Behind the Scenes

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…

Upgrading From Play Framework 2.3 to Play 2.5 thumbnail

Recently I had the opportunity to upgrade the Play Framework from 2.3 to 2.5 on all of Lucid’s JVM-based services. A lot of the upgrade involved pretty routine things like changing implicit parameters from Lang to Messages or updating uses of play-json to match the new API. However, over the…

Angular 2 has several different paradigms for bootstrapping an application. The default platform that is used in Angular’s examples is the dynamic browser platform. Platform browser means that this application is going to be bootstrapped in a browser and will therefore have direct access to the DOM and other browser…

How to Make a Presentation in LaTeX thumbnail

When I was tasked with creating a presentation to share with my co-workers at our weekly tech talk, I chose to use LaTeX. While I briefly considered other tools, like Google Slides or PowerPoint, using LaTeX allowed me to easily separate the styling from my content and create my own…

How to Create a Downtime Dashboard Tool with Zapier and Google Sheets thumbnail

At Lucid we want to monitor the health of our services both individually and in aggregate. Last month we worked on setting up a new downtime dashboard tool. We wanted the following functionality: a record of incidents containing the duration of downtime, the service(s) affected, and information about the cause…