author Jake Morrison

Someone asked this question on the Elixir Forum. Following is my answer:

When I first saw Elixir, we were developing websites (e-commerce, CRUD, etc) with Ruby on Rails, Python, and PHP.

We were using Erlang for the “tricky bits”, e.g. IoT and real time web, and liked it a …

author Jake Morrison

When deploying applications, we we usually have the same basic architecture in different environments (dev, test, prod), but settings differ. Some settings are common to all the machines in the environment, e.g the db server connection string. We need to vary the size of instances depending on the environment …

author Jake Morrison

In the recent HackerRank developer survey, we can see "Which languages do employers look for by industry?" and "Which languages are developers planning to learn next?" In terms of popularity, there is a definite swing to JavaScript and Python. In terms of mind share with language enthusiasts, not so much …

author Jake Morrison

There is a saying that frustration is an occupational hazard of being a user experience designer (or an excessively logical engineer). Once you start designing processes, you see process problems everywhere, whether or not you want to. As an American living in Taiwan, I am used to being the weird …

author Jake Morrison

Years ago we were building an embedded vehicle tracker for commercial vehicles. The hardware used an ARM7 CPU, GPS and GPRS modem, running uClinux.

We ran into a tough bug in the initial application startup process. The program that read from the GPS and sent location updates to the network …

author Jake Morrison

We have been working on a project migrating a big Rails app from physical hardware to AWS, and I have been doing a lot of automation work.

It strikes me how we are doing the same thing over and over with different tools: reading variables, templating files and running semi-declarative …

author Jake Morrison

Applying for a merchant account so you can accept credit cards traditionally takes weeks. You meet with the bank, show them your financial statements, and explain your business. Then they make you an offer for e.g. %2.8% + $0.30 per transaction (plus other mystery fees that you find …

author Jake Morrison

Applications like health care and financial services require high security and data privacy. When security is critical, there are benefits to separating the web front end from the back end using a well defined API.

In traditional applications, the web application talks directly to the database. If an attacker compromises …

author Jake Morrison

Over the years we have done lots of projects where we migrated an application from one platform to another. We might do this to solve performance issues or to switch to a better technology stack. This can be a challenge when you have a big app that is in production …

author Jake Morrison

When I design systems, one of my favorite things is looking at "abuse cases" which define how they behave when confronted by bad actors.

I am a big fan of cryptocurrencies. They give us an opportunity to design systems which enforce and incentivize behaviors, e.g. removing risk and rewarding …