Fergus In London

The musings of a man with a keyboard and an internet connection.

OAuth 101: The stuff you actually need to know

2018-03-27 7 min read Fergus
I feel the pain of anyone working with OAuth for the first time: with an RFC (6749) of 75 pages - written in a niche vernacular of “tokens”, “grants”, and “scopes” - it can seem quite daunting when you’re first introduced to it. The good news is that if you can remember a few simple principles, it becomes quite a simple technology to work with. The even better news? Most of these principles are pretty much common sense, like number one… Continue reading

A taste of my own medicine: My Mental Health, and My SSL Certificates

2018-03-14 3 min read Fergus
It’s with a great deal of anxiety that I write this post, and more will be explained in due time - but I’ve had to take a few weeks out to deal with a mental health crisis. During this time, a lapsed SSL certificate on my personal site is far from a major concern.. but it’s quite a potent analogy. Today I discovered that my SSL certificate had expired for Fergus In London - i. Continue reading

Fedora Linux on a MacBook Air. Easy.

2018-03-14 5 min read Fergus
I’ve previously written about going over to Linux full-time, and abandoning my aged Macbook Air for everything other than simple admin tasks - letters, spreadsheets, and the like. Since then I’ve also decided to go for Linux - in this case Fedora - on the Macbook Air too.. and it was quite easy. In the past 6 months or so Apple has been the subject of numerous concerning new stories - stories that may boil down to either gross QA failures, or gross security failures… either way, it doesn’t inspire confidence! Continue reading

Meet Parcel: Because you don't have time for Webpack

2018-03-12 3 min read Fergus
I’m not a front-end developer; I often find myself having to work on front-end tasks, or rig up small prototypes.. but that certainly doesn’t make me a front-end developer. Back in 2016 I found myself spending a month working on a React SPA: after a 3 year hiatus of not doing anything front-end related - largely out of choice - I was absolutely stunned with just how archaic the tooling was, not to mention of inefficiences of npm dependency management… 700mb of dependencies for a SPA and numerous dependencies loaded multiple times: it was an “eye opener”. Continue reading

England's lacklustre 2018 Six Nations: ...why?

2018-03-11 6 min read Fergus
Despite a remaining round of fixtures, the 2018 Six Nations title has already been won - with Ireland being crowned victors ahead of their final clash with England. A well deserved title for a team that has not only shown great desire and belief from the first match - as demonstrated by the dramaticism of their late push for victory against France - but also a team that has demonstrated a silky smooth attacking prowess matched with a solid sense of discipline. Continue reading

Simplest static-site workflow known to man

2018-02-19 3 min read Fergus
This weekend I managed to tick quite a hefty task off of my to-do list: go through 3 months of drafts on this blog, or around 15 posts. Whilst doing so, I decided that I no longer wanted my politics/current affairs musings to be mixed in with my technical pieces. (This was really for no reason other than to reduce the signal-to-noise ratio, and make things seem a bit more… “tidy”. Continue reading

Motorcycles, Imposter Syndrome, and riding through it.

2018-01-23 5 min read Fergus
I’m learning to ride a motorbike; well, I say learning - it’s more riding about on empty roads dreading the inevitable stall as I approach the next junction! Despite getting to grips with clutch control, passing my theory test with 100%, and completing the mandatory basic training… it’s all a bit duanting. It’s a bit like starting a new role. Legally speaking, to learn to ride a motorcycle in the UK, you simply have to attend a one day class that provides you with the skills to continue learning in a safe manner. Continue reading

Pre-empting Tech Burn-Out and "Inconsequential Bullshit"

2018-01-14 5 min read Fergus
The term “burning out” is seemingly an every day one in some tech circles; with most developers that have been in the industry for more than a couple of years having a personal story of times where things have just been too much. Although the phenomenon would appear to be staggeringly (and disappointingly) common, there stills seems to be a lack of understanding over the basics - i.e the “how, why, and when”. Continue reading

Over-engineering 101: Pimping your home network

2017-12-28 5 min read Fergus
Doesn’t it seem bizarre that in a world where home-offices are commonplace, and the concept of remote working is considered quite normal, that we don’t pay more attention to the infrastructure of our home network? No? That’s fine, maybe I just wanted an excuse to do something cool over Christmas. Objectives I had a few days spare, and I wanted to iron out a few frustrations that I’ve been having lately. Continue reading

RFC2119, do you speak it?

2017-12-18 4 min read Fergus
As a developer you should not only be familiar with Request For Comments, or RFCs, but capable of reading them and understanding the concepts they describe. There’s also a lot to love with them: their initials line up perfectly on a standard QWERTY keyboard (seriously, take a peek!), and they detail some of the greatest technical advances of the last few decades. One RFC in particular - RFC 2119 - is arguably of particular importance though; it details the concept of ‘requirement levels” that are used in many many subsequent RFCs. Continue reading
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