How to write an article – eMAG TechLabs article

From time to time there’s a situation when you have some innovative idea or recently acquired some skill. It definitely did cost you some time and effort. Why not share it with others? Preparing your thoughts for the public consumption helps you organize your knowledge, review the possible flaws and put your idea up for the peer review.

In my recent article in eMAG TechLabs blog I share my techniques that are helpful when you want to put your thoughts on paper (actual or virtual one).

Effective communication in 7 easy steps – eMAG TechLabs article

I encourage you to check out my recent article Effective communication in software development projects – in 7 easy steps published in the eMAG TechLabs – the tech blog of the company that I work for as a Software Development hub manager.

In this article I present seven easy rules that you should take into consideration if you want to improve communication in your projects – not only IT related. It is based on my previous experience married with the culture and experience of eMAG.

This article is my next work in the series related to effective communication, after article in Smashing Magazine and presentation on WarszawQA meeting.

If you have any comments or suggestions – please don’t hesitate to contact me.

New book about Apache Thrift published

In 2011 I prepared a tutorial on Apache Thrift, which was as transcript of my exploration of this great framework. In the first half of 2015 I was approached by Packt Publishing to write a book in their “Learning” series, to serve as an introduction to Apache Thrift.

I am proud to announce, that after over half year of hard work the book was published. It is available in the paperback and ebook formats, from the publisher’s website, on Amazon and some brick-and-mortar bookstores in English-speaking world. If you would like to learn about the Apache Thrift framework I recommend my book, which is the first (and currently only) publication of this kind.

The book is available from:

If you read this book and have any questions or concerns – please don’t hesitate to contact me – I’d be happy to help.

My talk about basics of effective communication at QA event

Recently I took part in the first event called WarszawQA – organized by the community of people interested in Quality Assurance in Warsaw. I gave a talk about basics of effective communication in the IT projects.

You may find my presentation here and the summary of the meeting here (both pages in Polish). I hope, that the video of the presentation will be released soon too.

My work inspiration

I was recently approached by curators of the Workspiration website to write about tools that I use in my work and sources of my inspiration.

You can read my entry here.

Calculate exchange rates with Alfred 2 workflow

Alfred 2 is awesome productivity application for Mac OS X. It allows you to quickly search files, navigate web, run applications and many more. One of the great features of Alfred are workflows – custom actions, that can be triggered (and programmed) by the user.

As a solution to my frequent need of calculating the exchange rates between currencies, I made an Alfred 2 workflow that allows to do exactly that, using Google-like syntax, for example:

rate 123 USD in EUR

will yield result:

90.44 EUR

Here’s a screenshot:

alfred-currencies screenshot

alfred-currencies screenshot

You can download the workflow here. Installation instructions are on the project’s Github page, as well as the code and issue tracker.

How to intercept e-mail messages using E-MailRelay SMTP proxy

Recently I had a suspicion, that my e-mail messages weren’t delivered properly. I use Gmail as a client, however some of my messages are fetched from and sent through the third party server. I was under the impression, that not all of the messages that I send are delivered to the recipient. This problem is hard to debug, because Gmail provides no logs nor client support, and it is also troublesome to get the information from my e-mail/hosting company every time I think something’s wrong.


How to modify and calibrate regular servo to be continuous servo

Most of the servos that are available at reasonable prices are “standard” servos. That means, the output shaft of the servo can be positioned in the position from 0 to 180 degrees. It can be set by the duration of the pulse sent to the control wire (yellow, orange or white) of the servo. Other two wires are power (red) and ground (black or brown). In Arduino, there is Servo library, which serves this purpose.

Standard servo is useful when you want to control angle. However sometimes, you need continuous rotation in specified direction. It is easy to modify standard servo to become continuous servo. In such case, degree of 0 means full speed in one direction, 180 – full speed in other, while middle value means no motion (it is around 90 – more about calibration later).

This tutorial will show you, how to perform such easy modification. You will need to remove the potentiometer and replace it with two 2,2k Ohm resistors.