The FT hosted it’s second London Serverless meetup on Wednesday 11th October. Around 60 people from across London came to hear about Serverless in the FT’s Conference Suites.
What’s serverless? Serverless is the aggregation of third party services (e.g. data stores), including ones that run simple business functions (Functions As A Service, known as FaaS). AWS Lambda is one of the best known of these. See; Serverless Architectures from Martin Fowler for more. Although it gets it’s name from not involving servers directly, everything runs on third party servers underneath…
At this meetup Yan Cui, Senior Developer at Space Ape Games spoke about “Lambda stories from the trenches“ where he described some of the problems they have faced and gone on to solve running their Mobile games platform on a Serverless Architecture. Yan is a prolific blogger, check out some of his posts here; https://hackernoon.com/@theburningmonk
Ant Stanley then did a live demo of the new serverless framework (https://arc.codes/) released recently by Brian Le Roux and his team at Begin. A great framework if you’re focused on using serverless for websites or chat bots. Ant also over-ordered far too much pizza and drinks…
We have another Serverless meetup due on 15th November – please sign up here if you are interested in watching this area evolve.
Tl;dr For hackathons and things, insecure database solutions can save you a big wodge of time and Chrome extensions are a very versatile tool.
The other week, I took part in the FT’s annual internal hackathon. My team and I decided to play with our idea of bringing video-game-style ‘achievements’ into FT.com, with the aim of encouraging exploration and discovery of the site. It was great fun! Check it out:
I got to try out some cringe-inducingly sloppy but highly effective techniques for quickly building rich prototypes. I’m not sure I should really be proud of them but I am. Continue reading “Constructive sloppiness”
We’ve just published two new legal documents to the hosted version of the polyfill service, Polyfill.io. If you’re hosting your own version of the polyfill service, these documents don’t affect you – they only apply to people using a version of the polyfill service that we host.
The terms of service document describes what you can expect from us when you use Polyfill.io on your site, and the actions you, as a user, might take that would cause us to revoke your access to Polyfill.io.
Why have we added these documents?
As for the Terms of Service, Polyfill.io usage has been climbing since we launched it 3 years ago, and is now used by sites around the world. At the FT we both maintain the open source project and host Polyfill.io for free (and Fastly provides free global caching on their CDN). The Terms of Service help ensure we can keep doing this.
What it means for users of Polyfill.io
Moving to Continuous Delivery and a Quality Focused Process
We’re all familiar with the waterfall approach of software development. It keeps skill-sets in silos and, from a tester point of view, we were the ones squeezed for time when projects overran.
Adopting agile in the latest Membership Programme incarnation at the Financial Times many years ago started to make a change. The concept of starting to break work into smaller pieces and working much closer to one unit as a team removed the big bang approach of these problems. Ultimately they still existed. Like most development teams our testers were outnumbered by developers, but ultimately had as much if not more to do. The introduction of automated testing if anything made matters worse. When you’re new to agile you can struggle to work out where to build automated tests into the process. We agreed that they needed to be part of the sprint from day one, but this meant we still had split skill-sets – manual and automated testers. Both were needed to get the work done.Continue reading “Removing the Tester Safety Net”
At the Financial Times we’ve recently released a new version of our website, FT.com. “Next FT”, as we’ve come to know it, is now the default experience for our users, and so far it’s proving to be a great one: It’s faster, it’s nicer, it’s better; a success across the board . Yet there’s an aspect of our new site we have largely overlooked: accessibility (a11y).
In this post we will explore what web accessibility is, why it’s important, the current state of accessibility at FT.com and the work we’re doing to improve it.
Approximately a year has passed since Salesforce announced the new Lightning experience. And what a year for Salesforce! At first I thought ‘this is going to take a while, there’s going to be a learning curve, probably known bugs to deal with’, we tentatively started switching on the New Lightning Experience to play around with the new User Interface. In a short while we tested some visualforce pages embedded in the new Salesforce application. Finally, this summer we made the leap to building the first Lightning components and Lightning application.
One of my favourite series as a child was ‘The Flash’. He could miraculously find himself from his home dressed in pyjamas, down the street in front of a shop window within seconds. When I built my first Lightning app this year, the images from ‘The Flash’ running around with the speed of light immediately came to my mind. Three words: fast, simple, beautiful. No wonder they named it Lightning.Continue reading “The Year of Lightning”
“The game centres on a model of a donkey named “Roo” (or “Buckaroo”). The mule begins the game standing on all four feet, with a blanket on its back. Players take turns placing various items onto the mule’s back without causing the mule to buck up on its front legs, throwing off all the accumulated items.” – Wikipedia, Buckaroo!