Blog Posts

The benefit of side projects (and why I built a Lorem Ipsum Generator for my favourite TV sitcom)

  • Published July 30th 2020
  • Updated August 10th 2020

In December of 2019, I was looking for a lorem ipsum generator to help me add some dummy content to a project that I was working on. I wondered “how difficult would it be to make my own?”. In this post, I want to explain why these small side-projects can seem menial but can be really beneficial and integral to learning new skills.

Practising TDD by building an application to scrape sports players data

  • Published July 22nd 2020
  • Updated August 10th 2020

Have you ever wanted to gather and expose data via an API or use your gathered data in your own application? For a long while, I have wanted to build my own application that uses web scrapers to do this and I have finally made a start.

How I have survived the COVID-19 pandemic (so far)

  • Published July 13th 2020

Approximately 2 months ago, I published a blog post about maintaining motivation as a furloughed employee. At that time, I had been furloughed for one month and was beginning to find it difficult to stay active within my software engineering field. Today, two months after writing that post, I would like to reflect on and share my successes since then.

Upload to Amazon S3 using AWS CLI and NPM scripts

  • Published May 15th 2020

Automate the deployment of your static websites with Amazon S3 and NPM scripts. I have created a simple script to help you quickly upload your site to Amazon S3 by running one simple command in your project terminal.

Maintaining motivation as a furloughed employee

  • Published May 7th 2020

As I write this, the world is in the middle of a pandemic. COVID-19 has impacted the global economy, forcing many UK businesses to furlough large portions of their workforce to survive in these turbulent times. How can furloughed workers in tech make the most of this time to stay sane, happy and productive?

Ship little and often! – The new mantra behind my current portfolio site

  • Published April 21st 2020

Today I released the latest version of my professional website. I have counted this to be the fourth major iteration of my professional website in the space of approximately 6 years. With each new major version came an entirely new design. The content however, remained fairly consistent. ‘Ship little and often’ is the key concept that I am now working with.

Max Symposium 2016 – What I learned

On April 21st, I attended my second Symposium event hosted by the good people at Oracle Maxymiser. The day was packed with speakers from a vast range of companies, plenty of networking opportunities and great food. But what were the key points from this gathering that I took away with me? In this article, I share some of the things that I learned.

How can I promote my blog posts?

  • Published March 20th 2016

Maintaining a blog is a great way of keeping your followers up to date with your activity. It can also be used as a tool to teach and inform. However writing a blog post regularly and not promoting it, will not gift you with many readers. In this article, I aim to guide you through some of the ways that you can promote your blog posts.

My 6 essential WordPress plugins for every new site

  • Published March 1st 2016

I have developed a few WordPress sites for myself and others and with every new project, I find that there are certain WordPress plugins that I must install immediately. In this article, I want to walk you through some of the essential plugins that I use in my WordPress projects.

WordPress theme files – A stripped back starter template

  • Published November 29th 2015

WordPress theme developers often like to start with a theme template and amend this theme to suit the needs of their particular project. However, when you are learning about theme development, starting with a blank slate can often aid your journey towards becoming a theme developer. I have created a stripped back template that can be used to remove the effort of creating all the core files required for your web build.

© Ian Holden 2020

“I don’t want to live my life doing stuff I don’t like to do. I just want to spend my time on creating something true.” – Nikola Sarcevic