What does it mean when someone says they ‘merged the code’?
I wrote this blog post because one day the designer on my team said to one of the developers: “in the Stand Up today, you said that you’d merged the code, but what does that actually mean?”
I didn’t used to be a developer but I’ve always worked closely with development teams and hearing that question took me back to my non-development days: having a pretty good idea of how things were going on a piece of work by hearing words like merge, pull request and deploy, and understanding…
In June a group of FT developers came together for a magical day of sugar and sun fuelled writing in an effort to improve our documentation. By the time we were done we’d improved the quality of the runbooks of our most critical (Platinum tier) systems by 25%, achieved at least 90% ‘usefulness’ on all of them, and shared some hotly contested trophies. We called it ‘Documentation Day 2019’, and I’m going to tell you how we did it.
At the Financial Times, we often find ourselves having to update tens to hundreds of GitHub repositories at a time. For example, pinning a node version if there is a security patch. For work like this, we kept hitting the same problem — how do you know which repositories need updating?
This led to the development of
ebi, a GitHub repository search tool.
This post is a loose follow up to one I wrote a year ago about recording what I was learning each day as a new developer — at the time some of my teammates and I were keeping a record for ourselves whenever we came across something new. Soon after, in one of our retrospective meetings, we discussed that although it’s brilliant that we all learn so much all the time it would be great if we could make it a more shared experience.
And so was born the creatively titled ‘This week I learnt’, which was quickly and snappily…
A couple of years ago a Deaf colleague, Ben, joined our team and was regularly accompanied in the office by an interpreter. It quickly became clear that the chaotic and ad-hoc process we used for conducting our meetings made it difficult for Ben and his interpreter to gain value from them.
After taking just a few minutes to understand what about our meetings were difficult for Ben we came up with some guidelines for the team to use.
The main problems that Ben and his interpreter were having during our meetings were as follows:
By the time I was 24 I had been on a diet for ten years. There was the Atkins Diet, the Dukan Diet, Weight Watchers, the Intermittent fasting diet; the three months I only ate cereal; the time I ate Ambrosia rice pudding pots for every meal (coined ‘the white food phase’ by my mum); the time I discovered half a cabbage and three slices of ham was only 150 calories and ate it, with a tea spoon of mustard, every day for a term at uni; the going out for meals and scouring the menu for what looked like…
Fast forward a year and I’m now officially spending 50% of my time developing for the FT, and soon I hope that will be 100%.
Developer at the Financial Times