Posts

Recent takeaways from pairing

06 Aug 2017

A couple of weeks ago, my workmate paid a visit to Harare from his place in Cape Town for some pair programming, again (yay!). After having had a head start in coding a web app for a mobile application (built with Xamarin), the objective was to quickly knock it into shape and ship it out. I had chosen VueJS for the frontend (because it’s awesome), supported by an API in Laravel - to maintain consistency with the mobile app, we wanted everything to remain exactly the same. During the time of pairing, I learned even more lessons than the other times when I have paired with other programmers.

Working time

04 Apr 2017

For the past few weeks, actually since the start of the year, i’ve experienced the most turbulent of times in terms of my daily schedule. Really i wish I was Cerberus, or could teleport to Mars and have slightly longer days. I’ve been under massive, gargantuan pressure to code, exercise, plan, reply emails and continue being a human who’s not a joker.

How to add your own executable scripts to bash

13 Feb 2017

I have been enjoying the book Effective Engineer by Edmond Lau. One of the great tricks of becoming more effective is to set workflows that make you do more, much faster. I have ended up setting a few scripts to automate a lot of bash commands such as ssh-ing, using git etcetera and in this short primer i’d love to show total newbies how to have your own executable scripts from any place on your system.

The first thing to note here is Mac OS has a few candidate files in your home folder that it indexes for commands to use in every bash window. On my system, I prefer to use ~/.bash_rc mainly because it is loaded up when a new instance of a terminal window is opened compared to ~/.bash_profile which is loaded up at login.

2016 review and what’s next

07 Jan 2017

I almost always set goals for the year. In 2016 I had a bunch of goals and I think it’s fair to say I achieved about 50% of them, which has me beaming! I came to the comforting conclusion about two years ago that I’m in a marathon and my prophetic powers being what they’re (non-existant), estimating time is tough but I sure as hell have an idea about my direction. With that out of the way, here’s how my 2016 turned out to be:

Getting rid of rdiff-backup’s incremental backups

06 Nov 2016

Recently I had to help with maintenance of a server that I didn’t configure myself that had maxed out its storage (the horror!). Anyway, it took me some time to figure out it was using the handy and useful rdiff-backup package to create and store backups automatically. Rdiff-backup’s mission is succinctly put as an idea is to combine the best features of a mirror and an incremental backup

As it turns out, rdiff-backup does come with a handy tool to configure it to delete backups that are x-days old e.g 4 weeks:

rdiff-backup --remove-older-than 4W target-dir

What I learnt pair programming with a senior dev

17 Oct 2016

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure to travel for some pair programming with a senior developer in our team who lives in Cape Town. This being our first meeting, I was really excited to finally meet the guy we all joke is a bot (internal joke). During my time in Strand (quiet city in Cape Town), I learnt some things I’d like to share here. These things became more apparent after our sessions and I think they should be considered huge benefits of pairing with someone more senior.

Connecting Dots

28 Sep 2014

In his famous Stanford commencement address, Steve Jobs said something about connecting the dots and how you can only do that after the fact. The first time I heard that, it didn’t shake my thinking; actually I dismissed it offhandedly without putting much thought into it. Not that I didn’t think it wasn’t true nor profound but like most things in life, hands-on experience is often more hard hitting than simple, verbal advice.

Better breadcrumbs for your Drupal 7 site

30 Mar 2014

Often times when creating custom modules for Drupal, we get confronted with the problem of setting friendly but useful breadcrumbs. The contribution a clearly set breadcrumb can make on a page can never be understated, it guides the user on where they’re coming from and currently are.

Startup Bus Africa 2013

07 Nov 2013

Yes, I got accepted to attend the inaugural Start up Bus Africa, a 5 day hackathon on wheels from Harare to Cape Town! This event is bringing different kinds of amazing people from all over the world to form groups and work on some amazing ideas during the trip that we will eventually pitch to Richard Branson! 

Sink or swim

15 Oct 2013

Lesson learnt: FIGHT YOUR FEARS! So yesterday I got home after a weekend at my sister’s only to realize I didn’t have the keys to the apartment. I HAD to get inside the flat though, I had a meeting scheduled for 12 noon. The only way was to get into the flat through a small little window, at the top there (see attached pic) Seemed like the most daring operation, lol growing up I hadn’t climbed houses like my peers would possibly confess they so often did.

Removing all-day label from Drupal calendar module

30 Aug 2013

If you’re new to Drupal, let me tell you something, the Date module is a must-install! It comes with some awesome functionality and a date API that enables you to add date fields to different content types, even entities in Drupal 7!

How to theme Views output Drupal 6/7

30 Aug 2013

I was recently asked by a friend how the output from Views can be themed easily. I’m going to show you an easy way for pure Drupal n00bs to control the look and feel of their website. This tutorial does not require much coding skill, just some CSS knowledge and the ability to use Views is enough.

Guide to securing Joomla v1.5 sites

30 Aug 2013

My Linux installation crashed this morning which got me thinking so much about doing regular backups and making sure everything is secure. It’s been a weird week really, one of my mates got his website hacked too so I’ve had to think a lot on web security as well. I’m a Drupaler and he was running Joomla!, the CMS I dabbled in when I got started into web development. I hope to show you some of the cool things one can do to secure a Joomla! Site, with hacktivists on the prowl now more than ever (for better or worse) it helps to take measures against seeing the photo my friend woke up to find .

Africa is killing it in thinking

30 Aug 2013

Disclaimer: this is in response to a post written by Sam Chipangura on his blog here:
http://takunda.tumblr.com/post/18998396482/is-africa-killing-it-in-the-c…

How to get the most from working at home

23 Aug 2013

it’s about having a culture and making sure that it’s understood.

@tafmakura

when discussing about the challenges of telecommuting, being disciplined and making sure one creates an environment they can best work in.

I totally agree.

Success and consistency

22 Aug 2013

Consistency is one of the key things young and budding entrepreneurs are never told enough times is fundamental to long-term, enduring success. In a lot of success talk and teachings people tend to concentrate on qualities that CREATE success, such as a strong desire for something, networking, working hard or smarter, etcetera. Based on experience so far, I can confidently say there’s something very close to what’s sometimes called “Beginner’s luck”. The easy-going, free flow of positive events at the start. It’s quite endearing and a lot of aspirants, quite literally, lose it at this early stage. Why that free, easy flow is often classified as success possibly has a lot to do with small, achieavable goals people set at start.

Back to old adventures

30 Jul 2013

Exactly a year ago, at this time, I was offered a job to become a full time web developer at Quatrohaus. Back at the time, I was still finding my feet in web development, a process that is still ongoing, and I felt truly honored that such an opportunity had come my way.

Letting of your passion

23 Apr 2013

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to stop many of the habits I had taken up in the past two, three years. That meant a lot of coding, consuming entreporn and talking a lot about opportunities we should be exploiting. What triggered this was not that I was feeling burned out, unmotivated or discouraged but I decided to find out what it felt like to live in an inhibited world once again.

A letter to everyone from my 7 year old niece

20 Mar 2013

This little letter was written by my niece, Ruva when she was over for the holiday last year. She’s 7 years old and learns at Phoenix Primary School in Malawi. After bugging me to write something to her parents, I decided to let her write a letter I promised to post on my blog.

Copied below is what she had to say:

Great startup podcasts to listen to

17 Mar 2013

I have recently become an avid podcast collector over the past month or so and I’m clearly enjoying it. Long before downloading podcasts was even considered normal consumption of internet bandwidth, many of my mates were onto downloading a ton of them, daily. I remember just how odd that struck me and I couldn’t figure their line of thinking whether they thought the internet would be shut down one day and they’d regret missed opportunities or they were seriously putting them to good use. To this day, i’m more clueless than I was then, having downloaded a few now, I can tell you, consuming them is the hardest part.

What happened at Cultureshift

16 Mar 2013

It’s a few days after the two week Culture Shift ideation and hackathon hosted by the British Council, Jumpstart and Culture Code (UK) and for most of us, we are still basking in the afterglow. It was a wonderful event hosted to help local artists mingle with the techies and try to hack together some real solutions to their problems.

Living with less

26 Feb 2013

Any talk of perfection is often linked to minimalism.

Growing up and learning about design, I was advised to know when something is both nice and useful when “when there is nothing more to remove”. That became the mark of near-perfection to me. As a result I have tried to abide by this rule when going about design and writing. This decision has come to haunt me on several occasions with comments centering on the work appearing “bland”, not exciting, very quiet and such. So maybe sometimes I personally have taken it too far? A big possibility given i’m not much of a designer but minimalism doesn’t just stop at design.

Zimbabwe technology 2012, an outlook

01 Feb 2013

It’s a new year(!) and we all know what to expect, bigger things! 2011 was nothing but brilliant and I am 100% sure 2012 will be just as fruitful!