Tales from the road, waaaaay back

This is a re-publish of an ancient blog post I made in 2012. I’ve put it here for posterity in case it ever disappears from the original server at the company I no longer work for. Enjoy!

7 July 2012 | by Sean Handley

So that about wraps up Scot Ruby for another year. And what a conference it was. This post sums up my Tales From The Road, notes from the talks, impressions of Edinburgh, and lessons learnt. The story begins last Thursday in the rainy city of Manchester…

It begins…

“Landslip on the line at Oxenholme. All trains to Scotland…


How Stuart is handling the sudden switch to remote work

As the whole company is learning first-hand, communicating with your colleagues is very different when working from home than it is when working from the office. There have been some pleasant surprises, but also some struggles and concerns.

The following material discusses strategies for effective remote communication which will hopefully help us settle more comfortably into a sustainable remote working culture by cultivating healthier communication habits.

This started as internal company literature, but we hoped it might be useful to other companies too! Feel free to connect with us via the comments.

🏡 Office vs Remote

In an open-plan office, everyone is immediately available…


Day One

At half eight lastnight, we watched Boris make the announcement live.

No leaving your home without an approved reason. Food, essential work, buying medicine, and exercise once per day. That’s our lot. They already closed the schools last week, so the four of us are here at home together for the duration.

It’s so odd, but it’s such a massive relief to know we’re on police-enforced lockdown. Tessa cried, overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. We raised a glass, and said “to the day this is all finally over.”

Having worked remotely for several years, much of my routine…


Lluís Casals gives us a tour of what it’s like to work on Stuart’s QA team.

A view from Mt Tibidabo

Me in a nutshell: I listen to music all day long, love riding my bicycle, testing software, and being the best father I possibly can for my daughter.

Every Sunday morning I take my mountain bike up to the Serra de Collserola mountain range and take a long ride. Being out in the mountains really helps me to unwind and decompress after a busy week.

From a professional point of view, I’ve been a QA engineer since 2006 and I’m insanely passionate about software testing! 😁

What’s daily life like on the QA team?

A good morning starts with a good breakfast! In the kitchen at Stuart we…


A practical guide to going native with C

Ruby is a wonderful language for so many reasons. It’s expressive, easy to read, ideal for modelling complex domains and there’s a broad and active community maintaining the language and libraries.

However, it can occasionally be preferable to reach down to a lower level language (like C) since Ruby’s expressivity comes at the cost of some overheads. …


Dani Sandoval tells us how they roll on Stuart’s mobile team

I’m Dani, Senior iOS Engineer @ Stuart, father of two boys, and I build human towers in my free time.

I joined Stuart in September 2015, so I’m one of the first employees of the company.

Way back in 2007, on a holiday trip to New York, Apple had just released the first iPhone. I was lucky enough to be able to try it at the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue and, since that very moment, I decided I wanted to develop apps for that device*.

The rest, as they say, is history 😁


Advent Of Code 2018

Santa: Big Elixir fan

Following on from yesterday, here’s the second puzzle of Advent of Code.

The Puzzle: Part 1

— — Day 2: Inventory Management System — -

You stop falling through time, catch your breath, and check the screen on the device. “Destination reached. Current Year: 1518. Current Location: North Pole Utility Closet 83N10.” You made it! Now, to find those anomalies.

Outside the utility closet, you hear footsteps and a voice. “…I’m not sure either. But now that so many people have chimneys, maybe he could sneak in that way?” Another voice responds, “Actually, we’ve been working on a new kind of suit that would…


Advent Of Code 2018

Santa: Big Elixir fan

Advent of Code is upon us again! I’m going to attempt to solve each puzzle with Elixir this year and highlight any interesting things I’ve learned.

The Puzzle: Part 1

After feeling like you’ve been falling for a few minutes, you look at the device’s tiny screen. “Error: Device must be calibrated before first use. Frequency drift detected. Cannot maintain destination lock.” Below the message, the device shows a sequence of changes in frequency (your puzzle input). A value like +6 means the current frequency increases by 6; a value like -3 means the current frequency decreases by 3.

For example, if the device…


Why we chose to run our own engineering mini conference

Artchimboldi, a chic meeting space in central Barcelona, has a peaceful-yet-purposeful ambience. Narrow wooden writing desks sit in neat rows on a faded mosaic tile floor. Sounds of life from the courtyard drift in through the balcony doors as catering staff ferry trays of neatly arranged breakfast pastries.

Class is about to start.

This is the second time we’ve assembled the engineering team at Stuart for our two-day mini conference. The team trickles into the main space to a chorus of whirring and spluttering from the coffee machine. Frontend, QA, backend, data, devops, design, integrations, and product — everybody’s here.


Elia González tells us about the data science team at Stuart

“I am Elia: mathematician, musician, sports and nature lover (and cats above all 😸). If I had a superpower, it would be instant physical regeneration.”

That was exactly my introduction when I started working at Stuart 5 months ago.

Some years ago I discovered that being a data scientist is a lot of fun — years later, I’m still very much devoted to it.

What’s daily life like on the data science team?

Actually, there isn’t a single “daily life” on the Data Science team as our profiles and roles are very different!

The “Elia’s Daily Life” as a Research Data Scientist is:

  • I arrive early in the morning…

Sean Handley

Señor Developer specialising in open-source languages, particularly Ruby & Elixir. whisky.fuelled.dev

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