Creating ideas and insights.

Introduction to Modern Databases 

I’m delighted to announce the public availabilty for a project I created the content for “Introduction to Modern Databases”. It is a new free course for educators, instructors, teachers, whether at universities, boot camps, or other learning institutions. It is a free set of materials containing twenty-two lessons in …

Krisp Audio Hijacked Loopbacked Zoom Calls 

I wanted to write up a short post around the audio setup I am using for my day-to-day Zoom Calls. It might be helpful to others and it’s really given my audio setup a lift.

This post covers the specific details that my earlier post didn’t as I …


I’m a technology guy with a background in UX, computer science and technology commercialisation. I’ve been with MongoDB for the last six years starting in the Technical Services moving from an engineering role to a team lead role before moving to the Education department’s Curriculum team producing …

Even more updates to my home office 

This post follows two earlier posts (here and here), which describe my furniture and equipment. This post focuses on three very optional pieces of equipment that I have added, an 8-way surge protector, a headphone amplifier, and an upgrade to my USB hub. I also figured I would mention an …

Some updates to my home office 

Last month I wrote a short piece on my home office setup. I wanted to follow up on that as I’ve added a few additional pieces of equipment, particularly I’ve improved my web camera significantly.

Webcam, camera, and stand for mounting

I had previously used a Logitech C920 …

My home office and it’s bill of materials 

My home office is literally a desk in the corner of a bedroom which is returned to use as a bedroom after I finish work. All the setup and gear I has to fit this requirement.


A fold away desk isn’t a typical order but in Dublin there …

MongoDB The Definitive Guide 3rd Edition Available 

The book is now available as eBook with the paperback version due by the end of the Month. You can also read it directly on O’Reilly’s Learning Platform.

It is fantastic to see the book and my name on sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

MongoDB: The Definitive Guide, 3rd Edition Amazon Listing

MongoDB: The Definitive Guide, 3rd Edition - Barnes & Noble Barnes …

Making a landing page for MongoDB The Definitive Guide 

In advance of the book launch later in December I’ve been doing a little preparation. It turns out that Github is proving not just a useful location for the source code but that it also is an excellent place to host the book’s website/landing page.

I owe …

Co-authoring MongoDB: The Definitive Guide, 3rd Edition 

I’d been holding off on this post for the last few months as I’d being asked by Shannon Bradshaw to help write the third edition of “MongoDB: The Definitive Guide”. I wanted to wait until it was well underway and by the time I’d gotten back to …

Add the three pillars of Observability to your Python App 

Learnings from debugging complex distributed systems

I was at PyCon Ireland 2018 this year and lucky to have my talk on Observability accepted.

The title of the talk was “Adding the three pillars of Observability to your Python app” and was aimed at an intermediate Python audience defining observability, monitoring as well as highlighting various tools …

Celery Database Bottlenecks 

The joys of performance whack-a-mole with distributed systems

I recently had to refactor some code which uses MongoDB and Celery to store results from a scraping process to a MongoDB collection. It involved a number of whack a mole type performance problems due to the distributed nature of the system, and indeed was leading to the Linux out …

Two approaches to scale your processing: Task Queues and Workflows 

PyCon 2017

I was very fortunate to present to the main track at PyCon Ireland 2017 on the topic of scaling your processing.

The talk was entitled “Two approaches to scale your processing: Task Queues and Workflows” and was aimed at an intermediate Python audience to introduce them to the Celery and …

An introduction to Gradient Boosting 

PyCon 2016

In 2016, I again had the pleasure of presenting to the annual Python Ireland Conference or PyCon. I gave a talk on “Gradient Boosting” which was aimed at introducing this technique in terms of general data science aspects but also the Python libraries that one can ues for it.

The …

Using the Public Cloud to Scale Your Capabilities 

Dublin R User Group

I had the pleasure of presenting to the Dublin R User Group on 24 Nov 2015 on ‘Using the Public Cloud to Scale Your Capabilities’. My talk source and examples are in a Github repo. The talk was the third in my series on R and machine learning to the …

Data Pipelines with Python and MongoDB 

PyCon 2015 / MongoDB Days 2015 UK

I had the pleasure of presenting at PyCon 2015 and also at MongoDB Days UK 2015 on building data pipelines with Python and MongoDB.

Both of my talks source’s and examples are in Github repos, PyCon 2015 and MongoDB Days UK 2015. The PyCon talk was aimed at introducing …

Recapping SRECon EU 2015 

Part 2

This is the second part of my notes and thoughts on SRECon Europe 2015. The first part covers focuses on the workshops and some of the talks I attended.


Opening Keynote - PostOps: Recovery from Operations

The tone of the conference was set by Todd Underwood who is the Director …

Recapping SRECon EU 2015 

Site Reliablity Engineering from a European Perspective

I had the pleasure of helping to organise as well as attending SRECon Europe 2015. I have pulled together a few of my notes and links of interest to recap what was an excellent conference. It was focused on operations engineering and on site reliability topics with speakers from many …

My Previous Research 

It’s been a hectic few months learning the ins and outs of MongoDB. I’ve learnt a lot but a request has made me realise that I’d forgotten to bring a few artefacts from my past along with me and that the Internet has forgotten them as well …

Machine Learning of Machines with R 

Dublin R User Group

Following my introduction presentation to the Dublin R User Group on machine learning, I again had the pleasure of being invited to talk on more machine learning. My talk source and examples are in a Github repo. The talk was more intermediate than my previous introductory talk. It used two …

Handy Interaction Design - DEFUSE Dublin 2013 

Design for Use - IxDA Dublin 2013

I was fortunate to have been asked to present at IxDA Dublin Design for Use 2013 (DEFUSE) conference on interaction design. I’ll briefly walk through my talk in this post as technical issues on the night left it a little disjointed. I’ve included references used in the talk …

Omnigraffle, Climacons and Font Awesome 

Stencils for two useful fonts

I recently been doing a few sketches using Omnigraffle and realised that I had to create my first stencils to support the graphical prototyping I’d been working on. The first font is the excellent Font Awesome and it already had a great stencil from Pat Cheung that I merely …

Introduction to Machine Learning with R 

Dublin R User Group

I had the pleasure of presenting to the Dublin R User Group on machine learning. My talk source and examples are in a Github repo. The talk was aimed at introducing machine learning to the group as I hope to follow this talk up with more intermediate topics.

PDF version …