We switched on the new ft.com as the default for our customers on 5 October.
Here’s eleven interesting software engineering facts about it. Continue reading “FT.com – 11 facts”
In August 2016 the FT switched from on-premises Splunk to Splunk Cloud (SaaS). Since then we have seen big improvements in the service:
One interesting new feature of Splunk Cloud is called HTTP Event Collector (HEC). HEC is an API that enables applications to send data directly to Splunk without having to rely on intermediate forwarder nodes. Token-based authentication and SSL encryption ensures that communication between peers is secure.
HEC supports raw and JSON formatted event payloads. Using JSON formatted payloads enables to batch multiple events into single JSON document which makes data delivery more efficient as multiple events can be delivered within a single HTTP request.
Before I dive into technical details let’s look at what motivated us to start looking at HEC.
I’m a member of the Integration Engineering team and I’m currently embedded in Universal Publishing (UP) team. The problem that I was recently asked to investigate relates to log delivery to Splunk Cloud. Logs sent from UP clusters took several hours to appear in Splunk. This caused various issues with Splunk dashboards and alerts, and slowed down troubleshooting process as we didn’t have data instantly available in Splunk.
The following screenshot highlights the issue where event that was logged at 7:45am (see Real Timestamp) appears in Splunk 8 hours and 45 minutes later at 4:30pm (see Splunk Timestamp). Continue reading “Splunk HTTP Event Collector: Direct pipe to Splunk”
The FT recently sent me on a Varnish administration course run by Varnish Software; based just around the corner from our London office.
It was a brilliant two days of learning all about Varnish cache and the VCL language, making good use of The Varnish Book for course material.
Here are some tips on tuning Varnish cache that we discussed during the course. Continue reading “Tuning Varnish Cache”
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.
This will be the first of a series of posts that will document our progress on web accessibility at FT.com. Continue reading “The case for accessibility”
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: https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.lightning.meta/lightning/intro_framework.htm
Open source Aura Framework: http://documentation.auraframework.org/auradocs
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”
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.
Recently we had two new graduate engineers join the FT Technology department. We asked them to tell us about their first impressions of the FT and their own individual teams they have started working in. Continue reading “My First Week At The FT As A Graduate Engineer”
Fresh faces in FT Technology – Our rotating graduate scheme
This week, on 13 September, FT Technology hosted Codebar.
codebar.io are an organisation who run coding workshops which teach and help underrepresented groups (women, BAME & LGBTQ) get into tech. Continue reading “FT hosts Codebar”