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Rob Crocombe

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Software engineer at Ravelin.com

Blog posts

Apple AirPods Review

I’ve been snagging my EarPods on door and drawer handles since my first iPod, wishing for the same comfort and styling without the pesky, tangled cables. So how excited was I when Apple announced the AirPods. I was sensible enough to wait for reviews and opinions first before buying them. Unfortunately supply has been very limited, ordering them online would take 6 weeks for delivery. The best way… Read more →


Azure gives me a headache

What should happen when you delete a web app and create another with the same name? Azure thinks it should sometimes show you the new app, and sometimes give you a “404 Not Found” error, depending on how it feels. We use Azure for deploying production versions of CS Blogs, for reasons I won’t go into here, and it’s been a real pain. The lack of documentation for deploying Node.js apps that are mor… Read more →


Azure gives me a headache

What should happen when you delete a web app and create another with the same name? Azure thinks it should sometimes show you the new app, and sometimes give you a “404 Not Found” error, depending on how it feels. We use Azure for deploying production versions of CS Blogs, for reasons I won’t go into here, and it’s been a real pain. The lack of documentation for deploying Node.js apps that are mor… Read more →


Lessons learned from csblogs.com v1.0

In April this year, Danny Brown and I began re-writing csblogs.com. While version 2.0 looks and acts the same, a lot has changed under the hood. Here are some of the things we’ve learnt along the way. MongoDB wasn’t for us While I didn’t have much of a hand in this choice, mongoose.js was easy to develop with at the early stage of development. We later realised MongoDB was not good for relational… Read more →


Lessons learned from csblogs.com v1.0

In April this year, Danny Brown and I began re-writing csblogs.com. While version 2.0 looks and acts the same, a lot has changed under the hood. Here are some of the things we’ve learnt along the way. MongoDB wasn’t for us While I didn’t have much of a hand in this choice, mongoose.js was easy to develop with at the early stage of development. We later realised MongoDB was not good for relational… Read more →


Code Generation Service, now open source

It’s been almost a year since I finished my masters degree at the University of York, and I’ve finally gotten around to open-sourcing my dissertation project “Code Generation as a Service”. That sounds like the right amount of time to recover from stressful report writing and dealing with the Eclipse IDE. The project is a web service that allows software engineers who specialise in Model-Driven En… Read more →


Code Generation Service, now open source

It’s been almost a year since I finished my masters degree at the University of York, and I’ve finally gotten around to open-sourcing my dissertation project “Code Generation as a Service”. That sounds like the right amount of time to recover from stressful report writing and dealing with the Eclipse IDE. The project is a web service that allows software engineers who specialise in Model-Driven En… Read more →


A new PC build for 2016

For me, building a cool PC is as much fun as using it. When I moved to America, I couldn’t take my PC with me – it’s just too big and heavy (and rather old now) – so I decided I would build a new one from scratch. I wanted something suitable for gaming, to catch up on games I missed last year (The Witcher 3, Tomb Raider, Fallout 4 etc.) and I also plan on getting this year’s games to play on it (l… Read more →


A new PC build for 2016

For me, building a cool PC is as much fun as using it. When I moved to America, I couldn’t take my PC with me – it’s just too big and heavy (and rather old now) – so I decided I would build a new one from scratch. I wanted something suitable for gaming, to catch up on games I missed last year (The Witcher 3, Tomb Raider, Fallout 4 etc.) and I also plan on getting this year’s games to play on it (l… Read more →


Readability: Slack vs HipChat

By now I’ve used my fair share of both Slack and HipChat (team-focused messaging services), and I couldn’t figure out why I did’t like Slack’s user interface. I think I’ve finally figured it out. I was recently looking into the best layout for positioning labels in forms - vertical, above the input, or horizontal, inline and to the left of the input. I found this UX Exchange answer and subsequentl… Read more →