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

Category: The Web

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
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
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
31 August 2017

Why I think it’s fine to ask a mobile user to “Click”

I wrote a guest opinion piece for TechSpark, check it out:… Read more »
Filed under: The Web
5 July 2017

A pre-commit hook to block tab-indented code

Avoiding tab-indentation is the best way to ensure code looks the same on all code editors/viewers including Mac, Windows, Vim and the GitHub website. I made a Git pre-commit hook that lints your newly added lines for tab indentation and stops the commit if it finds any.… Read more »
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13 February 2017

Jade Templating Engine Renamed to Pug

Playing with the Express framework on a Node.js project I was encouraged by Express's documentation to bootstrap my new project with the Jade templating engine. I'd never used Jade before but I liked what came out the box! Diving deeper and hungry for official documentation I searched the term "jade templating" on and scanned my […]… Read more »
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2 February 2017

Utilising the GoodReads API on BookFetch

The biggest problem revealed after Saturdays test of the BookFetch scanner was the systems inability to lookup 60% of the scanned barcodes on the API. Owen, a friend in the local Bristol tech community suggested giving's API a try. I added a fallback in the code that processes the scans so that if it should […]… Read more »
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28 January 2017
Martin using BookFetch scanner

BookFetch scanner tested in the wild

In the 2 shops that did let me test the system I was able to establish that all the books in a single shop could be scanned in about 20 minutes.… Read more »
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