This month’s most useful tools for developers – April 2017

Tim LeRoy
on 13 April 2017

Some are about new thinking or new techniques, some are about old or legacy technology and some are just useful resources for different languages or platforms. The brief is simple – if we think they’re useful, you might too.

Not just a DevOps reading list

This reading list, described by the librarian as a ‘library of proto-devopsian wisdom and theory’, is actually full of good reads for any kind of software engineer or developer, covering everything from NASA’s code review tools to Zen in programming (The Stories of Master Foo)! Although there’s a sort of explanation for the list at the top of the page, you may just want to head straight for the virtual bookshelf, click here. [link]

Who needs a back end anyway? The rise of JAMstack.

How Smashing magazine ditched WordPress and moved to a JAMstack and Netlify’s new open-source, Git-Based CMS.


Visualizing Git

This is cool particularly if you want to visualise stuff like rebase etc [link]

An iOS Dev’s Experience with React Native

The promise is simple and compelling: write once, ship twice. iOS and Android all in one shot. John Scalo is a long term iOS and MacOS developer so his ‘what’s to like and what’s not’ is interesting. [link]

React XP (XP means X-Platform)
Share most of your code between the web, iOS, Android, and Windows. ReactXP is designed with cross-platform development in mind. It exposes APIs, components, props, styles and animation parameters that are implemented in a consistent way across React JS (HTML) and React Native for iOS and Android. [link]

Open Source at Microsoft

“Thousands of Microsoft engineers use, contribute to and release open source every day across every platform, from the cloud to client operating systems, programming languages and more.”

In case you’ve missed it, there’s a huge resource here. [link]

A Visual Guide to What’s New in Swagger 3.0

As a wag in the office wrote “Taking it all in our stride, a walk through the changes… ” Here’s a guide to what’s changed, and how to upgrade from Swagger 2 to OpenAPI 3. [link]

Build your own text editor in C

Exactly what it says it is. [link]

Design principles: Selection bias

How the information we collect influences the decisions we make. [link]

How we built Twitter Lite

The engineering behind Twitter’s new progressive web app. [link]

dawson – a serverless framework for Node.js on AWS

dawson (no capital D needed) uses AWS CloudFormation, Amazon CloudFront, Amazon API Gateway and AWS Lambda to deploy the backend code and to manage the infrastructure for you. [link]


Open Source framework for building truly native mobile apps with standards-based JavaScript and CSS. NativeScript enables developers to build native iOS, Android and Windows Phone apps while sharing the application code across the platforms. [link]

Wrangling the stats at the Government Digital Service

“Producing official statistics for publications is a key function of many teams across government. It’s a time consuming and meticulous process to ensure that statistics are accurate and timely. With open source software becoming more widely used, there’s now a range of tools and techniques that can be used to reduce production time, whilst maintaining and even improving the quality of the publications.” [link]

Stack exchange’s system architecture.

Serving 1.3 billion page views a month without breaking a sweat. Golly. [link]

Let’s get physic’al, physic’al:

“2D JavaScript physics engine for cross-platform HTML5 game development” [link]

History of Containers and the Root of Docker.

Surprisingly interesting. [link]

The 8 tech archetypes

Finally on scientific but humorous note, Eric S. Raymond says you probably fit one of eight tech archetypes: ‘Castellans’ memorise manuals, ‘Tinkers’ can’t stop hacking hardware. Keep ‘Algorithmicists’ out of a corner office. 

Which one are you? [link]

We hope you found some of this interesting and even helpful.  If you did, maybe you’re our kind of person….

Are you an exceptional software developer, engineer or designer (however you like to call yourself) looking for an exceptional new job?  We’ve got new roles in Manchester & Hampshire, so if that’s you, get in touch.



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