Optimizing database queries

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Most projects you will work on will have a database of some sort. For this reason, optimizing your queries allows you to use all that the database provides without having your application try to reinvent the wheel. In this blog, I’ll be using Postgres and Ruby on Rails to demonstrate some ways that you can optimize things. Much of the second section is Postgres specific, but the concepts should apply to whatever ORM you are using. Hopefully by the end you will have learned some new tricks to improve your project.

EMR Interoperability and the cost of Healthcare

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Healthcare in the United States costs far more than in any other country in the world, and yet the quality of the care Americans receive is rated 11th among first world countries. The high price of healthcare burdens employers, increases the national debt, and historically has left many without access to healthcare. We all want cheaper, better healthcare, but it is difficult to agree on specifics of how to get there. Why is healthcare so expensive? 

Release Practices at Grio

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In a previous blog post, I covered the “textbook” definition of continuous integration, along with a handful of tools and practices that fulfill or help to fulfill said definition. These tools and practices include breaking up your app into components (e.g. front-end and back-end, or, for much larger projects, using microservices), utilizing “watch” utilities locally to iteratively run tests, and choosing test-oriented frameworks (e.g. Rails, Django, Grails, etc.). However, I didn’t talk much about any specific continuous integration setup, nor some of the third-party services that go together to make an efficient release process. I also didn’t talk much about how continuous integration fits into the larger cycle of deployment and release management. I aim to cover some of those topics here, and fill in the larger picture of how CI helps to ensure code quality and stability in a software project.

Into the Core…OS

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At some point in March I received an email stating that I had roughly $40 in DigitalOcean (referral link – get $10 credit!) credit which was going to expire on the first of May. I wanted to do something cool, learn new things, and leverage a large portion of my remaining credits.

My initial plan was to spin up a CoreOS cluster, as it is something that I have had my eye on. Once running I would get Kubernetes running for management/orchestration of deployed applications. During this journey I learned a lot of new things, had a lot of fun, and even got a cool cluster running. However, I never made it to the end goal of Kubernetes in time for my presentation (and this post). Looking back, I don’t consider this to be defeat: I learned a lot of new concepts along the way. I can be certain that I will leverage and use that knowledge in the future too!

The Importance of Good Posture for Software Developers

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A photo of a cartoon man with symptoms of iHunch.

Posture, defined as the position of one’s body while sitting or standing, is something most developers take for granted. The cliche of the programmer hunched over their desk typing away on their laptop is alive and well in many offices. What, exactly, is the problem with poor posture? Is the job necessarily tied to poor back and neck health? What are the long term effects of poor posture? Is there a way to avoid pain down the road?