Well-Ironed: A Software Development Practice

About us


We are passionate about quality and the practice of software development craftsmanship.

We care a lot about correctness and the testing methodologies necessary to attain it.

We dislike overengineering and we fight nonessential complexity. We believe that less is more.

We avoid jumping on the latest bandwagon, and look for ways to achieve our goals with frugal and simple means.

We want to use this space to share our reflections and ideas about how to build better software and better environments for the people who write programs, and for the people who use them.

Simon Zelazny

Simon has been enthusiastic about computers since his first 486 PC, and returned to programming after a detour through Japanese Studies and language education.

Simon has worked with multiple companies world-wide, implementing effective solutions to business problems, and resilient solutions to computer problems. He’s most proud of those projects where his team was able to strike a balance between high quality and speed of delivery.

Rafal Studnicki

Rafal is a software engineer with 10 years of experience in C, Erlang, and Elixir. He has worked on various distributed systems, ranging from tiny clusters on microcontrollers to some of the largest chat servers in the world.

Having consulted on many real-world projects, he has come to believe that clean architecture, ruthless simplicity, and a principled stance towards testing for correctness are required for software to serve its business purpose successfully in the long run.

Our talks

The Alchemist’s Code: Bringing More Value with Less Magic: Rafal talks about the application of Clean Architecture to an Elixir system. (London, UK / 2019)

Empirical Monkeys - A Practitioner’s Take on Breaking Distributed Elixir Systems via Property Based Testing: Simon and Rafal share some unexpected results from our experiment with end-to-end, property-based testing of Phoenix Pubsub. (Bellevue, WA / 2018)

Guaranteed SLAs with higher-order functions, and no Magic Numbers!: Rafal presents an outline on how to hook a feedback control loop into a real-world software system. (Kraków, Poland / 2018)

Cajoling the Bird: How we squeezed more out of Phoenix PubSub: Simon relates an early adopter’s tale about scaling Phoenix Pubsub to handle 3 million daily chat users’ presence information. (Bellevue, WA / 2017)

Lessons from Erlang: Simon dishes out some Erlang propaganda. (Bologna, Italy / 2015)

Is it possible to run Erlang on 32 kilobytes of RAM?: Rafal demonstrates his MSc thesis on porting the Erlang VM to a low-spec microcontroller. (Kraków, Poland / 2015)