Mowing My Technical Lawn

Hello!

I’m Logan McGrath, I’m a senior software engineer, and I specialize in a segment of software applications engineering that sits between the framework and the business logic. In my day job at Credit Karma I work with a team to provide building blocks with which my fellow product engineers can write less code and more quickly deliver valuable features to members. By night I dabble in esoteric programming languages, theories, and tools to better hone my craft. It’s what I like to do when my husband isn’t encouraging me to go play outside.

I have been working in tech since 2007, where I started as just a wee web developer putting together shopping carts. I’ve since found my way into bigger projects.

My Life Away from Work

When I’m away from the computer I’m spending time with my husband Dr. Corey Blanchette and our two dogs, Jellybean and Meatball. Corey cooks and I do the dishes if I can beat him to them. Most evenings we can be found on the patio enjoying my latest mixology attempt while he tries to teach me ways to remember different parts of human anatomy. For the most part all I can retain are the acronyms that sound inappropriate, and I’m happy to share them over a drink. One of my favorites is a mnemonic he was taught in school to name the “carpals”, which I’m pretty sure is a kind of bone.

Sometimes I make bad drinks, but fortunately we have a reliable backup. We call it The Bunny, consisting of your choice of liquor, ginger beer, carrot juice, fresh lime, and a little bit of orange liqueur over the top. Adjust to taste and best served in a copper mug. Very refreshing, and it might even count as a serving of vegetables!

My Life as It Relates to My Site

As this is my site and my life, all opinions I express here are my own. Let me know if I’m wrong.

I like to share what makes life worthwhile. Sometimes that’s helping my dogs figure out something new, or finding a really cool trick at work that helps my team out. Sometimes hard things have to happen in order for life to be worthwhile, and I can’t promise that reading about what I share is easy. I’ve come to good places by way of some painful lessons both personally and professionally.

My goal isn’t to express edgy opinions, technical or otherwise. It’s as easy to express something objectively harmful and empower grotesque behavior as it is to simply to hate on technology and get some fake internet points. Anyone can write a page full of salt. Salt’s a popular, low-effort genre. I want show people things that can be constructive, and I think this is an important bar for myself.

My Professional Offering

Tools of the Trade

Foundations and Practices

  • Low Code
  • Frameworks and Platforms
  • Technical Enablement
  • Agile, Scrum, Kanban
  • Source Control
  • Test Automation
  • Experimentation
  • Test in Production
  • Automate the Hard Parts
  • Pair Programming
  • Mentorship
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Always Learning

Languages

  • Scala
  • Ruby
  • Python
  • Rust
  • Java and C#
  • Haskell
  • JavaScript
  • TypeScript
  • Sometimes Go!

Databases

  • Postgres
  • MySQL
  • Oracle
  • SQL Server
  • Mongo
  • Firebase
  • Thumb Drive

Interfaces

  • React
  • Angular
  • HTML, by hand!

Integrations

  • GraphQL
  • Protobuf
  • Thrift
  • gRPC
  • REST

Putting Technology to Work

My primary customers are technical teams looking to accelerate time to market for new features and changes. Product teams need solid building blocks to deliver these features and I work as a force multiplier by providing the low code frameworks, tools, and infrastructure required to ship quickly and be nimble to change. My goal as a professional is to craft systems that reduce the number of teams and organizations, and more importantly time and cost, required to ship work in order to maximize value to the business and better serve customers.

Making the Hard Work Matter

Engineers are too expensive to be putting together bespoke content with high rates of churn. Low code allows engineers to focus on the hard problems and enables more opportunities for businesses to better harness the value they bring. I mentor engineers to help them realize their full potential as technologists and become drivers in better engineering with less code.

Looking for an Engineer?

For prospective employers, referrals, and recruiters: I am happily employed, though I welcome chats about prospects if you believe I am a good fit for your technical needs. I apply what works from my experience to technical teams and reinforce what the teams are already doing well both internally and within the broader context of the engineering organization they support. Sometimes my existing toolbelt doesn’t work so well because unexpected problems can be hard and no two teams or orgs are the same, but that’s ok. Together we’ll find a way to make things better, and hopefully make some employees a bit happier and rise a bit higher to meet business needs. Success is more for less effort, and the destination is very much worth the travel.

Latest Blog Posts

Promoting changes with App-Config-App

The App-Config-App now lets you promote changes between environments!

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App-Config-App in Action

Paul Hammant found this cool Server-Side Piano and I’ve modified it to be configurable from a running App-Config-App. Because the sound is generated at the server, you’re able to see (hear) the Server-Side Piano change its configuration without reloading the UI.

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SCM-Backed Application Configuration with Perforce

Continuing from my last post, I’ve forked Paul Hammant’s original App-Config-App and modified it to work against Perforce. I’ve decided not to continue using Perforce Chronicle as it is primarily intended for content management.

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Using Perforce Chronicle for application configuration

Following Paul Hammant’s post App-config workflow using SCM and subsequent proof of concept backed by Git, I will show that an app-config application backed by Perforce is possible using Perforce Chronicle.

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