Blog / Rails

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Running ActionCable behind Elastic Load Balancers on AWS
March 31, 2017
We were recently tasked with adding a feature that showed the status of a IoT device as it changed. It was important that the status page updated quickly; and given we’d recently upgraded to Rails 5, this was a prime opportunity to learn Act...
Structuring and managing CSS
March 1, 2017

Managing CSS has always been a bit of a free-for-all. We have complete freedom as to how we structure and organise our project’s stylesheets. This is both good and bad. For quick and disposable projects, you just need something to work and you hav...

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Scaling Rails through 650 million requests in 5 days: The Donald Tr...
February 7, 2017
Parliament Petitions is a Rails app which we built in collaboration with GDS during the summer of 2015. Andrew is the lead developer and lead support of the platform, working alongside Pete Herlihy - the Product Owner. Since last Sunday, our team...
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Faster than Lightning: November's Developer Event
November 30, 2016
Interesting code snippets, insightful discussion, story sharing and good company - it’s November’s ‘Faster than Lightning’ developer talks at Unboxed. Here’s a selection of the submissions from this month: Charlie Interestingly; it’s p...
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Welcome to the team: Elena Tanasoiu
November 28, 2016
Hi there - I’m Elena! I recently joined the Unboxed team in London as a Ruby on Rails developer. Originally from Romania (no, I’m not a vampire, but I do have friends called Vlad), I lived in Denmark for five years, during which time I st...
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RubyConf Portugal 2016
November 3, 2016
RubyConf Portugal 2016 Last week an Unboxed team (consisting of Ben, Crystal, Jack and myself) visited Braga for RubyConf Portugal 2016 where we enjoyed a few days full of talks, plenty of sunshine, good chances for discussion opportunities with ...
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Andrew White’s Technical Breakfast Club: Scaling up Rails in a nati...
September 22, 2016
This was the next installment of Andrew White’s Technical Breakfast Club – the breakfast club for Rails developers and architects, hosted by Rails Core Team Member and our CTO, Andrew White. The topic of this installment was ‘Scaling up Rails i...
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Development Re-bundling in Dockerland
September 5, 2016
Development Re-bundling in Dockerland When starting out development on a Dockerized application, adjusting Dockerfiles and rebuilding images is a common task. Bringing together two separate services, as well as applying some gem security patche...
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Faster than Lightning: July’s Developer Event
August 12, 2016
We regularly host “Faster than Lightning” code talks where our developers get together and submit a snippet of code that they found interesting - Ruby, CSS, JS, test code, server config or anything else. It’s an opportunity to learn a little about...
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Brighton Ruby Conference 2016
July 22, 2016
Brighton Ruby is unsurprisingly a conference about Ruby based in Brighton, and organised by @AndyCroll. Being quite new to both Ruby and to Rails, a Ruby conference seemed like the perfect place to pickup a few tricks of the trade and see what&rsq...
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Faster than Lightning: May’s monthly developer event
June 9, 2016
Each month, we host a Dev Event which is an opportunity for our developers to get together, share ideas, or just catch up with each other. May’s developer event This May we hosted “Faster than Lightning” code talks. For this event, each d...
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Event: Andrew White’s Technical Breakfast Club - What's coming in R...
September 24, 2015
Rails Core Member and Unboxed’s CTO, Andrew White (@pixeltrix), held the first Andrew White’s Technical Breakfast Club last Wednesday morning. Developers and architects attended to hear the uncovering of the major topic, and find out the answer ...
Replacing the Asset pipeline with Gulp
September 18, 2015

When Rails 3.1 was released back in 2011 it brought a big change to the way Rails apps handled and served assets %w(css javascript images fonts) - the asset pipeline. Gone were the days of manually converting coffeescript to javascript before com...

Sharing your local development server and setting up a local mail s...
May 19, 2015

I’ve recently been on a project, where for various reasons, we didn’t have a test/staging/QA server available. The lack of this environment caused a slight blocker for QA and UAT/sign off. I decided to configure my own local development server to ...

Sending S/MIME encrypted emails with Action Mailer
January 26, 2015

Why send encrypted emails? Most people are aware now that sending emails is somewhat akin to sending a postcard - pretty much everyone in the delivery chain is able to have a peek at your message. The only way to prevent this is to encrypt your m...

UBXDDEV Vol. 3.11
October 31, 2014
UBXDDEV Vol. 3.10
October 24, 2014
UBXDDEV Vol. 3.9
October 17, 2014
UBXDDEV Vol. 3.8
October 10, 2014
Diving Into the Front End
October 10, 2014

I recently completed my first stretch on a project as a front end developer here at Unboxed. In this article I’ll share some basic principles and tools that I’ve learnt about along the way with the help of Tom and Alex in particular. ...

UBXDDEV Vol. 3.7
October 3, 2014
UBXDDEV Vol. 3.6
September 26, 2014
UBXDDEV Vol. 3.5
September 19, 2014
UBXDDEV Vol. 3.4
September 12, 2014
UBXDDEV Vol. 3.3
September 5, 2014
Only fools rush in
September 2, 2014

We recently had an interesting discussion in the internal Unboxed interwebs room regarding an example of inheritance. Pawel put forth an example about how to guard against someone forgetting to call super in an inheritance chain. I jumped in to ...

UBXDDEV Vol. 3.2
August 29, 2014
UBXDDEV Vol3.1
August 22, 2014
Ten to the dev
August 8, 2014
The dev o' nine tails
August 1, 2014
A Ruby-plated breakfast
July 31, 2014

July saw our CTO, Andrew White host the Ruby on Rails 4.2 networking breakfast, right here at Unboxed Consulting HQ. Members of the Ruby community attended this one-off session to hear what’s coming in Rails 4.2, straight from our very own Ruby o...

To have dev over the eight
July 25, 2014
The seven deadly devs
July 18, 2014
Six of one, half a dev of another
July 11, 2014
Workin' dev to five, what a way to make a livin'
July 4, 2014
Spread to the four corners of the dev
June 27, 2014
Three times a dev
June 20, 2014
You only dev twice
June 13, 2014
Is agile testing worth it?
June 13, 2014

It seems there is a lot of talk about agile testing circulating, but is it really worth it? Agile testing is a mindset. We all know mindsets can be a challenge to change, and this is no different. But what are the benefits of moving to an agile te...

jQuery UK 2014
June 7, 2014

Chris C, Veronika H and I attended jQuery’s 2014 conference in Oxford. Between the three of us, we could cover quite a lot of different talks that were available on the day. This blog post is just a slice of some of the talks we attended tha...

Dever say Dever again
June 3, 2014
First steps with Cordova / PhoneGap
May 19, 2014

Fast and Native-Like Hybrid Applications with PhoneGap Here is a short summary of a really good workshop I went to. It was part of the JQuery 2014 Conference in Oxford. About the workshop The workshop was held by Christophe Coenraets, who used ...

Innovation days - developing in Meteor
April 23, 2014

Here at Unboxed, employees are given the opportunity to take innovation days: time allowing us to learn new and interesting things. I took this opportunity to complete my personal website - a photography portfolio that would display a subset of my...

The "r" in lean
April 22, 2014

Lean UC NYC 2014 was a jam-packed three days (four with the Balanced Team meetup) and there is no way I can accurately reflect what so many great speakers had to say but here are a few personal takeaways from day one. In general the focus for alm...

OpenSSL::SSL::SSLError: certificate verify failed
April 15, 2014

Sometimes you will inherit a ‘legacy system’. This particular system was running Ubuntu 8.04 LTS and Rails 2.3.18. Due to the recent Heartbleed security hole, the applications OAuth provider had updated their security certificates. This meant I wa...

Migrating data, games on the web platform, better calendars and act...
February 10, 2014
The most anticipated newsletter of the year
January 31, 2014
Happy New Year Unboxedians and commiserations on the ashes
January 10, 2014
The Devmas Newsletter
December 20, 2013
Bootstrap, skepticism and a git tool
December 6, 2013
The Not As Short As Some and Not Late At All One
November 29, 2013
Dev News for Friday
November 22, 2013
November Newsletter
November 15, 2013
The short and late one
November 11, 2013
Post Halloween Developer Newsletter - 4th October
November 4, 2013
How do you like them links?!
October 25, 2013
The blog post title!
October 18, 2013
The best dev newsletter you will read today
October 11, 2013
Developer Newsletter, 4th October
October 4, 2013
Dev Newsletter: 27th September
September 27, 2013
Developer Newsletter, 20th September
September 20, 2013
Programmers' day newsletter
September 13, 2013
Developer Newsletter, 6th September
September 6, 2013
On the 29th anniversary of Space Shuttle Discovery's maiden flight
August 30, 2013
Belated Newsletter
August 23, 2013
Dev Newsletter, 9th August
August 9, 2013
Undefined local variable or method 'title'
August 2, 2013
By George! A newsletter! What-ho!
July 26, 2013
Happy Ashes!
July 19, 2013
Must Read Dev Newsletter
July 12, 2013
Happy Friday!
July 5, 2013
All of the new shiny code
June 28, 2013
All this has happened before, and all this will happen again
June 21, 2013
Something wicked this way comes
June 17, 2013
Pre Summer Dev Newsletter (2 weeks to go)
June 7, 2013
The Week In Which Arrested Development Came Back
May 31, 2013
Dev Newsletter (Week 21, 2013)
May 24, 2013
Newsletter of Brevity
May 17, 2013
Max attempts for a single delayed_job Job
May 15, 2013

Delayed_job, the asynchronous priority queue system has a well documented configuration for setting the max number of attempts a worker will run for jobs in the queue: # config/initializers/delayed_job_config.rb Delayed::Job.destroy_failed_jobs ...

It's life, Jim, but not as we know it
May 10, 2013
The Week Preceding Early May Bank Holiday
May 3, 2013
Almost April's last newsletter
April 26, 2013
Dev Links
April 12, 2013
Dev Newsletter for the week
April 2, 2013
[Insert your own punny title for the Developer newsletter here]
March 22, 2013
Daring Snowball
March 16, 2013
Improve your week with this 1 weird old tip
March 8, 2013
This week's developer newsletter - cats, conferences, and cascading...
March 1, 2013
This week's dev newsletter
February 22, 2013
There's something in the woodshed
February 8, 2013
A New Hope
February 1, 2013
Apps, games and some serious business
January 21, 2013
Happy 2013 Dev Newletter
January 11, 2013
Post-end-of-the-world newsletter - yay we're still here
December 21, 2012
This week's Dev Newsletter
December 17, 2012
HTML5 validation that does not hurt
December 10, 2012

I’m sure probably most of you have used the W3C Validator at some point in the past. Validating markup is quite a standard procedure. In case you want to automate your validation like we do and integrate it into your test suite, our Be Vali...

Cucumbers, Missed High Fives, Dancing Hungarians and more...
December 7, 2012
This week: Faster Rails tests, Interactive Video, Lovely Interface...
November 30, 2012
Installing Sphinx 0.9 on Mountain Lion using Homebrew
November 26, 2012

Here at Unboxed we often need to support older, legacy software. Keeping legacy software in a working condition while development platforms evolve could be sometimes tough. Most Rails applications in the past have been making use of Sphinx’...

Return Of The ActiveSupport method of the week (Mark Morrison style)
November 23, 2012
New version of Rails, a new patch level of Ruby 1.9.3 and kittens, ...
November 16, 2012
The week with no ActiveSupport favourite method
November 9, 2012
Dev Newsletter: 2 November 2012
November 2, 2012
The Week of the JavaScript take over
October 26, 2012
This Week in Ruby, 19th October
October 19, 2012
October is all about speed
October 12, 2012
What 5th October says
October 5, 2012
Newsletter, 1st October
October 1, 2012
RSpec Sitemap matchers for your SEO goodness
September 28, 2012

Not that long ago we released our new website at Unboxed. We took the time to carefully think about how our new site was going to be structured, how our URIs were going to look. We introduced new pages and deprecated or merged others. Needless to...

Boomboxed
September 21, 2012
When Carlo was in Blighty's Land
September 14, 2012
The squish of the week
September 7, 2012
This weeks round up
August 31, 2012
The week that almost didn't happen
August 24, 2012
Investigating a CMS Toolset
August 16, 2012

Here at Unboxed, we’re constantly building content management systems. As the web becomes more dynamic and user-driven, it’s important to provide the necessary tools for clients to control content on their sites. One of our ambitions ...

The Week That Went Better Than The Last
August 9, 2012
The Week In Bitesize Chunks
July 26, 2012
Newsletter
July 19, 2012
Can You Digg It
July 12, 2012
Better Late Than Never
July 8, 2012
This Week In Dev
June 28, 2012
The Week In Dev
June 21, 2012
The Week The Newsletter Almost Became Purple
June 14, 2012
News News News
June 7, 2012
News Of The Week
May 31, 2012
The Week Of Winning
May 24, 2012
The Week That Was
May 17, 2012
The Week In Links
May 10, 2012
Code maintainability - is it a test thing?
April 25, 2012

It has come to my attention of late that there is some clear separation in the testing world about how we write our tests and the level they are written at.  In this separation I see 2 groups of people: - The first group enjoy testing thei...

Tackling the unknown with subdivision
April 13, 2012

I discovered Travis CI the other day. It’s a distributed platform providing web-based continuous integration for your projects. Erm… right? In simpler terms; Travis tests your projects against a wide variety of setups. It monito...

Gemnastics with ActiveRecord
March 11, 2012

Recently, I’ve been building gems in an attempt to get some content out into the open-source community and learn a thing or two along the way. There was one in particular that gave rise to some interesting challenges. The bulk of the gem ...

Monetising mobile apps
September 18, 2011

When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, Steve Jobs said ‘every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything’. The industry shifted but when Apple opened up the iOS software development kit (SDK) to third...

XPath and escaping a comma
August 30, 2011

For those of you looking for the answer to how to escape a comma in an XPath text match, I’m sorry but I just don’t know it. But if you are using Capybara, have no fear, there is a way round. It was Friday afternoon and I was cleaning...

Using baselines for effective planning
August 21, 2011

I remember my first planning game well. I was very excited. Someone had just mentioned the need for a good bassline and I was about to jump up doing some serious air guitar to Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water, “man this is going to blo...

Mobilising your brand - mobile web vs native apps
July 4, 2011

Smart phones and tablets are changing the way that consumers interact with brands. No longer is it just an online web experience at the office or at home, but now consumers are making purchases, travel arrangements, checking bank statements and ex...

Pivotal Tracker Workflow
June 24, 2011

We use Pivotal Tracker quite a lot these days and I was looking around on the web for a quick image of the Pivotal Tracker Workflow.  I didn’t find much so I did a quick drawing which I thought I would share.  I might put this into...

Dealing with a moving target
May 13, 2011

We recently launched our first Social Media game, www.pinmeifyoucan.com - for Contiki. It’s a Google maps integration with YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. It was a challenging project on tight timescales which presented some unique problems ...

Icon or Ican't be bothered.
April 28, 2011

Picture the scene. You’ve designed and built an iPhone app. You’ve put your heart and soul into it. Years of experience have finally come to fruition; all your imagination, moxie, know-how and learning from computer science or graphic ...

I'm a ScrumMaster. Huh?
April 15, 2011

  My wife and I had a friend over for dinner last night and during conversation she asked me what it is I do. I replied that I work for a software consultancy and I’m a QA and ScrumMaster. ‘Huh?’ was the reply I got. I kno...

Kanban in the Cape - Part 2
March 23, 2011

In Part One of this blog I discussed how we set up the kanban board and the process we used to try out kanban for the first time on our own internal Timesheets application. Here is what we learned about the process. The first thing I learned, as ...

Steak vs Cucumber as BDD tools
March 13, 2011

When I joined the world of Ruby on Rails development and testing I was quite happy with all the tools and testing frameworks available, I was using a lot of them during development process. Words like Rspec and Cucumber quickly became part of my v...

Kanban in the Cape - Part 1
March 9, 2011

After reading the book ‘Kanban and Scrum - Making the most of both’ (Henrik Kniberg & Mattias Skarin, 2010), I was quite eager to give Kanban a try on a project. All I needed was a project that had fantastic clients that understand...

Production Issues and 3rd Line Support Processes
February 25, 2011

Another perfect release- this is what it’s all about, now time to kick back, cocktail in hand, bathing in the glorious glow of heaped praise as stakeholder after stakeholder thank Goldilocks and the Three Bears for managing to translate thei...

Agile Tools for the Support Team
February 25, 2011

In an ideal world there won’t be any problems in production. In an ideal world there’s a great soundtrack playing while the dev team, PMO and the business high-five one another in slow-mo.  If you’re talking about a complex ...

Git rebase
February 17, 2011

Many people new to git wonder: “what is rebasing?” and “why would I use rebase?”. Following is my attempt at an answer to those questions. Git lets you easily mess around with branches. A branch is just a set of commits wi...

Are you victim of Stockholm syndrome?
February 11, 2011

I recently listened to a podcast called ‘Developers Life’ where a couple of developers and project managers talked about some rotton projects they’d worked on and how it’s sometimes hard to get perspective and realise that ...

And now we come to the end of RubyFuza.. now
February 10, 2011

You might be wondering what’s up with the strange title. It’s just one of those conference things – you come to the end of a conference and you are on a “conference high” and cant stop reminiscing about what went on...

Has the future turned out the way it was supposed to?
January 19, 2011

Here at Unboxed, we’ve recently received delivery of a brand new lava lamp - the novelty lights that are filled with lurid oils that hypnotically swirl around. Today, it seems to me that the lava lamp’s retro styling makes them an ob...

A thought on pair programming
January 18, 2011

When discussing pair programming, I have never heard the following point of view. So I’ll just shoot and cover. Let me introduce it with an example. Imagine for a second that you have an appointment at a location you’ve never been bef...

Happiness and motivation
January 12, 2011

It’s 7 month since I joined the ubxd crowd and I think it has been the most productive 7 month in my life. I asked my self why. What drives me, challenges or motivates me ? I think that you have already heard about companies like Zappos, Gor...

TechHub and Silicon Roundabout
December 21, 2010

Yesterday, I posted a message on twitter. It went like this: “TechHub is currently just a PR company producing misleading press releases. The idea they represent Silicon Roundabout is wrong.” I thought quite hard about this short u...

Web De-What?! (1 Part Graphic Design to 2 Parts User-Interface Desi...
December 7, 2010

Why is it that some things can look incredibly beautiful, but quickly lose it the moment you start interacting with them? Nope, I’m not talking about an old flame I met down the local discotheque: I’m referring to Website Design. Why ...

Shonky Internet - Cowboy Builders and the Online Gold Rush
December 1, 2010

When I bite into my apple, I don’t expect a cheeky worm to be wriggling around inside. I don’t expect the wheels to fall off my speeding bicycle, I don’t like it when shoes fall apart on the first wear, and I hate when my parachu...

Scrum-ban aka common sense in Agile
December 1, 2010

Not long ago I saw a presentation about Scrum and kanban and the differences between them. At the end of the presentation the presenters were suggesting that we should take from both these methodologies. This new mixed methodology could be called ...

Not so cool as cucumber
November 22, 2010

The problem There’s just one tiny validation to add to a user model. The impact on the application code is small whereas the impact on the test code is enormous. The change takes a day to implement. The context A large code base, Rails 2....

On Feedback Loops and Agile
November 19, 2010

I was talking to Matt Frank the other day and he mentioned something important - agile is all about feedback loops. I’ve been thinking and reading over this concept for a while now and I’ve come to the conclusion that feedback loops ar...

The problem with software
November 18, 2010

It is well known that about 50 years ago the first real computer programs started crawling out of the oceans… Even with all the improvements and accumulated knowledge that we have nowadays in our computer-based civilization, users have been...

five.tv a.k.a project Cape Town
November 17, 2010

The desire for a site re-design together with the difficulty of editing existing content prompted Channel 5 to commission a rebuild of their main website and a consolidation of their catch up service Demand 5 with the new site. Development kicked ...

How does agile development fit with budgets and financial controls?
November 16, 2010

For the last 12 months I have been immersed in an agile development environment which really follows the agile mantra, e.g. stand ups, pair programming, test driven development, 2 week iterations, retrospectives, refactoring, and the development w...

Categorising Workarounds
November 15, 2010

You’ve just done a new release. The Sales team find when they take a new customer’s details and hit ‘save’ they don’t end up on the place new order page, so they can’t make a sale! Which means they can’t g...

Don't let the Train make you Strain
November 12, 2010

On Monday I was standing on a packed train looking out at a platform full of glum people expecting to be able to get on the train. No chance! At least I am slowly heading in the right direction unlike those poor people standing on a cold and wet p...

Pair programming with your mind
November 10, 2010

My last post was about pair programming. Recently I start working on a small project where I can’t pair with anyone. So I started thinking  “what could I use from pairing even When I’m not ? ”. My first thought was to...

In White Space... No One Can Hear You Scream!
November 8, 2010

 “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo Da Vinci On my travels through cyberspace this week I hit upon this spooky website…  http://yvettesbridalformal.com/ It reminded me of a serious and consistent ...

A dev's point of view - agile helps focus.
November 4, 2010

Forget Pro-Plus or extra strong coffees, you don’t need this or a trip down to Spec-Savers to help keep focus.  The answer is agile. I’m not going to speak for other devs, but I have a seriously overactive mind.  Just as I g...

Agile and Angry Birds
October 25, 2010

I have recently converted to iphone (‘about time’ I hear you say) and with that comes the many recommendations on apps. It was on a recent road trip with the family after the 100th ‘are we nearly there yet?’ that I succumbe...

Waterfall Syndrome
October 21, 2010

Is there a disease called Waterfall Syndrome? I personally think we can see it taking hold in a number of large organisations. Companies should start to recognise it and help those who are suffering with the symptoms. I am sure that if we carried ...

7 reasons why pair programming works
October 18, 2010

I was wondering why a lot of people still don’t want to pair program. So I wrote down my most important reasons why you should pair program. Btw if you don’t know what pair programming is, here is the explanation. Faster learning - if...

New version of Planning Poker for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad
October 15, 2010

We have just released a new version of our Planning Poker application for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It wont cost you a penny as it is free. Planning Poker is an estimation tool used in the Agile methodology. Rather than asking a single dev...

y Cuke?
October 11, 2010

We, the interns (Lawrence, Raunak and Andrew) have been here at Unboxed Consulting now for a little over 3 months. As a little introduction to ourselves and what we have learned, we felt a short blog article about our experience would be fitting. ...

Newsletter - October 2010
October 6, 2010

We are heading into winter again already - where has the time gone?  We are all too often so busy with the day to day that we don’t find time to touch base with friends and colleagues of projects past (and hopefully projects future). So...

Unit testing on the iPhone
October 5, 2010

Developing for the iPhone can be quite fun. You get very mature frameworks to work with that do an extensive use of design patterns and you also get a fancy an highly tuned platform to play with. But there’s something I’m missing from...

Our Applications on the Apple App Store
October 4, 2010

AKA: Shameless Plug II. At Unboxed Consulting we have now been developing iPhone applications for 2 years. There is another post by Borja telling you the story about one of them. That was about an Enterprise application for a client. But we ...

Shameless Plug
September 29, 2010

When it comes to marketing your company, sometimes the same old-school avenues and techniques to achieve commercial success seem a bit tired and gauche within an increasingly savvy (and dare I say cynical) industry. So why not take a small risk an...

Road Trip
September 28, 2010

At Unboxed we also build iPhone applications. Our largest project so far has been inTouch, an application for a medical products sales company based in the US…This is the story of two men that crossed the pond with a mission; Attend the Cus...

Fix your broken window!
September 22, 2010

As a programmer working with other programmers, I’m usually contributing to an already existing code base and basically just adding new functions or extending their functionality. Because I’m a person who could be influenced by others&...

One Week Iterations Rock
September 15, 2010

Stuck in a project where every iteration fails to deliver? Where every retrospective is a nightmare? Where every show and tell is a verbal cat o’ nine tails session? Where you’re a gibbering wreck yearning for a stronger prescription? ...

Plenty more fish in the sea...
September 10, 2010

It dawned on me this week that sometimes seeking out new business can be a bit like asking out a girl out on a hot date! Cold sweats, nervous shivers, butterflies in the stomach; a total nightmare… right?! This week I went along to the fre...

What car is your website?
September 6, 2010

I was driving the family back from Lucca in Tuscany to catch our flight from Genova when a thought struck me. Car manufacturers segment their markets looking for large niches.  Large enough to attract enough customers worldwide but unique eno...

I'm not working
August 20, 2010

Yes that’s right, despite the fact that I’m employed by Unboxed I’m not working anymore. I’m going to work every day, programming some stuff but it’s not work for me anymore. Really. I have had this feeling since I s...

IRB completion from the debugger
August 18, 2010

The default IRB completion code that ships with Ruby does not work well when being invoked from the debugger prompt: >: ruby /test_script.rb [-2, 7] in /test_script.rb 1 require 'ruby-debug' 2 debugger => 3 :foo /test_script.rb:3 :foo (...

Which JS Unit Testing Framework?
August 13, 2010

As a ruby developer I’m used to using testing frameworks like Rspec or Cucumber. I started polishing an old project of mine recently, which is written in Ruby/js and using Sinatra. When I looked at the code I noticed that there is a lot of J...

Appetite for Agile
August 13, 2010

This week I’ve been musing over the most expensive, and delayed record in music history, the (sort of) Guns n’ Roses album Chinese Democracy. ‘Sort of’ because it’s not really Gn’R at all, it’s the band&r...

The abominable Rails 3 snowman doesn't like Rack-Test
August 10, 2010

I recently started a Rails 3 application to see how things are done in the new version, and also to take an opportunity to try Mongoid. After all, Rails now plays nicely with any library that implements ActiveModel.   The application i...

A++ code review
July 31, 2010

We have had a code review carried out on one of the projects we are currently working on, channel5.com, by an external party.  Xavier Noria has looked at the code and has given us a glowing report which Channel 5 are very happy with.&nbs...

Announcing: Tabnav
July 30, 2010

I’ve just released a new gem called Tabnav. It’s a Rails helper for generating navbars. It allows you to specify highlighting rules for each nav item in a clean way without lots of conditionals in your views. It is loosely based on th...

Wikileaks war logs on rails
July 27, 2010

I assume that everybody has now heard about the wikileaks war logs leak. I thought this was a nice opportunity to hack together a Rails app that contains the data that was leaked. Hopefully this will be a good resource for people to play around bo...

Hacking Safari’s auto-complete feature
July 26, 2010

The recently released update to Safari (version 5.0.1) seems to fix the security issue described below. Jeremiah Grossman points out a serious security issue that he recently found in Safari. You probably know about Safari’s autocompletion...

Scrum in the Deep End
July 25, 2010

As a new employee of Unboxed, and being new to scrum, I thought I would tell you about my 3 month experience as a ScrumMaster thus far. Thanks to Unboxed, I have been thrown into the deep end of the world of agile, London culture, fine whiskey, an...

Recipe for a Cape Town office
June 9, 2010

Search for office space from the Waterfront to Muizenberg and settle on a great and gorgeously located building in Constantia close to some superb vineyards, the names of which are a challenge (for some) to pronounce. Uitsig anyone? Tear do...

Cucumber + iPhone = iCuke
May 31, 2010

Ever wish you could write Cucumber stories for iPhone applications the way you do for web apps? Well now you can, thanks to Unboxed’s iCuke. iCuke allows you to write integration tests for your iPhone applications without changing your exis...

CSS id and class naming
May 30, 2010

I’m a developer, I like structure, I like clean code, I like DRY code. I find writing CSS incredibly painful. CSS1 was first published in December 1996, so I ask, why in 2010 does it feel like CSS is just as painful as it was 14 years ago? ...

The Good Years
April 30, 2010

We’ve turned 5!   The last five years have really flown by but I couldn’t let our fifth birthday go past without a bit of reflection!! We are in a really fantastic place as a company and I’ve got a lot of pride when I look b...

We open our office in Cape Town
April 27, 2010

This hit the newswires this week: Unboxed Consulting Continues Global Expansion Into South Africa - A Record-breaking year drives global expansion plans… Unboxed Consulting, a leading agile consulting and web development consult...

Pair Programming - Luxury or Necessity?
April 25, 2010

I was recently contacted for advice on how to justify utilising pair programming on a project, as the client was very nervous about the benefits and was seeking some reassurances. It raised all sorts of questions, which I checked against my previo...

Agile in Enterprise
April 14, 2010

Our very own Richard Stobart has added to the Agile v Waterfall debate, captured in Information Age. Richard was an expert witness in the recent BSkyB and EDS battle. You can read the whole article here: http://ow.ly/1pqkR We’d love to know ...

The curious incident of the named scope and the non-existent array
November 23, 2009

Rails performance tuning is often a matter of SQL tuning but we recently stumbled upon code involving a named scope that caused more SQL to run than expected. We were looking at an SQL trace in New Relic RPM for one of our apps when Nige and myse...

Businesses are agile already - IT just doesn't look very hard to fi...
November 3, 2009

Lying awake in bed last night I was thinking why IT organisations find it difficult to implement Agile techniques. My initial thoughts were that the business owners are always pushing back on it and not seeing the benefits. Why are IT organisation...

Less is More
October 22, 2009

At Unboxed we are continuously checking the latest tools which enhance Rails application development. Being a front-end specialist I am always keen on different approaches which make front-end development easier and more enjoyable. In recent year...

What do WAGs, Dutch "total" football, and Agile have to teach us ab...
September 16, 2009

I have to confess I have played team sports all my life, especially football with a somewhat unlikely claim to fame of having played the game in Papua New Guinea and watched by the country’s Prime Minister! I have some experience of playing ...

Agile is just another way of saying – let’s use common sense!
July 23, 2009

I don’t know about you, but I struggle to understand the nuances of the varying flavours of Agile that fly around and, at times, the purist adherence to one particular dogma, be that Scrum, Agile, XP, Lean, etc. To me it is all about taking ...

A Brand Spanking New Website!
July 19, 2009

Unboxed Consulting is a forward-thinking, innovative bunch of people with fresh modern ideas and unwavering professionalism on everything from building great websites and IT applications to making world-class cups of coffee! Needless to say, a com...