The Year of Lightning

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.

Lightning Components framework is a set of out-of-the-box components build on the open source Aura framework. Developers can utilise Aura to build their own custom components and extend framework. The key here is that Lightning Components are client-side based. Lightning Components Framework has an event driven architecture and relies mostly on Javascript on the client side to manage the UI and application data. Hence it is much better performance wise as opposed to Salesforce classic technologies that rely heavily on the server. You can find more information by visiting these links:

Lightning Components Framework: https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.lightning.meta/lightning/intro_framework.htm

Open source Aura Framework: http://documentation.auraframework.org/auradocs

the-flashOne 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”

Adventures with Neo4j and Timetrees

Update:  Since writing this blog I’ve learnt that there may be a better approach to this problem. These days, Neo4j allows you to make indexes on numeric properties and run range queries that use the index. We can take advantage of this for dates by storing them as millisecond timestamps, allowing us to perform date range queries without the need to maintain a time tree.

If you’re aware of this and still vaguely interested in time trees from an academic point of view, by all means read on 😁.


The new and improved FT website, launching 5 October, has many exciting and engaging new features, one of which is the subject of my own team’s focus: myFT.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-20-15-43

Continue reading “Adventures with Neo4j and Timetrees”

The Data Platform: moving from Buckaroo! to building with Lego

buckarooo
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!

Swapping Mortarboards For Motherboards

Fresh faces in FT Technology – Our rotating graduate scheme

mortarboards
Over the past year we’ve been working hard to establish a graduate recruitment scheme for Technology. We’ve taken on grads in the past but in defined roles and wanted to focus on broadening our scope to help talented people get into technology and experience the range of disciplines across engineering.

Continue reading “Swapping Mortarboards For Motherboards”

Putting Jetpacks On Our Membership Platforms; How the FT made message processing near real time in salesforce.com

FTUser2

In 2015 the FT replaced its monolithic subscription and entitlements system – replacing it with a platform of microservices and APIs (Find out more here). This provided the FT with a modern, scalable platform for managing our users and subscriptions on FT.com.

Continue reading “Putting Jetpacks On Our Membership Platforms; How the FT made message processing near real time in salesforce.com”

The Bootcamp Experience

Earlier this year, I joined FT’s membership team as a Java Developer. On a typical day, the membership team are responsible for developing and maintaining a series of microservices which provide APIs for FT to manage its subscribers through our various mobile platforms. This includes setting up new subscriptions on the FT site/mobile app, which our web application services are able to handle and ensure customers are successfully subscribed and more importantly, have access to content they are paying for. Continue reading “The Bootcamp Experience”

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”