Security is no longer a Non Functional Requirement (NFR) tagged on the end of a software project a few weeks before Go Live. If you treat security in this way, you end up with ‘point-in-time’ security and then a ever-decreasing level of security quality throughout the product’s lifecycle. New vulnerabilities emerge that put a hole in the side of your ship, and if you don’t patch them, the ship sinks, your customers suffer and ultimately your business suffers. There are multiple strategies and implementations currently being implemented across the industry to mitigate continuous security risk but there is no silver…


Unit testing is the gateway to technical excellence. If you are not including unit tests on your pull requests (PRs), do it, do it now.

The benefits to the maintenance of codebase, the increased delivery speed over time and to your personal competence are worth the initial learning investment. Challenge your peers to include unit testing if they are not and together deliver a better service to your users whilst taking more pride in your technical work. That is all I have time for this week.


Solving problems with code is something all software developers love to do, it probably ignited your passion in the first place and keeps you motivated in your career and side projects alike. Getting to a point where yourself and peers might agree that you are a good developer requires you to solve problems with code that is human understandable, robust and change-able in a timely fashion. …


The AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK) is something I played with when it was launched in 2019 but was waiting for wider adoption and progression towards feature fullness before trialling again, and it looks like those days have come.

This week I’ve been getting to grips with a developing capability that is aiming to provide radar scientists with a cloud-based platform to generate 2D and 3D radar products for the near future, this is focusing on the 0–2 hour forecasting window and blends observations with forecast model data to generate more accurate output and give Operational Meteorologists a better insight…


Cryptocurrency has been around for over a decade now and has gone from being something circulating the hidden edges of the internet to something the Average Joe can add to their investment portfolio, or as it could be phrased, ‘having a crack at making a few quid without risking the roof over your head or food on the table’.

It was initially the underlying technology, blockchain, that got my interest a few years ago. The concept of a decentralised system to complete transactions and maintain a coherent log of events, enabling attribution, traceability and repeatability, without an authoritative power was…


It’s no secret I work at the Met Office. Today, on Earth Day, we’re able to talk openly about the strategic collaboration with Microsoft for the next decade! This is huge news and moving from on-premise supercomputing capability to utilising a cloud-based service provider is a seismic shift in operational delivery within the engine-room of the business.

Here’s an exciting list of things to help understand why this is so massive:

  • 100% powered by renewable energy. This’ll save 7,415 tonnes of CO2 in the first year of operational service alone.
  • 6x uplift in current capacity, followed by a further 3x…


Regardless of your academic background, with respect to software development and/or computer science, there are certain techniques that can elevate your programming skills to the next level. Code katas are one such technique that can form a central part of your personal development. They also remain relevant at all stages of a career that requires a level of coding ability greater than ‘hack it together in your bedroom’.

Through practice and repetition you can expand your problem solving abilities, as well as finding new methods to solving previous problems to keep your skills fresh. Most programming katas follow the same…


Having had the opportunity to lead software engineering activities before having ‘Lead’ in my job title, here are some things I found challenging and how I approached those challenges.

Firstly, software development provides a great culture for leading without authority, as it’s a given that the entire product can’t be delivered by an individual and therefore you must work together, so if you’re an engineer looking to develop leadership-related skills you’ll find it hugely beneficial to take the plunge and take on some extra responsibility/accountability for a deliverable to see how it goes!

Photo by Blake Wheeler on Unsplash

Organisational culture

  • You might already know some…


Whilst blogging is not a new concept to me, as I regularly blog within my organisational boundaries about products, services, capabilities and technologies, I find myself in the position of a recent promotion to Technical Lead and will begin in the role, in a new domain for me, in May 2021.

I’d like to share what I can over the coming months and years about the transition from being a senior software engineer into a technical lead. …

Jeff Shepherd

Technology | Science | All views are my own | He/Him

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