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

Elliott King
on 22 August 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.


One of our Software Engineers, James Robinson, has written a technical walkthrough to explain how to create a REST web-service that is written with Node.js and deployed to AWS Lambda λ. He also shows how to use the Serverless Framework ⚡ to make the deployment really easy. [link]


The solution to the hardest problem in programming

How to name things

(our man Neil recommends using the Billy Corgan rule: “Say you write a song about a chandelier, and the chandelier gives off light. And the light is the color red and red reminds you of the color you’re not supposed to wear around a bull. So you name the song Cow.”) 

Everyone loves JavaScript, no?  

Oh. Well then, JavaScript for People Who Hate JavaScript, might be useful.

Functional CSS

“Over the last several years, the way I write CSS has transitioned from a ‘semantic’ approach to something more like what people call ‘functional CSS’.” [link]

Long Live GraphQL.

REST APIs are REST-in-Peace APIs. [link]

Augmented Reality in 10 Lines of HTML

AR.js with a-frame magic [link]

A blockchain in 200 lines of code.

For many, just the term Blockchain stands for complexity, “This makes understanding blockchains a necessarily harder task, than it must be. Especially source-code-wisely. Here I will go through a super-simple blockchain I implemented in 200 lines of Javascript called NaiveChain.” [link]

Why is ARKit better than the alternatives?

Most developers don’t know how ARKit works, or why it works better than other SDKs. Looking “under the hood” of ARKit might help. [link]


npm removes malicious JavaScript packages that were caught stealing data

A classic case of typosquatting – foiled. [link]

Window snapping in OSX

Move and resize windows with ease – window control with simple and customizable keyboard shortcuts


Someone embedded a RESTful API into the classic 1993 game DOOM, allowing the game to be queried and controlled using HTTP and JSON. Just because he could, presumably.

Mozilla’s Send is basically the Snapchat of file sharing.

Mozilla has launched a new website that makes it really easy to send a file from one person to another. The site is called Send. After a file has been downloaded once, it disappears for good. [link]

Building an offline-first app with React and RxDB

Service Workers + CouchDB replication for offline-first. [link]


Our choice of rich pickings from GitHub

Rx bindings for Xamarin iOS 

Exactly what it says it is. [link]

Extensible tool for weaving .net assemblies.

Manipulating the IL of an assembly as part of a build requires a significant amount of plumbing code. This plumbing code involves knowledge of both the MSBuild and Visual Studio APIs. Fody attempts to eliminate that plumbing code through an extensible add-in model. [link]


Monospaced font with programming ligatures [link]

Simple Swift Dependency container.

Use protocols to resolve your dependencies and avoid singletons / shared Instances [link]

Google::Flexbox – Xamarin Android Binding Library

“Sweet library:Provides an auto resizing recyclerview backed collection view. Xamarin friendly.” [link]

Autofac adapter for ReactiveUI

Includes both registration extensions and dependency resolver adapter for Splat. [link]

And finally – Fun

Improve your skills by training with others on real code challenges. Our team recommends either CodeWars or CodingGame.


We hope that you found something useful here. If you’re the kind of designer, engineer or developer who’d thrive in a team like ours, get in touch. We’re growing, in Hampshire and Manchester.


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