What does "Full-Stack" mean? 25 April 2014

Last week we had the introduction to my series on the Full-Stack Fundamentals, but I left some in my target audience confused as to why they needed to be pay attention. This is completely understandable because, for an industry that requires precision, we use a lot of terminology that is actually quite ill-defined.

After some research I’ve concluded that being a “Full-Stack Engineer” has a range of meanings, and it’s probably best if I show you the bigger picture.

Read more →

Full-Stack Fundamentals: Introduction 15 April 2014

This is the start of a series of posts that will detail the minimum knowledge I deem necessary to become a competent full-stack developer. In recent weeks, I have found myself acting as mentor to several friends and acquaintances, and it has become clear that sharing this knowledge in writing is going to be far more efficient and practical.

Read more →

When is MongoDB the Right Tool for the Job? 08 April 2014

Recently, I’ve been mentoring a few full-stack developers through a process that bears some similarity to the Meerkat Method. Since I also intend to publish a series of articles about the whole journey, I have to be careful to keep things factual and honest.

This puts me in a quandary, because my recent stint on the job market has shown that just about everybody is using MongoDB, and I’ve just never been in any situation that I have needed to use it.

I also can’t foresee any situation where there is a solid technical reason for choosing MongoDB over it’s competitors either, and the last thing I want to do is lead people astray or foist my preconceptions onto them.

Read more →

Of Monkeys and Microservices: Introduction 03 April 2014

This is the first in a series documenting the process of building out an example application for the Seneca.js framework, which is built around the concept of microservices. This post is more about the theory behind microservices though, to lay the groundwork for future posts as I embark on this journey.

NearForm is paying for the development work, but blogging about it is all me.

Read more →

Simple and Easy: A Vocabulary to Describe Software Complexity 23 March 2014

Recently I was directed to an enlightening presentation called Simple Made Easy by Rich Hickey, the creator of Clojure.

Because it’s really difficult to justify asking someone to watch an hour long presentation just to be able to use the same terminology, I’m publishing some notes here in a more easily digestible format. This is not a direct transcription, but more of a selective overview of the parts I consider the most important.

I still highly recommend that you watch at least the first half of the presentation itself. While it does become a tad Clojure-specific at times, on the whole it remains broadly relevant. There are also slides from the presentation up on slideshare, from which I have taken some screencaps for this post.

Read more →