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Notes from the Week #27

27 Jul 2019

weeknotes gds software gardening mob programming linked data testing

Here’s a non-exhaustive summary of what happened this week.

  • The system our team works on runs smoke-tests against production in addition to monitoring, to ensure that entire user-journeys are working as opposed to individual parts of the system. We realised that we could cut in half the amount of some requests we send and still achieve equivalent coverage across the application. Big win!

  • We’re also re-tooling our smoke-testing to originate from a different data-centre than where the application is located, forcing it to go over the public internet. By “knocking on the front-door” rather than going over the data-centre’s internal network, we’re making a much more representative test that could catch networking issues outside the application data-centre.

  • I’ve tagged up my blog-posts with LD-JSON. I learned a fair bit about linked data with this, and I’m now gearing up for my next mini-project: modelling results data for Strictly Come Dancing. I’m cribbing and extrapolating a lot from the Parliament ontologies repo being developed in the open by PDS.

  • I have an unfounded reckon that we could do some good stuff for WhoCanIVoteFor.co.uk by using linked-data to tag up our results pages. We’d have a list of candidates that correspond to Persons (or in the case of party-list, an Organisation), an election that corresponds to an Event, a polling station that corresponds to a Place, and more. Once I’ve learned more about linked data, I’m probably going to have a spike of this. It occurs to me that there’s no representative type for an election in general? Something to think about for the future.

  • My desk finally arrived! I’ve yet to assemble it (a task for this weekend) but I’ve wanted a modifiable standing-desk for ages, and it’s the first step towards getting a better environment to work on my laptop.

  • I’m 60-80% sure that at some point in the future I’m going to write either a series of blog-posts or a mini-book (pamphlet) about software-gardening. For something that started off as a bit of light-humoured application of analogy, it has a surprising amount of potential. Watch this space!

  • I read a blog-post about mob programming and published my thoughts about it on Twitter: