Bright ideas and techniques for building with Convex.
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Ian Macartney

Ian works on Developer Experience at Convex. He has been a full stack freelancer at The New York Times and elsewhere, a backend engineer and technical lead at Dropbox, a mechanical engineer at MindTribe, and an iOS engineer before the term "iOS" even existed. He loves ideas and ergonomic tools.

All posts by Ian

Stateful Migrations using Mutations
Online migrations in Convex using mutations. Including a helper to track migration state!
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Ian Macartney
7 days ago
Operational maturity for production
This post will cover various aspects of operational maturity, and steps to take as your app grows up.
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Ian Macartney
13 days ago
Testing for peace of mind
Learn about best practices for testing your full-stack apps - running on Convex or elsewhere!
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Ian Macartney
13 days ago
Observing your app in production
By setting up dedicated tools, you can get actionable data to help understanding errors, performance, user behavior and allow you respond quickly when things change.
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Ian Macartney
a month ago
YOLO: Get to an MVP fast
Before you burden yourself with “best practices” for large-scale companies, focus on what will reduce your feedback cycles and help you ship early and often. Think about your use case, not your toolbox.
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Ian Macartney
a month ago
Lightweight Zero-Downtime Migrations
Patch all of your data in your database table with the bulk edit feature on the Convex dashboard, without writing migration code.
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Ian Macartney
2 months ago
Set up ESLint for best practices
ESLint is a powerful tool that goes beyond simply type checking. We go over how to set it up and implement some basic workflows with the
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Ian Macartney
2 months ago
Queries that scale
As your app grows from tens to hundreds to thousands of users, there are some techniques that will keep your database queries snappy and efficient. I’ve put together a short list of the most common techniques used by teams scaling on Convex.
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Ian Macartney
2 months ago
Session Tracking Without Cookies
Advice and resources for session tracking per-tab or per-browser via localStorage / sessionStorage using React Context, hooks, and some utilities to make your life easier.
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Ian Macartney
3 months ago
Using branded types in validators
If you have a more specific type than what you can express with Convex validators, you can still document that at the type level in Convex by casting once in your schema definition.
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Ian Macartney
3 months ago
Database Relationship Helpers
Traverse database relationships in a readable, predictable, and debuggable way. Support for one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many via utility functions available in convex-helpers.
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Ian Macartney
3 months ago
Zod with TypeScript for Server-side Validation and End-to-End Types
Use Zod with TypeScript for argument validation on your server functions allows you to both protect against invalid data, and define TypeScript types that propagate to your client. This can now be used as an alternative to the built-in argument validation on Convex.
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Ian Macartney
4 months ago
Customizing serverless functions without middleware
Re-use code and centralize request handler definitions with discoverability and type safety and without the indirection of middleware or nesting of wrappers. Use the new customFunction module in convex-helpers for your Convex TypeScript functions.
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Ian Macartney
4 months ago
Seeding Data for Preview Deployments
Now that we've launched Preview Deployments on Convex, you can test out backend changes easier than ever. But you may want to seed your project with data first, so let's go over how to do that.
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Ian Macartney
5 months ago
AI Town v2
It's never been a better time to make your own town of AIs.
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Ian Macartney
6 months ago
GPT Streaming With Persistent Reactivity
Stream GPT responses without brittle browser-based HTTP streaming. Multiplayer reactivity, persistence, reactivity via Convex. Using OpenAI’s Node SDK server-side, and Convex's useQuery hook client-side.
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Ian Macartney
6 months ago
Using Pinecone and Embeddings
Pinecone and Convex are a good match when you're looking to build an application that leverages embeddings and also has application data.
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Ian Macartney
10 months ago
The Magic of Embeddings
Embeddings, why they’re useful, and how we can store and use them in Convex.
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Ian Macartney
a year ago
Relationship Structures: Let's Talk About Schemas
In this post we’ll look at some patterns for structuring relationships in the Convex database.
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Ian Macartney
a year ago
Intro to Migrations
There are as many ways to migrate data as there are databases, but here’s some basic information to set the stage.
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Ian Macartney
a year ago
5 Dashboard Tricks
Did you know you can use the Convex Dashboard to run functions, enter seed data, filter & delete data, upload files, and more?
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Ian Macartney
a year ago
Moderating ChatGPT Content: Full-Stack
In this post, we’ll look at how to use the moderation API to flag messages before sending them to Chat-GPT, and patterns for handling these errors in a full-stack React app.
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Ian Macartney
a year ago
Adding Personality to ChatGPT-3
How to store multiple personalities Convex and provide them to the chatGPT API, enabling changing personalities mid-conversation. This is a follow-up to Building a full-stack ChatGPT app.
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Ian Macartney
a year ago
Building a Full-Stack ChatGPT app
Let's build a full-stack chat app to talk to ChatGPT on its new API!
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Ian Macartney
a year ago
Background Job Management
Implement asynchronous job patterns using a table to track progress. Fire-and-forget, cancelation, timeouts, and more.
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Ian Macartney
a year ago
Anonymous Users via Sessions
Getting users to sign up for a new service before seeing any benefits is challenging. In this post, we looked at a couple of strategies for managing user information without requiring a login.
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Ian Macartney
a year ago
Using Dall-E from Convex
Use Convex to fetch an image from OpenAI’s image generation service based on a user-provided prompt.
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Ian Macartney
a year ago
Building a Multiplayer Game
Building multiplayer games requires a lot of synchronization logic and event systems. However, using Convex, we get a lot of this for free! Follow along here as we build a complex multiplayer game on Convex, leveraging its reactive-by-default queries, transactional mutations, backend storage, and scheduled functions.
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Ian Macartney
a year ago
Sessions: Wrappers as "Middleware"
An approach to server-persisted session data with Convex, wrapping your server functions and storing a session ID on the client.
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Ian Macartney
a year ago
Zod Validation: Wrappers as “Middleware”
Function validation is important for a production app because you can’t always control which clients are talking to your server. See how to use zod to validate your Convex functions, using our withZod wrapper.
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Ian Macartney
a year ago
Authentication: Wrappers as “Middleware”
Using wrapper functions like withUser can help you organize your code into middleware-like blocks that you can compose to keep your function logic concise.
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Ian Macartney
a year ago
Implementing Presence with Convex
Some patterns for incorporating presence into a web app leveraging Convex, and sharing some tips & utilities I built along the way.
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Ian Macartney
a year ago
Throttling Requests by Single-Flighting
For write-heavy applications, use single flighting to dynamically throttle requests. See how we implement this with React hooks for Convex.
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Ian Macartney
a year ago
Launching Features Right on Time: Feature Gating
Today we’re going to talk about how to flip features on and off remotely using a clever use of the reactive nature of Convex queries.
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Ian Macartney
a year ago