Blog / Rails

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...