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In the beginning of 2020, we in the Synergy team — the team in charge of the cloud infrastructure, devops, SRE, chaos team — had the goal of implementing Istio by the end of the year. Before we started to focus on Istio, we took a look at all the tooling that we had and we found a few things that we needed to update as soon as possible. The first tool that we realised that we needed to update was Landscaper because it was deprecated.

Firstly, we need to say that we’ve been using kubernetes for a few years…

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Luke Wroblewski’s book, MOBILE FIRST, was published nearly ten years ago. I remember being incredibly excited and inspired by the concept of “mobile-first” and put it to work right away.

Ten years on, you might think that this feels like a rather old fashioned or irrelevant strategy to be discussing. There are endless screen sizes and devices out there and some might argue that an omnichannel approach would be a better strategy.

I led the Self Assessment redesign in the Crunch app, giving freelancers and small business owners in the UK a faster and more convenient way to submit their tax return. The team was called “удача”, which means “luck” in Russian, and it was made by one Product Manager, one Scrum Master, six Software Engineers and myself, the Product Designer and a Business Analyst.

What is a Self Assessment, anyway?

A Self Assessment is HMRC’s way of finding out how much Income Tax and National Insurance freelancers need to pay by the 31st January each year. …

At Crunch, we like getting features into our users’ hands as soon as they’re ready. The purpose of testing is to let us know if we’re about to break something while doing this!

Puppeteer is part of our E2E testing process.

What is E2E testing? 🤔

End To End (E2E) testing means firing-up a “copy” of a system and running automated actions on it to ensure that everything works together. These actions simulate what a user might do with the software, and are normally broken down into journeys:

  1. Can the user log in?
  2. Can they navigate to the invoices page?
  3. Can they access the Help…

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When we need technical information about one of our projects, we want it to exist and to be correct. We likely need it in a hurry, perhaps to diagnose something important. All too often, such documentation is missing, incomplete, inconsistent, or has grown useless over time.

We’ve stored a variety of different technical documents in our wiki, Confluence:

  • “How-to” documents
  • Project history and decisions
  • Architectural overviews
  • Questions and FAQs

In each case, we realised that our project code moves much faster than the documentation and that this detachment fosters deterioration and divergence. …

Spring Cloud Config provides server-side and client-side support for externalized configuration in a distributed system. We’ve used it for two and a half years as the principal configuration mechanism for all our JVM services and Pytests, and have plans to put it to use within our front-end projects, too.

Photo by Joel Holland on Unsplash

While some parts of the Cloud Config family haven’t found favour with us, and we decided not to embrace Spring Cloud Bus with its promise of broadcastable changes and hot reloading of service configuration at runtime, we’re far happier with Cloud Config than our previous solution. It didn’t offer the same…

When one talks about companies using cutting-edge technologies in Brighton, Crunch is usually one of the first companies that comes up in conversation. That doesn’t mean we have no place to improve, but the amount of time we actually spend at the next level upgrading from one technology to another is significant on its own.

This kind of technological involvement takes its toll if it isn’t done with the proper focus, therefore the bigger challenge tech companies are often facing is not coming from the technology, but from the lack of principle.

In a world where the list of technologies…

Over the past year, the Kotlin language has made slow but steady progress among our Java microservices, so it’s time we told the story of how this process started, how things are working out for us, and how the future looks.

Although Kotlin is seen as new, it dates back to 2010. While fashions come and go, Kotlin seems to have weathered public scrutiny and gone from strength to strength.

Why we started with Kotlin

Interoperability with Java

Java isn’t going away, and we wouldn’t want it to. We use version 12 in all our microservices, and it’s working well. Realistically, supporting a second back-end language was only…

In an ever-changing technical landscape, where more and more companies are trying to move into a continuous delivery approach, the demand for Automation QA Analysts is always increasing. The time for long manual checks of products just isn’t part of the new world order.

Now is the time for manual QAs to adapt and start to consider the world of automation and how they can get involved. This article will be about my personal journey moving from a manual to an automation tester.

My background

One of the first reasons I wanted to pick up skills in automation is that I really…

When I transitioned from being a Project Manager in a digital agency to becoming a Scrum Master at a non-client-facing Fintech company, the change was much larger than I ever expected. The guys at Crunch worked in a completely different way to how I was used to, and at first, I was wondering whether I would be able to do anything to help them improve, as it already seemed awesome here.

That was two years ago now, and since then I’ve worked with my teams and the organisation to create something that I now feel is a huge step forward…

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