Automated API testing

catmemeDeveloping microservices with RESTful APIs means a large amount of testing will involve hitting endpoints and checking the results. From the tester’s point of view, this is a lot of doing the same thing over and over, hitting the same endpoints over and over.

As a result we concluded that automated tests was the way to go. We collectively decided to go with BDD style testing to make it easy for anyone to understand the test output. Continue reading “Automated API testing”

The Nitty Gritty

As you know last month we entered the BCS UK IT Awards under ‘Digital Project of the year’ for our successful removal of eRights for our digital subscribers and smooth implementation of microservices as an effective replacement.

The entire process took seven months. Seven months to uplift a decade old service, scrape off all the leftovers, clean the systems and put a brand new system in place, as well as ensuring the new system catered to our modern customer’s needs. Seven months sounds like a long time, but really this is only 24 weeks (approx.), 168 days, perhaps around 600-800 hours. This was certainly no mean feat..

Continue reading “The Nitty Gritty”

‘Get to know Sue, our new Head of Design’

Hi Sue, welcome to the FT! You’ve just joined as the Head of Design for Product. What’s your background?
When I was young I loved fine art, but being far too sensible at 18 I abandoned the idea of being an artist in my garret, and went on to study Typography at Reading University. It was here I developed a nerdy passion for text based graphic design that has influenced my work choices ever since. Continue reading “‘Get to know Sue, our new Head of Design’”

Origami and 177 FT sites

The FT has a lot of websites. More than just FT.com. These sites can be split into some categories:

  1. Things displaying news content to customers. FT.com, things built by the interactive graphics team, Google AMP stories, Facebook Instant Articles
  2. Things talking about the FT itself. Marketing micro-sites, FTLive events pages, things that are about the FT but not the FT
  3. Separate publications. The FT owns about 15 other publications such as www.thebanker.com, www.money-media.com, and www.ftadviser.com.
  4. Internal sites and tools. The sites people use to do their jobs, be that writing articles, managing subscriptions or monitoring uptime.

I don’t know exactly how many sites the FT currently has, I have a spreadsheet with 177 rows in it which is how many I’ve found so far*.
Continue reading “Origami and 177 FT sites”

Hackathon? No, not yet. Ideas Splurge!

In many cases, the answer to “How do you organise a Hackathon?”

appears to be “You don’t. What you need is an Ideas Splurge.”

Giving away the punchline: In crude terms, an Ideas Splurge generates more well-thought-through ideas per person in less time. More people meet and talk in less time. It is more inclusive, and less off-putting to newbies. It can be arranged at shorter notice, and there is less to go wrong. It leaves folks wanting more, rather than, as with many hackathons, “well, I’m glad that’s over”. An Ideas Splurge is, fundamentally, more effective at tackling the disconnects between disparate groups within a company.

Continue reading “Hackathon? No, not yet. Ideas Splurge!”

QuickStart Software Development

What is QuickStart?

Here at the FT we have been trialling a new method (at least for us!) of beginning a software development project. Essentially, the entire team (developers, testers, product owners) assemble in a room with the aim of producing a quick and dirty prototype based off a given value statement. We also invite people from other teams who have an interest in what we’re about to do: either they’re going to use the functionality we are developing or they need to provide us with something for it to work. We call this a QuickStart session.

The idea is that we learn about complexity to a good level of detail early on, allowing us to provide reasonable, evidence-based estimates to the business.

Continue reading “QuickStart Software Development”

The One Day Ideas Splurge

We have recently experimented with some dev-first approaches for some distinctly different scenarios

  • riffing on a specific theme; generating and exploring lots of ideas quickly
  • starting a tech-architecture-heavy project

and were very happy with the outcomes.

tl;dr The essence of both approaches is

  • get the core group sitting in the same room for a day (Co-location is great. Who knew?)
  • dump all possibly relevant information into the mix at the start
  • let the developers have a play
  • see what happens

What follows in this post is a more detailed look at the approach we took for …

Riffing on a specific theme; generating and exploring lots of ideas quickly

Continue reading “The One Day Ideas Splurge”