Testing ElastiCache

We’ve come to use lots and lots of caching in order to optimise a web application that we’ve been developing for longer than a year now. It’s passed it’s prototype stage and is being used in anger so we needed to make sure that latency was reduced as much as we could. Caching was the… Read more »

GovCamp 2012 – public sector ‘unconference’

Last year as part of the G-cloud accreditation process I found myself in the hallowed Google offices in London attending an event where the Government Procurement Service (GPS) were trying to de-mystify the tendering process. A noble aim indeed but I was confused by their odd choice of name for the event, “ApplyCamp“, given the… Read more »

Smaller Projects = Fewer Failures

One of the most heartening things the current government has been doing on ICT policy is the attempt to reduce overall contract size and lifetime value of projects. When the government came into power it established a temporary moratorium on projects over £1M (see this report from the Audit Office  for details on this initiative). The new… Read more »

Role of Developers in Organisations

As Cloud and especially SaaS and PaaS is quickly becoming reality, many internal IT pros working the public sector are asking themselves whether the skills and career paths are shifting. Is it required to have a development team to cater for “small” user requirements such as a DB here and there, or perhaps a complex… Read more »

Accessing RDS using HeidiSQL

Whilst looking at family-tree type things yesterday at work (it was for a work-based project, honest!) I remembered that my boss was looking at a way to administer our database on RDS. After reading shed loads of documentation, which said that it couldn’t be done or that you needed to jump through loads of hoops… Read more »

Nice JavaScript code snippet

Had the need to send a set of hex colour codes to a method which used them to create a chart using Google charts. The initial list was too short so that some of the colours ended up being repeated and the data became difficult to read. I pottered around the code base and “borrowed”… Read more »

It’s ALIVE!!

Virtualisation had been with us for a while now and it can generally be regarded as ‘a good thing’. It gives us more efficient utilisation of ‘real’ hardware and lets us do more with less – thereby realising cost efficiencies, which ultimately in this climate are very handy! These facts are all well-known and you’ll… Read more »

Tooth sucking isn’t helping

The IT Crowd premiered when I had no TV nor any interest in one, I still have no TV but I do get DVD box-sets every now and again to watch at home. After getting the The It Crowd I was really quite excited but the audience at home simply weren’t as in to it… Read more »

Getting Closer to the Dream

I have been a bit silly last week, and forgot to bring my laptop to work. Simply forgot that its on my desk in the study, just picked up an empty laptop bag and got in the car. I then drove for over 1 hour to client site, and upon arrival, realised that I dont… Read more »

IE6 needs to go! But we can ease it’s passage…

Please don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against the victor in the general sense! I’m not overly afflicted with that particular British meme which means that we always root for the underdog. It’s just that it’s so old now, so very, very old! My dissertation for my MSc was in AJAX techniques and, in the… Read more »

Clear as glass

There is a brilliant poem by Rudyard Kipling called “I Keep Six Honest Serving Men…” (I’m assuming that it is out of copyright – if not I’ll happily remove it) which was published in The Elephant’s Child: I Keep Six Honest Serving Men… Rudyard Kipling I KEEP six honest serving-men (They taught me all I… Read more »

30% energy savings?

The environmental benefits to cloud computing were recently highlighted in a post on publicTECHNOLOGY.NET and it’s a fascinating read. We’re all very happy with the financial savings offered by moving to the cloud but this new spin means we can get even more excited. I guess it makes a lot of sense – it has… Read more »