• Oh hey, it's been a while

    How've you been? Keeping on keeping on? Crazy year huh?

    So the reason I haven't been writing much is... actually, I have been writing a bunch, just not here. I spent a whole bunch of time writing a book.

    Significant chunks of software engineering consist of making a computer understand an idea you've had. This isn't always writing code. Sometimes it's pressing alt-tab fifteen times to find the window you want. Other times it's browsing man find for the hundredth time. Yet other times the problem is not even the translation into computer-speak - it's formulating intentions clearly enough to qualify for translation at all. This book walks through the major components of a well-built development environment, aiming to also provide general techniques applicable to any technology.

    Topics covered: editors, operating systems, window managers, terminal emulators and shells, configuration management. Focuses on Linux, and macOS.

    Sounds interesting? Maybe check it out! Here: Development Environment Development.

  • In the news - 2016-08-15

    Backdooring an AWS account
    An illuminating read on what you'd want to do after compromising an AWS account. Inversely, what you'd want to prevent / monitor when you have an AWS account. It focuses on making sure you can keep your access to the account, even after discovery.

    StatusPage.io Joining The Atlassian Family
    No special comments here, just plain interesting. Atlassian is cool, StatusPage.io is cool, they'll hopefully multiply their coolness.

    AWS acquires collaborative coding company Cloud9 IDE
    I've first tried Cloud9 over four years ago. That fact that they're still around is impressive. The fact that they're acquired by AWS is pointing in the direction of AWS becoming a one-stop platform for all steps of a backend / web development workflow.

    Using Docker tags to mess with people’s minds
    Contrary to the title, this post is a concise collection of best practices and useful tricks using Docker tags.

    Microsoft REST API Guidelines
    A gigantic page of rules and practices open-sourced by Microsoft. I don't know how strictly they follow it (and for what APIs), but it looks like a solid starting point, or just an idea of repositories, for designing your own guidelines.

    Stack Exchange Postmortem
    An impressive post-mortem by Stack Exchange - you know, the entity behind StackOverflow.

    crontab.guru - the cron schedule expression editor
    I always forget the syntax of crontab files. This helps.

    httpolice: Lint for HTTP
    A linter for HTTP requests and responses. How does your site rate?

    "My Philosophy on Alerting" - Rob Ewaschuk
    Clear, short formulation of monitoring and alerting best practices collected and refined over the past 5-10 years. Perfectly aligned with practices shared at Monitorama (THE monitoring conference).

    The development environment, containerized. Haven't tried it out yet, but I like the promise.

    noms: The versioned, forkable, syncable database
    What the title says. It's a database built on concepts generally used in VCSs, and specifically in git.

    AWS Application Load Balancer
    A new ELB-like feature, with URL-based routing capabilities.

  • In the news - 2016-06-13

    Got some mild positive feedback on the last post like this, so let's do another one.

    News in AWS land

    Soft, squishy, managery

    You know that guy, Seth Godin? His blog is like a feed of daily motivational quotes, except they're management / startup related thoughts that seem to make sense. Here's a few I liked recently:

  • In the news - 2016-04-29

    Sometimes I share at Prezi the most interesting articles I find online. Someone asked to maybe make these publicly available, so let's see how that works out.

    A Look Back at One Year of Docker Security (2016-04-20) is a look at the security-focused changes that happened in Docker in the past year. I love the "secure by default" philosophy. Daemon-side ulimits, user-namespaces, and other fun thingies.

    Amazon EMR Update – Apache HBase 1.2 Is Now Available (2016-04-21) is AWS announcing that they've released new features for EMR, their hosted big data stack. The second half of the post veers off into a "getting started with HBase", in case you want to give it a quick spin.

    Antivirus for S3 Buckets (2016-04-18) is a short and sweet post on how to use ClamAV to check content in an S3 bucket for malware. Extra brownie points for the architecture diagram with Cloudcraft.

    Longer EBS and Storage Gateway Resource IDs Now Available (2016-04-28) is just an announcement that the newer, longer, better IDs are now available for more resource types.

    Kafka Inside Keystone Pipeline (2016-04-27) talks about how Netflix uses Kafka inside their Keystone data pipeline. Challenges of running at scale, failovers, some configuration, deployment strategies, the good stuff.

  • Communication models

    Communication is such an overloaded word. It means so many things that the real meaning often is defined by context and - ironically enough - when communication is sub-par, different people will infer different meanings from the same context. Worse yet, the person you're talking to may be in a very different context than you are, even in the very same conversation. (Say, "Your project is interesting, but today I care more about my new-born daughter")

    So for the purposes of this post, communication is about reaching the same understanding about an idea. Not consensus on whether it's a good or a bad idea; just a shared understanding of what the idea is. I'm not an expert at this by any means; have no formal education (or otherwise, really), but I've been told I usually do a good job of conveying ideas; so here's a few ways I think about communication.