The weekend from #BlackFriday to #CyberMonday is usually a good opportunity to buy things at discounted prices. But if you work in e-commerce (as we do in Sawyer Effect), it’s also when digital stores are put to the test and if things go wrong it could represent big losses.

If you are in charge of the development and/or operations, you need to be ready for the spike of users and purchases to avoid any major outage or problem. In this article, I’ll share some of the things that we have learned that can help you get through successfully.

Plan ahead

“¿No es la vida cien veces demasiado breve para aburrirnos?” — Nietzsche

Hay días en los que hay que dar un paso hacia el vacío y esperar lo mejor.

Hace un par de semanas decidí inscribirme para correr medio maratón y antes de hacerlo encontré muchas razones para no hacerlo:

  • Nunca he corrido más de 10km.
  • El entrenamiento empezaría durante el invierno.
  • Tendría que comprometerme a hacer más de 50 sesiones de entrenamiento.
  • Los lugares estaban agotados y solo me podría inscribir si lograba juntar donativos para una asociación.

Durante las últimas 2 semanas de entrenamiento, he encontrado algunas razones…

Change is something scary. We tend to stay in our comfort zone to avoid losing what we already have. Some of us would rather have a world that is predictable and stable most of the time.

Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.

But we live in an unpredictable world full of different choices. And that will sometimes make your plans useless and to question what you believe now. What was appropriate and useful before can be an impediment now, but unless you accept, it can be difficult not to resist change.

On Kent Beck’s book about…

Some ideas about things I’ve learned over the last years on what it takes to write world class software.

  1. Deliberate Practice

As a software professional, you are always facing new challenges and changes in the technologies being used.

Also, your clients expect the best from you, the same way you go to a concert and expect the musicians to perform.

That is why it’s important to have focused time to learn and practice what it’s needed.

2. Empathy

Since you need to understand your clients, collaborate with your teammates, you need to cultivate this art in able to perform better.

Hace 4 años aproximadamente me inicie en el mundo de Ruby y fue para mí, como para muchos otros un parte aguas para poder encontrar nuevas maneras de hacer las cosas y modos de pensar que nos invitaban a desafiar lo conocido, pero sobre todo era la puerta a una comunidad vibrante y abierta.

Con estos antecedentes y gracias al impulso de Gilberto y tras contactar a varios interesados convoque a una reunión de donde surgieron los eventos mensuales de RubyGDL en un panorama que era muy diferente al actual, con muy pocas comunidades y eventos por mes.

Durante estos…

Today is a good day to start

Reading Gary Bernhardt’s post TDD, Straw Men, and Rhetoric you can find this very insightful paragraph:

TDD is useful and test isolation is useful, but they both involve making trade-offs. Unfortunately, doing them 100% of the time seems to be the best way to learn what those trade-offs are, and that can temporarily lead beginners toward extremism. TDD and isolation both break down in some situations, and learning to detect those situations in advance takes a lot of time. This is true of advanced techniques in any discipline, programming or otherwise.

So yes, TDD is an advanced technique and it…

How to get things done

No matter if you use post-its, complicated lists or simple reminders. Everyday you accomplish things.

If you are not happy with the things you achieved today (or yesterday), ask yourself what do you really want to do.

If you feel overwhelmed by the things you “have” to do, maybe you should ask yourself how many of those are truly yours.

If you feel like you are not doing anything valuable, maybe you are taking the wrong decisions or you haven’t clarified your values.

The only person stopping you to do what you want is yourself.

If you truly want something, you will do it, but probably the hardest part is not doing the things you don’t want to.

Dentro de cada roca se esconde una flor.

¿Alguna vez has mirado el cielo que se abre dentro de ti?

Cierra los ojos y respira la luz,

bebe lentamente el silencio

y deja que el aire llene tu mirada.

En las noches lluviosas

no recuerdas el canto de la luna

o el sonido de los colores.

Has olvidado la primavera.


Dentro de cada roca se esconde una flor.

Dentro de cada hombre se esconde el amor.


We can all be part of an amazing future


It all started when Ron Evans gave a talk about teaching kids to program, it open my eyes to a future I haven’t seen yet. Some years later he also gave me a really nice present, a robotic ball called Sphero.

My girlfriend is a language teacher and we have been playing with the idea to write an app where you could talk to it and respond, for helping people to learn a new language, but then last week when I read this in an article called “Robots as Tools, Toys and Teachers”:

You can, for example, program the ball…


Inspired by the book: “The war of Art”

If you are like me, there is a difference between the image of yourself in your greatest moments of inspiration and the actual person that carries your daily life.

There have been a lot times where you have thought about fulfilling your dreams and do the things you always say you want to do.

But you have an enemy that has beaten you most of the times and either you don’t know it or you have used your mind to justify your excuses.

If you really want to achieve what you want and express it in your life, you have…

Javier Cervantes

Software Engineer @SawyerEffect

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