Error Boundaries in React 16

TypeError: Cannot read property '_currentElement' of null If you've ever seen this error before, you've probably discovered that it rarely tells you anything about the actual issue that led to it. It is one of several indicators that there is a problem in one of your components, but it won't do much to tell you [...]
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Building an Alexa skill, part II

A few months ago I wrote a blog post on building a basic Alexa skill in which I made a promise to write a part two…so here we are! In the following post these three key areas will be covered: Deploying your code from a remote location Custom slots Session attributes With these additional tools [...]
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Highlights from the Forgerock Identity Live summit 2017

Highlights Reel Forgerock’s Identity Live summit landed in London last month as part of its annual global identity series, bringing together visionary analysts, executives, technical experts, thought leaders, and other identity professionals to share their digital transformation knowledge and experience. As first time sponsors, Amido were proud to be able to help our partner’s Forgerock [...]
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Automate API Testing with Karate

What is Karate? Karate is an open-source tool for automated API testing. The tool was released by Intuit and the project can be found at https://github.com/intuit/karate The main advantage of Karate over other automated API testing tools is that it requires virtually no knowledge of any programming language. Karate’s API Testing DSL In order to [...]
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We Ranked as the 6th Highest Technical Agency in Econsultancy’s Top 100 Digital Agencies Report. Here’s what CEO Alan Walsh has to say

Last month Amido debuted on Econsultancy’s Top 100 Digital Agencies Report, coming in as the 6th highest ranking technical consultancy, 56th overall, and I couldn’t be more delighted. There have been many factors that have contributed to Amido’s increasing growth and success over the last few years, but our driver at the centre of it [...]
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Custom React App

Any commands below will assume you're using yarn. If you're not, you can install it here. If you're still not, good luck. Facebook's create-react-app (which I will sporadically refer to as CRA) is a great way to bootstrap a new site, and comes with a number of other benefits: Config is hidden away in one dependency, leaving you to [...]
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What is accessibility, and why we should care

For my first role as a web developer I worked for a council in the midlands providing public facing applications for the housing department. This was back when no one was browsing the web on smartphones or tablets and the majority of people used Internet Explorer, whilst the intelligent few favoured Firefox. The first port [...]
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A Day in the Life: Andy Jutton, Principal Technical Consultant, Amido

What do you do? I am a principal technical consultant for Amido, specifically responsible for the design and build of software applications across one or more projects. I lead teams from whiteboard to production, working with the client to gather their requirements and architect the right solution. I work with Amido development teams and client [...]
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Dear Alexa – It’s not you, it’s me. Part 2

In Part 1 I discussed the expectations vs. reality of voice control assistants to date, setting up Alexa and teaching Alexa some new skills. Now we'll dive into the problems with Alexa, developing your skills, and our final thoughts... The problem So, minor user experience issues aside — at this point a fairly obvious flaw with the [...]
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Is Tackling End-to-End Encryption Really the Solution to Fighting Online Terrorism?

I am never going to forget this weekend past, late on the 3ʳᵈ June I happened to be watching Sky News when the story of the attack at London Bridge and Borough Market broke.  What followed was 4 hours of continuous news footage as the story unfolded and the horror of seeing a part of [...]
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Dear Alexa – It’s not you, it’s me. Part 1

When I was asked recently by my boss whether I’d like to research and then write about a piece of technology I jumped at the chance to try out Amazon’s Alexa. Before I get started however, let’s back up a bit. Expectations, meet reality Voice assistants have always seemed so futuristic, but until recently, they’ve [...]
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The Sunday Times’ SME Export Track 100 Awards Dinner

Earlier this year Amido became the highest ranking cloud technology consultancy on the 2017 Sunday Times Lloyds SME Export Track 100, an award that ranks Britain’s 100 small and medium sized companies with the fastest growing international sales over the last two years. On the 9th of May Amido's Technical Director, UX Director and Communications [...]
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A day in the Life: Claire Donaldson, Finance Manager, Amido

What do you do? I’m the Finance Manager at Amido and sit amongst the Senior Management team on the Operations side of the business. I manage our day to day accounting and the toing and froing of money in and out of the business from payroll to client invoicing. Much of my time is spent [...]
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A Few Comments on Commenting Code – When can they add value

Last week we talked about why commenting code should be avoided. But comments aren't always bad. So when can they add value? Documentation Sometimes it is necessary to document publicly accessibly functions, classes – particularly for APIs or libraries where you don't want developers integrating with it to have to look at the source for [...]
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A Few Comments on Commenting Code – When to avoid them

When writing software, the accessibility and readability of the code for other developers is important, especially when collaborating as part of a team or individuals. It helps to ensure sustainable development of a product. However, commented code is not the same as readable code. In my experience, it is often the opposite – comments detract [...]
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DevOps StackExchange Beta: One month in

On September 15th, 2008 StackOverflow hit the Internet; created by Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood to be the Software Developer's answer to the inherently closed incumbent Q&A sites. Eight and a half years later and the site is ranked in the top 50 most visited sites in the world and is the defacto standard for [...]
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The Power of Communication: Testing for non-testers

I was fortunate enough to attend the annual TestBash held in Brighton where I met great people and shared interesting stories about their on-going testing journey. It is always lovely to be reminded just how friendly and supportive tester communities can be. One particular workshop caught my attention; ‘Talk About Testing by Not Talking About [...]
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Containers. Well, Docker.

 Imagine containers as a shopping basket, everything you need you just put in there. Containers are just that, but for software. They make moving software painless and more reliable. This could be from a developer's laptop to production, or from a physical machine to the cloud. Docker is one of the most popular open-source container [...]
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Building an Alexa Skill

 I recently attended an Alexa skills workshop at the excellent CodeNode venue in Moorgate. The event, hosted by Skills Matter and run by Amazon, was a freebie and I was curious to learn a bit about building skills. I’d briefly looked into it before but never really got anywhere beyond poking around in the Amazon [...]
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Know your customer – How identity drives effective personalisation, customer acquisition and friction-free sign-on

Personalisation is an increasingly important pillar of effective ecommerce. It is embraced by sectors well beyond its retail roots: in utilities and logistics, financial services and automotive. But, why is it so hard to get right? Customers’ enthusiastic embrace of online, mobile and omni-channel commerce, along with social media, produces great lakes of data. Cloud [...]
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