For the last couple of months I’ve been working on a platform to solve one of the problems I’ve seen repeated across numerous businesses in the ‘fast fashion’ ecommerce space.  The problem is how to update your homepage and site with the numerous promotions you’re running in a timely fashion without impacting site performance.  For the majority of businesses in this space, Magento is the platform of choice for the web facing side of the business.  Unfortunately Magento’s tools for this particular problem are lacking.  Smaller businesses tend to use CMS blocks with javascript timers to make sure their promotions show at the right time.  Moving up the scale, we have plugins for magento that allow cms blocks to be shown on a schedule.  And at the top end of the cost spectrum we have ‘personalization’ platforms that, as well as offering variant testing and personalization also offer the ability to schedule blocks of content.

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So, the time has come once again when I’m looking for new job opportunities.  As of the 1st of June I’ll be available for any fantastically interesting permanent opportunities in and around Manchester (Uk) or remote working.

you can view my linkedin profile here for a quick history of my experience, and if you want any further details contact me at jobs@tall-paul.co.uk for a copy of my resume.

In my previous post, I explored the idea of introducing software development principles to the world of infrastructure, specifically the translation of the ‘MVC’ design pattern to logically divide infrastructure into 3 distinct layers.  Today I’m going to take a look at each of these layers in more depth, and examine how they fit together and what benefits this logical division offers.

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This will be a slight departure from my usual posts about random bits of code and have more a focus on architecture.

In the last few years the world of development has seen quite a bit of upheaval as it adapts to new ways of working, the devops movement has, when implemented well, proven incredibly effective in increasing ‘throughput’ of code as well as offering opportunities for team empowerment and increased stability of the final product.  Unfortunately, that ‘when implemented well’ is sometimes a sticking point.  The idea behind devops is too integrate development and operations, to make operations (ie: deployments, infrastructure) more code driven and automated.  What happens when it’s implemented badly though is that a separate ‘devops’ team is setup within an organisation, the majority of the members being sysadmins with maybe one guy who knows how to write bash scripts.  I’ll cover devops in more depth in another post, but what I want to focus on in this post is the move towards software defined architectures, and how that movement can be harnessed effectively.

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Recently I’ve been tinkering with an idea I call nodeploy, for which I needed a dynamic proxy server…. ie, one I could change the configuration of on the fly.  I looked at HaProxy and nginx, both of which offer very limited or overly complex functionality that kind of did what I needed, but not really… so I decided to write something myself.

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Finally got round to releasing my (very rough / early) raspberry pi interface for minecraft on gitbhub.

It’s still in a pre-pre-pre-alpha state, it’s just the sourcecode (although it runs in the development environment fine) so feel free to do what you want with it.

You can see what picraft is / what you can do with it here:

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For a while now I’ve been working on a mod for minecraft that allows the GPIO pins on a raspberry pi to be accessed from within minecraft.  There’s a demo video below (you may be able to tell this is the first video I’ve ever made, be gentle!) but first some features….

Uses the rather excellent WebIOPi library on the raspberry pi

Allows any number of inputs and outputs to be controlled (limited only by the number of raspberry pis you have!)

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Hey all, been a long time since I posted anything since my job is keeping me pretty busy…. here’s something I implemented for prettylittlething.com that might come in useful for you.

It’s a little script that basically scans a directory for images and, if it finds any, adds them to the relevant products.

Images have to be named as follows:

SKU-1.jpgSKU-2.jpg
SKU-3.jpg

ANOTHERSKU-1.jpgANOTHERSKU-2.jpg

etc…

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