Exploring the broken windows theory

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As a project progresses, many of the founding members may have moved on. As time goes by, the team grows, shrinks, new management is brought in. The only thing that remains constant is the code, so it’s natural for new starters to use the codebase to reference what is acceptable.

If you have been working on a project for any real amount of time, you have probably seen a decline in the quality of the code written, multiple patterns to solve the same issue, and a general deviation from the vision the founders of the codebase had once dreamed of.

Go full circle with better engineering standards

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As architectures go, the term monolith is synonymous with legacy. These days, if you aren’t using the latest in microservices patterns and deploying using the newest mesh technology, well, you’re not doing it right.

I think microservices have become a bit of a magic hammer, our saviour and cure-all for all the pain and suffering we have endured maintaining years-old monolithic applications. There is a place for microservices, to be sure, but I believe it may be at the end of a journey — and a modular monolith might be the best way to get there.

What is a Modular Monolith?

True to its name…

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Improving yourself and others in an active way

2020 has been a [insert genuine sentiment here] time, for many of us it has meant a shift to remote work when we have been so used to being in the office surrounded by our colleagues. Something I have missed probably most of all is the ability to walk the office, chat with folks, and have the accessibility to chat and give feedback in an ad-hoc way.

Recently I was lucky enough to receive some great positive feedback from one of my colleagues. We have recently brought in Culture Amp to help drive our company and personal OKRs — it…

A day of DevOps driven learning and development

Recently here at PEXA, we had the opportunity to run an AWS GameDay for our engineers. The day was something we intended on running in the office back in April 2020, as it stands with the way of the world right now, we opted to run the day 100% remote, bringing in new challenges around communication and collaboration.

Overall the day worked incredibly well, and we will be looking for new opportunities to ensure our engineers have every opportunity to take a break from delivery and focus on technology and education as a team — even as we work together…

Breathing new life into an older windows machine

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I love developing on OSX, I have a great development environment with iTerm, oh-my-zsh and various JetBrains IDEs — the performance on a MacBook is incredible compared to so many windows machines.

Unfortunately, some updates the SOE (Standard Operating Environment), and the fact that it is indeed a work machine has brought the friction level for personal use to a point where I need to look for an alternative.

I bought my Surface Pro a few years ago when I was doing much more managerial work, and writing code was a distant memory. The Surface Pen is a great addition…

Playing with that zero-sum game

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We all want more time in the day to get stuff done. I feel that I rarely have much alone time, off the clock where I can truly focus on myself. Between work, family, and Netflix, I feel that sometimes there hasn’t been much time for me.

Even under COVID-19 conditions my schedule seems full (and I am no longer commuting), and usually goes something like this:

  • Wake up ~7 am; Feed my daughter, walk the dog, hang out with the family, get ready for work
  • Work 9–5; Do the work thing — I seem to be busier when I…

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Now more than ever we need to be able to communicate and collaborate effectively — working from home is our (temporary?) normal at the moment, and we need to be sure that our messages are delivered correctly.

The days of tapping a few people on the shoulder for a quick session on the whiteboard are long gone, and unless everyone has costly and compatible technology at home, it is going to be incredibly hard to emulate. …

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I have worked in the IT industry for several types of companies, from startup to corporate enterprise, and they have all claimed “flexible” working conditions. In my case (and mileage will vary) this has never really lived up to expectations.

How many times have you heard “Yes, you can work from home! Just make sure you let the team know well in advance, and your PO accepts it”. Is this flexible working? I don’t think so.


For me, I would schedule a day when I had things I wanted to get done. I would clear my calendar, zero meetings. I…

The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner examination is intended for individuals who have the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively demonstrate an overall understanding of the AWS Cloud, independent of specific technical roles addressed by other AWS Certifications.

From my point of view, this exam ensures that an individual is aware of the major building block products that the AWS provides. Anyone with experience with AWS knows that there is a multitude of services spanning simple block storage to AI/ML and everything in between. The exam does not expect you to be fully across absolutely everything!

I have quite a bit…

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In this article, we will follow on from Part 1 of this series, and add a database to our Heroku stack.

For best results, complete Part 1, or at least checkout the code from here and get your environment working. The completed solution can be found in the database branch of the repo.

What you’ll build

Extending the app we built in Part 1, we will add the capability for the /ping endpoint to return the duration from the last request, so the longer you wait between pings, the larger the value becomes. There will be no changes to the client application.

What you’ll need


Dean Baker

Head of Engineering @ PEXA | Melbourne, Australia

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