Recruitment Ranting

As the Chief Software Engineer of Niume Ltd and as a person who thinks that the Recruitment Industry does not perform well within the Software Industry (apart from gathering CVs), I have to personally interview and test the skills of each applicant.

Because of this, I stumble upon millions of things that annoy me and can be pretty well summarized in this blog post here and this one here, written by a fellow software developer in Greece. Since Greek is not the language the masses are familiar with, I am going to translate most of the points made and maybe add mine too, in order to make applicants more successful next time.

So, let the ranting begin.

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One Full Year in the United Kingdom

So, exactly one year ago, I arrived in London Stansted Airport. But this time it was a single ticket.

I went to Baker Street via easyBus. I didn’t have an oyster card, I was in a rush and I was afraid of not catching a train before the underground closes. I didn’t have a clue when the last train was. So I overpaid a single ticket to Earl’s Court.

Earl’s Court is a place I don’t particularly like but I had to visit for various reasons all of the times I was in London. It still works as an index of my progress as a man. It is all the nice and bad moments summarized together. It still hurts sometimes…

So, back September the 12th, 2012. I didn’t have a smartphone, GPS or internet. I only had a printed street map of the area around the station and my hotel reservation along with clothes, a laptop and one thousand quid that fed me for 3 months.

I clearly remember that I was thinking the following: (I still do today)

“That’s it. This is your opportunity. No more lies. Prove yourself now.”

I didn’t really know what I was going to do. But I knew that I had to do something.

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Setup CentOS 6.4 to run PHP 5.5

I always use the PHP mysql native driver aka mysqlnd when I develop something serious in PHP. Because of many reasons, both of performance and software design nature.

I’ve learned the hard way that the trio mysqlnd – CentOS 6 – PHP 5.3 is never a happy story, unless you have a system administrator sitting around to compile PHP 5.3 with the mysqlnd option in configure command every time you setup another web server. I don’t want to go further to other implications, to be honest I hate being logged in as root and I try to make my visits as short as possible. Sometimes I wonder how sysadmins can like their job.

So, I took a leap of faith, I upgraded all my servers to CentOS 6.4 and I installed PHP 5.5 which ships with mysqlnd and did all the management with yum. Sweet.

It is a bit trickier than it seems though. The default PHP that ships with CentOS 6.4 is PHP 5.3.

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Last Push of the Day/Night

All DevOps out there who use Git as a version control system probably know what it feels like. And it is a very special feeling.
(You also get this feeling with SVN by committing but for me it’s not the same.)

I prefer the push thing. I like the semantics, the poetry about it, its cruelty, everything. And I hate it so much at the same time.

The action of pushing is like signing and assuring that the spaceship can launch tomorrow.

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An evening with Gavin Harrison

So, yesterday it was quite a day.The weather was crap unlike the previous days, but who cares?

Gavin Harrison was in London for a clinic in Wembley Drum Centre. I arrived there with my flatmate at around seven o’clock, just a bit before the doors opened. The tickets were courtesy of this fellow gentleman and colleague.

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Microfeed

I’ll get straight into the point.

Twitter for me is /dev/null. (a black hole). Also, it lacks the feature of searching my own tweets using different parameters.

Facebook UI on the other side is a moving target. And all of a sudden, my wall posts are being archived every once in a while and do not appear normally. Not to mention the fact that one cannot actually search beneath your posts (and please don’t tell me about graph search) and you don’t own any of your data.

So, I went on and created microfeed.

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PHP 5.3 mysqlnd driver – phpmyadmin problems on Ubuntu Linux Server 12.04

Yesterday, I wanted to install the php-mysqlnd driver on an Ubuntu Linux Server running PHP 5.3. I needed to do that in order to be able to run code like that (it fails miserably otherwise and for me that function is like a swiss knife):

$result = $stmt->get_results();

The procedure was quite straightforward, but it kind of “sacked” phpmyadmin. And when I tried to reinstall it, it was uninstalling the mysqlnd driver.

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Bugzilla 4 Installation on Ubuntu Linux Server 12.04

As the lead software engineer for a small software house, I often have to execute sysadmin tasks. One of them was to set up a bug-issue tracker in order to improve software quality and of course make the lives of the team members easier.

The one-and-only bug-issue tracker out there in my not-so-humble opinion is Bugzilla. It’s simplistic and straight to the point as well as developer friendly and open-source. So the task was narrowed down to

“Installing Bugzilla 4 on an Ubuntu Linux Server 12.04”

It may sound as a simple task, but the procedure contains some common pitfalls that are quite frustrating especially for a non sysadmin.

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Tactile Paving

“Tactile paving (also called truncated domes, detectable warnings, Tactile Ground Surface Indicators, detectable warning surfaces) is a system of textured ground surface indicators found on many footpaths, stairs and train station platforms to assist blind and vision impaired pedestrians.” – Wiki

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