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Enrique Dans

Enrique Dans

5 months ago

You may not know about The Merge, yet it could change society

More on Technology

Muhammad Rahmatullah

Muhammad Rahmatullah

4 months ago

The Pyramid of Coding Principles

A completely operating application requires many processes and technical challenges. Implementing coding standards can make apps right, work, and faster.

My reverse pyramid of coding basics

With years of experience working in software houses. Many client apps are scarcely maintained.

Why are these programs "barely maintainable"? If we're used to coding concepts, we can probably tell if an app is awful or good from its codebase.

This is how I coded much of my app.

Make It Work

Before adopting any concept, make sure the apps are completely functional. Why have a fully maintained codebase if the app can't be used?

The user doesn't care if the app is created on a super server or uses the greatest coding practices. The user just cares if the program helps them.

After the application is working, we may implement coding principles.

You Aren’t Gonna Need It

As a junior software engineer, I kept unneeded code, components, comments, etc., thinking I'd need them later.

In reality, I never use that code for weeks or months.

First, we must remove useless code from our primary codebase. If you insist on keeping it because "you'll need it later," employ version control.

If we remove code from our codebase, we can quickly roll back or copy-paste the previous code without preserving it permanently.

The larger the codebase, the more maintenance required.

Keep It Simple Stupid

example code smells/critics using rubocop

Indeed. Keep things simple.

Why complicate something if we can make it simpler?

Our code improvements should lessen the server load and be manageable by others.

If our code didn't pass those benchmarks, it's too convoluted and needs restructuring. Using an open-source code critic or code smell library, we can quickly rewrite the code.

Simpler codebases and processes utilize fewer server resources.

Don't Repeat Yourself

Have you ever needed an action or process before every action, such as ensuring the user is logged in before accessing user pages?

As you can see from the above code, I try to call is user login? in every controller action, and it should be optimized, because if we need to rename the method or change the logic, etc. We can improve this method's efficiency.

We can write a constructor/middleware/before action that calls is_user_login?

The code is more maintainable and readable after refactoring.

Each programming language or framework handles this issue differently, so be adaptable.

Clean Code

Clean code is a broad notion that you've probably heard of before.

When creating a function, method, module, or variable name, the first rule of clean code is to be precise and simple.

The name should express its value or logic as a whole, and follow code rules because every programming language is distinct.

If you want to learn more about this topic, I recommend reading https://www.amazon.com/Clean-Code-Handbook-Software-Craftsmanship/dp/0132350882.

Standing On The Shoulder of Giants

Use industry standards and mature technologies, not your own(s).

There are several resources that explain how to build boilerplate code with tools, how to code with best practices, etc.

I propose following current conventions, best practices, and standardization since we shouldn't innovate on top of them until it gives us a competitive edge.

Boy Scout Rule

What reduces programmers' productivity?

When we have to maintain or build a project with messy code, our productivity decreases.

Having to cope with sloppy code will slow us down (shame of us).

How to cope? Uncle Bob's book says, "Always leave the campground cleaner than you found it."

When developing new features or maintaining current ones, we must improve our codebase. We can fix minor issues too. Renaming variables, deleting whitespace, standardizing indentation, etc.

Make It Fast

After making our code more maintainable, efficient, and understandable, we can speed up our app.

Whether it's database indexing, architecture, caching, etc.

A smart craftsman understands that refactoring takes time and it's preferable to balance all the principles simultaneously. Don't YAGNI phase 1.

Using these ideas in each iteration/milestone, while giving the bottom items less time/care.

You can check one of my articles for further information. https://medium.com/life-at-mekari/why-does-my-website-run-very-slowly-and-how-do-i-optimize-it-for-free-b21f8a2f0162

https://medium.com/life-at-mekari/what-you-need-to-make-your-app-a-high-availability-system-tackling-the-technical-challenges-8896abec363f

Nicolas Tresegnie

Nicolas Tresegnie

3 months ago

Launching 10 SaaS applications in 100 days

Photo by Mauro Sbicego / Unsplash

Apocodes helps entrepreneurs create SaaS products without writing code. This post introduces micro-SaaS and outlines its basic strategy.

Strategy

Vision and strategy differ when starting a startup.

  • The company's long-term future state is outlined in the vision. It establishes the overarching objectives the organization aims to achieve while also justifying its existence. The company's future is outlined in the vision.

  • The strategy consists of a collection of short- to mid-term objectives, the accomplishment of which will move the business closer to its vision. The company gets there through its strategy.

The vision should be stable, but the strategy must be adjusted based on customer input, market conditions, or previous experiments.

Begin modestly and aim high.

Be truthful. It's impossible to automate SaaS product creation from scratch. It's like climbing Everest without running a 5K. Physical rules don't prohibit it, but it would be suicide.

Apocodes 5K equivalent? Two options:

  • (A) Create a feature that includes every setting option conceivable. then query potential clients “Would you choose us to build your SaaS solution if we offered 99 additional features of the same caliber?” After that, decide which major feature to implement next.

  • (B) Build a few straightforward features with just one or two configuration options. Then query potential clients “Will this suffice to make your product?” What's missing if not? Finally, tweak the final result a bit before starting over.

(A) is an all-or-nothing approach. It's like training your left arm to climb Mount Everest. My right foot is next.

(B) is a better method because it's iterative and provides value to customers throughout.

Focus on a small market sector, meet its needs, and expand gradually. Micro-SaaS is Apocode's first market.

What is micro-SaaS.

Micro-SaaS enterprises have these characteristics:

  • A limited range: They address a specific problem with a small number of features.

  • A small group of one to five individuals.

  • Low external funding: The majority of micro-SaaS companies have Total Addressable Markets (TAM) under $100 million. Investors find them unattractive as a result. As a result, the majority of micro-SaaS companies are self-funded or bootstrapped.

  • Low competition: Because they solve problems that larger firms would rather not spend time on, micro-SaaS enterprises have little rivalry.

  • Low upkeep: Because of their simplicity, they require little care.

  • Huge profitability: Because providing more clients incurs such a small incremental cost, high profit margins are possible.

Micro-SaaS enterprises created with no-code are Apocode's ideal first market niche.

We'll create our own micro-SaaS solutions to better understand their needs. Although not required, we believe this will improve community discussions.

The challenge

In 100 days (September 12–December 20, 2022), we plan to build 10 micro-SaaS enterprises using Apocode.

They will be:

  • Self-serve: Customers will be able to use the entire product experience without our manual assistance.

  • Real: They'll deal with actual issues. They won't be isolated proofs of concept because we'll keep up with them after the challenge.

  • Both free and paid options: including a free plan and a free trial period. Although financial success would be a good result, the challenge's stated objective is not financial success.

This will let us design Apocodes features, showcase them, and talk to customers.

(Edit: The first micro-SaaS was launched!)

Follow along

If you want to follow the story of Apocode or our progress in this challenge, you can subscribe here.

If you are interested in using Apocode, sign up here.

If you want to provide feedback, discuss the idea further or get involved, email me at nicolas.tresegnie@gmail.com

Tom Smykowski

Tom Smykowski

1 day ago

CSS Scroll-linked Animations Will Transform The Web's User Experience

We may never tap again in ten years.

I discussed styling websites and web apps on smartwatches in my earlier article on W3C standardization.

The Parallax Chronicles

Section containing examples and flying objects

Another intriguing Working Draft I found applies to all devices, including smartphones.

These pages may have something intriguing. Take your time. Return after scrolling:

What connects these three pages?

JustinWick at English Wikipedia • CC-BY-SA-3.0

Scroll-linked animation, commonly called parallax, is the effect.

WordPress theme developers' quick setup and low-code tools made the effect popular around 2014.

Parallax: Why Designers Love It

The chapter that your designer shouldn't read

Online video playback required searching, scrolling, and clicking ten years ago. Scroll and click four years ago.

Some video sites let you swipe to autoplay the next video from an endless list.

UI designers create scrollable pages and apps to accommodate the behavioral change.

Web interactivity used to be mouse-based. Clicking a button opened a help drawer, and hovering animated it.

However, a large page with more material requires fewer buttons and less interactiveness.

Designers choose scroll-based effects. Design and frontend developers must fight the trend but prepare for the worst.

How to Create Parallax

The component that you might want to show the designer

JavaScript-based effects track page scrolling and apply animations.

Javascript libraries like lax.js simplify it.

Using it needs a lot of human mathematical and physical computations.

Your asset library must also be prepared to display your website on a laptop, television, smartphone, tablet, foldable smartphone, and possibly even a microwave.

Overall, scroll-based animations can be solved better.

CSS Scroll-linked Animations

CSS makes sense since it's presentational. A Working Draft has been laying the groundwork for the next generation of interactiveness.

The new CSS property scroll-timeline powers the feature, which MDN describes well.

Before testing it, you should realize it is poorly supported:

Firefox 103 currently supports it.

There is also a polyfill, with some demo examples to explore.

Summary

Web design was a protracted process. Started with pages with static backdrop images and scrollable text. Artists and designers may use the scroll-based animation CSS API to completely revamp our web experience.

It's a promising frontier. This post may attract a future scrollable web designer.

Ps. I have created flashcards for HTML, Javascript etc. Check them out!

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Thomas Tcheudjio

Thomas Tcheudjio

6 months ago

If you don't crush these 3 metrics, skip the Series A.

I recently wrote about getting VCs excited about Marketplace start-ups. SaaS founders became envious!

Understanding how people wire tens of millions is the only Series A hack I recommend.

Few people understand the intellectual process behind investing.

VC is risk management.

Series A-focused VCs must cover two risks.

1. Market risk

You need a large market to cross a threshold beyond which you can build defensibilities. Series A VCs underwrite market risk.

They must see you have reached product-market fit (PMF) in a large total addressable market (TAM).

2. Execution risk

When evaluating your growth engine's blitzscaling ability, execution risk arises.

When investors remove operational uncertainty, they profit.

Series A VCs like businesses with derisked revenue streams. Don't raise unless you have a predictable model, pipeline, and growth.

Please beat these 3 metrics before Series A:

Achieve $1.5m ARR in 12-24 months (Market risk)

Above 100% Net Dollar Retention. (Market danger)

Lead Velocity Rate supporting $10m ARR in 2–4 years (Execution risk)

Hit the 3 and you'll raise $10M in 4 months. Discussing 2/3 may take 6–7 months.

If none, don't bother raising and focus on becoming a capital-efficient business (Topics for other posts).

Let's examine these 3 metrics for the brave ones.

1. Lead Velocity Rate supporting €$10m ARR in 2 to 4 years

Last because it's the least discussed. LVR is the most reliable data when evaluating a growth engine, in my opinion.

SaaS allows you to see the future.

Monthly Sales and Sales Pipelines, two predictive KPIs, have poor data quality. Both are lagging indicators, and minor changes can cause huge modeling differences.

Analysts and Associates will trash your forecasts if they're based only on Monthly Sales and Sales Pipeline.

LVR, defined as month-over-month growth in qualified leads, is rock-solid. There's no lag. You can See The Future if you use Qualified Leads and a consistent formula and process to qualify them.

With this metric in your hand, scaling your company turns into an execution play on which VCs are able to perform calculations risk.

2. Above-100% Net Dollar Retention.

Net Dollar Retention is a better-known SaaS health metric than LVR.

Net Dollar Retention measures a SaaS company's ability to retain and upsell customers. Ask what $1 of net new customer spend will be worth in years n+1, n+2, etc.

Depending on the business model, SaaS businesses can increase their share of customers' wallets by increasing users, selling them more products in SaaS-enabled marketplaces, other add-ons, and renewing them at higher price tiers.

If a SaaS company's annualized Net Dollar Retention is less than 75%, there's a problem with the business.

Slack's ARR chart (below) shows how powerful Net Retention is. Layer chart shows how existing customer revenue grows. Slack's S1 shows 171% Net Dollar Retention for 2017–2019.

Slack S-1

3. $1.5m ARR in the last 12-24 months.

According to Point 9, $0.5m-4m in ARR is needed to raise a $5–12m Series A round.

Target at least what you raised in Pre-Seed/Seed. If you've raised $1.5m since launch, don't raise before $1.5m ARR.

Capital efficiency has returned since Covid19. After raising $2m since inception, it's harder to raise $1m in ARR.

P9's 2016-2021 SaaS Funding Napkin

In summary, less than 1% of companies VCs meet get funded. These metrics can help you win.

If there’s demand for it, I’ll do one on direct-to-consumer.

Cheers!

Shan Vernekar

Shan Vernekar

1 month ago

How the Ethereum blockchain's transactions are carried out

Overview

Ethereum blockchain is a network of nodes that validate transactions. Any network node can be queried for blockchain data for free. To write data as a transition requires processing and writing to each network node's storage. Fee is paid in ether and is also called as gas.

We'll examine how user-initiated transactions flow across the network and into the blockchain.

Flow of transactions

  • A user wishes to move some ether from one external account to another. He utilizes a cryptocurrency wallet for this (like Metamask), which is a browser extension.

  • The user enters the desired transfer amount and the external account's address. He has the option to choose the transaction cost he is ready to pay.

  • Wallet makes use of this data, signs it with the user's private key, and writes it to an Ethereum node. Services such as Infura offer APIs that enable writing data to nodes. One of these services is used by Metamask. An example transaction is shown below. Notice the “to” address and value fields.

var rawTxn = {
    nonce: web3.toHex(txnCount),
    gasPrice: web3.toHex(100000000000),
    gasLimit: web3.toHex(140000),
    to: '0x633296baebc20f33ac2e1c1b105d7cd1f6a0718b',
    value: web3.toHex(0),
    data: '0xcc9ab24952616d6100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000'
};
  • The transaction is written to the target Ethereum node's local TRANSACTION POOL. It informed surrounding nodes of the new transaction, and those nodes reciprocated. Eventually, this transaction is received by and written to each node's local TRANSACTION pool.

  • The miner who finds the following block first adds pending transactions (with a higher gas cost) from the nearby TRANSACTION POOL to the block.

  • The transactions written to the new block are verified by other network nodes.

  • A block is added to the main blockchain after there is consensus and it is determined to be genuine. The local blockchain is updated with the new node by additional nodes as well.

  • Block mining begins again next.

The image above shows how transactions go via the network and what's needed to submit them to the main block chain.

References

ethereum.org/transactions How Ethereum transactions function, their data structure, and how to send them via app. ethereum.org

Recep İnanç

Recep İnanç

4 months ago

Effective Technical Book Reading Techniques

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Technical books aren't like novels. We need a new approach to technical texts. I've spent years looking for a decent reading method. I tried numerous ways before finding one that worked. This post explains how I read technical books efficiently.

What Do I Mean When I Say Effective?

Effectiveness depends on the book. Effective implies I know where to find answers after reading a reference book. Effective implies I learned the book's knowledge after reading it.

I use reference books as tools in my toolkit. I won't carry all my tools; I'll merely need them. Non-reference books teach me techniques. I never have to make an effort to use them since I always have them.

Reference books I like:

Non-reference books I like:

The Approach

Technical books might be overwhelming to read in one sitting. Especially when you have no idea what is coming next as you read. When you don't know how deep the rabbit hole goes, you feel lost as you read. This is my years-long method for overcoming this difficulty.

Whether you follow the step-by-step guide or not, remember these:

  • Understand the terminology. Make sure you get the meaning of any terms you come across more than once. The likelihood that a term will be significant increases as you encounter it more frequently.

  • Know when to stop. I've always believed that in order to truly comprehend something, I must delve as deeply as possible into it. That, however, is not usually very effective. There are moments when you have to draw the line and start putting theory into practice (if applicable).

  • Look over your notes. When reading technical books or documents, taking notes is a crucial habit to develop. Additionally, you must regularly examine your notes if you want to get the most out of them. This will assist you in internalizing the lessons you acquired from the book. And you'll see that the urge to review reduces with time.

Let's talk about how I read a technical book step by step.

0. Read the Foreword/Preface

These sections are crucial in technical books. They answer Who should read it, What each chapter discusses, and sometimes How to Read? This is helpful before reading the book. Who could know the ideal way to read the book better than the author, right?

1. Scanning

I scan the chapter. Fast scanning is needed.

  • I review the headings.

  • I scan the pictures quickly.

  • I assess the chapter's length to determine whether I might divide it into more manageable sections.

2. Skimming

Skimming is faster than reading but slower than scanning.

  • I focus more on the captions and subtitles for the photographs.

  • I read each paragraph's opening and closing sentences.

  • I examined the code samples.

  • I attempt to grasp each section's basic points without getting bogged down in the specifics.

  • Throughout the entire reading period, I make an effort to make mental notes of what may require additional attention and what may not. Because I don't want to spend time taking physical notes, kindly notice that I am using the term "mental" here. It is much simpler to recall. You may think that this is more significant than typing or writing “Pay attention to X.”

  • I move on quickly. This is something I considered crucial because, when trying to skim, it is simple to start reading the entire thing.

3. Complete reading

Previous steps pay off.

  • I finished reading the chapter.

  • I concentrate on the passages that I mentally underlined when skimming.

  • I put the book away and make my own notes. It is typically more difficult than it seems for me. But it's important to speak in your own words. You must choose the right words to adequately summarize what you have read. How do those words make you feel? Additionally, you must be able to summarize your notes while you are taking them. Sometimes as I'm writing my notes, I realize I have no words to convey what I'm thinking or, even worse, I start to doubt what I'm writing down. This is a good indication that I haven't internalized that idea thoroughly enough.

  • I jot my inquiries down. Normally, I read on while compiling my questions in the hopes that I will learn the answers as I read. I'll explore those issues more if I wasn't able to find the answers to my inquiries while reading the book.

Bonus!

Best part: If you take lovely notes like I do, you can publish them as a blog post with a few tweaks.

Conclusion

This is my learning journey. I wanted to show you. This post may help someone with a similar learning style. You can alter the principles above for any technical material.