Josh McArthur

17 January 2015

Managing multiple Chef repositories

Knifing the Chef

A sidenote: I’ve used the terms ‘Chef’ and ‘Knife’ here fairly interchangably here, because on a workstation they kind of are. Chef is the actual framework where you store your configurations, data, etc., and Knife is the tool you use to actually interact with Chef. If you’re a Berkshelf user, you can add berks to the list of interchangable terms - Berkshelf will go ahead and use the same configuration as Knife will when you run it.

If you’re a typical user of Chef, you’re probably going one of two ways: you use chef-solo to manage all of your server setup needs, or you connect to a single Chef server and use the knife utility to interact with nodes, users, data bags and all the goodness that you can access going this route. This blog post deals with the third scenario - you connect to multiple Chef servers from your workstation, and need these to play nicely with one another. I use a multiple Chef servers regularly, both as part of my professional work at RabidTech, and with my own side projects.


Eoin Kelly

16 December 2014

The Ember runloop

A deep dive into the motivations and benefits of the Ember runloop


This blog post is a snapsnot of the Ember Run-loop Handbook on Github. Ember is an evolving framework so the occasional care and feeding required to keep this document current will happen there.


You can get started with Ember application development without understanding the runloop. However at some point you will want to dig in and understand it properly so you can use it skillfully. It is my sincere hope that this handbook can be your guide.

We are about to take a deep dive into the Ember.js runloop. Together we will answer these questions:

  1. Why does Ember have this runloop thing?
  2. What is the runloop?
  3. How can we use it skillfully?

Josh McArthur

30 September 2014

Multistep form validations with Rails and Wicked

A wizard from a wizard

Multistep forms are the bane of the developer’s existence. No matter how you cut it, the fact that multiple request/response cycles are required to create a single resource goes against the grain of a whole bunch of acronyms representing fairly popular patterns and specifications (e.g. HTTP). Despite that, they’re a pretty well established usability pattern when you just have a tonne of information to collect and not much space to do it in, so it’s well worth keeping a method on hand to throw these types of forms together when it’s gotta be done.


Pepper Curry

17 September 2014

Agile, Meet Design

A Meeting of the Worlds

When I came aboard as the designer at Rabid, I was thrown straight into an Agile development workflow without much warning. I was a bit overwhelmed, as one generally is at a new job, but it was exacerbated by the fact that:

  1. I didn’t know Agile. At all.

  2. Agile and design != instant success.

  3. As a designer I was massively outnumbered by developers.

Eek! Not to worry, I’ve gotten to a good place with all three of these things and I’m happy to share my findings.

My context is interesting because Rabid is a fairly unique group, in the sense that their developers are all very open to design input and generally welcome good design as a help rather than a hindrance. This made the transition to working across multiple projects in an Agile fashion much easier. However, as I’ve been going along, I’ve run into some interesting general gaps between what Agile supports and where design happens.

I also held a group discussion with @kellective and @amandadorrell at the Gather conference in Auckland a few months back, with a room full of designers and developers. We got a pretty resounding consensus about where tension points lie and also where people have found benefits:


Josh Forde

16 September 2014

On Taking Startup Lessons from Unicorns

Alan Schaaf Founded Imgur and Came by Wellington

Alan Schaaf, Imgur founder, swung through Wellington a couple of weeks ago. As a highly successful entrepreneur of the classic American ‘overnight success’ ilk, it gave me pause for thought about startup myths and lessons we can take away from the experience.

If you don’t know Imgur (pronounced ‘Imager’ I discovered - don’t follow that link, you won’t make it back to this blog post…), they are closely linked with Reddit as the Reddit website doesn’t provide means for images to be easily uploaded and shared. If you’re familiar with any cat meme online, you’ve likely seen his website. This year, Imgur raised $40m funding from Andreeson Horowitz after 5 years of bootstrapped (self-funded) operations.

Alan Schaaf, Imgur founder - photo by the US Embassy in NZ