It’s been a long time since I posted anything on here! Inspired by a question over on Freelance Heroes, I thought I’d write a post about how to keep your web apps secure when you don’t have nerds on your payroll.
Web apps: it’s almost impossible to run a business now without one. Even if your business just has a basic website, chances are it runs on something like WordPress. If your business is in charge of anything on the web that you or your customers can log into, then this article is for you.
I’ve heard this…
One of the common challenges I face as a software developer is explaining what I do in lay terms. Why would someone hire Fish Percolator instead of, say, a web developer or a digital agency?
Within the industry, there is terminology to describe this distinction: web developers typically build websites, and software developers typically build applications (or “apps”).