Improving page load speed at Tes (part 1)

A video of me talking about the performance issues discussed in this post. How are we defining 'page load speed'? How quickly the user can see and interact with core page content after they navigate. Non-core content could be adverts, their user avatar, or recommended links. It's important they appear as quickly as possible but they're not the main reason the user navigated to the page. Where are the biggest gains to be made?


Secure file uploads with redux-plupload, ClamAV and S3

We have recently added a new feature that allows a user to upload a file from our webpage. We implemented this using redux-plupload, ClamAV and S3 to satisfy the following requirements: the file should be uploaded from the client to avoid excessive memory use on the server while streaming files. the upload must be secure and the file must be stored securely (and ideally encrypted at rest). the file should be virus free so that it can be downloaded without worry.


Building an isomorphic react application

As someone new to the javascript and nodejs community, being asked to build an isomorphic React application was quite daunting. To be honest, I didn’t really know what this would entail. However, I do like a challenge and this task certainly presented me with many of them. The first was to find out what an isomorphic application actually was. I’d come across React before (it’s a javascript web framework built by the team at Facebook) and was looking forward to using it again.


The things we trust to github

One of the issues of using public GitHub is that, well, it’s public. Even with the layers of security, it’s all your information ‘out there’. Somewhere. However, it is a fact of life that we all use GitHub and many large and small companies choose the hosted GitHub option over hosting an in-house, expensive GitHub Enterprise environment. The problem is that developers and operations folks sometimes push things into GitHub without thinking.


Stand Up Time! A Standing Desk in the Office

Much has been written about standing desks – from the gushingly positive to the crushingly negative. But following some back pain I’d had at the end of 2015, I thought I’d give it a go. After a little more than a month into the experiment, here’s the story so far. When I joined Tes in November of 2015, I had a normal desk chair setup. The chairs here are good – not as good as the Aero numbers that cosset your nether regions at some companies I’ve worked at - but nice enough.


This Is Important: It Feels Like 1995 Again

This is a post about decentralised systems. Bear with me. I was reading this about an Internet primer in FHM magazine, dated 1995. The writer is about the same age as I was when the article was published. The tone of the piece is familiar. Back then, the Internet was seen as a minority interest, like drag racing or macramé. I recall having to tone down my enthusiasm for it in polite company.