James Mead by James Mead

Monday Links - Week 237


Work through exercises in a handful of different languages, and get feedback from other people who’ve worked through the same exercise. I’ve been using this for the past week, and it’s been quite fun to see what people think about little bits of code. I’m slightly concerned that it will lead to a mono-culture of “best practices”, and I see the same feedback about certain techniques handed down from person to person, but I still think there’s definitely merit in the idea. JA

Object Playground

This site includes not only The Definitive Guide to Object-Oriented JavaScript by James Shore of Let’s Code: Test-Driven JavaScript, but also a natty way to visualize the objects created by any JavaScript that you type in. JM


A hosted pairing development system; basically it spins up a VPS instance and lets you easily SSH into it, edit files using a local editor (syncing the files up to the VPS) or a web-based one, and then run your app in development mode on the VPS. Pretty neat, although I really don’t like the colour scheme :) JA

Using SASS on gov.uk

It’s no substitute to seeing our old GDS colleague Edd deliver his talk, but there’s still lots of useful information tucked into his slides. I thought the SASS solutions he came up when we worked with him were simple and flexible, particularly adding right-to-left text. Definitely worth reading. TW

Running a real site powered by Docker

I did some playing with Docker last week, and was really impressed with how easy it was to get a simple app or process running within a container. I’m hopefully that it will soon be trivial for me to have a single VPS running several “containerized” applications and processes, and be able to deploy new apps very easily, using this kind of technology. JA

Egypt after Morsi

It’s a strange new media world we live in where one of the most interesting documentaries about the current state of Egypt comes from Vice. Not what you’d necessarily expect from the creators of (the also excellent) Dalston Superstars. TW

OS X Screencast to animated GIF

This is a gist showing how to create an animated GIF screencast using only free OS X tools: QuickTime, ffmpeg, and gifsicle. JM

IMVU’s Approach to Integrating Quality Assurance with Continuous Deployment

Tom gave a great presentation at FutureLearn last week about the business case behind continuous deployment. Following on from that I enjoyed reading this (admittedly old) article about how the lean-startup gurus think about quality and QA. This paragraph stood out:

We’ve found that the costs we incur – typically bugs or unpolished but functional features – are worthwhile in the name of getting feedback from our customers as quickly as possible about our product innovations. The sooner we have feedback from our customers, the sooner we know whether we guessed right about our product decisions and the sooner we can choose to either change course or double down on a winning idea.

Striking a balance between polishing features and shipping them fast is a tough problem, but one worth perfecting. JM

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