Software Evaluation, Part Two: A Closer Look

Adding software dependencies to a project can be good or bad. On the one hand, they can save us time not having to implement things that have already been built for us. But on the other hand, they can sometimes cause problems.

In part one of this miniseries, we looked at how to make a basic assessment of a third-party software project with a view to adding it as a dependencies in one of our own. We looked at how the project handles breaking changes, testing, release branches, and licensing.

In this post, we’re going to look at how to scrutinise a project closer.

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AWS Mumbai Region Now Available

We are happy to announce the availability of the AWS Mumbai region.

The AWS Mumbai region is available when booting up an instance for the first time. Just select “Asia Pacific (Mumbai)” from Region dropdown menu.

Engine Yard clients who have their own AWS accounts will also be able to provision resources in this region in the exact same fashion.

Mumbai is a perfect AWS availability region if your development team is based in India, or a large number of your users are.

If you have any questions or you would like to discuss availability regions, please contact our customer success team.

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Software Evaluation, Part One: Basic Suitability

When working on a software project, making use of third-party products, tools, or libraries can often save a lot of time and effort. But we have to be careful. If we choose poorly, we might be causing work further down the line.

As a member of Engine Yard’s distribution team, I am constantly reviewing open source projects for their inclusion in our stack. Having been through this many times in the past, I thought I’d share with you some of the things I take into consideration.

In part one of this miniseries, we’ll take a look at indicators of basic suitability. And in part two, we’ll look at more in depth evaluation areas such as ease of modification, dependencies, size, and community.

How much weight you put on any of these factors is up to you, and will often vary from one project to the next based on how critical it is, how you expect to use it, and so on.

Sometimes you won’t be able to satisfy everything, but that doesn’t have to be a showstopper. More often than not, compromises have to be made. The goal in assessing any project is to understand the risks involved.

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How To Write Code With Style: 7 Tips For Cleaner Code

Code is communication. It has two audiences: the computer, and the future maintainer. How we communicate with the computer is rather objective: you either gave it the instructions to do what you really wanted, or you didn’t.

But people aren’t so easy. As computer programmers, we channel our hopes, dreams, and moods into our writing. WordPress popularized the slogan “Code is Poetry”. To me, it reads as a true statement.

There are as many ways to write code as there are programmers, and we all do it a little bit differently. There’s beauty in this diversity, but it also makes it harder to be understood. And the harder it is to read code, the longer it takes to maintain and extend it. Time is money, so this is a bummer when it comes to building a tech business.

How can we effectively communicate with other humans when we’re programming? Write code with style! In this post, we’ll explore seven rules of thumb that you can use to write cleaner code.

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How To Clean Up Your JavaScript Build With Tree Shaking

The world of JavaScript development can be frustrating and exciting.

Every day, new libraries and modules are published, and it can feel overwhelming to try to keep up. On the other hand, all of this change has its benefits. As a community, we’re heading more and more toward an ecosystem that’s easier to work in and reason about. We keep getting new candy, and it makes our lives better!

One JavaScript improvement that’s been getting some attention lately is the idea Tree Shaking. What’s that, you ask? Simply put, it’s a way to clean up your bundling process by excluding code you’re not using.

We all hate bloat in our projects. Unused code increases mental overhead and makes it much harder to understand what’s going on. More importantly, it increases the size of the payload we’re sending to users in front-end projects.

In this post, we’ll take a look at tree shaking with JavaScript. What it is, how it works, and how to get started using it.

Let’s create a cleaner build for your project!

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