Week #503

Friday, October 2nd, 02020 at 15:51 UTC

In Roman Numerals, 503 is written DIII. 503 is also a quite primey prime number. It is a safe prime, a Chen prime, an Eisenstein prime with no imaginary part, the sum of the cubes of the first four primes (2,3,5,7) and the sum of three consecutive primes (163 + 167 + 173).

We’re in the 500s, so expect a lot of HTTP server error codes. 503 is Service Unavailable.

Last week was 502. That’s the phone area code in Louisville Kentucky. This week, 503 phone area code includes Portland Oregon. It is also the country code prefix for El Salvador.

Data warehousing

This week was mostly spent pair programming for one client. We’ve been digging more and more into their data. Helping optimise database creation to help reduce costs. So far, we’ve made a lot of the updates incremental, which saved a lot of time (and therefore money) and then clustered the data. This is like adding an index, so down-stream calls to make derived tables are much more efficient. All and all, we’ve made excellent strides in cleaning and optimising the data warehouse.


Some more UI clean-up work on our top secrete project. We had an important meeting with a potential partner on the project. We told them we’re going forward with or without them and we’d rather have them onboard. They are interested, but it is never as easy as one person saying yes, so the delay in announcing this project continues.


This is our little side-project that we’ve started on again. When you look at big projects, it is really hard to get into the headspace of the smaller details. Therefore, this always stalled our progress.

We kicked that habit and just started with a single tiny aspect of the project. It is a turn-based game. Rather than try to make all the interactions work together at the same time, we spent this week just simulating each turn.

There is a schedule cron task to run one an hour. It looks in our database, finds the right entities, does some basic calculations, saves the results, then exits until the next hour.

This gives us the opportunity to get the ‘feeling’ for how fast things grow each turn. We are expecting the game to take around 30 days to complete. So far, the pacing feels right. We’re only 5 or so days in, and we’ve already noticed a new problem.

With each turn you accumulate currency based on growth. We can already see this will be a run away economy. We’ll adjust accordingly, but this is a perfect example of how just getting started makes you aware of problems you didn’t plan for when designing all the interactions.

This will be a massive spider-web of interconnected and related entities, balancing them is key for us as developers, but will also be the fun (we hope) of the game. Therefore, it needs to make sense, be fair, and work!

New Projects

We had a great meeting today about being brought onto a small, but impactful project over the 9 months. It is a project funded by grant money, but the winners haven’t publicly announced yet. That means we can’t talk about this one either.

Our roll will be mostly around handling the technical aspects of the website and contributing our experiences into the project. We’re excited to start and now that we’re being cc’ed into emails, we probably already have!

For Future Me

This is the week we saw the US President get COVID-19. It is good to have at least written this down incase we need to go back and find out what we were up to the week this snowball started down the mountain.


It was also the end of the September month this week. We exported all the ours and created invoices and sent them off to their respective companies. We’re very lucking in that there is only one outstanding, unpaid invoice from August still out there. Hopefully, when they get their September invoice, that will prompt them to push both through.