Our Path To Services - Start Small

The PipelineDeals web application recently celebrated its ninth birthday. It’s seen its fair share of developers, all of whom had their own idea of clean code. As a team, we’d been brainstorming ways to wrangle certain areas of the application. The question we’d frequently ask ourselves was How do we clean up _______ [some neglected feature of the application]?. »

Random Decision Forests in Ruby

What do you get excited about? If you have a life, the answer probably isn’t machine learning. It’s arcane, sciency and downright neckbeard-y. Worst of all, it can be hard to see why you should care. There is no 20 minute tech talk you can watch, drop into your favorite editor and be on your way to winning the Netflix Prize. The value proposition can be a tough sell. As it turns out, it’s pretty bloody exciting to me. If you’re still here, maybe I’ve got a shot at convincing you. Read on, brave adventurer! »

The Trouble with Suburbs: A Premortem

We’ve mentioned it before, but we’re currently in love with breaking functionality out of our monstrous core app into smaller, more manageable service apps. There’s still a lot going on in PipelineDeals City, but some nice suburbs are popping up that offer all sorts of amenities. (You simply can’t beat the freshness of the farmers' market in Calendar Sync Township. Starting to wish that’s how we actually named these things.) Life has been pretty great living on the outskirts. Domain knowledge is nicely contained and kept safe from the high crime rates and outrageous rents we were paying in the big city. But every now and then, we start to miss the convenience of what we once had. As crazy as it seems, it feels like life was simpler back then. But that just can’t be. I want to take a look at some of the problems we’re facing in this new world. We’ve overcome them all in temporary ways, but let’s ignore those solutions for now. Let’s figure out together how to make them better before we get lost for good. (These new towns always take forever to show up on the map.) »

Strategies for Testing Ruby Services

At PipelineDeals, we follow the microservice architecture pattern. Many of our features are separate applications that expose a REST API. But this poses a challenge for testing our service applications. This post describes a strategy for using an adapter to isolate the service in question, and then outlines a different strategies for testing the service integration. »