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A Retrospective in the Park

The other day, I facilitated a sprint retrospective in the park. The sun was shining, and we had all been working hard to complete our backlog, so it felt like a nice reward for everyone’s efforts. Holding a retrospective outdoors can also give it an...


Initiative Circles

We have been trying to encourage decentralised decision making at Codurance. To that effect, everyone within the company understands that they have the power to make any decision they need to make so long as they seek advise from the people that may be impacted....


AWS Lambda for Beginners

AWS Lambda is a compute service from Amazon. It makes deployment and provisioning very simple and fits very well with microservices based architecture. You can find out more about AWS Lambda here. Currently supported platforms are JVM, Node JS and Python. The programming model for...


Finite state machines with Akka

As you could remember from previous posts, Part 1 and Part 2, we're implementing a solution that integrates a sync client with an async system. Today we'll see how to keep track of the async operations so we can provide a sync response to the...


Code Smells – Part II

In the last post, Code Smells - Part I, I talked about the bloaters: they are code smells that can be identified as Long Methods, Large Classes, Primitive Obsessions, Long Parameter List and Data Clumps. In this one, I would like to dig into the...


Language feature envy

In my day job I mainly write C# code. On my own I like to try other languages like Swift, F#, Clojure, Objective C or Java. I learn a lot from writing code in different languages. When I go back to C# I often miss...


Akka basics

As the previous post explained our system is based on Akka. Before going into more detail about our solution, I'd like to explain what Akka is about and why it is so awesome. Akka is a toolkit and not a framework, you can simply use...


Async systems with sync clients

As the Reactive Manifesto says Reactive systems are: Responsive Resilient Elastic Message Driven The last principle often goes together with non-blocking async protocols. This style of communication "allows recipients to only consume resources while staying active, leading to less system overhead". This fits perfectly with...


Sorted pagination in Cassandra

Cassandra is a fantastic database for different use cases. There are different situations when you need to twist Cassandra a little and studying one of those could be a helpful exercise to better understand what is Cassandra about. Databases are complex beasts, approaching them with...


We did it wrong, but not all was in vain

Yes, there was over engineering. Loads of it. Back in the mid 90s, when I started my career as a developer, the goal was to become an architect. No serious developer would dare writing a single line of code before selecting our preferred design patterns—we...


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