Factorio and Flow

I started my Christmas vacation by reading the Observer Effect profile of Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke, where he talks about Factorio (a game where you build massive, complex factories). Tobi considers the game so profound and valuable in the lessons it teaches that any Shopify employee can buy and expense it. That sounded pretty intriguing so I decided try out the game and ended up getting hooked pretty quickly. I’m not actually entirely sure what pushed me over the edge.

Data models for Slack Apps

When I was setting up the database tables for my first Slack app, Simple Poll, I was more or less flying blind. I wasn’t entirely sure what Slack entities I needed to care about, or what data I needed to store and why. Database tables are easy to get wrong at the beginning, and then can become quite hard to fix up later. A lot has happened since those first lines of code in late December 2015!

Building a University API: Why and How

UCL API is a student-led project working to expose the functionality of UCL services via an API that is easy to use for students and staff alike. At present, it provides documented APIs for room bookings (with webhooks), the timetable, people search, library seat occupancy, desktop PC availability, and OAuth (Sign in with UCL). If you’re a student at UCL and want to start building with these APIs, you can dive right in.