Jun 262017
 

Java 8 introduced a lot of cool features, 1 of the most useful of which was the stream() method. This nifty little method lets you treat an Iterable as a stream, enabling cool things like lambdas operating over a list. Related to stream() is parallelStream(). This lets you group your stream into smaller streams that are run in, you guessed it, parallel. Specifically, your data is processed in a thread pool the size of the number of cores on your machine, minus the one running your app. That’s a handy piece of information you’re going to want to keep in mind before you start throwing this nifty little call around in your code.  Continue reading »

 Posted by at 2:44 PM
Sep 302016
 

Recently, we had a Kinesis consumer back up due to a deployment problem. Sadly, this problem went on for 2 days without us noticing, so we were pretty backed up. Now in theory, we should have been able to catch back up to real-time data sometime later that calendar day. In reality, we fell 2 days behind and it took us 2 days to catch up. That’s not acceptable, and I wanted to document the list of things we tried and how well they worked and to document our process for looking for the bottleneck. Obviously, there’s tons of room for improvement in the code, but there’s also a lot of room for improvement in how we were doing things before, and probably a lot of room for in how we went about trying to fix the issue.

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 Posted by at 10:00 PM
Aug 022016
 

I transferred teams at work recently, and spent about a week trying to get their code running on my laptop so I can do useful development work. This is in addition to trying to wrap my head around the existing codebase and figuring out how to test my changes. It’s not that the code is bad, it’s just getting all the ****ing components hooked up, communicating with each other, and playing nicely together an exercise in impossibility. Coming from a group that ran everything in AWS, going back to managing all the third-party services in a development environment makes me want to flip my desk over and start screaming about what the **** is wrong with everyone.

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 Posted by at 12:41 AM
Aug 082015
 

My last post about mocking a Netty server using Mockito worked for Netty 3.x, but the changes made in Netty 4.0 broke a lot of that work. After spending some quality time reading up on the changes from 3 to 4 and debugging my testing code, I got my mocked Netty server working with Netty 4.0, and now I’m posting it here in the hopes it helps anyone else who’s looking to mock a current Netty server for their unit tests.  Continue reading »

 Posted by at 12:04 PM
Jul 232015
 

A while back at work, we noticed a periodic issue where remote jobs just weren’t being run. That was being caused by the fact that the jobs weren’t actually being sent to the remote AWS instances that were meant to be running said jobs. Just why the jobs weren’t being sent out was a mystery, but a simple bouncing of either the remote servers or the main application itself seemed to get things moving again. In the meantime, we were off on a hunt for just why these jobs were no longer getting dispatched.

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 Posted by at 7:30 AM
May 102015
 

EDIT – This post was written for mocking a Netty 3.x server. For mocking a Netty 4.0 server, see this post.

While working on an app with my current job, I wound up touching some code that didn’t have any unit tests associated with it. Since we’re a small team (but growing), any automation in testing really helps (not to mention just being a good thing to do). The issue was the code was all in a request handler for a Netty server, which meant I needed a way of either running a Netty server during the Maven build process, or I needed to simulate 1 via some type of mocking library. Ultimately, I settled on the latter. Here’s how I did, and the things I learned along the way.

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 Posted by at 4:20 PM
Feb 072015
 

Pretty much everybody in the developed world (and most of the developing world) interacts with Facebook as an application. Not many people have to actually deal with Facebook from an API level. I’ve spent a few months writing some code that tries to perform a few simple tasks on Facebook, and it’s been rough. Here’s a random collection of things I’ve learned, gotchas, and other points worth noting in the process. As a brief point of reference, most of my interaction with Facebook comes from the server-side code, written in Java, although I’ve played around with Facebook’s JavaScript SDK as well.

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 Posted by at 3:31 PM
Nov 072014
 

1 of the last projects I worked on at my previous job involved aggregating, storing, and querying log data into and from Elasticsearch (yes, I know that Logstash does that – and in reality I should have gone that route). That, along with some lookups on the data outside of the code, gave me a chance to start playing with Elasticsearch. After my brief experience with it, I can tell you there’s a lot of power in Elasticsesarch, but it’s going to take you a surprisingly longer to figure out how to tap it than you would expect. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 12:28 PM
Apr 262014
 

Read any technical blog post that gives a deep dive into fixing any type of issue, and 1 thing you notice fairly quickly is that going through the logs is an important part of the process. Debug issues in any application you’re working on, and 1 thing you notice fairly quickly is whether or not your logs are any good. It’s a distinction that can make all the difference when the question of “What the deuce just happened?” rears its ugly head. Better logging can make your life easier, largely by telling you all about the state of what’s going on in your code so you can spend your time actually fixing and updating things instead of running down just what is going on in the first place.

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 Posted by at 10:44 PM
Mar 252014
 

I spend a lot of time at work on a read-only RESTful API. A little bit of big picture here, the company I work for, Digitalsmiths, builds the data delivery APIs for TMS (they provide most of the scheduling data you see when you “Guide” on your TV remote). This is powered by Digitalsmiths’s own APIs. Basically what happens is that the TMS API is a front-end for our own API. Calls come in, we build queries for our own API, and query said own API, process the results and then return the appropriate data. When the API was first written, the data covered just the US and Canada. As TMS expanded started to cover other countries, that data grew, and with that has come some growing pains. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 1:14 AM