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Interesting stuff club

Our monthly roundup of anything we’re doing and learning in our own time.


Rachael

Rachael

Design

“After spending months of redesigning my save the dates, I finally decided on the look I want for my wedding stationery. I also wanted a consistent look to everything, so naturally, I made a logo for the wedding too! It’s been fun working on something for myself, and being able to be creative. Now we’re working on an app to create the playlist for the night time, which I should be able to show soon.”

savex2

Alex

Alex

Developer

“We used to have 6 more letters in the English alphabet; eth (ð), thorn (þ), wynn (ƿ), yogh (ȝ), ash (æ) and ethel (œ).

æ is still used in some other languages but in English, æ is only used stylistically, such as its use in encyclopædia, but is pronounced the same as e.

The use of “ye olde” comes from an early spelling of “the”, which was written using thorn “þe” and was used for marketing purposes from the late 19th century to make things sound old (or should that be olde).”

Jay

Jay

Developer

“I’ve been doing some practice hikes to get ready for a 6 day hike in North Africa and I came across an app called Geo Caching. It’s a treasure hunting app for GPS-enabled devices – it shows you locations of the treasure (caches) hidden in discrete places and you have to find them and log them in the app.

Now every time I go hiking I try and collect these caches which makes the hike more interesting, all the caches have something interesting to offer, may that be collecting little goodies from the hidden container or a piece of history about the place where it’s located.”

Eddy

Eddy

Developer

“Alex and I have decided to dip our toes in to the world of GoLang, a very cool language created by Google, with the mindset of eventually using it to replace some of our existing services at UVD.
Recently on holiday in Spain, I embarked on my journey by starting to read the highly recommend book “The Go Programming Language” by Alan Donovan and Brian Kernighan.
I read about 35 pages of the book (without writing any code, I was on holiday after all) and here are my very initial impressions of the language:

– I really liked the idea of the zero values, that is, whenever a variable is declared in Go they are given an initial zero value; 0 for numeric types, false for booleans etc. Although this doesn’t solve all of the problems that a statically typed null-less language like Elm would, it seems like it would eliminate a lot of type errors that happen in a language like JavaScript or PHP.

– The fact that Go enforces a certain style and format for code is a good thing in my eyes. I can see how other people would like the flexibility to make this decision themselves but for me it is just one less thing to think about.

– I think that the idea of a GOPATH environment variable which specifies your workspace is inspired. Your directory structure is dictated at the language level; again one less thing to think about.

– The fact that you can compile your application in to a single portable binary file is a really big deal to us here at UVD. When we’ve got a bit more familiarity with the language we plan to split off some elements of our PHP monolith in to Go microservices and this should make deploying them so much easier.

– Exceptions, or lack there of. I’m used to having no exceptions in a statically typed language like Elm but I still haven’t got a full understanding of how this works in Go. I know that a function can return multiple values and the convention is to return a nil-able error as the first thing returned. To me this seems like it could turn into something resembling callback hell, but I am sure the clever people who designed the language have thought of this so I just need to read further in to the book.

So to sum that up on the whole I feel very positive about the language so far. I’ve been doing a lot of Elm and Elixir at home the last couple of years and although I don’t get the same buzz reading Go code that Elm gives me, it feels like it could be a positive stepping stone for us as a company. It is certainly nicer then PHP, anyway.”

Kirsten

Kirsten

Director

“I’ve been reading a book by Marshall B. Rosenberg called ’Nonviolent Communication’ and found it really helpful to learn a technique for having meaningful conversations focussed on human needs. I’ve been trying to use the technique but with mixed results mainly because it’s something that requires practice. But I’m going to stick with it, both at home and at work. This ISC I thought I’d read a poem from the start of the book which resonated with me:”

Words are windows (or they are walls) by Ruth Bebermeyer

‘I feel so sentenced by your words,
I feel so judged and sent away,
Before I go I’ve got to know,
Is that what you mean to say?

Before I rise to my defense,
Before I speak in hurt of fear,
Before I build that wall of words,
Tell me, did I really hear?

Words are windows, or they are walls,
They sentence us or set us free,
When I speak and when I hear,
Let the love light shine through me.

There are things I need to say,
Things that mean so much to me,
If my words don’t make me clear,
Will you help me to be free?

If I seemed to put you down,
If you felt I didn’t care,
Try to listen through my words,
To the feelings that we share.’

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