Category Archives: Uncategorized

Retrospectives: The Fish Bone

Can a fish bone help make a good team great?  That depends on what kind of fish bone we are talking about… Blazing Cloud recently purchased the book Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great.  I skimmed through the book’s activities last week in preparation for leading a retrospective.  I picked the Fish Bone activity because [...]

Cucumber Debugging Tip

Tracking down the root of an unmet expectation is even trickier when you can’t see what the expectation is being compared to… one great resource I’ve been using as-of-late is cucumber_rails_debug. Here’s the readme, in all of its complexity: Usage: Add: require ‘ruby-debug’ require ‘cucumber_rails_debug/steps’ To features/support/env.rb Then use: Then debug # opens the debugger [...]

ReadWriteWeb Mobile Summit

I was excited to participate in the ReadWriteWeb Mobile Summit last Friday. Elesterama has a nice write-up of the keynote, which was followed by an unconference led by the fabulous Kaliha Hamlin. The unconference format puts the hallway track front and center, allowing for lots of interaction and great conversations. The hot topics of the [...]

Rails3, RSpec2 and WebMock

Yesterday we were deep in the middle of coding using RSpec 2 and Rails 3 and needed to verify that a method made a specific http request. I happily discovered WebMock, which appears to be a next generation FakeWeb. Originally developed by Bartosz Blimke, I was happy to see that Sam Phillips had it working [...]

startup internships

Blazing Cloud is seeking companies to join the next session of its innovative internship program. The program targets companies which are developing with Ruby on Rails and related tech. Arguably, this shouldn’t even be called an internship — it is really an on ramp for talented engineers hungry to break into Rails development. The company [...]

rails: adding a preview option to new form

Suppose we wanted to modify a basic Rails application so there was the option of a preview before creating a new record. What is a good pattern for adding a second button to a form? There are two options: One controller action with a flag: nice articles by EyeDeal and Myers Development (from 2008 and [...]

Finding Ada Through… Danielle Wheeler!

In Honor of Ada Lovelace Day I would like to highlight the hard work and accomplishments of Danielle Wheeler, a Software Engineer I had the pleasure of working with at Laszlo Systems. Danielle came to Laszlo straight out of college, and quickly became a key contributor to a large production code base. She picks up [...]

Ruby Classes in March

Ruby classes will be taught by Liah Hansen and Sarah Allen. Blazing Cloud is offering two classes, both on Sunday afternoons, for six sessions: March 7 - April 18th. (Note: class will not be held April 4th.) Also, note that Sarah is teaching a full week of classes on Ruby and Rails March 15-19 (details [...]

Test Driven Development for iPhone

UPDATE: Check out the project source code at: Here at Blazing Cloud we really like Test-Driven Development (TDD). We try to use it for all of our development projects, and we recently learned how to do it for IPhone development. The unit test tool available for Cocoa development is more like JUnit for Java [...]


Outsourcing has become a familiar pattern in the software industry. As an alternative to high-priced American workers, companies will hire people overseas at a fraction of the hourly wage. I propose an alternate model of “insourcing” — hiring folks close to home who have the smarts and some of the skills but not the domain [...]