Developer Blog

Java/Scala and Highly Scalable Systems on AWS

Setting up Discourse on AWS

30 June 2014

The Bizo dev team recently decided to experiment with using discourse as a discussion forum. Discourse has published an installation guide for a single-machine setup using DigitalOcean, but we decided to deploy on AWS instead.


Why Scrum is great, but Kanban makes more sense to us

27 June 2014

In a previous blog post, Extreme Programming For Modern Start-ups, Pat explained from his extensive experience with XP agile methodology why XP isn't always flexible enough for our work organization here at Bizo. My own past experience is with Scrum, the other popular Agile methodology. In this post I want to show where Scrum shines, and why Kanban finally wins for the kind of work we do.


Executors.newCachedThreadPool() considered harmful

24 June 2014

This is more of a public-service announcement blog-post...


Exporting Formatted Code Snippets from Emacs

13 June 2014

I wanted a way to create formatted code snippets (syntax highlighting, etc.) for pasting into GMail or Google Slides. The catch was I didn't want to use a web service (e.g. pastie, or switch from Emacs to another text editor (e.g. Sublime with the SublimeHighlight plugin).


Bulk Editing Jenkins Configurations

23 April 2014

During our SCM migration, we had to update the configurations of hundreds of jenkins jobs on three different instances. Rather than do that manually, we wrote this ruby snippet (edit_config.rb):


Extreme Programming For Modern Start-Ups

11 April 2014

Extreme Programming (XP) can be a very effective way to build software, but out of the box, it is poorly suited to many teams. It requires that the team is small, co-located, and working on a single product at any given time. It also assumes that suitable designs can be arrived at by working in micro-increments (eg. TDD cycles) without up-front design. In this post, I'll discuss how XP can be adapted to suit modern start-ups.


The Mocks Are Alright

20 March 2014

We deploy applications on AWS, and we run jobs that check on them. Like any other code, the jobs need tests.


Statistics With Spark

7 March 2014

Lately I've been writing a lot of Spark Jobs that perform some statistical analysis on datasets. One of the things I didn't realize right away - is that RDD's have built in support for basic statistic functions like mean, variance, sample variance, standard deviation.


Required Reading Team Geek

7 March 2014

From the beginning (2008), the engineering team at Bizo has focused on building a great culture around a few key attributes like quality, discipline and communication.



26 February 2014

I really like using args4j for command-line parsing in both java, and scala, but I found myself writing the same boilerplately code to parse options, deal with help, deal with parsing issues, etc. args4j-helpers is a project that simplifies parsing with args4j.