The magnificent Painted Turtle

I tend to shy from offering advice on photography, as I don’t see myself as any sort of expert, and I’m certainly no professional. But, as in all things, there will be things I know which others don’t, and vice-versa. And, since others have told me they’ve found my notes useful, I thought I’d share them here.

Some of these points are obvious, some are learned. Some will be obvious to some, and new to others. While the points are all from the view of a DSLR user, many will be generally applicable.

For some examples of what can be…


Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker in snow

Back in October, I posted “Some Notes on DSLR Wildlife Photography” on this site, with some thoughts on what I’d learned in my first few months of photographing the birds of Massachusetts. Six months later, I thought I’d revisit the theme and see how my approach, and skills, have changed since then.

Equipment

A longer zoom is worth the weight

When I initially wrote the first article, I was shooting with a 400mm zoom and my wife was using a 300. I since mentioned that I’d upgraded to a 600mm; these days I shoot almost exclusively with that lens — it’s heavy, but once you’ve learned to handle…


Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/aerial-view-beach-beautiful-cliff-462162/

GraphQL is a powerful, flexible technology that can revolutionise your approach to APIs and massively accelerate their development.
There’s just one problem: it’s incredibly difficult to fully understand.

In the last 3 years I’ve worked on three major API-based projects; an internal GraphQL API for a mobile game, the public, REST-based IX-API standard, and an internal GraphQL API for my current employer. Each of those, even the RESTful API, has made me appreciate the power and potential of GraphQL.
But dear gods, the learning curve is nothing short of a cliff.

The thing is, it’s not for a lack of…


Credit: Jordan Harrison on Unsplash

It’s been my great pleasure this year to work on one of the most interesting and challenging projects of my career — the international collaboration project between LINX, AMS-IX and DE-CIX to create and implement the IX-API specification.

In brief, the IX-API project is intended to provide a common, consistent, and easy-to-use API specification to order large-scale network connectivity from IXPs programatically, without the risks and delays of human-to-human interactions. If you’re not familiar with this area of technology, you could do worse than to consider this “AWS for Networks”.

Spoiler: It turns out that that’s quite difficult.

There are…


Some time ago, a friend of my wife’s invited us for a drink. I ended up finding some of the best beer and conversation I’ve had in my life.

It wasn’t just that first venue — to be honest, I can’t even remember which we went to that time. It was the whole London Craft Beer scene, which lives, thanks to passion and skills of its creators, in numerous drafty railway arches and remote industrial estates across the capital, and in the overflowing cupboards of myriad craft aficionados whose biggest drinking problem is storage space.

So what’s so great about…


The problem with Brexit isn’t simply that it’s an exceptionally bad idea, it’s that it’s left us with a national political conversation which has abandoned any expectation of integrity and honesty.

It’s a problem that has been brewing for decades, although the roots go back centuries. Since the Second World War, we have lived with a dangerous national myth that sees European nations as variously evil or weak, seeing ourselves as the bastion of light. At the same time, while the British Empire disbanded, the imperial mindset never left us, and we still see ourselves as a major global player…


When the cause is political, the effects are political

Those complaining about politicising deaths caused by state failures show you that they can only see politics one way: as an antagonistic point-scoring game.

On the other hand, those complaining about deaths caused by state failures show you they recognise politics as a way to save and improve lives.

Politicians offering only “thoughts and prayers” after avoidable tragedy are unwilling and incapable of taking their responsibilities. Some object that it’s “too soon” to discuss these things. Usually this means they’re hoping to delay long enough that we forget about it.

Politics is only a game to those powerful or rich…


A bad enough question in a social situation where the answer “I’m a software engineer” causes your correspondent’s eyes to instantly glaze, but even worse when you’re talking in a technical environment, or job hunting.

The thing is, whatever it is I do, I’ve been doing it for just short of 20 years, and like most developers I’ve my own unique trajectory through my career. I’ve had 6 permanent roles and about 10 contract clients. Both the industry and the languages I’ve used have changed immensely during this time.

Trying to bundle that down into a snappy answer is nigh-impossible…

Richard George

Multilingual development and DevOps, with occasional politics and craft beer. Like the work? Contribute at https://ko-fi.com/parsingphase

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