Martin Joiner's Blog Writing about software development, climbing and life.
18 December 2023

Why Climbing holidays in Spain are better than on Kalymnos

The experience of travelling to the crag in Spain is much better than Kalymnos. In Spain you and your buddy climb into an efficient little hatchback, tune into local radio and quietly bumble up the mountain roads. In Kalymnos everyone travels in mobs on badly maintained mopeds, filling the valleys with an annoying whining noise […]… Read more »
Filed under: Climbing
29 September 2023

How to climb inside a 35 year old body

I only began my climbing journey in 2018 when I was already 35 years old. I started going bouldering after work in an attempt to switch off from the relentlessly satisfying but quite addictive puzzle solving of software engineering. The immersive challenge of climbing was immediately engaging and I've not stopped ever since. It's now […]… Read more »
Filed under: Climbing
15 September 2023

Eco pension tidy-up

It was a calm summers evening on a sleepy weekday in Bristol. The still air dappled with the distant parp of train horns from nearby Temple Meads station and the gentle clanging of d-locks knocking against bike racks as the punters gathered for another Tech4Good Meetup. I entered the Engine Shed to be greeted by […]… Read more »
Filed under: Life
11 August 2023

Essential skills to learn to land a junior developer role

My girlfriend is retraining as a software developer and I am supporting her as best I can. I've mentored juniors before but never a complete beginner. It's a weirdly nostalgic experience witnessing her grapple with the same challenges that were driving me to frustration 20 years ago.... HTML "Why is a link made with an […]… Read more »
Filed under: The Web
28 July 2023

Realising PHPUnit is not just Unit tests

It is far too easy to assume that PHPUnit only does Unit tests. I was guilty of this until a recent shift in thinking and now the latest linguistic faux pas on my list of things to hate is when colleagues casually refer to the PHPUnit tests as "the unit tests". They are not the […]… Read more »
Filed under: The Web
19 May 2023

Canal de les Dames via ferrata in Montserrat

The short summary is: It feels like they've forced a via ferrata in where there is no natural line of climbing. It's more like a walk with 4 muscular V3 bouldering challenges en route. It's May 2023, we're on day 1 of our 9-day roadtrip from Barcelona, through Tarragona region and down to Costa Blanca. […]… Read more »
Filed under: Climbing Tagged as:
26 May 2022

Redefining what Open Mic Finder is to me

I first published the open mic finder website way back in January 2010. Within a few years it was the top resource for information on open mic nights in the United Kingdom. A few months ago I was about to shut it down permanently, but then I changed my mind. One thing that's always been […]… Read more »
Filed under: The Web
24 May 2020

MTN 94 GIMP Palette

I have started an open source repository of GIMP palette files (.glp) for all the major ranges of street art paint. The first range I've added is my personal favourite MTN 94. It would be good to get palettes for all the major ranges covered included other brands like Molotow and Posca. Contributions welcomed. Download […]… Read more »
Filed under: Art
30 December 2019
Martin speaking at event

Dependency Version Constraints Talk at PHP SW

In November 2019 I delivered a talk at Bristol tech meetup PHP South West covering a small but very useful piece of knowledge. NPM and Composer kind of hit critical popularity at the same time. By 2013/14 a package manager was an integral part of web development if you wanted to use all the shiny […]… Read more »
Filed under: The Web
4 May 2018
Martin stood in front of presentation screen

Speedy Seeding: Lightning talk at PHP SW

Earlier this month I spoke at local developer meetup PHP South West. My lightning talk at focussed on making seeding loads of data quick and painless so as not to discourage yourself from optimising your application.… Read more »
Filed under: The Web