“How can I better manage my own & my teams workloads so that we’re all equally busy rather than one is manic and one is twiddling thumbs?”

This was a question from a long-time friend, Ant over on the OnTheSide Slack group the other day. He had recently become manager to a team of two and was asking for some advice on delegation.

He specifically tagged me, Si and Dan Blundell, members of the community who have all found ourselves in managerial positions.

It took me a while to gather my thoughts because, I have no formal managerial training and…


Cloudflare is a service which, among other things, provides a CDN (Content Delivery Network), firewall, and performance layer for your website. It has plenty of paid upgrades and features and is a developer’s dream, but what advantage does it have for you to put your website “behind” Cloudflare and how does it work?

Asset caching

Cloudflare has some mega servers which cache your static assets for you, once they have been requested once. This has a huge benefit of saving your server load and bandwidth. With a non-cloudflare’d server, if a user requests a web page which features 10 images, the browser…


I was listening to a recent podcast of Syntax, when there was a “Potluck” question episode ( number 194 to be precise) the other day and one of the questions (about 13 minutes 11 seconds in) really got me thinking:

How do you deal with designers who design without any thought about how dev will implement it?

This question really intrigued me and wobbled me off my privileged vantage point. The fact that people are in the unfortunate position of not being able to see eye-to-eye with their designer and, as developers, are having to ratify designs and components because…


Keeping your data in the cloud could be beneficial — Illustration by Eunji Jeong

/dɪˈvʌɪs aɡˈnɒstɪk/

Allow the user to view, edit and add to their data regardless of the technology used

Last month my phone had to be sent off for repair. For a lot of people, sending off their mobile phone would bring on “the fear”. Worries about losing data and “what if I need that” start to settle in. “How do I back up my data?” becomes the new thought occupying your mind for days, until you eventually have to give in and send off your phone regardless. …


We recently designed and built a data portal which collects disaggregated data from multiple sources from 40 countries for Leonard Cheshire and The Department for International Development.This data is presented on the portal in a series of visualisations across 16 development indicators, grouped into the four themes of inclusive education, economic empowerment, technology/innovation and stigma/discrimination.

The portal presented us with a few technical challenges which we thought we would share.

Data import & storage

Leonard Cheshire needed to be able to update data easily and by themselves on a regular basis. The nature of the data was also very hierarchical so from a data perspective and included 3 levels of information::

  • Country — which includes multiple indicators
  • Indicator — which includes multiple disaggregates
  • Disaggregate

We used a CSV format which included one CSV for each of the above levels to make it easy to update only the data needed. …


Hello, my name is Mike Street and I’m addicted to my phone.

It’s not often you change a habit and it’s certainly not every day you claim a YouTube video changed your life, but last week I altered what was the norm for me. Now, I appreciate how “millennial” and “first world problem” this truly sounds, and I apologise for that, but I finally stopped being addicted to my phone.

I’m not one for watching that many TED talks or presentations (although that’s another habit I seem to have picked up of late), but from some reason I was drawn…


I have recently been carrying my Raspberry Pi back and forth between my home and my local hack space — BuildBrighton.

Both places have WiFi and with a Raspberry Pi A+ missing an ethernet port, you need to ensure you can access the Pio to do any sort of development (and I can’t always guarantee a HDMI compatible display will be available).

It’s fairly easy and isn’t restricted to just two — you can add as many WiFi networks as you wish. All you need to know is the SSID and password.

With access to the Pi, edit the following…


I recently set out to remove all of the vendor prefixes from the CSS for all of our clients at work. This is because we use Gulp with Autoprefixer — which means we have up-to-date prefixes and cleaner SCSS.

One way of doing this would be to open every CSS file, search for -moz, then search for -webkit etc. Some of the CSS I was searching through is well over 5 years old and is rife with vendor prefixes.

Regex to the rescue! #

\-(moz|o|webkit|ms|khtml)\-(?!font-smoothing|osx|print|backface).+?;

This is the regular expression I came up with. Using Atom’s built in “Find in Project” tool, with the regex


Set up a new Virtual Private Server (VPS)

Please note, these commands and steps have worked for me. I know a small bit about servers but not enough to take responsibility for anything in this post — enter the commands at your own risk!

I recently acquired a cheap VPS. The thing that is different with a VPS compared to a “hosting” package is that it is complete bare bones. You can choose to install Windows or Linux or anything on it. The problem with this is that it’s bare bones. …


Since I read it a couple of years ago, this quote has really stuck with me.

With recent front-end twitter conversation turning to CSS frameworks, I went on a roller coaster of emotions but eventually settled on the above to sum up how I felt about the ordeal. Before we settle once more, let me take you on the journey I travelled.

Don’t make a CSS framework

We don’t need another framework. We don’t need another Github repo gaining thousands of stars (or not) with no-one actually using it.

There are hundreds (if not thousands) of CSS frameworks out there that do the job perfectly…

Mike Street

CTO and Director of @liquidlightuk, cyclist, geek and amateur phone photographer. Holds extreme views on trivial things

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