Weeknote 495: Recovery

Published 2019-09-27 by Jochen Lillich

Having written a few weeknotes now, I’m starting to get the hang of them. I’m happy to see myself getting into a regular writing rhythm, even if it’s just a few words here and there. It’s something I’ll be able to build upon.


Much more importantly, you seem to be enjoying these glimpses into our business and my psyche! I’m doing this not only as an exercise. I’d love if our customers and all the other people who follow what we’re doing here at freistil IT could benefit from my weekly summaries as well. You can’t imagine my joy when I got the following response to my latest weeknote:

“Always good to hear your snippets of news. I truly appreciate the work you do. It’s genuinely helped me deliver better products. Since I started using your hosting service at the beginning of the year, I’ve been highly impressed by the performance: it’s turned a fairly lame Drupal 7 site into something really quite decent. I appreciate that it’s sometimes hard to keep going when you’re alone or in a small team, but the importance of keeping life real, sleeping + eating well and being active away from the desk cannot be underestimated. Hope you find the balance you need and good luck with taking freistil IT forward into its next phase.”

Thank you! I’m tremendously grateful for this feedback. Not only because it justifies the effort I put into my posts but because it confirms that we’re fulfilling our vision: Making sure that website owners can deliver great content without having to worry about performance and uptime.

Family first

Markus got hit by a nasty cold this week. I’ve been manning the fort alone today while Markus is taking a long weekend off to take care of himself and his family — these microscopic buggers never stop at the first family member, do they? We’ll catch up the lost work next week when temperatures and throats are back to normal. One of our earliest principles has been “Family first.” When you’re torn between work and family, default to the latter. Time’s on us. Every time I tell team members this, I get the same reaction: they’re relieved, grateful, and motivated to make up for it later. I can’t see why we should make people decide between letting loved ones down and losing precious vacation time.

On making things painfully obvious

While I was updating our billing processes for SCA compliance, I could not for the life of me find an explanation of how to write integration tests for the Stripe API. Of course I knew of their testing docs that list credit card numbers, each exhibiting its own specific behaviour. Where I got stuck was the question of how I was supposed to submit these numbers from an integration test when the credit card form is protected against automated data entry (for obvious reasons). When after spending many hours on research I had still no solution, I gave up and deployed my changes without automated tests. Only a few days later I noticed that the Stripe docs mention “card tokens”, but I had never seen any. And that’s when I finally found them hidden behind inconspicuous tabs over each section. Using these tokens for automated testing was trivial in the end, which also explains why I didn’t find much written about them on the web.

This experience left only one nagging thought: Stripe’s documentation quality has always been worlds above ours. So how many times have we made people bang their heads on their desk? I see some more writing in my future…

Have a great weekend! And get well soon, Markus!