Seven values, from “Break down Barriers”, to “Have a sense of humour, always”, together with a wish from our director Charlotte to bring our values to life, proved to be enough inspiration to spend a fun afternoon hacking together a live values dashboard.

The idea? Put an Amazon Dash button on each card, make people vote for the value they’ll carry out throughout the day by pushing the button on the card when they enter the office, and display a live dashboard of “most voted values”.

While our dashboard certainly piqued the interest of colleagues, ranging from “this is cool!”, to mild curiosity, to “what the hell is this?”, we really did this as a fun exercise in turning a simple idea into an actual scalable product in a short time frame and using our familiar serverless stack. …


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Update (May 2019): try it out for yourself at https://hotdog-or-not.netlify.com/

Ever since the “Not Hotdog” app featured on HBO’s Silicon Valley, and Tim Anglade’s comprehensive article on how they built this with TensorFlow, I felt challenged to reproduce this with less code and a serverless computing model.

Now, thanks to the fantastic course from fast.ai and the release of Lambda Layers at re:Invent last year, I have finally managed to train a model (with an accuracy of 93% on this Kaggle dataset) and deploy it to a Lambda function using a PyTorch layer and the serverless framework. …


Continuously delivering software to production systems is a key part of building great digital products and creating a culture of agility within different teams. In this post, I will share our recipes for building pipelines centered around Concourse CI.

Pipelines at Comic Relief

It does take time and perseverance to build pipelines that are trusted by different teams, starting with your engineering and product folk and all the way to your business stakeholders. Though once everyone has seen the power of continuous delivery, it is something that quickly becomes key to every project. …


It has been over a year since we first embarked on our serverless journey at Comic Relief, and our functions have been happily running in production ever since. We’ve invoked over 40 different functions — millions of times — and spent no more than a couple of hundred dollars, most of which spent on invoking functions hammering our servers as part of load testing.

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We built APIs on top of various databases, simplified our contact service, built a step counter service for UK schools participating in our billion steps challenge for Sport Relief, run a UK schools lookup service, and are currently converting our main donation platform to a serverless application. …


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Image by Jeff Geerling

Two weeks ago, I presented our story of rebuilding rednoseday.com on Drupal 8 at DrupalCon Baltimore, Drupal’s largest gathering with an attendance of over 3000!

I talked about our journey of building a product to power all our editorial websites at Comic Relief (see my previous blog post), and focused on three topics: editor experience, automation & streamlining, and using decoupled services.

So far, our product ecosystem proudly powers www.rednoseday.com, and the upcoming Red Nose Day USA Campaign, and we are currently working hard to bring www.comicrelief.com on board as well!

Check out the video of my presentation (audio+slides)

or the slides only.

Cross-posted from the Comic Relief Technology Blog


As part of our objectives in 2016, we set out to solve a recurring problem at Comic Relief: how can we build an engaging, fast and secure fundraising campaign website — the likes of rednoseday.com and sportrelief.com — in a couple of months? How can we make sure that editors are able to create compelling landing pages that reach their different audiences?

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Technology-wise, we have been recycling codebases for the campaign site year after year, carrying tech debt together with bad development practices from one year into the next, leading to all sorts of issues, but mainly obstructing technical innovation from the start. …


As part of our objectives in 2016, we set out to solve a recurring problem at Comic Relief: how can we build an engaging, fast and secure campaign website — the likes of rednoseday.com and sportrelief.com — in a couple of months? How can we make sure that editors are able to create compelling landing pages that reach their different audiences?

Technology-wise, we have been recycling codebases for the campaign site year after year, carrying tech debt together with bad development practices from one year into the next, leading to all sorts of issues, but mainly obstructing technical innovation from the start. …


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At Marzee Labs we like to build static sites. In this blog post, we’re sharing an ingredient list to build a new static site — including a deployment and testing pipeline — in less than an hour. Best of all, all these tools are for free if you code in the open!

Typically, static site generators compile a list of markdown and template files into HTML. Funnily, the name “static” is somewhat of an oxymoron. …


Europe is again getting ready for the DrupalCon, the annual gathering of Drupal dev and business in Europe. This year we are playing a home game since the conference will be held in Barcelona!

We are helping out with the program and would like to invite you to submit sessions for the Front-end and Business and Strategy tracks. The deadline for proposal submission is 8 June midnight CEST, so don’t hesitate further and submit a session!

Front end track

Our own João Belchior is the front-end track chair. He is looking for sessions that inspire and excite front end developers to share their stories, from their favourite tools and frameworks to topics like typography or solving new design problems. …


Planning the structure of a Drupal project is important. At Marzee Labs, we’ve developed some pretty robust methodologies over time to approach new Drupal projects, and in this post we’ll outline some of these tools and processes that help us get off the ground in no time. While some of the topics are probably familiar (Drupal makefiles, installation profiles and such) you might learn some new tips and tricks to make your next Drupal project just that tiny bit more automated and run smooth.

The blueprint of any Drupal project: the makefile

Any project we start has to have a makefile. Full stop. Requiring that every module, library or theme we use — be it from drupal.org, github, or any other source — is documented in a single file, is a great way to quickly get the gist of any drupal project. …

About

Peter Vanhee

Passionate technologist. Founder and director @marzeelabs @weareserverless. ex-head of technology @comicrelief

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