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Dependabot is Now Free and It’s Amazing

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GitHub acquired Dependabot and made it free so we tried it out. The results were better than expected. We have long been advocates for consistent software maintenance. It might seem obvious, but software simply must be maintained and kept up to date with its dependencies or it risks atrophying until it becomes an unmaintainable pile of trash. Dependabot is an excellent tool for preventing...

Deploying a Cachet Status Page to DigitalOcean

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If you’ve considered having a status page for your service but are discouraged by the pricing of status page services – consider running an open source status page system like Cachet. This post explains how to install and configure a Cachet status page on the popular DigitalOcean hosting platform. You can run Cachet on DigitalOcean for as little as $5/ month. Create Your Droplet If...

Stop using Time.now and Date.today

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When reviewing Rails apps, I often find many uses of Time.now and Date.today, each of which comes from Ruby itself. Although these methods seem convenient and accessible, they should be avoided inside of Rails apps, as they aren’t converted to the local time zone set inside Rails. Imagine the following (admittedly naive) method inside an Order model: def shipped? shipping_date < Date...

Zero Hesitation and Zero Downtime Deployments with Heroku

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One of the many benefits of the Heroku platform is its ease of integration into modern Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) workflows. Heroku’s built-in CI makes it incredibly easy to keep all your code running in a single platform, without the need to rely on third party tools and without the need to configure and maintain them separately. It’s also extremely...

The First Annual StatusGator Status Page Awards

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StatusGator monitors 411 different status pages, amassing a mountain of data about each. From when they are down and for how long, to what they post, to which pages people monitor the most and everything in between. Using that data, we are proud to present the first of an annual reflection on the past year. The First Annual StatusGator Status Page Awards seeks to applaud (and perhaps gently...

Improve Heroku Geolocation Performance with the Geolite2 Buildpack

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Recently, we began using IP geolocation within StatusGator to learn where are users are located. We are happy to say that it’s working out well.  We hoped to use these insights to tune our marketing. To that end, we added the Ahoy gem to help collect information related to how our advertising campaigns are going.  The Ahoy gem  also uses the geolocation gem to lookup IP addresses.  This...

Dump Google Analytics and use Ahoy to track your Rails app traffic

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StatusGator is built on Ruby on Rails, a popular choice for rapid web application development for more than a decade. One of the many benefits of Rails is its rich ecosystem of open source gems which can provide massive value quickly. We discovered one such gem, Ahoy, on our recent quest to understand how our users find out about StatusGator. StatusGator gets about 3,000 visitors and 20 sign ups...

Break the cycle of write, atrophy, rewrite with consistent software maintenance

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In custom software, the cycle of write, atrophy, rewrite is all too common. Many product owners too reluctant to embrace maintenance and sustaining engineering. A vicious cycle of expensive rewrites ensues. Businesses feel bruised by developers and experience unhealthy surges in cost and business disruption. Think hard before deciding to throw away what you have in pursuit of the greenfield:...

Location, Location, Location.

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StatusGator has a few thousand users.  Recently I grew curious as to where you all are. Surely it would be interesting to learn a little about where they are from.  The results are pretty interesting. I’m pleased to report StatusGator helps users in 85 different countries! The top ten are: USA – 1,061 UK – 207 Canada – 115 India – 72 Australia – 70 Germany...

7 key insights for improving engineering team performance

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Code Climate, the purveyors of software services that help engineering teams become more efficient and productive, recently held their second annual Code Climate Summit. In the opening keynote, Bryan Helmkamp, CodeClimate CEO, outlined 7 conclusions he’s made about how to improve the efficiency of software development teams, using data gathered from hundreds of users of their...

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