There are many options for Ruby on Rails hosting, but Heroku is one that we recommend to clients and use internally for Ruby on Rails applications. Using Heroku? There are steps you can take to get more performance out of your Heroku application.
The Global Day of Code Retreat is a daylong event where developers from around the world gather in small groups to practice their craft. It’s an intense day of coding where we get to pair program with others, learn new skills and focus 100% on doing it right.
About a year ago, I convinced our Charles Brian Quinn to take a chance on me. While I had nearly 10 years of experience in developing, deploying and maintaining web applications, I had no Ruby experience, no Rails experience and not one piece of paper certifying me of having any knowledge about computers in general. Despite all these deficiencies, I had done my homework; I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Highgroove was the place where I needed to be working.
This past Saturday, I attended the Atlanta Code Retreat at the Highgroove office. I hadn’t been to a code retreat before this one, and I really didn’t know what to expect. What I got a was a challenging but fun day of pairing with five different developers, and writing in four different languages.
When developing software, face-to-face conversation is often the best form of communication (Agile Principles). While Skype and other tools allow you to get face-to-face from pretty much anywhere, there is really no substitute for spending some time in-person with everyone involved in developing software. At Highgroove, we often do remote work for many of our clients. Since travel can be hard and expensive, here are 3 tips for maximizing the value of your next business trip.
Last month I had the privilege of attending the very first SpreeConf in New York City. If you aren’t familiar with Spree, it is an awesome Rails e-commerce engine you can use to build a full-featured online store. The conference was held over two days; the first day featured several training sessions. The sessions covered a range of topics including theming, configuring, and testing Spree. The second day was filled not only with talks related to Spree, but to e-commerce and Open Source in general.
One of my least favorite chores as a developer is dealing with email. I’m not talking about my inbox. That is a post for another day ;). I’m talking about emails sent by web applications. Whether it is a sign up confirmation email, a receipt from a purchase, or reminder for your dog’s birthday. Chances are, if you have a web application, it sends email.
At Highgroove we are are always trying out new ways to improve our process and environment. One of my favorite experiments has been doing away with assigned seats. Our Results Only Work Environment allows each person to decide when and where they do their work. While it is true no one is required to come into the office, the reality is many people prefer to be in the office. It is not hard to see why. Every member of the team gets a massive monitor, a super comfy Aeron chair, and all the espresso and snacks anyone could ever need. Although most people come into the office regularly, each team member’s hours can vary wildly. When we had assigned seats you could come in the office and be isolated just because your neighbors on a different schedule. Conversely, you could come in and be surrounded by a couple developers talking out a difficult problem when you really need to get something else done. In short, assigned seats just aren’t very ROWE.
Active Shipping is a nifty Shipping API extension for Active Merchant. It provides methods for interacting with common shipping carrier APIs. Recently we used Active Shipping on a client’s e-commerce site to provide customers with many shipping options from several carriers.
I just finished up my first week at Highgroove. Highgroove is a bit different from agencies I have worked in the past. Most places where I have worked, developers would receive requirements for projects from a project manager. At Highgroove, developers are the project managers. We are in constant contact with our clients. At first this seemed daunting, but so far it has been awesome! I find it very helpful to have direct feedback and input from the client as we build their software. The constant feedback helps catch small issues before they become large problems, and reduces the chance of miscommunication.