Author: joshy

Interested in crypto and block-chain?

Web3 is here. Web3 is confusing. What is the blockchain, how it works? What is this NFT maddness (on the surface) and why protocols can be the next big thing on the internet? I think these curated resources can be very heplful to address some of these questions.


Understanding the block chain

What problems Solana is trying to solve

Metaverse and web3

Skills pyramid for software engineers

What are the most important skills to have in these days to be an excellent contributor?

How much time do you actually spend on writing code? How much time do you actually spend on reading code from others and negotiating user stories, thus trying to reduce complexity? How important is to you to be approachable and clear in your communication? How important is to you to observer the system you are building and be confindent about your deployment?

A common misconception is that to be the best coder is to know all the design patterns and algorithms off the top of your head. I used to care a lot about writing code in the past or shall I say that I only cared about writing code and the quality of my code – later I realised that writing code is just the icing on the cake.

Hence I created this pyramid like drawing to reflect on how I think about it today. The levels of the pyramid correlates with the amount of time spent on these topics each day. Also it means that wider is the level‚Ää and lower in the pyramid‚ÄĒ‚Äälarger is the effort and emphasize on the particular item hence it is very important to pay attention to improvements on these subjects.

You can also read this post on Medium: Medium:

Aspects of SAAS engineering today

What areas and aspects do you need to cover if you wanted to build a scalable and robust platform?

Security – one of the most important factor. Covering security for your overall operation. Multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, policies such as passwords and pentests.

Accessibility – how accessible is your platform? Assessments and improvements are good but building a platform with accessibility in mind from the beginning makes it much easier.

Observability – knowing what happens in your application and how to reproduce and eventually fix these issues that are most likely happening in your production environment is paramount to deliver a better and ever improving experience. Also showing a blank screen or a confusing error message should be avoided.

Scalability – this is a very old aspect and important too. Your availability, uptime and success will be depending on this as you grow gradually. Today’s cloud services can provide you with on demand resource allocation but your architecture and budget must be ready for this. The keywords here are things like Docker, Kubernetes, AWS and similar tools.

Methodology – about working practices and about how do you ship your code. Do you follow Agile? Which framework, Kanban or Scrum, perhaps something else that works for you and your team. Do you have (peer) code reviews? E2E testing? Linting? Static type analysis? Some coding guidelines and preferences that agreed widely in your team? Do you have a pipeline and continuous integration to be able to catch up with ever changing requirements of the digital world and it challenges to adopt and respond quickly as possible?

Workflow management and communication – how do you manage your sprints and the communication during the sprint? There are good tools out there and surely all sound familiar: Trello, Jira, Slack, Zoom, Google Meet / Hangouts.

ADR – how do you log your architecture related decisions?

Well, there could be more aspects but these are above the most important of those I can think of right now.

Hello TydligVal a.k.a. ClearChoice

My first ever NPM package has just reached the stage where I can proudly write something about it. This is a very simple React Native library – a customizable Picker that blurs the background and gives you a list of items rendered in the foreground. It supports callbacks and customised parts via renderProps. It has an example application too! There are some gotchas which I wanted to write about at some point and also there are plans to make it even quicker.

Building, serving and scaling high performing engineering teams as part of your strategy

The world wide web is the most important global platform in our age. Digital disruption is everywhere regardless of the industry. It is happening in communication, entertainment, transportation, education, agriculture, healthcare to just name a few. Therefore a good business strategy must include a well thought digital strategy. Whether your business sells PAAS or SAAS you must have a way of building, running and scaling your product. There are many ways of dealing with software development from resourcing and structuring perspective: world wide distributed teams to outscoring the whole or keeping it partially or entirely in house. In this article I am intended to discuss the latter case.

When you keep your development in house the goal is to build and scale high performing engineering teams those not only cover its cost but bring value and eventually revenue in to the business one way or another – think of a business that uses digital as part of the overall strategy like a bank that has a bespoke online banking platform or as a second example think of Uber that can not be exist without its digital platform as that is its core.

Problems in crafting softwares most often can be caught in either lack of quality, lack of essential communication or in a less lucky case even in both. The answer can be this: Creating a high performing engineering team that balances out quality and delivery.

How to build and scale high performing engineering teams? Is there a model of some sort that we can apply? Within this article I would like to show one model that has no secrets or any unknown or untold elements. Yet I believe this is an art and there is no recipe. It is an art – probably easier to write about it then to evaluate it. Since I am writing from my experience I am sure it is possible.

Foremost I am going to be slightly more technical in the wording from now on. I created a list of the most important things to have and to actively practice.

  • Leadership
  • Test driven development
  • Collaboration and pairing
  • Continuous integration and delivery
  • Communication and ceremonies

In this part I attempt to discuss the very first point: The engineering lead. The right person can create the right engineering culture. Provides great help with operations from selection and recruitment to mentoring, educating individuals and also participates the evaluation of your digital strategy. This person is key to your success so let’s have a closer look of the most important skills to meet.

Servant leader

First and foremost the servant leader is not powerless at all, however, this type of leader uses its power to help others to grow. The servant leader is not the source of the power but a mediator. It has clear requirements and goals for every individual in the team. It helps to create a plan for the team members to overcome certain obstacles and grow to the next level whereas also helps other players to be great leaders through delegating part of his own duties to them. This type of engineering lead always stays close to the team and aware. How can one stay close to its team? Although the engineering lead has to wear many hats can sometimes fork in to actual work through pair programming and should always have time for regular and even occasional one to ones.


The leader who aware on both personal and technical level has its way using certain tools and techniques to measure the current progress, finding obstacles and spot issues early as possible. Sometimes this can be simple as asking around to see who aware of what is being done what is missing and what is left to be done? Also there are tools like JIRA and many other softwares to monitor and keep track of progress.


The right leader is always present and approachable – stays close to the “battlefield”. Also the right leader can communicate on different levels such as senior management, customer or even at stakeholder level.

Good sense of humour

The good sense of humour is very important. Being open, ready to admit any (even personal) failures and being able to laugh can help to create a great and transparent culture. On the flip side being late to be judgmental never making jokes of someone’s faults or personality/disability/disadvantage is crucial.


Understanding the root of a problem, helping the team to grow and earning some respect all requires strong knowledge. The leader of the team might not be the master of all topics, however, it can be a specialist on a certain subject e.g continuous delivery pipelines and can provide useful insight. Alternatively it can be a generalist who has certain methodology to learn and prototype fast to find the best possible way around a technical challenge – creating a good example and leading by an example. The person also has to speak the language of the team even if it is highly technical in some case.


Making a positive impact on the team and its members as well as with in the organization is the purpose and the ultimate goal. Helping the team to deliver and grow is a great achievement. Looking ahead and being a step ahead can also make a good impact on the long run. In the end of the day once everything has delegated and the team is up to speed with smooth delivery (it often can take even a year) then the next step is definitely looking ahead for the future challenges that the team might have to face and making preparations to stay in the competition in our digital age.

The good leader is open, knowledgeable, passionate, helpful, transparent and approachable but most importantly creates other leaders through mentorship and delegation.

To be continued.


Absolute must to have tools for crafting a good piece of software

  1. Unified environment for all (whether it is a MacOS or a Linux distribution)
  2. GIT/GitLab/BitBucket for version control with an agreed flow e.g Gitflow
  3. Tracking tools like Jira/YouTrack/Trello to keep bugs, stories and progress registered
  4. Team communication tools e.g. Hangouts, Slack
  5. IDE of your choice e.g WebStorm, VS Coder, VIM
  6. Unit test framework of your preference with set up (including code coverage report) and gotchas e.g. Jest and Enzyme
  7. CI/CD pipeline including Linting/Testing and Deployment – very important!
  8. DEV/TEST/UAT environments
  9. Good chairs, desks and screens e.g adjustable desk for switching between sitting and standing position
  10. Good team spirit – the most important!

Periodic table of the modern software development

React App (1)

I spent some time over the weekend to ellaborate on what sort of tools we can use to fix delivery issues or even what tools we can use to set up a good project. This is part of my research on what makes one a great leader in software development. What makes a team great, agile, pragmatic yet flexible?

I cloned the Create React App repo and some other tools (Redux etc.) and put together a mini project to collect all the tools, skill set and methods that possibly or rather very likely we need to use in order to create value.

The elements in the periodic table are not exhaustive and I am looking to add more terms in the following weeks or months.


When to use some of the lifecycle methods in React

componentDidMount Add event listeners or any setup requires DOM Can call setState()
componentWillReceiveProps(nextProps) Act on certain prop changes e.g. redraw a Canvas Can call setState() and access to this.props
componentDidUpdate Updating a DOM after a prop or state change e.g. redraw Masonry grid Can call setState()
componentWilUnmount Cleaning up e.g. removing event listeners Can call setState()

Love VS code

Comparison of external NodeJS http libraries by their size

I have used “cost of modules” to understand more about the package sizes and also added the GitHub stars to indicate the popularity of the subject (which can change of course),

  • Request [4.67 MB] * 16,946
  • SuperAgent [1.13 MB] * 11,380
  • Axios [0.36 MB] * 27,214
  • Got [0.16 MB] * 1,949
  • R2 [?] * 3,837 so far¬†Got [0.16 MB]


React notes for myself (and for anyone who is interested)

Use bind

Do not do this {() => foo()} while you can do {, bar)} even better you can create a helper to pick up all handler methods and fix the context.

1.) Where is my dispatch

You can always pass down the dispatch method as a prop!
export function mapDispatchToProps(dispatch) {
  return {
    onLoad: () => {

2.) Nesting

You can do nested elements like:
  { =>
    <Child />
and within the Parent
return (
<div className=”parent”>{children}</div>

 3.) Reducer and Reselect

In the reducer
const reducers = combineReducers({
… in the selector (Reselect)
const makeSelectFoo = () => createSelector(
¬† (stateFoo) => stateFoo[‘fooOne’][‘bar’]

4.) Modifying a child (via cloneElement)

renderChildren() {
  return, child => {
    return React.cloneElement(child, {

5.) Destructuring in pure component

const myComponent = ({propertyOne, propertyTwo}) => { //this is instead of (props) then props.propertyOne }

6.) Rest and Spread

const myComponent = ({onClick, ...otherProperties}) => {
//this is instead of (props) then props.propertyOne
<Foo {...otherProperties}>
 <Button onClick={onClick}>Click me</Button>

Android back button and cache

I was working on a weird functionality a counter for social media share. Basically after you have made the click it increases the counter by 1. The problem is that the sharing popup or window opens a new tab on Android. When you return to the original parent window it loses the dynamically update DOM and returns to the cached one (bfcache). I have tried to do some adjustments on focus return also attempted “visibilitychange” and unfortunately none of these worked out:

$(window).on('focus', () => {})
$(window).on('visibilitychange', () => {})

The only way I could solve this:

1.) On the click event I have increased the counter and also stored the new total in the hash:

window.location.hash = 'counter?='+newtotal;
then opening the new window (e.g. twitter share form)

2.) On load (return to the parent window) I have used the hash to retrieve the total and updated it back to the DOM.

	$(window).on('load', () => {
		if(window.location.hash) {
			var count = window.location.hash.split('=');
			if(count && count.length > 1) {

It is far from perfect but it works. You can read more on this topic here and here.


Android likes to cache even ajax queries regardless of that you returned to the windows and apparently everything has been re – rendered (re drawn from cache).
Something like this can be helpful as a cache buster:

$.get(uri + '?_=' + new Date().getTime())

Who is the technical director and what does he/she do?

Technical director (TD) is an interesting role. According to Wikipedia the role itself stems from the television/movie industry but you can find it in gaming and also software development. People quiet often confusing it with other roles like CTO or Head of engineering perhaps Lead engineer. Sometimes it is okay to blend roles although I think the best is to keep them separate as much as possible.

What are the responsibilites of a Technical director (in software development)?

  • Cost analysis and budgeting.
  • Identyfing problems and grey areas.
  • Forecasting potential bottlenecks.
  • Help with technical hiring.
  • Technical prototyping.
  • Discovering 3rd parties, softwares and technologies.
  • Negotiating with 3rd parties.
  • Liasing with the architects and technical leads.

What should not be in the responsibility of the TD?

  • Managing the development team on a personal level.
  • Writing code on a daily basis.
  • Micro managing anyone (should not happen at all).
  • Getting lost in project details¬†and daily delivery issues (You have scrum master, right?).

Besides all above it is possible to be flexible with this role and writing some code every now and then or even stepping in the shoes of a delivery manager perhaps a scrum master but it is not ideal unless it lasts for an interim short period until hiring happened.

This role can be key to your success and delivery to ensure you do not run out of budget, make the right hirings and arrange the right technology. I wouls also suggest to have one TD per project/key client instead of assigning multiple projects to one TD. Finally, keep things separate and do not blend this role with Head of…

I also believe that the role of TD is complex and cross discipline. The person who looking to fulfill such a role should have a strong background in hands on software development (ideally full stack) and years of experience of delivering software and not to mention a grasp of budgeting around software/cloud. It should also have very good range of analytical skills and firm communcation skillset to face stakeholders and customers (non IT savvy mostly) when needed.

Are you looking for someone to fill the Technical director role described above? Hire me.

If you are not sure what should you expect from your Lead developer then continue reading here.


Date object’s behaviour when using “yyyy-mm-dd” but omitting the “dd”

If you create Date object like this: new Date(‘1980-01-01’); you will get a valid date although if you try to give a string to the constructor like new Date(‘1980-01’) then it can be valid like the previous Date object.

How could this be?

The omitted day will be set as default ’01’ and your object will be Date(‘1980-01-01’); besides you only set ‘1980-01′. If you wrap this into a funcion that checks let’s say all your input fields’ values (let’s assume 1 input for day another one for month and the last one for year) then you can always check if these inputs are empty or not and if the day is an empty string then you can set it as NULL then you won’t get the day added as default ’01’ by the Date object’s constructor.

It will be new Date(‘1980-01-null’); and the result is an invalid Date object as expected.¬† Always encourage unit tests and you can easily avoid traps like the one above.

The gist can be found here:


Line of business and new technology

If you are a developer who deals with code then you are either amongst those lucky people working for Google labs or you are very likely to deal with legacy line of business code on a daily basis. Despite the fancy tech talk after your sucessful fizz-buzz bullshit where the guys wanted you to write technical test too top on an in depth conversation around React and some recent Redux stuff which includes immutability and React Router, Context, Relay – they can be a little bit surprised when you are throwing them the question on your second day – why the heck are we using 5 years old JS code with jQuery? The answer is probably they have been told to maintain legacy nightmare for now and also to going away from this code soon. You are trapped. Why??! Consider this from a business point of view. If your company selling clothes online and you convert their already working Backbone code (the whole framework is a huge anti pattern OMG BTW) in to fancy immutable React Redux unicorn – how much money they can save? Probably nothing much or if slightly more than nothing – is nothing to do with your code re write. However you can always improve things, make them faster etc.

What (business) people are paying for?

UX with A/B testing

If you can manage to create user experience – user journey that increases conversion and revenue then you are in a good position to do slight improvements and proving them by numbers. Going step by step and backed by statistics.

Devops optimizations

If you can find patterns in the daily usage of resources or you can optimize the daily workflow then you are saving money to your company and I can not see the point not to do so unless a very political environment that is too slow to move (e.g. from self hosted to AWS).

Code quality and integrity

Unit tests. Easy to sell. Do it. Code reviews, Git worflow or pull request – try it – nothing to lose here.

What business usually does not buy

Complete rewrite

Rewriting ugly code just for the sake of it. Even when technology is emerging – you have to make a very strong point to convince an organization that commited spend money wisely on a complete code refactoring. Unless the code was that much bad and unmaintanable or resources had become recently too expensive and difficult to find (let’s say that is a C++ legacy system) then you probably can not do it. Fancy a complete NodeJS microservice backed React stack? The good news is that you very likely to find a team, bad news is not going to be that much cheaper due to the high demanding and bids of full stack front end engineers.

What start ups usually buy

Are you fancy of a recent Angular or React stuff? – But be careful here

Start ups are mostly the only places on Earth where someone willing to pay you for applying recent technologies. But be careful here. If you are one those early employees you migh have chance to put down your two cents next to a technology although things are moving so fast that you could easily see you code either getting rid of in a short term or being claimed unefficient due to lack of time to reasoning around the correct usage and patterns of too young tools. If you are coming on board little bit later then you can see proud and huge code base of React missing the immutability or complete Redux – one of those things that without React is not that big deal or something else that is not even published yet but tomorrow potentially will change the way how we modern engineers approach things. Just think about your React-Flux code 6 months ago… would you write a completely different stuff today possibly with Redux? What about tomorrow Elm or some RxJS? Right now IMO generators and yield together rocks when it comes to NodeJS control flow but I might change my mind about it tomorrow if something else comes up. Business does prefer stability and predictable stuff. The code should stay in place for a while despite technology changes rapidly. That is one of the reasons why employers should hire the right engineers.

It is sad but most of us (90%) can only reason around new tech in spare time or sometimes even during working day if we are enough lucky to work for a company that knows something about the 20%-80% time usage. That leaves us with some side projects and being strong advocate of code quality/test, agile and business side – customer experience and product/service driven mindset – to make/save money to our companies even through an ugly legacy code.

Dear recruiters (good ones) should understand that and cut away the bullshit. No need for marketing buzz here. Do not put React-Redux and AngularJS, Backbone in to the same advert or do not put anything like that at all. Do not ask people to know everything that is recent. A framework can be picked up in 3-4 weeks but someone who really does a quality job both on coding and consulting side is hard to find. Do not scare them with bullshit. Put some expectations on someone to be a good fit and positive personality who knows about unit testing, code management, common challenges and may be ES6 advantages when destructuring an object/array is important.



Figuring out Object spread (ES2015)

Why is that useful for Redux’s immutable state? I was trying to figure it out then I understood that spread will copy all the enumarable properties in to the new object from the target.

//Enumarable properties
let person = Object.assign({}, {name: 'Joe', age: 12});

//Non-enumarable property
Object.defineProperty(person, 'profession', {value: 'preacher', enumarable: false});
console.log(person, Object.keys(person));

//Using Object spread to copy enumarable props only
let newObject = {...person, anotherProp: 'Hello'};

What should you expect from your lead developer?


Coding your application\project\website on a daily bases? Nope. I would expect something much more and valuable.

Pointing people to the right sources and promoting trainings, conferences and anything that helps to keep the knowledge floating. Help team mates to find their best purpose within the team to make them feel important and activate them to use best of their skills.

Lead developer(s) should be responsible to set up the best way per project to manage the code base (Github etc.) and find a strategy to follow. It can be adjusted time to time based on the actual needs.

Setting up a project without CI at least for dev. and test environments is a non-sense and there is no acceptable excuse for this in 2016. It has to be an automated workflow that runs all the tests and deploys the code across your environments. Also need to set up build tools like Gulp, Webpack, Make etc.

Ensure that writing every kind of tests that make sense are part of the daily practice and everyone understands, follows this. Be test first! Be test driven!

Must kick off with some initial coding standards and lint rules.

Should try to find the best place for everyone in the team and also make sure that the project has the right and enough resources attached to it.

Support can determine the quality of your software/services. Your lead developer and its team should aware of bug fixing and bug tracking‚Ää‚ÄĒ‚Ääsetting up principles and tooling is very important.

Finally keep the good thing growing and cut the bullshit. Sounds easy but it is truly hard work!

What is trending in open source?

It is good to take a look at the Github trendings sometimes to just have a gist what else is going on apart from the mainstream (Angular and React).

CTO fail: common mistakes

What makes you a good CTO? What makes you a bad CTO? I have seen examples of both and I’d like to share these adding my own insight with a little hope that I can change the world.


WordPress upload problem with Nginx

It’s a poem.

Today I had a problem with uploading a relatively small file.
The log reported: client intended to send too large body of 4831067 bytes.


Small but important lessons that I learned in the last 10 years

Do not worry and appreciate
Nothing is perfect. There is no perfect tool set, technology or architecture. There are always nifty bits and you can try to balance out things (you have to).


Basic VIM shortcuts and movements

I thought it would be beneficial to have a record of the most commonly used VIM shortcuts. I am not a VIM expert but I am proudly using it almost every day on servers across different environments (OSX, Ubuntu, CentOS) without any special configuration (I know with that it could be even more powerful Рone day may be).