It’s an exciting time in the decentralised space. New projects, tackling fresh challenges are popping up daily. But there is a trembling beneath our feet, where ground breaking technology is about to surface. Welcome, the return of Maidsafe and their Safe Network.

Winding mountain road
Winding mountain road
Photo by Andy Holmes on Unsplash

Cast your mind back to 2014. Bitcoin was still a young pup and any altcoins that existed were largely tweaked clones. The potential of Bitcoin was already obvious to anyone who had a degree of vision or foresight. There was much work to do, but using QR codes to buy stuff online seemed like the future. A future…

Censorship resistant blogging on the Safe Network is coming to the clear net too. Enter IMIM, the WWW portal to your Safe Network blog.

IMIM client code and blog in a web browser
IMIM client code and blog in a web browser
Photo by author — IMIM blog in action

What is the Safe Network?

I’ve discussed the Safe Network¹ previously, so to be brief, it is an autonomous data network that overlays the traditional internet. It provides immutable and perpetual data access and storage. Everything is encrypted in transit and at rest. It uses a decentralised and distributed design to ensure data is held securely, ready to be accessed whenever needed.

The technology deployed is something to behold. Development started before blockchains were a thing and has taken a completely…

We consume huge quantities of digital information, but at what environmental cost? Is there a more efficient way to share humanity’s data?

Library with lots of books and repetitive architectural features
Library with lots of books and repetitive architectural features
Photo by Giammarco on Unsplash

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

Are we there yet?

No. We just left.

Are we there yet?

No! I said it would be an hour or so and it has been 5 minutes.

Are we there yet?

NO! I’ll tell you when we get there.

Are we there yet?

Give me strength…

Anyone with kids will understand this. They have little or no understanding of time or distance. You can’t explain how long something will take or when it will be ready. They…

Distributed data networks hold the promise of unfettered free speech. They could liberate us from the big tech company monopolies and reduce the tyranny of censorship. But are we ready?

Person walking towards the light at the end of a tunnel
Person walking towards the light at the end of a tunnel
Photo by Benmar Schmidhuber on Unsplash

How Did It Begin?

The Internet was born with big promises of freedom. It was to be a place where people could freely share data with one another, freed of the shackles of our fleshy substance. It was considered a promised land, where individuals were sovereign, with their words existing in a space beyond states and their borders. It was a noble aspiration. The frontier spirit encapsulated in world without physical limitations.

Few have…

There I am, taking a remote interview with a large software company. As a contractor, it’s something I’ve become relatively accustomed to, but this one is different.

After being a developer for over 20 years, I’m about to experience something new. Something I’m not looking forward to. In fact, I’m quite anxious about it. The 30 minute remote coding test, using CoderPad, on my web browser.


Man looking terrified
Man looking terrified
Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash

It Was Going So Well…

The interview was for a short term Java contract, using Spring Boot and AWS. I’ve had many interviews from both sides of the desk, so while I don’t relish the experience, I try…

A green field project unfolds in front of you. Fresh software technologies, ripe for the picking, await discovery. You’re excited, engaged, and ready to embark on a new journey.

Then you pause.

Grey plastic doll choosing body parts
Grey plastic doll choosing body parts
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

How do you choose technologies to review? How do you start to learn them? How do you become sufficiently expert to make a choice?

Step 1 — Research Your Options

With so many technologies available, you need to narrow the beam down to a short list. Don’t make the mistake of just picking the latest and greatest. Technologies come and go and what is trending today, maybe tomorrow’s also ran.

How do you choose…

We all know of the stereotype software developer. They prefer the company of computers rather than people and are uncomfortable communicators. Inside every software developer, there is probably an element of this — you must be comfortable spending long periods interfacing with computers.

But is good communication important for the modern, aspiring, developer?

Laptop with code sits on an empty wooden desk
Laptop with code sits on an empty wooden desk
Photo by Maxwell Nelson on Unsplash

Going Solo

I’m sure many of us have fond memories of intense coding sessions. The moment where computer and human become one, with code flowing from the fingertips to function without obstruction. You feel omnipotent, as order is formed from chaos.

It’s a personal experience, a journey, shared only…

I have always found the digital world fascinating. The way that something can exist in a virtual realm, yet reflect properties of the physical world, makes it unusual yet strangely tangible.

Picture of code fading to car suspension
Picture of code fading to car suspension
From the digital to the physical

Is it appropriate to treat digital representations as objects or entities in their own right? What are their similarities and differences and what do they mean to us? What dangers do these properties present?

Properties of digital stuff

I recall having a conversation years ago with an old friend. We both had computers, which was still a relative novelty at the time. My father has an electrical engineering background and so computers were…

While large corporations with dedicated test engineers may value feature rich test frameworks, they’re not for everyone. Is there a simpler way to test web services and get more bang for your buck?

County path surrounded by trees
County path surrounded by trees
The path less trodden — Photo by Author (Paul Green)

Testing Foundations

Let me start by saying I am not a test engineer, nor a QA. I’m not a specialist in testing at all. As a developer though, I value having testable and well tested applications.

When working in an development team, it is normal — recommended — to have a mixture of both developers and testers. …

Our personal identities are ours and we should not let our employers consume or suffocate them. Nurture them and let them grow.

baby oak tree
baby oak tree
From little acorns do mighty oaks grow — Photo by Author (Paul Green)

Is it healthy to give up so much of ourselves in this way?

Corporate Faith

I’ve often struggled with the notion of being part of a corporate family. It always felt rather superficial and nebulous. I have been keen to trust others, to build relationships with individuals, but I’ve never managed to muster the faith required to believe in the corporation itself.

When I’ve worked for smaller companies, it’s been a different experience. You tend to know everyone and it…

Paul Green

Founder and consultant at Codiate, with over 20 years of experience as a developer.

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