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Have you heard of Gatsby? It’s pretty cool…

Exploring the pros and cons, and how it might even be possible

Photo by Jan Huber on Unsplash

Introduction

A few years ago, I stumbled on this wild story from Corey Quinn about how they’ve used Amazon Route53 as a simple database:

Whether it is true or not, it’s impossible to tell, but Corey has often referred to Route53 as their database of choice.

As it turns out, this might be entirely fictitious, according to their blog article, which actually proposes a fairly decent and somewhat viable use case.

Corey also posted this comment on Reddit, which might debunk the Route53-as-a-database myth:

“Holy crap my nonsense got traction. Please don’t take it as a good idea; most of…


A cautionary tale about inheriting old code and leaving it vulnerable to SQL injection

Photo by Clint Patterson on Unsplash

Last week, one of the websites I built in my spare time a while back suddenly started throwing errors. It couldn’t connect to the database for some reason, and this has never happened before. I tried connecting via MySQL Workbench to diagnose it, but I couldn’t log in. I quickly realised that if I couldn’t connect, then all of the other websites that depend on that database probably couldn’t connect and were throwing errors too.

Looking at the Amazon RDS console, everything looked pretty normal at first, but then I noticed the number of DB connections was much higher than…


Just to jump on the "it's not React's fault" bandwagon... I like to read people's opinions of React, which the title implies it would be, but as many people have pointed out, this post isn't about React at all, but instead poor management of the project.

Roadblock #1 - Going from a .NET WPF application to a React-based app is a pretty steep learning curve. I've been in the same situation as you, but I made it very clear to management that there should be a clear distinction between front-end (React) and backend (.NET).

Roadblock #2 - You would face…


Just to jump on the "it's not React's fault" bandwagon... I like to read people's opinions of React, which the title implies it would be, but as many people have pointed out, this post isn't about React at all, but instead poor management of the project.

Roadblock #1 - Going from a .NET WPF application to a React-based app is a pretty steep learning curve. I've been in the same situation as you, but I made it very clear to management that there should be a clear distinction between front-end (React) and backend (.NET).

Roadblock #2 - You would face…


Look out that window and what do you see? A game that is both visually stunning and mentally uplifting.

For the last 5 months, like the majority of people working from home thanks to Covid-19, I’ve been sat at my desk at home surrounded by plain white walls and a boring main road outside my window. Being at home and not being able to socialise with colleagues has certainly been a challenge for my mental health, and I’m fairly certain this is how a lot of people feel.

To help me focus, I usually listen to music while I’m working, or have a YouTube video playing on the monitor that sits to the left of me. Occasionally, I might…


Improving disk performance in your dev container environment with named volumes

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash.

What Are VS Code Dev Containers?

Visual Studio Code Remote Containers is a VS Code extension that solves one of software engineering’s oldest problems: “But it works on my machine.” Dev containers also allow you to close the gap between your development and production environments, making it much easier to debug production issues.

As long as you have Docker and VS Code installed on your machine, you can easily configure your projects with a Dockerfile and a devcontainer.json file. With the dev container extension, VS Code can then open your project workspace in an isolated environment with all the dependencies defined in the Dockerfile. …


Order entries the easy way

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

I’ve recently started experimenting with Contentful as a headless CMS for a Gatsby based website. So far I’m impressed with how powerful the combination is. One of the requirements I was trying to figure out was the ability to manually reorder entries, as the order might need to be updated at any time.

Manual Ordering the Dirty Way

Initially, I opted to use an integer field within the content model to help with manual ordering. At the time, this is the only way I could think of to make this work. …


Optimising the build and deploy process to be just as fast as Gatsby Cloud

Photo by Trent Szmolnik on Unsplash

I host all my websites on AWS, whether it’s an old PHP based website or a Next.js based website which now lives in an EKS (Elastic Kubernetes Service) cluster or static based sites using Amazon S3 and CloudFront.

Gatsby has fast become one of the most popular frameworks for building React-based websites. Since first experimenting with it a few months ago, I’ve definitely converted to it, quite literally. I’ve migrated both a pure React app and a Next.js app over to Gatsby.

There are a number of ways to deploy a Gatsby website, such as Zeit Now (which is now…


Server-side rendering vs. static site generators

Photo by Anshu A on Unsplash

Occasionally, Developers Get It Wrong

It’s rare, but it happens.

We love using the latest technology and exploring the latest frameworks. Greenfield projects are a great opportunity for trying something totally new, often using the old “using the right technology for the project” excuse even if you don’t fully understand whether it is, in fact, the right technology. So when I was approached to create a new website for a client, I used this as the perfect opportunity to explore Next.js.

I wanted to explore Next.js because server-side rendering (SSR) is great for SEO purposes, but where it really shines is the ability to create…


As someone who has been put on furlough, here are my thoughts on how companies should approach it

Photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

What is “furlough” here in the UK?

Under the UK government’s Job Retention scheme (“furlough”) set up to help during the current epidemic, companies have the option to furlough their staff instead of having to make people redundant to keep the business from going bankrupt. The government will pay furloughed workers 80% of their salary, capped at 2.5k (note, this is before tax too).

How it has affected me personally

I have been put on furlough. Admittedly, this only partly came as a surprise. I’ve been nervous about the current economic climate within the travel industry and was almost certain I would be made redundant. …

Nicholas Martin

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