Serving optimized images with AWS S3, API Gateway and CloudFront.

I like photography and I like having a dedicated space to share my photos along with a little story behind it. Currently that space is a self hosted Wordpress website, with all the images in folders. It is served at DigitalOcean and it costs me 5$ a month. The URL for this is stefanis.studio. I wanted to simplify things and bring my photography content in a subsection of this website, but I don’t want to have all those photos in a folder here....

Working on your own project. Starting AVCUD.

I am supposed to be writing these blog posts every weekend. This time I almost missed it. You should have been reading this text 5 days ago. The reason why this didn’t happen is because I got consumed by a side project that I started. A movie Last Friday I wanted to watch a movie. I decided to start with the year 1984 and watch the best movie of each year, until today....

How to mock the backend with Webpack Dev Server

This is a very useful pattern I was using with my team at TransferWise to mock the backend. Spinning up an entire stack in a codebase with many microservices is a no go, so this is the best solution to improve the productivity of the frontend teams, that I found. To begin with I opted for creating two different webpack.config.xxx.js files, a dev file and a prod file. At webpack.config.dev.js you add the following:...

What if?

Me and my friend were running the other day and the conversation went to a “What if?” place. What if we never left our hometowns? What if I never picked him out of a random list of people to help me in the army? What if I picked York University and not Manchester? What would life be? Where would I be? I don’t know if you, the reader, ever wonder that but it really feels like looking through a crack to a parallel universe....

I feel guilty. The story of a grasshopper.

I feel guilty. The day starts and I start my usual ritual. Coffee beans, 16gr weighted, manually grind them, drop them in the aeropress, pour hot water (not boiling), make my coffee. In the meanwhile I toast two slices of bread. Peanut butter, banana, walk to my laptop, sit down and catch up with messages from friends and family. We talk way more than before. That’s actually a wonderful thing. Why didn’t we do that before?...

How to start a sourdough starter

Growing up there was always bread at home. Either from a local bakery or later my grandmother baking it daily. I grew up loving it and appreciate it. Later in life I was introduced to more complicated flavours of break, namely sourdough. Sourdough, according to Andrew Whitley, means a dough fermented with naturally occurring yeasts and lactobacilli and without industrially manufactured yeast. Chances are you know all that though and you are here because you want to start baking your own Sourdough bread....

Working from home: Two weeks worth of observations

One of the side effects of the quarantine is the fact that I got to work from home for a bit more than two weeks. Here’s some of my observations. The work itself I did work from home some times in the past but this time is different. There are a few things that make this different. The first is the fact that it’s more than before. A lot more. The most I’ve worked from home was a week....

On office chairs

The first thing I bought when I rent my first house was a desk. I was using a random chair that was around. 3 months later I did start having some random pains in the back. I decided to buy a chair. Went on Amazon and bought some random 49£ chair. It lasted a while but I will admit it was not comfortable. Since then I’ve been moving from cheap chair to cheap chair....

Dealing with a pandemic.

Suddenly we all had a rude awakening. We woke up in the dark ages, and it’s just begun. The coronavirus brought fear and panic to every single one of us. This is the closest we will ever be to experience big historic tragedies if we are lucky. Our grandfathers dealt with World Wars and famine. Hopefully we won’t. But we have to persevere all the same. While coronavirus is the obvious problem the sad reality is that there is little we can do, other than washing hands thoroughly, eat well, exercise if you can and keep healthy....

Understanding exponential growth

The past few days it dawned on the entire world that the Coronavirus is here to stay. It’s going to be a long battle. A few people have been claiming that the spread of the virus is going to follow an exponential growth. Exponential growth as a subject is a bit confusing to understand so I will try to understand it a little bit better. Hopefully it helps someone else too....