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Sep 15, 2017

Orchestrating a Background Job Workflow in Celery for Python

Modern web applications and their underlying systems are faster and more responsive than ever before. However, there are still many cases where you want to offload execution of a heavy task to other parts of your entire system architecture instead of tackling them on your main thread. Identifying such tasks is as simple as checking to see if they belong to one of the following categories:

Periodic tasks — Jobs that you will schedule to run at a specific time or after an interval, e.g., monthly report generation or a web scraper that runs twice a day. Third-party tasks — The web app must serve users quickly without waiting for other actions to complete while the page loads, e.g., [...]
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Sep 4, 2017

Guide to Spring Boot REST API Error Handling

Handling errors correctly in APIs while providing meaningful error messages is a very desirable feature, as it can help the API client properly respond to issues. The default behavior tends to be returning stack traces that are hard to understand and ultimately useless for the API client. Partitioning the error information into fields also enables the API client to parse it and provide better error messages to the user. In this article, we will cover how to do proper error handling when building a REST API with Spring Boot.

Building REST APIs with Spring became the standard approach for Java developers during the last couple of years. Using Spring Boot helps [...]

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Aug 20, 2017

A How-to Guide to SVG Animation

Any front-end engineer worth their salt is aware of the challenges that the fragmented ecosystem of devices brings. Different screen sizes, resolutions, and aspect ratios make it difficult to deliver a consistent experience. More so for those who want to deliver a pixel-perfect experience.

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVGs) help in solving a part of that problem, and do it very well. Although they have their limitations, SVGs can be very helpful for certain occasions and, if you have a good design team, you can also create a more visually stunning experience without putting undue burden the web browser or hampering the load times.

During the last few months, I have [...]

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Aug 18, 2017

Guide to Data Synchronization in Microsoft SQL Server

Sharing related information among isolated systems has become increasingly important to organizations, as it allows them to improve the quality and availability of data. There are many situations where it is useful to have a data set that is available and consistent in more than one directory server. That’s why knowing the common methods for performing SQL Server data synchronization is important.

Data availability and consistency can be achieved by data replication and data synchronization processes. Data replication is the process of creating one or more redundant copies of a database for the purpose of fault tolerance or accessibility improvement. Data synchronization is [...]

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Aug 8, 2017

The 12 Worst Mistakes Advanced WordPress Developers Make

WordPress is a very popular way to get a site up and running quickly. However, in their haste, plenty of developers end up making horrible decisions. Some mistakes, like leaving WP_DEBUG set to true may be easy to make. Others, like lumping all your JavaScript into a single file, are as common as lazy engineers. Whichever mistake you manage to make, read on to find out the the 12 most common WordPress mistakes that new and seasoned developers make. If you find yourself committing one of these mistakes, don’t despair. Each mistake is an opportunity to learn.

1. Placing WordPress Theme JavaScript Code into One Main File

Once, while doing page speed optimization for a [...]

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Jul 31, 2017

Creating a Ruby DSL: A Guide to Advanced Metaprogramming

Domain specific languages (DSL) are an incredibly powerful tool for making it easier to program or configure complex systems. They are also everywhere—as a software engineer you are most likely using several different DSLs on a daily basis.

In this article, you will learn what domain specific languages are, when they should be used, and finally how you can make your very own DSL in Ruby using advanced metaprogramming techniques.

This article builds upon Nikola Todorovic’s introduction to Ruby metaprogramming, also published on the Toptal Blog. So if you are new to metaprogramming, make sure you read that first.

What Is a Domain Specific Language?

The [...]

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Jul 28, 2017

Code Optimization: The Optimal Way to Optimize

Performance optimization is one of the biggest threats to your code.

You may be thinking, not another one of those people. I understand. Optimization of any kind should clearly be a good thing, judging by its etymology, so naturally, you want to be good at it.

Not just to set yourself apart from the crowd as a better developer. Not just to avoid being “Dan” on The Daily WTF, but because you believe code optimization is the Right Thing to Do™. You take pride in your work.

Computer hardware keeps getting faster, and software easier to make, but whatever simple thing that you Just Want to Be Able to Do, Dammit always takes longer than the last. You shake your head [...]

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Jul 20, 2017

A Guide to Process-oriented Programming in Elixir and OTP

People like to categorize programming languages into paradigms. There are object-oriented (OO) languages, imperative languages, functional languages, etc. This can be helpful in figuring out which languages solve similar problems, and what types of problems a language is intended to solve.

In each case a paradigm generally has one “main” focus and technique that is the driving force for that family of languages:

In OO languages, it is the class or object as a way to encapsulate state (data) with manipulation of that state (methods). In functional languages, it can be the manipulation of functions themselves or the immutable data passed from function to [...]
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Jul 12, 2017

Laravel API Tutorial: How to Build and Test a RESTful API

With the rise of mobile development and JavaScript frameworks, using a RESTful API is the best option to build a single interface between your data and your client.

Laravel is a PHP framework developed with developer productivity in mind. Written and maintained by Taylor Otwell, the framework is very opinionated and strives to save developer time by favoring convention over configuration. The framework also aims to evolve with the web and has already incorporated several new features and ideas in the web development world—such as job queues, API authentication out of the box, real-time communication, and much more.

In this article, we’ll explore the ways you can [...]

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Jul 7, 2017

Ramping up Software Deployment – A Docker Swarm Tutorial

Unless you’ve been living inside a shipping container, you’ve probably heard about containers. The industry has been making a distinct move away from persistent to ephemeral infrastructure, and containers are square in the middle of that move. The reason is quite simple: While containers certainly help dev teams get up and running quickly, they have even more potential to completely change the face of operations.

But what exactly does that look like? What happens when you’re ready to take the leap off of running containers locally, or manually on a few servers? In an ideal world, you want to just throw your application at a cluster of servers and say “run it!”

Well [...]

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