profile

What is it about?

Well about me, Martijn Casteel, as easy as that!

A lone writer, writing about some thrilling encounters mainly in IT. First exciting point to elaborate; Who am I? Quoted from a strange movie with Jackie Chan. Well I'm not that old (yet) and I do like programming.

I'm an IT guy, I've studied Computer Science and Technical Artificial Intelligence. The latter is quite long and I have to explain it every time, so the short version is I'm building Jarvis.

I like watching movies among many other hobbies you may, or may not, find out reading my blog! Questions? hello@martijncasteel.com.


Pulling the cord

16 August 2017 Being lean

A few weeks ago I had a course called Yellow belt, a basic introduction of lean. There are a few belts, next one I’m planning is the green belt. Something like judo, without being physical you need to find a way to improve a process. Any process can be improved, using a few methods you can find improvements. Ask why five times and find the true underlying problem.

Some fun thing remained with me; the Toyota Production System is long line where every part is there just-in-time. When a part is not or someone is not keeping up there is a yellow cord. This yellow cord stops the entire production line and let co-workers no where the problem is, giving them the possibility to help where possible. At my own work, everybody is usually doing their own stuff although still communicating with each other. However when a production problem occurs most of them are not aware, to make it more clear I had a little project.

rotating-beacon

Using a emergency stop button, a rotating beacon and a cable I created an alarm to notify my co-workers when there is a problem. Adding some magnetic tape we can put it on every cabinet or metal wall at my work. And when something is going on in the production environment we can smack the button and everybody could find a way to help.


Optimizing SEO

3 June 2017

So optimizing a website, where to start? I googled a lot for tools to evaluate websites. So I found a few websites such as pagespeed but I ended up with nibbler, a tool grading on several aspects. Aspects such as accessibility, experience, and marketing.

On the website side I had to make it W3C compliant, which is was not surprisingly. I added a print stylesheet removing some unusable features if someone would print the page, changed some headers and added a robots.txt as you can see on github. Eventually I ended up with a pretty good score, leaving me with optimization of the webserver and the images I’m serving.

Adding gzip and minifying the css and javascript decreased the footprint, as well as decreasing the size of the images improved the overall speed. Furthermore adding turbolinks to render pages on the browser improved the experience of the user in my opinion. By now I might have overdone it for this simple website, but it is still fun to do. Next step would be to improve my server configuration; adding browser side caching.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
location ~* \.(?:rss|atom|html)$ {
  expires 1h;
  add_header Cache-Control "public";
}

location ~* \.(?:jpg|jpeg|gif|png|ico|svg)$ {
  expires 1M;
  add_header Cache-Control "public";
}

location ~* \.(?:css|js)$ {
  expires 1y;
  access_log off;
  add_header Cache-Control "public";
}

Finally I added my website and sitemap to Google webmasters and wait for it to be crawled. In the end of the day, those good numbers from nibbler doesn’t mean a lot to your visitors. Content is the way to go (and some references won’t hurt either).