James Mead by James Mead

Week 442 - Interesting links

Open API Standards for UK Banking

I was interested to read of the release of v1.0.0 of Open Banking Read/Write API specifications. I assume this is the result of the Competition & Markets Authority’s report into retail banking. At first glance this looks promising, although it’s not obvious how soon we’re going to see any implementations. JM

Refactoring - Not on the backlog!

I think this old article contains a good explanation of why it’s better to embed refactoring into your day-to-day development, rather than rely on scheduling time explicitly for refactoring. JM

Child benefit tax calculator is missing pre-tax pension contribution field

I was fascinated to see this pull request by Matthew Somerville in which he highlights some confusion in the Child benefit tax calculator on GOV.UK. On the one hand, it’s great that the source code is open allowing Matthew to read the code to understand the calculations; on the other hand, it’s a real shame that he can’t interact more directly with the subject matter expert in the relevant department. Matthew also legitimately suggests that GOV.UK do some user testing on this application. JM

Why large technology programmes fail and what to do instead

Dave Rogers and Arif Harbott discuss some of the reasons why large technology projects fail to deliver - particularly in the context of the public sector. The sustained delivery capability the authors advocate is based on an alternative way of running public sector technology projects pioneered at places like our current client GDS and the Ministry of Justice where Dave is the CTO. CL

Cooling the tube – Engineering heat out of the Underground

This is a brilliantly detailed look at why it’s so hard to keep the London Underground cool and how the problems might be solved. JM


A new train journey planning website helping make sense of the ridiculously complicated UK rail network ticket pricing. JM

Introduction to parser combinators

James Coglan has prepared this article to as pre-reading for next week’s London Computation Club meeting on parsers. It’s a fantastic overview of how to build increasingly capable systems by combining simple functional pieces. CL

How to Create a MOOC in 28 Days

We’ve occasionally talked about writing on-line courses to generate an alternative revenue stream, so I was interested to read this article about creating a MOOC on the teachable platform. JM

Monzo’s 2017 Annual Report

I really appreciate that Monzo’s transparency allows them to be so open with their annual accounts and reports. CR

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