Behind the Scenes

How to Actually Improve Type Safety with the TypeScript Strict Flags thumbnail

Last summer a team of engineers converted our front-end code from Closure-annotated JavaScript to TypeScript, you can read about it here. It has been a long journey to take that converted code that was smattered with anys and turn it into idiomatic and type-safe TypeScript. The strict compiler flags have…

Agile Documentation: Keeping Your Team in Sync in an Agile World thumbnail

Remember writing a detailed lab report or paper in school? We’ve all been there, and I doubt many of us really enjoyed it. Process and product development documentation can leave that same sour taste in your mouth if it’s just documentation for the sake of documentation. Documentation can take hours…

JavaScriptCore - The Holy Grail of Cross Platform thumbnail

The perfect cross-platform solution. The Holy Grail. The El Dorado of app development. The dream that multiple languages have promised, but none have delivered. As we speak, there are likely a dozen cross-platform projects in the R&D phase—all with a couple years worth of funding and all being built with…

How to Debug Disk Full Errors in Redshift thumbnail

When working with Amazon’s Redshift for the first time, it doesn’t take long to realize it’s different from other relational databases. You have new options like COPY and UNLOAD, and you lose familiar helpers like key constraints. You can work faster with larger sets of data than you ever could…

I recently finished a project which required me to modify an annotation macro for Scala using the Scala Macros Paradise project. Because I was extensively modifying a macro that we were already using, I wanted to write tests to prevent breaking our current workflow and to check that the new…

How to Build Automated Dashboards with Google Apps Script and Google Sheets thumbnail

Dashboards are a powerful way to communicate data to your team. One use for dashboards is tracking the progress of key performance indicators (KPIs). One KPI tracked at Lucid is the ranking and performance of our products in third-party marketplaces. Although there are enterprise-grade products to gather and visualize this…

The Dangers of Garbage-Collected Languages thumbnail

The dangers of garbage-collected languages Any programmer that has had to manually manage memory knows the value of automatic memory management, also known as garbage collection. Garbage collection prevents several potential bugs that occur in manually managed memory, such as dangling pointers, double free errors, and several types of memory…

How to Make a Killer Data Dashboard with Google Sheets thumbnail

Every company operates around objectives and uses key performance indicators (KPIs) to track progress towards those objectives. For each goal, there are two main questions teams should easily be able to answer at any time: How much progress have we made so far? Are we on track to hit the…

Tips & Tricks for Reducing Server Load thumbnail

At Lucid, we have a service-oriented architecture. One of these services is a font service that is responsible for serving font data based on family and unicode range and checking permissions for user-uploaded fonts. We didn’t expect the font service to have particularly high load1 (load is the average number…

Package Management: Stop Using Version Ranges thumbnail

The problem Package and managers Packages are collections of software: data files, binaries, executables, source archives, etc. These are published, resolved, downloaded, and installed with package managers. Unfortunately, in 2017, almost every package manager has the the ability, the default, or even the common practice of creating nondeterminism in the…