Being outranked for your own name in search engines

I was involved in a discussion on Twitter recently about the pitfalls of having a name which isn’t unique. Another person with your name who was, or is, more famous than you are.

To add insult to injury, in our cases there were people who’ve shared our names in the past who have been less than perfect human beings.

In my case for example, another Harry Bailey was a doctor in Australia and was using some pretty awful treatments on people. His wikipedia page is the top result for Harry Bailey, and has been since I can remember.

The second Harry Bailey that used to outrank me is a character in a well known black and white Christmas film. He’s the brother of the main character and is referenced across various websites.

Thankfully, my writing and link building for Harry Bailey replaced the later on the first page of several search engines with my own content.

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Onboarding through pair programming

pair programmers looking at screen together

There was a manager I worked with recently who was having serious trouble with their onboarding process.

Working with several teams of between 5 and 8 developers, the business was growing fast and recruiting at all levels. Some of the recruited developers were straight out of a code academy, with minimal experience of working in a team, on a regular release schedule, or with production code.

These less experienced developers were their primary challenge. The one they thought could release most value. But how do you get a developer enough experience to graduate them to being part of a team? How many of these developers can you put into a 5 to 8 person team and the team support their learning and progression so they might become independent? How do you introduce them to the team? What does the average day look like for one of these developers while they learn the ropes?

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False Heroes

We’ve all worked with developers who prefers to get on with their coding alone. They’ll assign themselves a large set of tasks, tell everybody they’ve got loads to be getting on with, put their headphones in and you won’t hear from them for several days.

They might pin their name to a key change or issue, make all the required decisions alone and get it ready for deployment in record time. They may even be able to resolve complex issues with infrastructure or libraries, but not have the time to share those processes.

You likely know these type of developers by the names Ninjas, Wizards, Rock Stars, or 10x. These are terms of endearment used in praise of the activities above, or even in job advertisements looking to recruit developers with these habits.

What these behaviours actually do to your development team could not be further from a positive outcome.

Don’t get me wrong, the short term progress can be impressive. So impressive in fact that managers, and often less experienced team members won’t be able to help but praise our False Hero. Speed is always seen as a good thing in a word of complexity and deadlines. Solo progress without the need for peer input is often seen as something to aspire to.

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Remote connection to AWS bitnami lightsail LAMP Mysql

I’m using Sequal Pro here, but this should work for almost any connection. I’m also going to lock to a single IP for security. You could us ‘%’ for any IP, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you are on a static ip at home of at work.

Log into ssh for the relevant LAMP instance using the browser tool on the Lightsail dashboard.

cat bitnami_application_password to get your application password. Copy it somewhere as you’ll need it shortly.

Run nano /opt/bitnami/mysql/my.cnf
Comment out the line that starts with bind-address. So #bind-address...
Exit and save the file.

Update mysql permissions for root remote access with

/opt/bitnami/mysql/bin/mysql -u root -p -e "grant all privileges on *.* to 'root'@'1.2.3.4' identified by 'PASSWORD' with grant option";

Replace 1.2.3.4 with internet connection IP address. Replace PASSWORD with the password you copied above.

Restart mysql with sudo /opt/bitnami/ctlscript.sh restart mysql

Copy the IP address of your Lightsail instance. You may want to add a free static IP address, else the IP will change on restart and all this work will need doing again.

In Sequal Pro choose to add a new connection. Select the SSH tab. In both hosts, put the IP of your Lightsail server.

In mysql username put root and in password, put your password from above.

In ssh username put bitnami and in password, put your password from above.

Click to test your connection. All should connect as expected.

You’ll now need to add a database etc. Enjoy.

Android App URL Schemes

This is a functioning AndroidManifest.xml for linking via a local url scheme. In this case appname:// with any (*) following path

To test this you have to redirect to it. Chromium at this time does not understand or process app url schemes. So a 302 redirect from a trusted publicly available url is the best method for testing.

Note how the second intent-filter here is still inside the .MainActivity <activity>

Different categories and an additional <data> tag are used.

<manifest xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    package="com.appname">

    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET" />
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" /> 
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW"/>

    <application
      android:name=".MainApplication"
      android:label="@string/app_name"
      android:icon="@mipmap/ic_launcher"
      android:allowBackup="false"
      android:theme="@style/AppTheme">
      <activity
        android:name=".MainActivity"
        android:label="@string/app_name"
        android:configChanges="keyboard|keyboardHidden|orientation|screenSize"
        android:windowSoftInputMode="adjustResize">
        <intent-filter>
            <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />
            <action android:name="android.intent.action.DOWNLOAD_COMPLETE"/>
            <category android:name="android.intent.category.LAUNCHER" />
        </intent-filter>
          <intent-filter android:label="@string/app_name">
              <action android:name="android.intent.action.VIEW" />
              <category android:name="android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />
              <category android:name="android.intent.category.BROWSABLE" />
              <data android:scheme="appname" android:host="*" />
          </intent-filter>
      </activity>
      <activity android:name="com.facebook.react.devsupport.DevSettingsActivity" />
    </application>

</manifest>