Posted in Development, Hack Days

Dev Talk: Helix Pi, A way to make games with no code required

Helix Pi is a side project I’ve been working on over the last two months, outside of work and during hackdays. It’s a browser based tool to allow anyone to make, mod and share games with no coding knowledge required. I gave a talk at Powershop about how it works and what I’m trying to achieve. Check it out. If you want to have a play around, you can try it out at Helix Pi is open source under the MIT license. You can check out the code on Github.

Posted in Development

Ruby gems: Writing one for Powershop

During the last two weeks at Powershop I wrote and published one of my first gems as part of a development task. The gem is called Stopwatch and can be found on GitHub and RubyGems. For a bit of context, recently we had a performance issue with a couple of pages that made them take a few seconds to load. The performance issue was O(N), proportional to how long a customer has been with us. When trying to fix the issue, we also want to prevent it from being introduced again—that’s where Stopwatch comes in. The gem allows you to write automated tests that assert the run time of some task (e.g., loading a page). The idea was that we could write a test as follows: expect { get :index }.to run_for < 0.5.seconds The gem’s RSpec matcher, run_for, will 1) discard a warmup run of the task, 2) time multiple runs of the task and 3) average the run times. While this worked as expected, we have so far encountered […]

Posted in Development, Events

RubyConf AU – Legacy Code

A bunch of us from Powershop went to RubyConf AU 2015 – held this year at sunny Melbourne. There were heaps of excellent talks and we have had lots of opportunities to mingle with the local developer community. One talk was given by Keith Pitty in which he charts out how to deal with Legacy Code. This is an interesting talk for those who really love maintenance. OK, that might be a unicorn in the forest 🙂

Posted in Design, Hack Days

Hack Day Project – Making timesheets fun (ish)

Timesheets or death! As much as we all dislike doing timesheets, Aleks (keeper of time, wrangler of developers) sends us lovingly crafted reminder emails featuring sad cat memes to remind us to do them on time or else. As someone who loves front end and user experience, I wanted to make the ‘Timesheeting’ experience better for everyone. I decided to make a series of themes for our timesheet app. I thought it would be great to have a new theme each week. It didn’t take long and so i set up some rules to make it easy, each theme would have a background, a font colour and header background. Cool. I then set this to change out each week.

Posted in People

Meet Chelsea

Chelsea is one of the friendly faces of the testing and service delivery team. She’s fond of animals and loves chocolate a little *too* much. Favourite pastimes include sleeping, computer games, cartooning and writing. Job title: Test Analyst What that actually means: Chelsea helps make sure the software we are building is awesome and aligns to business and user needs. Chelsea comes from: The Land of Ooo.

Posted in People

Meet Matt

Matt is one of our fantastic Powershop designers, who enjoys creating a smooth and beautiful user experience. He loves to brew beer and play football (hopefully independent of each other), but he doesn’t like paperwork, so please don’t give him any. He can sometimes be seen carrying around a fancy camera or two. Apparently a few years ago he produced a hip-hop album! Perhaps we’ll have to start calling him Matty Matt. Job title: Interaction Lead What that actually means: Matt looks after the product (the Powershop customer site); balancing customer and business needs. Matt comes from: Dunedin.

Posted in People

Meet Nick

Meet Nick! As our youngest developer he comes to us with lots of enthusiasm and a love for learning and teaching. Nick loves to longboard down hills and listen to hip hop. Job Title: Developer What that actually means: Nick works across the stack. He spends a lot of time helping people (peer programming). Nick comes from: Christchurch Nick’s heroes are: Notch, Rodney Mullen, Mozilla Favourite quote: “It always seems impossible until it’s done” – Nelson Mandela

Posted in People

Meet Rachel

Rachel is the badger-loving, saxophone-playing Rails developer and charismatic leader of Team Taniwha. She has a passion for very hoppy beer and once saw Nirvana live (a very long time ago). She also once played in the John Rowles backing band, whatever that means. Job title:  Delivery Team Lead What that actually means: Enabling her team to write code and deliver – ideally she writes code and delivers, too. You can spot Rachel’s desk because: It is home of the The Wombat of Code. When the Wombat is out – Do not disturb, Rachel is busy programming! There will also always be a healthy supply of post-it notes to hand. Rachel comes from: Childhood in the Naki, adulthood in the UK. Rachel’s heroes are: Bill Bailey, Stephen Fry, Brian Cox, Marcus de Sautoy, Jim Al-Khalili.

Posted in People

Meet Kelly

Kelly is one of our super talented interaction designers who also regularly wears her developer hat – she loves coding in CSS and HTML (no really, she does!). You won’t catch her cleaning up her desk often but you’re likely to see her out and about with her camera, doing VJing around town or organising tech events (like Rails Girls Wellington). Before joining us at Powershop she worked for a 5-person startup that raised ₤600,000 in 10 days from equity crowdfunding. Wow!! Job title: Interaction Designer/Developer What that actually means: Kelly sits in between dev and design making wireframes and then integrating them into the product from a front-end perspective. She’s currently working on the new shop UI and refactoring our CSS into Atomic Design structure. You can spot Kelly’s desk because: She has an impressively cluttered desktop. “I think she’s trying to create dark matter from the density of those files” and “Ouch that hurts my […]