Chris Blunt

Hi, I'm Chris.

I'm a consultant and software developer based in Plymouth, UK. This site is a collection of tutorials, thoughts and things I've learned in code, life and running my business.

Today, I mostly help people and organisations who use Ruby on Rails. I enjoy learning new tools and technologies, though, as well as the art of business. This means I'm often dabbling with new languages and frameworks, and posting what I learn. My now page describes what currently has my attention.

You can follow and contact me on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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Rails 3: Storing Model Metadata Attributes with ActiveRecord::Store

I recently discovered the excellent ActiveRecord store method whilst researching the best-practice for storing optional, flexible metadata against a record. store lets you keep simple key/value data into a single text column on your model.
Posted in programming, tips, activerecord

Welcoming 2013 - Goals for the New Year

2012 was the year I said farewell to my twenties, celebrated the birth of our beautiful baby daughter, and started to see some real growth in my business. Whilst blog posts were evidently sparse, it has been an absolutely incredible year, both personally and professionally. So much has happened that the past 12 months seem to have flown by.
Posted in business, personal

Running Plymouth Half Marathon - Let's Raise £1k for Macmillan Cancer Support

Last year, I successfully completed my first Plymouth Half Marathon and raised for local charity Jeremiah’s Journey.
Posted in personal, charity, plymouth

Testing Rendered Views with RSpec2, Capybara and Rails 3.

While view tests are brittle, easily breaking when the design of a page changes, they are undoubtedly handy for checking the important parts of a page are rendered. I usually check for page titles, model attributes/tables or forms, and footer element, and so on.
Posted in howto, programming, android

Moving to Posterous

Update April 2012: Well that was short-lived. I’ve moved back to Wordpress after Posterous sold to Twitter. Opinion seems to be that Posterous may not be around in the future, so I’ve switched back to self-hosting this blog. Posterous had some great advantages (see below), but its main benefit of posting by email still didn’t improve the frequency of my posts.
Posted in personal

Android: How to test Local Web Apps on an Emulated Device (AVD)

Posted in howto, programming, android

Thoughts: On Agile Project Estimating and Pricing

Posted in business, agile

Resource: Google Nexus-S Graphic for Inkscape (SVG / XCF)

I needed a reasonable representation of the Google Nexus S for my site and some client proposal work. There are some stunning examples out there already, but those I found were generally in PSD or non-scalable PNG formats.
Posted in programming, gimp, google

Rails 3: How to Autoload and Autorequire your Custom Library Code

Every time I start a new Rails 3 project, I’m always caught out by its autoloading behaviour. Rails 3 will only require (and so autoload) a module when it is first encountered within the application code, for example by a call to include or require.
Posted in rails, howto, programming

Ubuntu 11.04 Beta - How to test Unity in VirtualBox 4

If you like to test out the latest and greatest builds of Ubuntu, you might like to try the latest 11.04 beta in VirtualBox.
Posted in howto, programming, tips