Weekly update: Incorporation and Integration

Another Thursday rolls around, what have I been doing?

Last week on codeamplifier.com your intrepid hero was about to set off to see the accountant about incorporation. Well that mission was completed, I’m now the Company Director of Code Amplifier Ltd. I decided not to go with the cheap and dirty start-a-company website. Though I have had success with that in the past, this time I wanted someone more experienced to look over it at the start. As I need to get an accountant to handle my personal accounts too, it seemed to be sensible to get them to incorporate the company at the same time. I’ve read a lot of stuff about the chores and costs involved in setting up companies in the US, I can only assume that it’s completely different over there as in the UK, it seems trivially easy and cheap. Between £100-£300 depending on who you get to do it as far as I can tell.

I’m not yet VAT registered, as there is no real point until I start selling something with VAT added. That’s probably a good thing as I’ve got my eye on another monitor and various other bits and pieces which I don’t need but I’m sure would make me that bit more productive and if I had the added incentive of knowing ( or thinking ) that I’d get the VAT back then I’d be sure to buy them.

Monday was back to coding and I’ve finally put in the log in screen to the web app, as I was doing it I couldn’t but hum Code Monkey to myself. In this case the boss is coding the goddamn login screen himself.

I’ve also been doing more general set up, last week I switched to Mercurial, this week I’ve been setting up a build server for Continuous Integration. Unfortunately, in my experience, setting up CI is always slow and painful, but you only have to do it once! And I know for a fact that it’ll will pay back in spades. It’s unlikely that I’m going to have a QA team let alone a large one for a while and it is critical that the applications I write are rock solid and tested as automatically as possible.

I tried out Hudson briefly but unfortunately the only machine I’ve got spare for a build server is an old MacMini with Ubuntu for PowerPC installed on it, and Java runs like an absolute pig on that machine. I couldn’t put up with 30 second waits while pages refreshed on the web interface. So I’ve gone with BuildBot which is a little scary interface-wise but it does have the advantage that all the configuration is in Python, which is currently my language of choice so it’s a natural fit.

So the last two days I’ve been battling against unit tests that work locally but fail when run on the build server. I think I’m getting there, but it’s frustrating and I don’t feel like I’m achieving much. This weekend I’m taking a break to head back into London for The Amazing Meeting which looks set to be awesome and should give me a chance to stop thinking about coding for a couple of days.

Coming up soon, the home office revealed!

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