Game of Thrones Style farewell email to coworkers

I left my job for another opportunity after working for 8.5 years. Since I had nothing left to do on my last day, I decided to get little creative and looked up online about how do write farewell email on Game of Thrones style. With little help from internet, I came up with the following email.

My lords and ladies,

It has been a great honor serving this most noble software development house. I fought for this house with all my heart for 8.5 years and we won some glorious battles together. Songs will be sung for the next thousand years about our great victories over White Walkers(Bugs and Issues).

It’s a bittersweet ending for me to part ways and go North of the Wall now(NEW_COMPANY is north from OLD_COMPANY).

Whatever I do in the future, I now take this pledge in the sights of Old Gods and the New, that I will forever cherish the time I spent here and I hope you Lords and Ladies do the same.

My Watch has ended but don’t forget to send me a raven from time to time on 203-XXX-XXXX. You can also find me wandering around Citadel at 

Winter is coming 😝 in 5 months. Just ended though (ITS MINNESOTA).


Ganesh Tiwari | A Crow Member

Project to test your programming skills

Project to test your programming skills

A Guessing Game - to become Full Scope/Stack Developer

If you are wondering what would be a perfect project to practice your programming skills. You are in the right place!
It's a simple number guessing game. We start with a console app and migrate to a web app with lots of features.


1. Console App:

  • Read a number N from the console between a range (MIN, MAX). Your code should then generate a random number CN between the same range(MIN, MAX) and compare if the computer-generated random number CN and the user entered number N matches.
    If it matches, the user wins. If it doesn't match, the computer wins.

2. (Optional) Desktop app:

  • Create an interface to enter the MIN/ MAX number and the user guess.
    MIN :        [ Textbox  ]
    MAX:         [ Textbox  ]
    User Guess   [ Textbox  ]
Also provide a button with label "Play" that generates the random number and displays a message in Label if the user won.
    [ Play  ]
  • Save the win/loss counts and winning/losing number in a text file 'stat.csv'. Display the average win/loss on UI when the user closes the app.
    2020-05-10 20:01:50, USER, 5, 10
    2020-05-10 20:02:50, USER, 3, 4
    2020-05-11 20:05:50, COMPUTER, 7, 9

3. Two-player:

  • Update the GUI or Console application to allow two users to play with the computer. Both of the users can enter their guess and click Play. The user that made the correct guess will win
    GUI mockup:

    User A's Guess   [  Text Box  ]
    User B's Guess   [  Text Box  ]

                     [    PLAY    ]

4. (Optional) Multi-Player Game - over socket connection:

  • Update the GUI application to allow several users to play simultaneously. All the users will have a copy of the application and can join the Game by running the application on their computer. The first user to start the game can act as a Server.

5. Web Application:

  • Create a web application to play the same game in the browser. Reuse the previous code on the backend
  • Support single-player mode (play with the computer).
  • Add a sign-up page to register users. Update logic to allow only the registered/logged-in users to play. Use ReCaptcha to prevent robot making requests.
  • Block users from playing more than 1 hour. Lock them for 2 hours.
  • Multi-player: list online users and provide the ability to request/accept to play with the user. Use WebSocket to listen for updates in realtime.
  • Store the win/loss statistics into DB.
  • Generate a CSV report with stats about the winner, numbers, etc that you can download it from the web interface.

 6. Fun Stuff

  • Schedule the 'winner stat' report to run every day and deliver it to your email address.
  • Setup a background job that sends an account deactivation email if the user is not logged-in in last 20 days
  • Setup a background job to deactivate user if the user is not logged-in in the last 30 days
  • Setup a public web API to expose information about the winners
  • Use caching to read user profile from the cache instead of reading from DB on every request

7. Operation:

  • Setup a Dockerfile script to run your app in docker
  • Setup static code analysis with local SonarQube instance. You can use docker to run SonarQube. Take care of SonarQube warnings.
  • Deploy your app in a cloud environment (eg Heroku, AWS, Azure)


  • Focus on readability, reusability throughout the development.
  • Try to make your app modular
  • Use the build system
  • Use git


Want to update this?

Please submit a PR at

Myths and Facts About Programming

Myths and Facts About Programming - Stuff that I wish I knew in my early career

What's this?

A collection of common myths and facts (opinionated) about computer programming that I wish I knew in my early career.

Programming requires math

  • Neutral.
  • Only a few percentages of programmers deal with math problems in their careers.
  • Analytical skills help to break down the problem. Think of programming as understanding the problem, breaking down into smaller steps, and solving it. Similar to math right?
  • However, people who are bad at Math can be a good programmer. It also depends on the type of role and type of problem they are trying to solve.

Programming job is similar to a typist. It's all about typing code.

  • False
  • Programming(at entry level) is about:
    • reading documentation and requirements
    • documenting stuff
    • thinking how to write code
    • writing code
    • testing
    • debugging bugs
    • deploying
    • discuss with team member/management
  • The amount of time you spend typing code depends on your role and job description. There will be days you won't be typing any code.
  • Majority of programming job requires maintaining an existing system written over the years by several people. You will be required to add features, customize, fix bugs, etc

You won't require a college degree to be a programmer

Everyone can learn and be a programmer within months

Programming is really hard

  • Neutral.
  • It depends on the individual, their learning/intellectual capability, and the type of programming role they learn/get into.
  • There will be certain things you can learn easily. But a college degree will help to broaden your perspective and learn things quickly.

Programming is monotonous. Its like working in the assembly line at a factory

  • False
  • On certain days or working in the same role for a long time, you may get a feel of your job being monotonous.
  • But it's not like working in the assembly line. It requires lots of thinking and analysis.

Programming is not for girls

  • False

You need to keep reading new stuff throughout your career

  • Neutral
  • You don't "need to". But learning new stuff helps advance your career.
  • Also, it depends on the type of tool and technologies you are using. Some tools/technology (eg: JS Frameworks) get deprecated every few years. Sometimes
  • Learning a new paradigm, best practices, new architecture concepts is always useful.

Machine Learning and AI seems easy to learn.

I don't have any knowledge of statistics/probability/modeling. However, the ML/AI tutorial I found online is just 10 lines of code and it seems easy.

  • False
  • It may seem easy to use ML/AI tools created by somebody else or follow a cookbook. But you will need to understand many concepts to use those tools when solving real problems. Don't get intimidated by simple tutorials. Start by the basics and dig into the tools.

Using long variable makes program slow. So I should program like this:

int a = read()
int b = 1000
if(a > 18 && b > 50)
    println("Entry allowed")

  • False
  • With compiled languages, no. With interpreted languages, possibly but the difference would be negligible.
  • Always focus on readability. Compare the above code with the following:
int age = readMemberAge()
int balance = 1000
if(age > 18 && balance > 50)
    println("Entry allowed")

I have to learn as many programming languages eg C, Python, Java, Ruby, Kotlin, Scala, Groovy, C#, Go to be a good programmer.

  • False
  • Think of programming language as natural language eg: Nepali, French, English, Japanese, and Chinese. And the art of writing a novel or poem as the actual programming. If you mastered five languages but do not have a skill of writing a (good) poem in either of those you are still not an artist.
  • Think of programming as art. Try to be an artist in at least one language. Think of a hobby project and develop with paying attention to code quality, performance, UI, features, etc.
  • Focus on learning programming rather than learning a language.
    • Programming is a skill that you can gain with just one language. If you know how to do X in Y language then you can do it in Z language too with little effort.

HackerRank, LeetCode will guarantee me a job

  • False
  • There's no doubt that the questions on those sites help you think critically and solve a problem.
  • Its a widely used screening method to filter our candidates these days.
  • Pet project(s) and your college projects will also help you land the first job.

Google, Amazon and Facebook are using X tool. It must be good so I should learn.

  • False
  • A lot of tools developed by tech-giants are being deprecated after a couple of years.
  • Looks for a tool/language/framework that's being used by a lot of companies for a long time.

X was developed by Google, Amazon, and Facebook so it must be good. I should learn and use it.

  • False
  • There's no guarantee that those tools MUST be good. Don't fall for advertisements
  • Review 100 job descriptions on Linkedin/Indeed etc and find yourself what's popular on the market

I must learn Angular, React, Vue and XYZ web framework to master my web development skills

  • False
  • It's better to start the web development without the frameworks so that you understand how those frameworks are solving the problems of not using those frameworks
  • You don't need to learn all of these, one would be enough. If you started learning web development without using frameworks, switching between frameworks would be easier.

I know X1 framework/library/tool. But the job vacancy says mentions X2(the alternative of X1). I should not apply for this job.

  • False
  • Test yourself if you know X1 framework/library/tool how long you will take to learn X2.
  • As long as you know the abstract concepts and have worked on at least one pet/professional project on your own there's a high chance that you can learn another framework/library/tool quickly. They all are trying to solve a similar project but slightly different ways.
  • Also look for 'preferred' vs 'required' skills on job vacancies.

Everyone on social media hates language/framework X. X must be bad.

  • False
  • Don't fall for people's 'opinions'. People think languages/frameworks/tools as religion. They hate each other.
  • The best way to find out what to learn is to look at job vacancies. At least a hundred of them.

Language X does that in one line. So, it is the best language.

  • Neutral
  • It's nice that they provided that functionality in one line out of the box. But there is a great deal of code hidden behind the scene.
  • All languages support creating library modules to extend the feature. Some languages are by nature too abstract/low level and it requires developers to write libraries around it to make things simpler.
  • So, that doesn't mean language X is best.

Want to add more Q/A and correct sth?

Please submit a Pull Request at

AWS Java SDK - automatically detect the region

When the app is deployed in multiple regions in AWS, its useful to detect the region automatically without specifying the region by using a property/environment variable ourself.

We can detect the region by using the AWS SDK:

    Regions.getCurrentRegion(); //returns Regions enum

Or by using:

    EC2MetadataUtils.getEC2InstanceRegion(); //returns region String



AWS DynamoDB - dynamic table prefix using DynamoDBMapper

We can use DynamoDBMapperConfig.TableNameOverride to configure the DynamoDBMapper and provide a custom/dynamic table name prefix using TableNameOverride.withTableNamePrefix(String).

Plain Java Example:


import java.util.UUID;


String prefix = "SOME_DYNAMIC_PREFIX"; //can be pulled from a dynamic logic eg: profile, env variable etc
var mapperConfig = new DynamoDBMapperConfig.Builder()
.withTableNameOverride(DynamoDBMapperConfig.TableNameOverride.withTableNamePrefix(prefix + "-"))

var dynamoDB = AmazonDynamoDBClientBuilder.standard().build();
var dbMapper = new DynamoDBMapper(dynamoDB, mapperConfig);

// use it
dbMapper.load(MyTable.class, UUID.randomUUID());

Spring DynamoDB dynamic table prefix example

import org.springframework.context.annotation.*;
import java.util.UUID;

class AwsConfig {
AmazonDynamoDB dynamoDB() {
return AmazonDynamoDBClientBuilder.standard().build();

DynamoDBMapperConfig dynamoDBMapperConfig() {
String prefix = "SOME_DYNAMIC_PREFIX"; //can be pulled from a dynamic logic eg: profile, env variable etc
return new DynamoDBMapperConfig.Builder()
.withTableNameOverride(DynamoDBMapperConfig.TableNameOverride.withTableNamePrefix(prefix + "-"))

DynamoDBMapper dynamoDBMapper(AmazonDynamoDB dynamoDB, DynamoDBMapperConfig dynamoDBMapperConfig)
return new DynamoDBMapper(dynamoDB, dynamoDBMapperConfig);

import java.util.UUID;
@DynamoDBTable(tableName = "person")
public class MyTable {
UUID id;

String name;
//getter setter/other fields

Spring Boot - How to skip cache thyemeleaf template, js, css etc to bypass restarting the server everytime

The default template resolver registered by Spring Boot autoconfiguration for ThyemeLeaf is classpath based, meaning that it loads the templates and other static resources from the compiled resources i.e, /target/classes/**.

To load the changes to the resources (HTML, js, CSS, etc), we can
  • Restart the application every time- which is of course not a good idea!
  • Recompile the resources using CTRL+F9 on IntelliJ or (CTRL+SHIFT+F9 if you are using eclipse keymap) or simply Right Click and Click Compile
  • Or a better solution as described below !!

Thymeleaf includes a file-system based resolver, this loads the templates from the file-system directly not through the classpath (compiled resources).

See the snippet from DefaultTemplateResolverConfiguration#defaultTemplateResolver

public SpringResourceTemplateResolver defaultTemplateResolver() {
 SpringResourceTemplateResolver resolver = new SpringResourceTemplateResolver();

Where the property prefix is defaulted to "classpath:/template/". See the snippet ThymeleafProperties#DEFAULT_PREFIX
public static final String DEFAULT_PREFIX = "classpath:/templates/";

The Solution:

Spring Boot allows us to override the property 'spring.thymeleaf.prefix' to point to source folder 'src/main/resources/templates/ instead of the default "classpath:/templates/" as folllows.

In application.yml|properties file:
        prefix: file:src/main/resources/templates/  #directly serve from src folder instead of target

This would tell the runtime to not look into the target/ folder. And you don't need to restart server everytime you update a html template on our src/main/resources/template

What about the JavaScript/CSS files?

You can further go ahead and update the 'spring.resources.static-locations' to point to your static resource folder (where you keep js/css, images etc)
        static-locations: file:src/main/resources/static/ #directly serve from src folder instead of target        cache:
          period: 0

The full code:

It a good practice to have the above configuration during development only. To have the default configuration for production system, you can use Profiles and define separate behaviour for each environment.

Here's the full code snippets based on what we just described!

Project Structure:


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<project xmlns="" xmlns:xsi=""


        <relativePath/> <!-- lookup parent from repository -->


        <!-- the basic dependencies as described on the blog -->



        <!-- Two profiles -->





The property files (yml)

        active: dev
        cache: false        prefix: file:src/main/resources/templates/  #directly serve from src folder instead of target    resources:
        static-locations: file:src/main/resources/static/ #directly serve from src folder instead of target        cache:
            period: 0
application-prod.yml (doesn't override anything)
        active: prod

Hope this helps!

Web Scrapping in Java using JSoup

Example of Web Scrapping in Java using JSoup

In this blog I'm going to describe how we can use JSoup library to scrap content from a website. The websites uses a standard markup called HTML to display documents in a web browser. They contain XML like document structure composed of elements and attributes.

<rootElement> //element with tag rootElement

   <aTag width="10" height="20" color="RED"> //sub element aTag with attributes width, height etc

        <content>Hello</content>  //another nested sub element


    <summary> This is summary.</summary> //another element under root element


Although a HTML document starts with <HTML> and the content are kept under <BODY> element, the actual semantics of HTML is irrelevant to web Scrapping because HTML is really an XML document. All the web scrapping libraries deals with parsing the XML and reading the data out of the XML document.

Let's build a Quotes scrapping app!

In this example we are going to extract quotes from 

Step 1: Setup a skeleton Java Project with JSoup dependency

We are going to use Maven to add the JSoup dependency and build the project.

Step 1.a Generate Maven Project using maven archetype

mvn archetype:generate -DgroupId=gt  -DartifactId=web-scrapper-java    -DarchetypeArtifactId=maven-archetype-quickstart   -DinteractiveMode=false 

It generated the following files. Note that I deleted the under /src/test/java/gt/ because we won't be writing unit tests for this app.

├── pom.xml
├── src
│   └── main
│       └── java
│           └── gt
│               ├──

Step 1.b Add JSoup dependency

I searched for jsoup dependency at and copied the following definition for the current version of jsoup and pasted inside <dependency> section

<version>1.13.1</version> <!-- use the new version -->

I also deleted junit dependency from pom.xml since we won't be writing unit tests.

Step 2: Basic Scrapping Examples

Let's play with JSoup API first. See the examples below. Here we are parsing XML content from string and extracting several pieces of the content using cssQuery. Please refer to for more examples of css query.

import org.jsoup.Jsoup;
import org.jsoup.nodes.Document;
import org.jsoup.nodes.Element;

import static java.lang.System.out;

public class Test {

public static void main(String[] args) {

String html = "<rootElement> " +
" <aTag width='10' height='20' color='RED' class='C1'> " +
" <content>Hello</content> " +
" </aTag>" +
" <aTag width='10' height='20' color='GREEN' class='C1'> " +
" <content class = 'small-font'>Hello Again small font</content> " +
" </aTag>" +
" <summary>" +
" <content class = 'small-font'> This is summary in small font </content>" +
" </summary> " +

Document doc = Jsoup.parse(html);

//print all content element
it prints:
Hello Again small font
This is summary in small font
Elements els ="content");
for (Element e : els) {

//text inside content element under aTag
it prints:
Hello Again small font
for (Element e :"aTag > content")) {

//get all elements that have a color attribute and display the value of the attribute
int prints
for (Element e : doc.getElementsByAttribute("color")) {

//get all elements that have a attribute class = C1 attribute and display the value of the attribute
int prints
for (Element e :".C1")) {

//read text inside a tag
it prints:
Hello Again small font
This is summary in small font
for (Element e :".small-font")) {


Step 3: Scrapping

Step 3.a Examine the html content

The first step is to examine the structure of the document to see where our data is located. Here we want to read the quote, author and the tags.

After inspecting the structure of the HTML through the inspect tool on browser, we can notice that:

  • The <div class='quote'> is repeated for each Quote.
  • The text inside 'quoteText' class. 
  • Author name is inside authorOrTitle class under the quoteText class.
  • Tags are inside the 'quoteFooter' class

Here's the html content we are interested in. We want to extract the text in red.
<div class="quoteText">
      “I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.
  <br>  ―
  <span class="authorOrTitle">
    Marilyn Monroe
<div class="quoteFooter">
   <div class="greyText smallText left">
       <a href="/quotes/tag/attributed-no-source">attributed-no-source</a>,
       <a href="/quotes/tag/best">best</a>,
       <a href="/quotes/tag/life">life</a>,
       <a href="/quotes/tag/love">love</a>,
       <a href="/quotes/tag/mistakes">mistakes</a>,
       <a href="/quotes/tag/out-of-control">out-of-control</a>,
       <a href="/quotes/tag/truth">truth</a>,
       <a href="/quotes/tag/worst">worst</a>
   <div class="right">
     <a class="smallText" title="View this quote" href="/quotes/8630-i-m-selfish-impatient-and-a-little-insecure-i-make-mistakes">151963 likes</a>

Step 3.b Read quotes from

In the above example we used a static String to parse. We can use Jsoup.connect(THE URL).get() to read a webpage and get the Document object as below:

Document doc = Jsoup.connect("").get();

The full code to read quote text, author and tags

import org.jsoup.Jsoup;
import org.jsoup.nodes.Document;
import org.jsoup.nodes.Element;

import java.util.List;

public class GoodReadsScrapper {

public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException {
Document doc = Jsoup.connect("").get();

Elements quoteElements =".quoteText");

for (Element e : quoteElements) {

//read quote text and the author from the body of quoteText css
//e.text() returns all the visible text inside this element which also includes the author... use ownText to not look at child elements
String qStr = e.ownText();
String quoteText = qStr.replaceAll("“", "").replaceAll("”", "");

//author is inside span inside authorOrTitle class within the current element
String author =".authorOrTitle").text();

//Tags: read sibling element of div with class 'quoteText', choose the one with class 'quoteFooter' and read the a tags
Elements tagElements = e.nextElementSiblings().select(".quoteFooter").select(".greyText").select("a");
List<String> tags =;

System.out.println(quoteText + " By:" + author + " , Tags:" + tags);



Step 4: Thinking Bigger:

What if we want to read quotes from multiple web sites?

What if we want to store the quotes to DB?

What if we want to run the scrapping job periodically?

For these 'what-ifs', I updated the above code to include following:

├── pom.xml
├── src
│   └── main
│       └── java
│           └── gt
│               ├── //implementation for GoodReads
│               ├── //wrapper class to hold quote data
│               ├──  //base interface
│               ├── //a job
│               ├── //enum to hold sources

The source is available at


A bigger (web app) application that uses Spring Boot, Angular  is available here: