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PostgreSQL is and remains one of our most popular and growing storage platforms; other storage technologies come and go but modern Postgres is a solid choice for so many applications. When you spin up your first Aiven PostgreSQL, you’ll want to take some time to play with the features … but there’s a problem. Your new shiny database is empty.

Finding and using some open datasets is a great way to fill this gap, and one option is go try the Kaggle platform. It’s a place to find open data, advice about data science, and some competitions you can participate…


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Choosing Between Kafka and RabbitMQ

There are many roads that can lead to the moment you decide you need a queue. Queues are an excellent way to loosely couple many different components and allow them to exchange data without detailed knowledge about one another. Using a queue is also an excellent way to distribute work between multiple nodes to perform asynchronous tasks.

Queues come in different flavours and success is morely likely when you can use the queue that best fits the shape of your use case. …


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I enjoy a productivity hack as much as the next person, and I’m often asked about my setup. My background is in engineering (I hold an MEng in Electronic Engineering from York) and recognise the legacy of the lab book in much of what I do. If you’re new to the lab book concept, check out this excellent article on how to maintain one properly. My practice breaks a LOT of the lab book rules and is also heavily influenced by the Bullet Journal trend (if you have time to spare, the instagram #bulletjournal hashtag gives a prettier introduction), which…


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I work in Developer Relations, or “DevRel”, and 2020 was a strange year with travel restrictions that meant that the entire industry did everything online, or digitally. I see this as a very positive progression of the way we work as DevRel professionals, and I understand that might be controversial, but I’d like to back up my position so hear me out (and then let me know what you think!).

Digital is an obvious way to do DevRel. Where are the developers? On the internet, on StackOverflow and reading dev.to, chatting on Discord and Twitter. …


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With OpenAPI 3.1 coming “soon”, I gave a talk at APIDays Paris about what to expect. But I’m a great fan of the written word as reference so here’s a written recap of what’s in the next OpenAPI release.

Top features:
— Compatible with JSON Schema 2020–12
— Webhook support
— Many other minor improvements

Version Numbering

As of OpenAPI 3.1, the OpenAPI project doesn’t follow semantic versioning. That sounds like a totally irresponsible decision but it actually makes some sense for a standard where every API description clearly states the version of OpenAPI it relates to. Also, they don’t let me…


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Take two things that we love: WhatsApp messages and Laravel framework. Mix them together. What do you get? Fun with phones!

This tutorial shows you how to create a Laravel application that sends and responds to WhatsApp messages.

You will need:

  • A PHP development platform (Laravel 8 requires PHP 7.3 or later)
  • WhatsApp on your phone

Vonage API Account

To complete this tutorial, you will need a Vonage API account. If you don’t have one already, you can sign up today and start building with free credit.

Once you have an account, you can find your API Key and API Secret at the…


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I haven’t used a pointing device in over a decade, and I get a lot of questions about how I navigate the web using only the keyboard. The short answer is: Vimium and funnily enough, it’s a productivity tool rather than an accessibility tool. Curious? Let me show you around!

Vimium is available as a plugin/extension for both Chrome and Firefox. Basically, you install it, and then press f.


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I work a lot with JSON APIs in my Go projects, so almost every struct has some field tags on it to translate AccountID into account_id and that sort of thing. Then one day I needed to load data from config using mapstructure and it took a few attempts with the search engine to find the syntax I needed, so it's here for next time I need it (or in case you need it too).

Combining JSON and Mapstructure

An example truly is worth a thousand words! (This one is from the code that drives the [neopixel shelf](https://lornajane.net/posts/2020/neopixel-shelf)):

type LEDColour struct { Red uint8…

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’Tis the season of many pull requests, so today I thought I’d share a tip for avoiding common pull request mistakes that arise from having an out of date master branch.
Becoming a repeat contributor of a project is one of the best things that can happen to anyone taking part in Hacktoberfest — but there are some things to look out for when you’re making a pull request that isn’t the first on a freshly forked repo. Today I’ll share my tips for making sure that every pull request is as good as the first one!

Vonage is thrilled…

Lorna Mitchell

Polyglot programmer, technology addict, open source fanatic and incurable blogger (see http://lornajane.net)

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