Funneler is a simple gem developed to: group different pages from one or more apps into a cohesive flow.

At Doximity we want to ensure our users get the most out of the medical network they're joining. In order to make that happen, we provide a personalized onboarding experience for each user. Our customization spans the device the user is on (web, mobile web, and our mobile applications) as well as other variations such as taking into account how or when a user is registered. Of course accounting for all these variations is easier said than done.

Funneler provides us the simple tool we need to make that happen:

  1. It groups pages together via a funnel_token parameter
  2. It is light weight - meaning there is very little overhead to modifying a controller to use that parameter when present, or fallback to a default behavior otherwise
  3. The funnel_token is not dependent on any datastore
  4. And thus it can link pages across different applications
  5. It is simply a link, and therefore can easily be used in emails

Let's take a look at how to use funneler. For a moment, pretend your application has two pages you want your user to see /welcome, and /setup before landing at their final destination /home.

Naturally the simple solution would be to setup each controller/action to link to the next page. However, as you know that is brittle, and certainly can't be customized per user without a lot of code. This is exactly what funneler now provides:

funnel = Funneler.build(routes: ['/welcome', '/setup', '/home'])
redirect_to funnel.first_page

This will redirect to a route like /welcome?funnel_token=...... The funnel_token is a JWT token encoded with a few simple pieces of data:

  • routes - the array of routes to funnel a user through
  • current_page_index - the current index into the routes array

On subsequent requests, any controller can read the funnel_token and redirect to the next_page such as:

funnel = Funneler.from_token(token: params[:funnel_token])
redirect_to funnel.next_page

The funnel simply builds a new token which has an updated current_page_index, and returns the route at that index with the new funnel_token in the query string.

Of course this is a simple example with a static set of routes. However it shouldn't be hard to imagine customizing the behavior by dynamically generating the routes given different inputs and parameters. The best part about using funneler is that creates a clear separation between controller behavior, and the business logic determining which pages should be included in the funnel.

Funneler has been open sourced on GitHub - feel free to contribute!


As we did last year, we'd like to share tools we found useful in 2016. This is by no means a comprehensive list, simply some of the highlights.

Ripgrep

by: Julio Monteiro

In the beginning, there was grep. Then ack, a pure Perl script that made searching faster compared to grep. A few years ago we got The Silver Searcher (ag), a tool built with C namely faster (and "33% sorter") than ack. Finally this year, ripgrep (rg) was launched, built with Rust and until this point the faster command-line utility for searching plain-text data sets around.

Other than being fast, its regular expression engine uses finite automata and guarantees linear time searching. Searching across huge code repositories is fun again. At Doximity, searching across all our private code repositories takes less than a single second. Give it a try, I'm sure you're going to like it.

Giphy Capture

by: Ben Fischer

Giphy Capture is a tool to take your pull requests to the next level. Make a 20 second recording and embed it right into the PR description. This helps reviewers understand the intention of your change faster. If anyone does a git blame in the future and comes back to your pull they'll see with their own eyes that your code was working. Alternatively you can also use LICEcap mentioned next.

LICEcap

by: Jaymes Waters

Licecap is a dead simple gif creator. It records & saves a gif from a selected area of your desktop. It has been an invaluable tool to create quick, simple animations to share with product managers, quality assurance & other developers.

Re:dash

by: Mujtaba Badat

Anyone that spends a lot of time analyzing data knows how much of a pain it is to organize queries, build visualizations, and keep those visualizations fresh. Re:dash does all of that and more by allowing you to write SQL and turn it into shareable dashboards. Key metrics are the compass that guide entire teams in the murky waters of developing new products. By making dashboards easy for everyone, re:Dash helps teams never lose sight of what matters most.

Devdocs.io

by: Marcus Derencenius

DevDocs is a web app that provides documentation for many languages and frameworks. The kicker is that it provides offline support. It is super fast and gets updated frequently.

What tools did you adopt in 2016 that helped you get work done? Follow us @dox_engineering if you'd like to be notified about updates to this blog.

Developer happiness is what brought me to Ruby in the first place. And of all the new compiled languages, Crystal is the only one that shares this value. The syntax and idioms are entirely Ruby inspired.

Although Crystal looks very similar to Ruby, there are big differences between the two. Crystal is statically typed and dispatched. While there are no runtime dynamic features, the compile-time macros solve many of the same problems.

In this session, we’ll take a close look at these differences as well as the similarities, and what Ruby developers can learn from this exciting language.

For more videos, visit our new Videos channel.

Observables are a way to model push-based data sources such as DOM events, timer intervals, and sockets. Ben Fischer walks us through properties of this model in depth including how to create, filter, combine, and transform streams. He will also highlight situations where using Observables in web applications makes the most sense.

For more videos, visit our new Videos channel.

Matt Aimonetti shares lessons learnt during his quest to find the right technology to build software at Splice.com

For more videos, visit our new Videos channel.

Ben Manns, Software Engineer at Doximity spent some time a couple weeks ago giving the team a talk about using Apache Kafka and Samza to automate ingestion of database changes. The use-case of his talk was about leveraging Samza to watch MySQL binary logs and Kafka as the pub-sub messaging system to update our Elasticsearch indexes with the proper updated documents. Checkout the video of the talk below.

For more videos, visit our new Videos channel.