Web Development Business

Technical Debt – Observe, React, Prevent

Keith Shakib Consulting, Opinion, Soft Skills Leave a Comment

The term “technical debt” was coined over a decade ago to help highlight a common problem in software development. Generally you can think of technical debt like this:

The cost of additional rework created by choosing an easy, shortcut solution now instead of the better approach that would take longer.

Delivering software to meet deadlines or functional goals that are wrought with technical debt is like buying items before you can afford them. Both practices can drastically affect your ability to reach your future goals, both long term and short term.

This article is a gentle reminder to recognize, fix, and avoid technical debt in your software projects.



Core ML

Core ML After Dark

Derek Andre Machine Learning, Mobile, Technology Snapshot, Tutorial Leave a Comment

So you’ve made this great social media app, and you are about to sit back and wait for the money to roll in. But, there is a problem: people keep trying to upload nude photos to it.

What if we could have a trained machine learning model that could detect not safe for work (NSFW) content and do it on a iOS device, before any image would be uploaded to a server?

Developing this trained machine learning model is way out of scope for this blog post. Luckily, the good people at Yahoo have already done this with their open-sourced trained Caffe models. The question now is, how can we use this on an iOS device?

In this post: The sultry side of your iPhone can collide with acceptable use policies. We introduce a machine learning solution that can help your application decide what is truly too hot for the internet using Core ML on iOS…



Web Development Business

The Executable Code Review

Tim Broyles Programming, Testing Leave a Comment

Testing has a bad rap. The thought of writing unit tests to exercise code with the goal of 100% code coverage can be overwhelming for many projects. The number of man-hours to set up tests, create mocks when needed, test boundary conditions, contrive odd ball test cases can take some steam out of the project. If this is the definition of test, then yes, writing these types of tests can be tedious and feel meaningless.

I am a proponent of writing tests with a narrow focus. The tests I describe here show the completion of a story or the resolution of a bug. With this narrowness in mind, the task is much less daunting. My goal now is not about code coverage, but more about quality code. With this test, I want to be able to demonstrate to myself (and to whoever is reviewing my changes), that I have successfully resolved my task.

In this blog I will talk about my suggestions for writing meaningful tests in the context of a code review.



Could the Equifax Hack Have Been Prevented by a Microservices Architecture?

David Pitt Architecture, Java, Microservices, Opinion, Security Leave a Comment

When I heard that the Struts Open Source framework played a role in the recent Equifax hack, I wanted to do some research to understand how it happened. Struts is a commonly-used Java framework that I have applied in the past. And I’m not alone in that: it is reported that in 65% of Fortune 500 companies currently implement Struts in some way.

So, I did a little digging and performed a thought experiment asking myself the following question: “If Equifax had a pure-play Microservices Architecture in place, would it have solved the problem?”



Modernization Lessons: FTP & the Mainframe

Clayton Neff Consulting, Java, Problem Solving, Programming, Spring Batch, Technology Snapshot Leave a Comment

One of my most recent projects involved helping a client move many decades of code from a mainframe environment to a distributed Java web environment. The client had engaged another company to actually transform the mainframe code to Java, and our team was tasked with making it all actually work.

One of the major areas we had to deal with was the transition of all of the batch processes. Of course, Spring Batch came to our rescue for most of the work, and was an easy choice as we were already using Spring Boot to wrapper the converted applications.

The most challenging part of the entire project was that the client did not want to move everything at once in a Big Bang, but rather a few programs as a time. This meant that some programs would be running in the Java environment while others remained on the mainframe.

In this blog, I discuss three data challenges we encountered in the transition of an enterprise mainframe to Java web application with Spring Batch, how we overcame them, and tips to keep in mind going forward when in similar migration situations.