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Engineering Manager, Hubble | Former Tech Lead, Rakuten Viki | bit.ly/weiyuan

The QA team is perhaps the best ally that development teams can have.

Don’t hate them for catching your bugs — they are there to help the team and company succeed. Corner cases that are otherwise missed in our application-level unit tests, can sometimes be caught at their level, proactively preventing production issues at scale.

Most companies, especially startups, when harnessing the power of the QA team, may end up settling for less when integrating testing as part of the development process — resulting in manual testing. There are all sorts of reasons why this happens — e.g. …


…and why the cloud is important for our application needs

This is a written version of a project I did in 2021. See more on the live talk in Facebook here!

The cloud’s an ecosystem of many essential tools for application development and hosting.

Especially Google Cloud, a cloud platform that I use quite often. Gone are the days where we maintain our own physical servers. Cloud providers like Google and Amazon allow anyone — from small teams to big companies — to use their cloud tools for solving their application needs.

By including these cloud services into their stack…


source: pixabay, author: GDJ

Failed software product launches. This is something that, we, as consumers of this decade, have become accustomed to. This sore spot grows excruciatingly sore for some of us who doubles up as both developers and gamers, a mix of sympathetic understanding and frustration.

Gone are the days where we could just whip out our handheld gaming consoles, like the Game Boy, and play games without worry about encountering any bugs. The closest I ever got to a bug, was an item duplication glitch¹ in the first series of Pokemon games, which was not easy to reproduce without knowing the exact…


source: ruby

After being stuck on one single bug today for many hours, I thought I would write this short piece. Maybe it will help someone out, maybe not. But it will be a reminder to myself to not make the same mistake.

Backstory

I have a Rails application, logging to STDOUT. It works perfectly in both local and development environments. However, it only works partially in production. Interestingly, it worked consistently when I logged into a file directly.

What gives?

In production, the partially working log entries came from a gem I use, called lograge. As a first instinct, I scoured their…


source: pixabay, author: tumisu

Slow systems are a bane of any product. Ask the audience of web applications, and you would know. Research has found that 47% of users expect web pages to be loaded in 2 seconds or less, while 40% of users would abandon a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load¹!

While there are numerous methods to optimize the performance of a web application, we want to focus on the performance of our backend for this discussion. …


source: pixabay, author: Mediamodifier

In season 2 episode 18 of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, the following brain teaser was asked:

“There are 12 men on an island. 11 weigh exactly the same amount, but one of them is slightly lighter or heavier. You must figure out which. The island has no escapes, but there is a seesaw. The exciting catch? You can only use it three times.”


source: pixabay, author: athree23

“There are known knowns…There are known unknowns….But there are also unknown unknowns.”

The above phrase was coined by the former US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfield. He ended off the quote by saying “And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tends to be the difficult ones.

Difficult…that is an apt term for these “unknown unknowns”, or otherwise referred to as “We don’t know what we don’t know”.

And not knowing what we don’t know, is a flaw that applies to all of us. Yet, by being aware…


source: pixabay, author: Cdd20

I am obsessed with achieving high levels of productivity for myself.

As a working adult on a full-time job, I commit myself to work on office hours for the weekdays. Sometimes I pull longer hours if there is a need. Here, I feel truly productive.

However, this obsession with productivity becomes tiresome when wired in other directions. For example, during the weekends or after working hours, when I don’t find myself doing enough productive activities (such as learning, side hustles, etc.).

I feel the lingering sense of dread of being unproductive.

If you have felt this way, like I did…


source: pixabay, author: Free-Photos

“Searching” is a classic problem that many web applications face.

Look at any e-commerce site — to find what you want from their vast catalog of products, you can run a search on related keywords. Or social websites like Facebook and Reddit — search serves as an entry point to find relevant content like users, threads, and so on.

At times, implementing search on a backend application can be a simple process. If you are using a relational database that supports Structured Query Language (SQL), plugging in the LIKE operator in a query could work in finding relevant data.

However…


source: pixabay, author: suju-foto

Communication is key to human life.

And that’s not an understatement. Humans, regardless of gender, convey a total of around 16,000 words a day, as found by a study done at the University of Arizona in 2007¹. Yet, this is just the tip of the iceberg — when communicating in English, we look at forming sentences from an active catalog of ~170,000 words². However, if we account for non-verbal communication of body language, we see that it amounts to much more, over 700,000 possible motions!

It’s well established that communication is an important aspect of our advancement as a species…

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