My profile picture to be used across the site.

Howdy! I'm a software developer; I work for TotallyMoney as a React Native Engineer. I live in West London, and completed my degree in Computer Science from Brunel University London in July 2017.

While most of my time is spent in front of a laptop, I try to get away when I can; I'm a keen amateur runner and run about 25k a week, focussing on distances between 5 and 10k. Also, I'm a committed Christian and attend Crown Church. Head on over to the About page to find out more.


Assortment of coding, design, and life

Integrating CodePush into CircleCI and Fastlane to improve native app deployments

Over the past year at TotallyMoney I've been focussing on the native application for iOS and Android. It's a React Native application that was released in 2017 and has seen iterative improvements since. TotallyMoney has historically focussed mainly on their website but as apps have become an increasingly large part of the tech sphere, and we've seen from our data that TotallyMoney users who use the app are more engaged than those who use the website, the app has become more and more of an important part of the company.

However, we realised that we were being held back a little from faster iteration on the app, due to the nature of updating native apps. This post is about some stuff that I've learnt about improving deployments and enabling faster iteration within the native app.

1 month with the Dactyl-Manuform

Starting in about September, I started to build the dactyl-manuform as I had begun to experience RSI symptoms while at work. TotallyMoney had already very helpfully bought me a vertical mouse (the excellent Logitech MX Vertical).

Read on to find out more about the keyboard, the build process and some improvements I plan to make.

Composable SVGs in React

The modern web has taught us that using SVGs is a good idea; they scale well on all screen sizes, they have fairly small file sizes, and can be edited easily with CSS. However, using them in a modern single-page app is a bit of a pain. To be piped through Webpack, they need a special loader, and often custom SVG components for libraries like React. And while it’s still possible to change the style (colour, size, etc) of the imported SVGs, it’s a little cumbersome. There must be a better way.


Stuff I've worked on which I'm proud of

The Living Room

Crown ChurchOct 2018 - Jan 2019

I developed a website for The Living Room, Crown Church's building which they want to hire out to groups and businesses to use. I used Gatsby, the same framework this website uses, to develop the site. The content is entirely manageable in Contentful and the Hire page form goes to a Mailchimp list, where Crown Church staff can view the latest enquiries. It is automatically deployed on any Contentful change and needs minimal technical management from me for day-to-day updates.

Technologies: Gatsby, React, Contentful, Netlify, Styled Components, GraphQL, Mailchimp

Veritas Connection Centre

VeritasJul - Nov 2017

VCC is an application to make it possible for people to add their own connection sources to Information Map. Currently, there are over 20 connectors added by Veritas, but in the future, it will be possible for people to define their own without any external input from Veritas.

I joined Veritas mid-way through the project and worked on the front-end of the application, which is written using JavaScript framework Angular.

GetActive London

iminOct 2015 - Jun 2017

GetActive aims to get people more active by showing data from multiple providers and allowing easy, one-click booking. It uses data from imin, who also built it on behalf of London Sport; imin are a data aggregator for physical activity, pulling in data from organisers including British Cycling, Playwaze, Goodgym, OurParks and GLL.

My role in the development was the initial creation of the interface (I joined imin in October 2015, when there wasn't even a GetActive repo in the source control). I had responsibility for the front-end CSS and JavaScript (it was built on React.js), much of which still exists in the codebase today.


Books I am reading or have read
  • Jun - Aug 2019
  • 4
  • pyschology

A very enjoyable book, Gladwell uses illustrations and stories from history and the present day to try and understand why outliers are able to stand out and be successful in their fields. He uses examples from software (Bill Joy, Bill Gates), music (The Beatles), geniuses (Chris Langan), physics (Robert Oppenheimer), law (Joe Flom), psychology (Lewis Terman and his Genetic Study of Genius) and even his own mother and father, to understand what makes someone successful. I particuarly enjoyed the chapter entitled "The Ethnic Theory of Plane Crashes", where Gladwell uses examples from Korean Air's awful record in the 1990s, to their incredible recovery to be one of the world's safest airlines in the mid 2010s, to understand their turnaround. Fascinating stuff, with some really interesting takeaways.

Amazon →
  • Jan - Jun 2019
  • 4
  • science, history

Coming from a background of knowing very little about Physics in general, apart from the surface level and a little about it's relationship to computer science, I found this a fascinating read. I particuarly enjoyed the first half of the book, where Gribbin explains about how quantum theory was introduced to the scientific world in the early 1900s, and then discusses it's real world applications. It gets a bit heavy going at times and I found it tough to read on the tube sometimes, but it's a great book for diving in to the quantum world without it feeling like a text book.

Amazon →

The People vs. Tech

Jamie Bartlett

  • Nov - Dec 2018
  • 5
  • technology, politics, democracy, future
People vs Tech cover

I found it fascinating how Bartlett spoke about the dark side of technology and how it will affect politics in the future. He had a section on how the Donald Trump presidential campaign used Cambridge Analytica to devastating effects. He also has two theories on how the future will pan out - one utopian vision, where machines will take jobs but goods will get much cheaper and quality of life will improve, with universal income becoming the method of income for most people. The other is the dystopian vision; governments will loose the ability to function properly, and as government gets increasingly in-effective and cryptocurrencies continue their rise, tax evasion will get far harder to track, and this will create a viscious cycle of governments who need funds to operate but the poor quality of the government will mean people are far less willing to pay taxes.

Overall I really enjoyed this book; Bartlett included lots of attributes to other authors and books, so many of them, including Atlas Shrugged, Life 3.0 and Present Shock have been added to my Amazon Wishlist for future reading.

Amazon →
[Ed: Hi - if you like my book reviews, I have an Amazon Wishlist full of books; go there to find out what I'll be reading in the future! I'd be absolutely honoured if you wanted to buy me something off that list (but I'm not expecting that from anyone in the slightest). Thanks!]