Author Archives: Sam

Put your money where your mouse is

“If you found this program useful, please consider making a donation.” You’ve probably seen those words quite a bit on software that you use.  I have too.  But it struck me a little while ago how much what we at White October do relies on hard work done by others for free in their spare […]

Connecting to Google’s Natural Language API with Python on App Engine.

Connecting to Google’s Natural Language API with Python on App Engine. Introduction As part of our recent White October Hack Day, I did something very basic using Google’s Natural Language API to extract a list of nouns from a sentence. The detail of what I used it for isn’t important here.  What is important is […]

Handling uploads with App Engine and webapp2

I’ve been developing a prototype with Google App Engine, webapp2 and Python for a few weeks now, and I’m really enjoying it. That said, some things have taken a bit more digging to work out.  This blog post is an attempt to explain one of those areas that I think could do with a bit […]

Can agile save the world? Using retrospectives to improve volunteer meetings.

Retrospectives and Global Justice White October is leading the way in applying agile software-development principles to the work of a web agency.  So it’s only natural that I’ve been wondering what agile could contribute to my spare time activities too. When I’m not leading the Backend Development Team at White October, I chair Global Justice […]

Debugging – down the rabbit hole (or not!)

We’ve all been there: Developer A: This feature should only have taken an hour to develop.  Next thing I knew, it was two days later and I’d still not solved this weird bug with method X. Developer B: Why didn’t you just stop using method X and start using method Y instead? Developer A is […]

Lessons from inexperience: learning from idealism and your previous managers

Lessons from inexperience? It’s just been announced to the company that I’ve been successful in my application to become a Lead Developer.  Is this a good time to write an article on how to be an excellent Lead Dev?  On first thought, that might sound like an odd (or indeed arrogant) idea.  But bear with […]

A Symfony Developer’s tips, tricks and hacks: How we get the most out of our tools

A lot of the tools I use on a day-to-day basis as a Symfony developer at White October are well-known and widely-used by others.  What other people may not know, however, are the tips, tricks and hacks that I and my team use to get the most out of them. This article explores a few […]

What do the new Symfony “Best Practices” mean for frontend developers?

This article is part of a series; see Symfony for frontend developers for more. The Symfony team recently published a Best Practices document outlining their recommendations for all sorts of things about how Symfony applications should be developed. If your team has adopted these best practices, what will that mean for you as a frontend […]

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