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On being an Engineering Manager

Posted: 2019-02-15 | 11 minute read

I’ve been acting in the role of Engineering Manager for 6 months now, so it’s a good time to review how things are going. Some of the points below could be obvious to some and not everything will work in all situations, but I hope I can accurately describe my perspective. A little bit of background for you, first, to set the scene. The organisation I work for had endured several restructures over the past few years, but the most recent one was probably the most impactful for me.

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The resurgence of radio (for me)

Posted: 2019-02-09 | 8 minute read

This is a story about the resurgence of radio in my life, at a time when everyone else has probably moved on. Yes I’m talking about good ol’ fashioned radio. Generally FM broadcast, sometimes DAB+, sometimes a bit of streaming, but regardless: it’s back in my life. For 7 years I presented a fusion jazz radio show on community radio, which was heaps of fun. Maybe I’m late to the party, but it also made me realise how cool the radio format is even today: there is quite a lot of choice when it comes to music and there’s plenty of eclectic radio shows to listen to, especially when you’re struggling to find inspiration yourself.

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Mobile vs Desktop: State of my corner of the Internet

Posted: 2019-02-01 | 2 minute read

I’ve noticed a general trend towards more mobile users, but I think it would be good to quantify this. After all, developing websites purely on desktop is definitely easier but probably misguided. The following mini-analysis is based on my corner of the Internet: not amazingly high traffic sites, but sites which are important to me none-the-less. The source for my numbers is Google Analytics. The Comparisons Here’s 4 very different websites compared.

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Using Amazon Polly to automatically generate podcasts

Posted: 2019-01-23 | 7 minute read

The tl;dr Using AWS Polly to read my articles and generate audio “podcasts” results in an average listening experience. It works and it’s easy, but I wouldn’t want to use it as my primary way to generate articles. Want to hear why? Read on… (Those wishing to sample the results without reading the gory details can scroll to the end) The concept of Generating Podcasts using Amazon Polly Rather than having to painstakingly record and edit all of my articles with a proper mic, what if I use something like Amazon’s Polly on AWS to do the heavy lifting for me?

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The day I found Saowen.com had stolen my content

Posted: 2018-12-20 | 5 minute read

Recently, I wrote an article about Analytics as Code, which was my way of attempting to apply “Infrastructure-as-code” to something new. A work colleague alerted me to the fact that when he Googled the term, someone else had already written on the topic! In fact, a few people have. But one site, which ranked first, really stood out. It wasn’t my website, but it was my article! The website in question is Saowen.

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