All things must come to pass

It has been a long time since I have blogged on my old wordpress blog but I have recently been reading The year without pants which is all about wordpress so thought it would be appropriate.

Anyhow the big news is I am leaving Novicell and moving onto pastures new. Although this time it is more than just a new company, its actually a whole new direction.

I have been working with CMS’s since 2001 and I have worked with most of the big names, although somehow I have always managed to dodge the bullet with Sharepoint! Early 2005 while looking for opensource CMS alternatives I stumbled across Umbraco.

After installing and getting a blank screen I almost dismissed it, only after installing the starter kit and having a play with XSLT did I get hooked, my first site was for Integrated Nuclear Solutions they disposed of nuclear waste, image working on that site in this day and age, special branch would be kicking my front door down! Anyhow, over the years I have worked on countless sites covering a wide range of industries. While it has been a rewarding and sometimes challenging experience I need a complete change.

So 5th October I am starting a new role with AO, for those of you not from the UK AO is white electronics retailer. I will be working in the pricing team, it will be .net .net core with loads of TDD on AWS.

Things have been very different for me ever since I took the Uncle Bob clean code course in 2017,

this course has really changed me as a developer and since then I have been doing a lot of reading on different aspects of code, design, TDD and I want to be working at that lower level of abstraction without the hand-holding of a CMS.

So, after much soul searching I have come to the decision no more CMS for me for the foreseeable future.

It has been an honour and a privilege to have been a part of the Umbraco community for such a long time. Through Umbraco I have met so many amazing people, travelled to many countries India, Bosnia to name a few.

Some personal Umbraco highlights, being awarded an MVP twice, authored a training course (Searching and Indexing with Examine), delivered official Umbraco training, ran workshops, created packages many of which I have not even used myself in the real world. I also finally got to join the 10k karma club joining the illustrious company of the Umbralegends like Lee Kelleher, Matt Brailsford et al, however, I think it is now time for a change.

Big shout out to Novicell its been an amazing 13 months with an amazing team.

Supermassive shout out to Niels Hartvig the founder of Umbraco who opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me. Wishing all the best to Niels and the friendliest community ever, it has been a blast.

I will not be active on the forums or slack (don’t worry Matt Brailsford you can still ping me for those obscure questions), however, I will still be ranting on twitter about Brexit oh and tech of course!

My last day at Novicell is 24th September, I will be down in the big smoke 23/24 September, my first day at AO is on 5th October. Covid permitting I may try and get a few days break in Istanbul.

And that is it. To quote Douglas Adams,

“Goodbye and thanks for all the fish”

Turning the database inside-out with Apache Samza


This is an edited and expanded transcript of a talk I gave at Strange Loop 2014. The video recording (embedded below) has been watched over 8,000 times. For those of you who prefer reading, I thought it would be worth writing down the talk.

Databases are global, shared, mutable state. That’s the way it has been since the 1960s, and no amount of NoSQL has changed that. However, most self-respecting developers have got rid of mutable global variables in their code long ago. So why do we tolerate databases as they are?

A more promising model, used in some systems, is to think of a database as an always-growing collection of immutable facts. You can query it at some point in time — but that’s still old, imperative style thinking. A more fruitful approach is to take the streams of facts as they come in, and functionally process them…

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Twitter oAuth

As you may or may not be aware Twitter updated their API and deprecated the old one. So now you can only access twitter feeds using oAuth authentication. If you are using latest version of Umbraco or .net4 with Umbraco you can make use of the excellent uTwit package created by none other than the legend that is Matt Brailsford.

If like me however you have some old Umbraco sites that you cannot for whatever reason upgrade to latest version of Umbraco or .net4 you can use my package TwitterOAuthOap. I am currently in the process of rolling it out to a few legacy sites and it works a treat!