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Trello Android's Git Branching Strategy

I think the general rule of thumb is "try not to support anything other than the latest version in Production and the latest development version, and even then reduce the time that there are two versions as much as possible" but with things like user-managed software, or where your path to production is slower, it can be difficult to say that.

Recommended read: Trello Android's Git Branching Strategy https://blog.danlew.net/2020/11/11/trello-androids-git-branching-strategy/

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Don't ever break a URL if you can help it

This is something I strive quite hard to ensure, using tools like html-proofer and comparing against old sitemaps when I change things considerably with my site. It's also something that is quite infuriating when following links to a site that has now rewritten their URLs, so I've learned from that too!

Recommended read: Don't ever break a URL if you can help it https://www.hanselman.com/blog/dont-ever-break-a-url-if-you-can-help-it

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Why everything should have a URL

Thanks to Joe Nash for sharing this yesterday, I 100% agree with this - not just on the blogumentation angle, but because making these things visible is really important. And especially now, where every company is a remote company, it makes sense to start building these into your ways of working.

Recommended read: Why everything should have a URL https://ben.balter.com/2015/11/12/why-urls/

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LeftLion - Tech Nottingham Are Helping Women Succeed in the Technology Industry

This is a really great interview with Anna Dodson about the great work that Tech Nottingham are doing under both Women in Tech and Tech Nottingham, and is a great read for how they're making Nottingham a much better place to be!

Recommended read: LeftLion - Tech Nottingham Are Helping Women Succeed in the Technology Industry https://www.leftlion.co.uk/read/2020/october/tech-nottingham-women-technology-opportunities/

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Literate DevOps

This is something I really liked when doing Literate Programming at university. It's really nice to be able to wrap the code with written meaning, in a way that regular comments don't do as well.

Recommended read: Literate DevOps http://www.howardism.org/Technical/Emacs/literate-devops.html

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A Site Reborn

A super interesting idea. I've been thinking recently whether I should maybe look at making this site dynamically rendered, but still backed with my site's content being in a Git repo

Recommended read: A Site Reborn https://calebhearth.com/a-site-reborn

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Enhanced Shell Scripting with Ruby

I very much recommend learning how to use a more well-structured scripting language than Bash, as languages such as Ruby have a great standard library, a huge ecosystem of other libraries, and are commonly installed across machines - this is a great look at partially replacing shell scripts with Ruby

Recommended read: Enhanced Shell Scripting with Ruby https://www.devdungeon.com/content/enhanced-shell-scripting-ruby

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When your coworker does great work, tell their manager

Feedback giving and receiving is really important, and I've found it can make someone's day to give them some feedback that helps appreciate the things they've done.

Something I've tried - and regularly failed - on doing is providing microfeedback (regular small pieces of feedback as and when folks do things)

However, Julia's point about asking first is something I've not considered before, so I'm definitely going to keep that in mind.

Recommended read: When your coworker does great work, tell their manager https://jvns.ca/blog/2020/07/14/when-your-coworker-does-great-work-tell-their-manager/

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My Messy Analytics Breakup

Interesting read, and gives me thoughts about how to replace Matomo with maybe something more minimal (at the cost of reporting maybe interesting data)

Recommended read: My Messy Analytics Breakup https://www.digitalinklingsblog.com/my-messy-analytics-breakup/

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`@API` Guardian

Found this out today, via a colleague, as a good way for your Java library to expose information about the API stability / intent behind classes.

Recommended read: `@API` Guardian https://github.com/apiguardian-team/apiguardian

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As Brit cyber-spies drop 'whitelist' and 'blacklist', tech boss says: If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother

Recommended read: As Brit cyber-spies drop 'whitelist' and 'blacklist', tech boss says: If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/05/02/uks_ncsc_whitelist_blacklist/

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How I write and curate the cron.weekly newsletter

An interesting read! I do wonder about having a newsletter for all my bookmarks, but then realised no one would probably subscribe as it's quite a wide range of topics.

Recommended read: How I write and curate the cron.weekly newsletter https://ma.ttias.be/how-to-cron-weekly-newsletter/

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The Next Chapter of Meetup

An interesting move - considering recent controversy on the platform and how it was looking to monetise, hopefully for the best?

Recommended read: The Next Chapter of Meetup https://www.meetup.com/blog/the-next-chapter-of-meetup/

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One Avatar To Rule Them All

I've got this set up on my own site against https://www.jvt.me/img/profile.png and it's really great. No more finding that image you want to use - it's just there. It's available automagically via my Microformats2 h-card, so it can be machine discoverable, too. But I agree with Terence, it'd be awesome to have some standardised way to pull it from all my services, though.

Recommended read: One Avatar To Rule Them All https://shkspr.mobi/blog/2020/03/one-avatar-to-rule-them-all/

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How to train your impostor - Carolina Gilabert

This is a great talk from Carol about #ImpostorSyndrome - something that so many of us suffer from without knowing - and some ways that you can reduce the effect it has on you.

Recommended read: How to train your impostor - Carolina Gilabert https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=if5YLYRIcc8

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The one thing I wish I'd done when I first started my design career

In this 9 minute podcast, Craig Burgess speaks about how he wished he'd got started on his #PersonalWebsite and doing more #blogging early on in his career. Craig also speaks about the #IndieWeb and why everyone should get involved.

Recommended read: The one thing I wish I'd done when I first started my design career https://getdoingthings.com/podcast/getdoingthings/the-one-thing

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Records Come to Java

Meant to share this a couple of weeks ago - this is really great, and was very timely after a presentation from a colleague about #Kotlin, and the fact that the data class that Kotlin has is very cool. Still a while away from my own Java code but interesting nonetheless!

Recommended read: Records Come to Java https://blogs.oracle.com/javamagazine/records-come-to-java

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First look at Cloud Native Buildpacks support in Spring Boot 2.3 Milestone 1

This is very cool. I've been thinking about containerising my personal APIs for this site, and I guess this would remove a lot of the work! Looking forward to playing with this once it's released.

Recommended read: First look at Cloud Native Buildpacks support in Spring Boot 2.3 Milestone 1 https://medium.com/@TimvanBaarsen/first-look-at-cloud-native-buildpacks-support-in-spring-boot-2-3-milestone-1-ece8e72ed93f

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Anybody can write good bash (with a little effort)

I used to write a lot of shell scripts before realising that what I was trying to do was treat shell scripting as a "full" scripting language (I won't define here what I mean by "full").

Its not - reach for a higher level scripting language like Ruby or Python when things are getting more complicated, and allow shell scripts to glue things together, or be for quick tasks maybe a few lines long.

When you do write them, this advice is great but it's definitely worth gaining understanding of when you should and shouldn't use them.

Recommended read: Anybody can write good bash (with a little effort) https://blog.yossarian.net/2020/01/23/Anybody-can-write-good-bash-with-a-little-effort

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PHP in 2020

A great read about why PHP is still a great choice in 2020, despite the bad press it gets from developers (who likely haven't touched it in years).

Recommended read: PHP in 2020 https://stitcher.io/blog/php-in-2020

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Records Come to Java

This is very interesting to hear just days after a colleague gives a compelling introduction to Kotlin of which one key selling point (to me at least) is reducing boilerplate for Plain Old Java Objects (POJOs) that are effectively data-only objects.

That being said, it's still a way off compared to Java 8, and could be nice to try out Kotlin a bit more.

Recommended read: Records Come to Java https://blogs.oracle.com/javamagazine/records-come-to-java

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mtls.dev - Generating TLS certs doesn't have to be hard.

This is a great resource for generating certs for performing Mutual TLS authentication, as well some good sample code for how to set up example client/server apps in several programming languages.

Recommended read: mtls.dev - Generating TLS certs doesn't have to be hard. https://mtls.dev/

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Don't Rely on OSI Approval

But when it gets right down to it, if permissive open source is free candy, copyleft is a free puppy. If you want a puppy, a free one is great. If you don’t want a puppy, receiving a free one by surprise can be costly and awkward.

Recommended read: Don't Rely on OSI Approval https://writing.kemitchell.com/2019/05/05/Rely-on-OSI.html

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It is perfectly OK to only code at work, you can have a life too.

The only problem is that the industry makes folks feel like they need to, which isn't fair for people who don't have time ie who have other commitments like children

Recommended read: It is perfectly OK to only code at work, you can have a life too. https://zeroequalsfalse.com/posts/it-is-ok-to-only-code-at-work/

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How to exit vim

Although I don't condone Vim bashing (as a Vim user, and because it quite often tells you how to exit) these are pretty good

Recommended read: How to exit vim https://github.com/hakluke/how-to-exit-vim/blob/master/README.md

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Choosing a license for GoatCounter

A very interesting read on choosing a license to protect the author's income, which I get, although realistically (at least) the AGPL has been written to ensure that the end users always get the code, not that the authors are protected.

Recommended read: Choosing a license for GoatCounter https://www.arp242.net/license.html

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This Is Why You Always Review Your Dependencies, AGPL Edition

Licensing is hard, especially when projects you use want to protect their end users and have gone for strong copyleft licenses like the GPL/AGPL

Recommended read: This Is Why You Always Review Your Dependencies, AGPL Edition https://www.agwa.name/blog/post/always_review_your_dependencies

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On Privacy versus Freedom | Matrix.org

An interesting read on creating a extensible platform which isn't truly private, vs a walled garden with true privacy, and the tradeoffs we have to consider.

Recommended read: On Privacy versus Freedom | Matrix.org https://matrix.org/blog/2020/02/01/on-privacy-versus-freedom/

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We should have an email for each website

This is what I started doing when I got my personal domain all those years ago, as it allowed unlimited aliases and a catch-all address. There's nothing better than seeing some spam coming from an email that tells you exactly who sold/leaked your data.

Recommended read: We should have an email for each website https://dev.to/sonnk/we-should-have-an-email-for-each-website-fhh

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Managing my dotfiles as a git repository

An interesting way to manage it - I quite like the approach.

I'm a fan of how I do my own, and will write about it at some point - https://gitlab.com/jamietanna/jvt.me/issues/847

Recommended read: Managing my dotfiles as a git repository https://drewdevault.com/2019/12/30/dotfiles.html

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Dear Americans: Be Very, Very Afraid Of The EU's New Copyright Rules

Those of us in the EU are pretty worried about it, so I can imagine it's not going to be fun for folks whose countries haven't even had a say in it!

Recommended read: Dear Americans: Be Very, Very Afraid Of The EU's New Copyright Rules https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20191220/16454343611/dear-americans-be-very-very-afraid-eus-new-copyright-rules.shtml

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Working for Microsoft cost me $200 million

An interesting look at why you'd want to work for a startup, not a tech giant - although not everyone will have the same experience.

Recommended read: Working for Microsoft cost me $200 million https://blog.garrytan.com/working-for-microsoft-cost-me-200-dollars-million

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SemVer is an intent - not a promise

Some interesting points in here that reinforce my thoughts about the difficulties of knowing what the right version number should be - although I hugely push for and use SemVer.

Recommended read: SemVer is an intent - not a promise https://damieng.com/blog/2019/12/19/semver-is-an-intent-not-a-promise

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SSH to EC2 instances via AWS Lambda

An interesting approach - but I wonder why you'd implement like so (requiring SSH usage) instead of the Systems Manager's run-command https://docs.aws.amazon.com/systems-manager/latest/userguide/walkthrough-cli.html ?

Recommended read: SSH to EC2 instances via AWS Lambda https://www.transposit.com/blog/2019.12.18-using-lambda-as-an-ssh-proxy/

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StrictYAML

A safer way to parse YAML by removing some of the more dangerous parts of YAML parsing - an interesting approach that means you don't need everyone well-versed in the minutiae of the YAML spec!

Recommended read: StrictYAML https://hitchdev.com/strictyaml/

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The future of the web, isn't the web

A good read by Terence about how the Semantic Web and using metadata (be it Schema.org, microdata or Microformats) will build a more usable and interconnected life

Recommended read: The future of the web, isn't the web https://shkspr.mobi/blog/2019/12/the-future-of-the-web-isnt-the-web/

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IntelliJ Key Promoter X

Just been shown this by a colleague - it's a great way to learn shortcuts for the thing you just did and how you can do that task with a handy keystroke in the future!

Recommended read: IntelliJ Key Promoter X https://github.com/halirutan/IntelliJ-Key-Promoter-X

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Blogcop: A GitHub app that helps you manage your Jekyll blog

An interesting idea, but surely you'd not want to break existing links to your articles, and instead have it update the article to say "this may be outdated, we're reviewing this"?

Recommended read: Blogcop: A GitHub app that helps you manage your Jekyll blog https://www.ombulabs.com/blog/github/jekyll/ruby/blogcop-for-jekyll.html

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Ruby Literals You May Not Know

Some interesting ones in here I'll look at using - escaping things is one of my biggest gripes with every language, so this is pretty nice

Recommended read: Ruby Literals You May Not Know https://citizen428.net/blog/ruby_literals_you_may_not_know/

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It’s Time to Get Personal

This is a great read about the things that being in the https://indieweb.org/ (Independent Web) can empower you with, and the ownership and agency that it affords you.

I'd recommend a read of https://www.jvt.me/posts/2019/07/22/why-website/ and https://www.jvt.me/posts/2019/10/20/indieweb-talk/ for a bit more info, too.

Recommended read: It’s Time to Get Personal https://24ways.org/2019/its-time-to-get-personal/

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Wat

This is a brilliant talk about the quirks of JavaScript, from a number of years ago.

Although it's fun to hate on JavaScript, it can also be seen about other languages.

Definitely worth a watch if you've never seen it before, or are working with JavaScript and want to have to think very hard about what the language does.

Recommended read: Wat https://www.destroyallsoftware.com/talks/wat

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Choose Your Docker Base Image Wisely

Version pinning is always a difficult line to walk - you don't want things to change when you're not expecting them to (such as here) but you also don't want to be pinned to really old versions of software, as that increases risk

Recommended read: Choose Your Docker Base Image Wisely https://www.innoq.com/en/blog/choose-your-docker-base-image-wisely/

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Self-hosted site outranking Medium Publication

Another reason folks should be part of the IndieWeb, not only owning your data but getting better SEO!

https://indieweb.org/why

Recommended read: Self-hosted site outranking Medium Publication https://www.indiehackers.com/product/prototypr-io/self-hosted-site-outranking-medium-publication--LuqyKHQ9gno3JFsyoXc

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Slyvia Ritter's Gallery

Slyvia has some amazing artwork in general, but also has some really beautiful representations of each of the Ubuntu distributions' namesakes.

Recommended read: Slyvia Ritter's Gallery https://www.sylvia-ritter.com/new-gallery/

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The Language Agnostic, All-Purpose, Incredible, Makefile

An interesting read, but I would personally say to stick to the language-specific process. Ie Rakefiles for Ruby, a task in your build.gradle or npm run deps as it'll handle things nicer in a language / stack you're more familiar in, although I totally see why you'd want a language-agnostic interace

Recommended read: The Language Agnostic, All-Purpose, Incredible, Makefile https://blog.mindlessness.life/2019/11/17/the-language-agnostic-all-purpose-incredible-makefile.html

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🇵🇹 WebSummit 2019

A great writeup of a huge event - when I went a few years ago I was bowled over by how much time I'd need to spend to see everything I wanted to (hint: it was more than the few days I was there)

Recommended read: 🇵🇹 WebSummit 2019 http://pawlean.com/2019/11/10/websummit-2019/

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Safely Creating And Using Temporary Files

This is a great resource to highlight the difficulty of creating temporary files safely - something I've tried to share before but without these great examples.

Its especially bad if using a shared CI/CD server and putting downloaded files into /tmp as you don't know whether it'll be clobbered / stolen by others on the instance

Recommended read: Safely Creating And Using Temporary Files https://www.netmeister.org/blog/mktemp.html

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17 Years of Blogging

A huge milestone, and a great look back at the way Ton is helping to change the community for the better by promoting better practices on ownership of our data

Recommended read: 17 Years of Blogging https://www.zylstra.org/blog/2019/11/17-years-of-blogging/

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DDD East Midlands 2019 In Review

Such a great, in-depth writeup! I'd not been able to make it to many of the sessions so this is super helpful

Recommended read: DDD East Midlands 2019 In Review https://blog.craigtp.co.uk/Post/2019/11/01/DDD_East_Midlands_2019_In_Review

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Overwatch 2 Announce Cinematic | “Zero Hour”

Although I've not played for ~1 year, this is very tempting. The Overwatch team sure do know how to create an awesome cinematic!

Recommended read: Overwatch 2 Announce Cinematic | “Zero Hour” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKXS_YA9s7E

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Learn your standard library

This is such a great way to find out just how much can be done for you.

I used to do competitive programming competitions (similar to HackerRank challenges) and learning the standard library was a huge driver to finding the best solution without reinventing the wheel.

But even in the day job, knowing what to use without pulling in a new dependency can make a big difference.

This can go a little further to learning common packages that your ecosystem uses, and how best to tackle problems with them.

Recommended read: Learn your standard library https://letterstoanewdeveloper.com/2019/03/11/learn-your-standard-library/

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Stream or Not? Is your video strategy up a creek?

Shared by https://dougsillars.com/ at https://www.oggcamp.com/ - this is a great resource for understanding how to better optimise your video content delivery.

Recommended read: Stream or Not? Is your video strategy up a creek? https://dougsillars.github.io/StreamOrNot/

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Pack Your Bags – Systemd Is Taking You To A New Home

This is a great, fairly well balanced, look at the latest proposal from http://0pointer.de/lennart/ about user management on Linux systems. An interesting proposal with pros and cons - it'll be interesting to see what comes of it.

Recommended read: Pack Your Bags – Systemd Is Taking You To A New Home https://hackaday.com/2019/10/16/pack-your-bags-systemd-is-taking-you-to-a-new-home/

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The Nottingham Tech Community

This is a great post by https://mindthe.net/devices/ about the awesome tech community we have in Nottingham and why its such a lovely place to be personally and professionally.

Recommended read: The Nottingham Tech Community https://blog.dddeastmidlands.com/2019/10/10/nottingham-tech-community.html

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Modding, Vim, i3, and Efficiency

I've found that I can use Vim for just about everything I do day-to-day (be it personal or professional work) but just not with Java. I feel I need too much of IntelliJ's functionality, and that's OK! I'm happy to admit that it is a better experience for me.

Recommended read: Modding, Vim, i3, and Efficiency https://nora.codes/post/modding-vim-i3-and-efficiency/

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Meetup.com alternatives

With the recent news of Meetup.com increasing prices for organisers https://twitter.com/securestep9/status/1183798804371386369?s=19 this is great to see the alternatives mapped out!

Recommended read: Meetup.com alternatives https://www.notion.so/Meetup-Alternatives-36d73649d34f4bba9e2065f1fa8cd03f

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Meetup Mates

Dominique shared this at DevOpsDays London, and it's a really great idea.

Because it can be difficult attending meetups on your own, Dominique and co have set up a community that makes it possible to meet folks before a meetup, maybe have a drink and a chat, and then head over together.

It has made a huge difference to folks wanting to attend, and has given people a lower barrier to attending an event, because they'll be able to chat to others on Slack before they go, so it won't be as awkward.

This is something that Tech Nottingham and Women in Tech Nottingham do, where before the event there will be some folks meeting at the Theatre Royal, and then they can walk over together, getting a chance to meet others.

Several of the organisers in the Nottingham tech scene chatted with Dominique about this at DevOpsDays, and we'll be looking to see if we can roll it out in Nottingham, too.

Anna has started to use her /events/ page as a way to help others see what events she's attending and for others to join her, too, and I think I'm going to be copying her and doing similar to make it easier for folks to see what upcoming events I'm attending.

Recommended read: Meetup Mates https://www.meetup-mates.com

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How our security team handle secrets

This is a really interesting post to hear how some other folks in a similar environment to us manage their secrets.

It's always cool to see how other folks are doing similar things, anyway, and as usual, Monzo have a great blog post.

Recommended read: How our security team handle secrets https://monzo.com/blog/2019/10/11/how-our-security-team-handle-secrets/

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The Web Can't Survive a Monoculture

This is a great article on why we can't just let Google Chrome / Chromium take over the Web, and need to fight for other alternatives.

But as well as looking at the browsers, we need to look to the platforms too. If everyone ie uses Twitter, then Twitter are less likely to make changes because no one has an alternative. Whereas when we have multiple viable options, folks can jump around and use better platforms if they exist.

The IndieWeb is looking to do this - check out https://indieweb.org/why for a bit more info

Recommended read: The Web Can't Survive a Monoculture http://mikepennisi.com/blog/2019/the-web-cant-survive-a-monoculture/

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Apple Successfully Implements OpenID Connect with Sign In with Apple

This is very good news - open standards like OpenID Connect (OIDC) make interoperability and integration easier, so hats off to Apple!

Recommended read: Apple Successfully Implements OpenID Connect with Sign In with Apple https://openid.net/2019/09/30/apple-successfully-implements-openid-connect-with-sign-in-with-apple/

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Logs were our lifeblood. Now they're our liability

This is an interesting post, and is an important one to think about. We need to remember that although now we've got lax data privacy / retention laws, it's only going to get more user-focused and protect everyone more (which is universally a good thing!) but that we need to make sure we're architecting things in the right way to handle this.

Also, while you're thinking about this - have a read through some production logs and wonder "what could a bad actor do with these? Could they phish a customer? Could they steal their identity? Or are these so useless that we may as well not be logging anything at all?"

Recommended read: Logs were our lifeblood. Now they're our liability https://vicki.substack.com/p/logs-were-our-lifeblood-now-theyre

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RSVP Rant

Completely agree with this, as a meetup organiser, and would go one step further to say if you're able to RSVP if you're not coming that'd help too, otherwise there's the assumption you'll turn up, especially if you're a regular!

Recommended read: RSVP Rant https://www.danclarke.com/rsvp-rant

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Against TDD

This is an interesting read - I'm a big fan of TDD but a few things here hold true

Recommended read: Against TDD http://neopragma.com/index.php/2019/09/29/against-tdd/

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Let’s write more blog posts: an experiment

#10MoreBlogPosts sounds like a great initiative - hope that it'll help get more folks into blogging.

I've found it's really helped me personally since starting to work on blogumentation (blogging as a form of self-documentation https://www.jvt.me/posts/2017/06/25/blogumentation/ )

Recommended read: Let’s write more blog posts: an experiment https://amyhupe.co.uk/articles/lets-write-more-blog-posts-an-experiment/

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cd-linter

I've just seen in my GitLab repo's issues that I've had an issue raised about my CI/CD configuration (https://gitlab.com/jamietanna/jvt.me/issues/664).

This seems like a great solution to try and find common issues in pipelines.

Recommended read: cd-linter https://bitbucket.org/sealuzh/cd-linter/

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Use the Unofficial Bash Strict Mode (Unless You Looove Debugging)

This is a great article about how to be safer when writing shell scripts. I am a huge proponent of not using them where possible, and instead moving them to another scripting language (Ruby, Python, Node) which you can test, and use a shared standard library.

Recommended read: Use the Unofficial Bash Strict Mode (Unless You Looove Debugging) http://redsymbol.net/articles/unofficial-bash-strict-mode/

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Rate of Successful Retire

Justin talks us through the ability to retiring old systems being a really important capability for a company, making sure that it doesn't impact the users.

Recommended read: Rate of Successful Retire https://www.justingarrison.com/blog/rate-of-successful-retire/

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Google Has My Dead Grandpa’s Data And He Never Used The Internet

This is a very interesting read - privacy and data ownership is quite familiar to those of us who have been using tech for some meaningful amount of our lives, but what about those who've never touched the Internet, but have suddenly found their data is being collected and owned by someone, somewhere?

Recommended read: Google Has My Dead Grandpa’s Data And He Never Used The Internet https://www.forbes.com/sites/joetoscano1/2019/09/03/google-has-my-dead-grandpas-data-and-he-never-used-the-internet/

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The Dark Side of AWS Lambda

This is quite an interesting little gotcha that many may not know (for instance I did not) about a 75GB limit of storage of Lambdas.

Recommended read: The Dark Side of AWS Lambda https://medium.com/fluidity/the-dark-side-of-aws-lambda-5c9f620b7dd2

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Continuous Verification of Friday Deploys

I quite like this idea. As https://charity.wtf puts it, we should be comfortable with deploying no matter what day or time of the week, because our tooling and processes should give us confidence. It's an antipattern and a sign that something is wrong if we don't want to do it.

But at the same time, you don't want to be staying up late on a Friday because someone pushed something, and then have it potentially ruin your weekend.

It's definitely a hard line to walk, but as this article says, we should opt for something a bit more risky, to give us more confidence

Recommended read: Continuous Verification of Friday Deploys http://willgallego.com/2019/08/23/continuous-verification-of-friday-deploys/

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Bookmark of https://twitter.com/DuckDuckGo/status/1166390671705612293

I've been using DuckDuckGo for a couple of years now, and have no complaints. The privacy baked into the product is great, and their extensibility for things like !gh to search on GitHub or searching "html pretty print" is awesome for quick productivity boosting.

I'd recommend you giving it a go, and see how you feel after a while. And if you're finding search results aren't so great every so often, you can !g to get your Google results!

Recommended read: Bookmark of https://twitter.com/DuckDuckGo/status/1166390671705612293 https://twitter.com/DuckDuckGo/status/1166390671705612293

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Consume less, create more

This is a really great post about how we should look to use our time more wisely. Taking time to create something new instead of just consuming others' content, especially as you're all going to have some really interesting things to share.

However, we also need to remember that it's OK to have downtime, and consuming others' content is ok! (And yes, this is a little ironic coming from me, a person who is seemingly always productive and pushing out new content)!

Recommended read: Consume less, create more https://tjcx.me/posts/consumption-distraction/

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Introducing Strong Customer Authentication: What you need to know

This blog post from Monzo is such a good explanation of what the Strong Customer Authentication regulations are, especially coming from someone who's been working on it for some time. It's going to be interesting to see how the industry works at making it secure, but unobtrusive to the customer - as it's something that could cause quite a User Experience difficulty, at the risk of providing real security for our users.

Recommended read: Introducing Strong Customer Authentication: What you need to know https://monzo.com/blog/2019/08/22/strong-customer-authentication

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Absolute scale corrupts absolutely

This is an interesting article about how the increased size of the Internet is a cautionary tale for whether things need to be on the Cloud / accessible from the Internet.

Recommended read: Absolute scale corrupts absolutely https://apenwarr.ca/log/20190819

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George RR Martin: 'Game of Thrones finishing is freeing, I’m at my own pace'

This interview with George RR Martin is incredibly insightful into how George has been dealing with the TV series of Game of Thrones overtaking his literary pieces, and I'd really recommend a read to see his thought processes and the pros and cons of his writing being behind.

Recommended read: George RR Martin: 'Game of Thrones finishing is freeing, I’m at my own pace' https://theguardian.com/books/2019/aug/18/george-rr-martin-interview-game-of-thrones-at-own-pace-now

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It's all Greek to me: Thoughts on code readability and aesthetics

Readability of code is a very important, but so is using idiomatic language style. However the difficulty, as this article calls out, is that some folks won't find it easy to read or write code in an 'idiomatic' way. And also, who cares if you convert the readable four-line code snippet into a horrible to read one-liner? All it does is make it harder for the next person!

Recommended read: It's all Greek to me: Thoughts on code readability and aesthetics https://avraam.dev/posts/greek-to-me/

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YAML: probably not so great after all

This is a great read about some of the risks of using YAML, especially the way that most YAML parsers default to executing arbitrary, unsafe commands from a file you're parsing.

Recommended read: YAML: probably not so great after all https://arp242.net/yaml-config.html

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JSON Server

I've used this server before to get a simple RESTful API up and running, and it's really useful.

Recommended read: JSON Server https://github.com/typicode/json-server/

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Highlights from Git 2.23

GitHub always have a great recap of the new Git releases, and this is another - I'm particularly interested in some of the changes around git checkout

Recommended read: Highlights from Git 2.23 https://github.blog/2019-08-16-highlights-from-git-2-23/

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Let's talk about web education

This is another good article talking about the difficulties of working on the Web, with the plethora of technologies 'required' to get even a static website off the ground, let along big business applications. It's something we're all just accepting as a thing that happens (or folks from other tech stacks are ridiculing) but no one is really looking at what we can do to prevent it or make it better.

Recommended read: Let's talk about web education https://getdoingthings.com/blog/lets-talk-about-web-education/

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Why is modern web development so complicated? A long yet hasty explanation: Part 1!

This is a great post talking about some of the real difficulties of working in the Web ecosystem. It helps paint a picture of some problems that plague the folks working on it, and is a great view for someone who isn't as used to web development.

Recommended read: Why is modern web development so complicated? A long yet hasty explanation: Part 1! https://www.vrk.dev/2019/07/11/why-is-modern-web-development-so-complicated-a-long-yet-hasty-explanation-part-1/

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Effective API testing with Cucumber

This post has definitely helped my recent scenario writing, and helped to shape the readability (and purpose) of the Cucumber testing I've been doing.

Recommended read: Effective API testing with Cucumber https://www.gregbeech.com/2014/01/19/effective-api-testing-with-cucumber/

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Learn a little jq, awk and sed

This is a great post - I thoroughly recommend learning how to use common commandline tools such as awk, grep, sed, but also adopting a scripting language for more complicated stuff. I don't mean Bash, or another shell scripting language, but something like Node, Python or Ruby, as it'll give you the opportunity for a greater standard library, as well as tonnes of packages built by others.

Recommended read: Learn a little jq, awk and sed https://letterstoanewdeveloper.com/2019/07/29/learn-a-little-jq-awk-and-sed/

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WPWeekly Episode 361 – Introduction to the IndieWeb With David Shanske

This should be a really interesting listen about getting started with the IndieWeb with David, I'd recommend it.

But in an even cooler turn of events, it was very cool to see that my article Why I Have a Website and You Should Too ( https://www.jvt.me/posts/2019/07/22/why-website/ ) discussed at roughly 39:00.

Recommended read: WPWeekly Episode 361 – Introduction to the IndieWeb With David Shanske https://wptavern.com/wpweekly-episode-361-introduction-to-the-indieweb-with-david-shanske

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Don’t Put Your Work Email on Your Personal Phone

This is a really interest post about the dangers of installing work apps (such as email) on your personal device. This is something I've spent a lot of effort avoiding in the last couple of jobs, as well as going out of my way to not use any personal services (i.e. social media, email) on my work devices, as there is most likely traffic inspection or they are Man-in-the-Middle'ing the traffic, and will therefore be able to glean passwords. Although this seems paranoid, I feel it's a good mindset to have.

This is especially useful because it has a great way of enforcing the separation between home and work. However, there are still ways that this can break down - for instance, I have a work phone which is provided so I can be out of hours on call. However, I have things like email and Slack which allow me to use it throughout the day and reply to messages when I'm not necessarily with my laptop. But that's an issue because that phone goes home with me, even when I'm not on call. I'll find I'm catching up on work on the bus on the way to work, as well as keep in the mindset of work when I'm physically out of the building.

This makes it quite difficult because I'm not really switching off, even though I've said above that I'm trying to keep work and home separate. So what I've been doing for the last few months is leave my work phone at work (as long as I'm not on call!) which means if I've left the office, I'm no longer able to action anything, even if I think about it.

Recommended read: Don’t Put Your Work Email on Your Personal Phone https://onezero.medium.com/dont-put-your-work-email-on-your-personal-phone-ef7fef956c2f

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Manual Work is a Bug

This is another interesting article about automation, and how it slowly incurs time costs by waiting for the right time to properly tackle the automation, rather than piece-by-piece.

Recommended read: Manual Work is a Bug https://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=3197520

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Do-nothing scripting: the key to gradual automation

This is a really interesting way of approaching automation in a gradual way - make the documentation in code, then take that code and slowly iterate over it until you have a fully automated solution. I like it - obviously we always want to have the final product, but it's a good way to get there slowly

Recommended read: Do-nothing scripting: the key to gradual automation https://blog.danslimmon.com/2019/07/15/do-nothing-scripting-the-key-to-gradual-automation/

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Re-framing how we think about production incidents

This is a great post by Shubheksha and talking about the right way to talk about production issues.

Having a blameless culture makes it easier for new/junior engineers getting started with working on production systems, and makes everyone more comfortable working on things where they know they won't get the blame pointed at them.

I've found that, at work, diagnosing issues in our staging environment has given me such a great experience - it's been great to practice dealing with production-like issues in a non-production environment, as it gives you that time to breath, experiment and learn, as well as giving me much greater understanding of the end-to-end system.

Recommended read: Re-framing how we think about production incidents https://shubheksha.com/posts/2019/04/re-framing-how-we-think-about-production-incidents/

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How we respond to incidents

As I've said before, I'm a big fan of how Monzo handles their production incidents because it's quite polished and transparent

Recommended read: How we respond to incidents https://monzo.com/blog/2019/07/08/how-we-respond-to-incidents

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Quitting my job has been the best thing I've done for my career

This is a really interesting post. Only the other day, Anna and I had been talking about how it'd be interesting to work 4 days a week, or even part time. It sounds like it'd be a great opportunity if you're able to financially cover it

Recommended read: Quitting my job has been the best thing I've done for my career https://www.joshuahu.io/blog/quitting/

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The PGP Problem

This is a really interesting article about the flaws in PGP - I don't have enough security backing and understanding to argue it, but it sounds legitimate. It's a surprise this isn't being talked about more if it is as bad as it is

Recommended read: The PGP Problem https://latacora.micro.blog/2019/07/16/the-pgp-problem.html

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Get your work recognized: write a brag document - Julia Evans

This is a great idea, which I believe I've seen Julia mention in the past, and I definitely agree that this can help with making sure you remember what you've done! In a previous job we had 'monthly status reports' which were an overhead at the time, but when leaving the job (as my placement year was up) I was able to look back at all the stuff that I'd achieved.

I like to get microfeedback from colleagues, so throughout the year I'm getting bits of feedback on things I've worked on, so for 6-month checkins I've got lots of evidence.

Recommended read: Get your work recognized: write a brag document - Julia Evans https://jvns.ca/blog/brag-documents/

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IndieWeb Summit 2019, day 1 - fluffy

What a great writeup of some of the happenings at IndieWeb Summit! This looked like an awesome event, and although I was unable to make it in person this year, I'm definitely planning on it next year.

There were some great sessions that I'm still catching up on, and will be interested to see what folks produce off the back of their conversations there.

Recommended read: IndieWeb Summit 2019, day 1 - fluffy https://beesbuzz.biz/blog/3785-IndieWeb-Summit-2019-day-1

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How am I? - Carol Gilabert

This is a very interesting post by Carol. I very much empathise with this - my mind is almost always in the 'on' position (as anyone who knows me and the frequency of my blogging).

Be it at work, at home, trying to get to sleep, or having a massage, I'll be thinking. Likely it'll be projects-related (be they work or personal) and it means I'm not able to enjoy the other things.

In a couple of weeks Anna and I are off on holiday, so I really hope I'll be able to switch off a little, as we've decided we're not taking laptops...

I obviously have some work to do to make this possible to start switching off and not always thinking about what's next.

Recommended read: How am I? - Carol Gilabert https://carolgilabert.me/blog/how-am-i

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Debugging the .gitignore file - Kennard

I've not had to debug that many .gitignore files in the past, but it's great to know how I would do it in the future

Recommended read: Debugging the .gitignore file - Kennard https://blog.kennard.dev/2019-06-19-git-debug-gitignore/

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TL;DR Legal - Software Licenses in Plain English

This is a resource I've used time and time again for getting straight-forward explanations of Free and Open Source licenses - I shared it in chat.indieweb.org the other day, so I thought I may as well share it here, too

Recommended read: TL;DR Legal - Software Licenses in Plain English https://tldrlegal.com/

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Untangling the IndieWeb - David Yates

This is a great post by David recounting the 'levels' of IndieWeb capabilities, in a way that makes more sense to those who haven't been as involved in the community, and want to know how to relate to more common points of reference, like social media.

Recommended read: Untangling the IndieWeb - David Yates https://davidyat.es/2019/06/24/indieweb/

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Discovering the IndieWeb - Craig Burgess

When I was promoting the last Homebrew Website Club on Twitter ( https://twitter.com/JamieTanna/status/1138339357121744897 ), a friend of Craig's tweeted to mention to him about it. We then spent a couple of days talking about it - and boom, Craig is now running his own Homebrew Website Club on 18th July ( https://getdoingthings.com/homebrew-website-club-barnsley-1/ ).

Last night Craig posted this great post about joining the community and with some great explanations for newbies. Welcome, Craig!

Recommended read: Discovering the IndieWeb - Craig Burgess https://getdoingthings.com/discovering-the-indieweb/

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https://monzo.com/blog/2019/06/20/why-bank-transfers-failed-on-30th-may-2019/

This is a really interesting read from Monzo about a recent incident they had. I really enjoy reading their incident management writeups because they show a tonne of detail, yet are stakeholder-friendly.

It's always interesting to see how other banks deal with issues like this, and what they would do to make things better next time.

Recommended read: https://monzo.com/blog/2019/06/20/why-bank-transfers-failed-on-30th-may-2019/ https://monzo.com/blog/2019/06/20/why-bank-transfers-failed-on-30th-may-2019/

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"here's a thread about how words matter in business using Disney as an example" - Justin Garrison

This is a super interesting thread from Justin Garrison about the importance of words, using Disney as an example. It's always amazing to see examples of how these seemingly small changes can make huge differences.

Recommended read: "here's a thread about how words matter in business using Disney as an example" - Justin Garrison https://twitter.com/rothgar/status/1139968357438857217

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What the Tech Community in Nottingham means to me - Lex Lofthouse

This is one of those posts that sums up why the Nottingham tech community is so amazing - it's well worth a read, especially if you're not from Nottingham!

Recommended read: What the Tech Community in Nottingham means to me - Lex Lofthouse https://medium.com/@loftio/what-the-tech-community-in-nottingham-means-to-me-f0fa17bb162

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Preaching about Firefox Containers (and how they can change your Internet life)

This is a great post by Jon about Firefox Containers and the power they can hold.

I lazily use them as a way to have i.e. multiple email accounts logged in, or at work having several AWS accounts logged in at once but have also got some pieces in place to containerise certain privacy-infringing companies' attempts to track me.

Recommended read: Preaching about Firefox Containers (and how they can change your Internet life) https://jon.sprig.gs/blog/post/1137

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You Guys

This is another post you really need to read, if you haven't already, as it makes you really think about the way you communicate.

I know a lot of people who use the term 'you guys' as a gender-neutral term, but after reading this article it really helps persuade you that the term is actually not as inclusive as you think.

For a couple of years now I've been making an effort to use gender-neutral ways to address groups, and I hope after reading this you will too.

Recommended read: You Guys https://www.xaprb.com/blog/you-guys/

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https://blog.pragmaticengineer.com/on-writing-well/

Being able to write semi-readable written text with technical terminology is a huge skill, and makes such a difference compared to not being able to write it.

I've found that since blogging more, my written language has gotten a lot better, and significantly makes my job easier.

I've worked with a number of brilliant engineers who can't explain themselves as well in written forms, which means commit messages and core pieces of documentation are difficult to understand.

Remember that you're never going to be the only person reading something, so make your content well thought out, re-read it and ask someone else to read through it to check it's OK.

Recommended read: https://blog.pragmaticengineer.com/on-writing-well/ https://blog.pragmaticengineer.com/on-writing-well/

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http://angersock.com/blog/2019/01/27/observations-on-burnout/

Burnout sucks. There are a number of signs to pick up on it before it fully manifests which this article talks about. Having gone through it in the past, it's not something you want to go through, and can have some severely lasting effects that are hard to come back from.

Recommended read: http://angersock.com/blog/2019/01/27/observations-on-burnout/ https://web.archive.org/web/20190423185636/https://angersock.com/blog/2019/01/27/observations-on-burnout/

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http://jameelajamil.co.uk/post/181263516735/tell-him-by-jameela-jamil

Tell Him is a really important post by Jameela Jamil - if you don't read this, I'm incredibly disappointed in you

Recommended read: http://jameelajamil.co.uk/post/181263516735/tell-him-by-jameela-jamil http://jameelajamil.co.uk/post/181263516735/tell-him-by-jameela-jamil

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https://www.theguardian.com/info/2018/nov/30/bye-bye-mongo-hello-postgres

This is an incredible read about a huge undertaking the Guardian took to migrate two decades of content of migration with zero downtime - it's a great story and has a lot of great learnings in there

Recommended read: https://www.theguardian.com/info/2018/nov/30/bye-bye-mongo-hello-postgres https://www.theguardian.com/info/2018/nov/30/bye-bye-mongo-hello-postgres

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https://www.vidarholen.net/contents/blog/?p=746

In every programming language, there is a linting tool that can help pick up on some common style issues. ShellCheck isn't one of those - it's so much more!

I've been using it for many years now, and since it came into my life it's honestly changed the way I use shell scripts. There have been so many pitfalls that I've avoided falling into since learning about them (and adding ShellCheck to my Vim linting setup.

This is a great read from Vidar, the ShellCheck author, about a case where it could've caught issues that caused the deletion of a production database!

Recommended read: https://www.vidarholen.net/contents/blog/?p=746 https://www.vidarholen.net/contents/blog/?p=746

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Thoughtbot's Application Security Guide

I found this when listening to episode 194 of the Bike Shed podcast: My PGP Shame. I'd only added this episode to my playlist as it was an interesting title, but listening to it, it was even better than I thought.

There was some great stuff in there about Thoughtbot's application security guide, linked, which is a definite must-read.

My favourite quote of the episode, though, is the following exchange:

I've got to be honest, how does anything work at all? Oh computers don't work

Recommended read: Thoughtbot's Application Security Guide https://github.com/thoughtbot/guides/blob/master/security/application.md

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https://carolgilabert.me/blog/impostor-syndrome

This is a really great post! I think it was Jess Rose's talk about it where I realised it was a thing and not just something I felt. Talking about it and making others aware of it is good, and I'm definitely going to steal some of her coping strategies

Recommended read: https://carolgilabert.me/blog/impostor-syndrome https://carolgilabert.me/blog/impostor-syndrome

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https://lukeb.co.uk/2019/05/15/your-event-probably-shouldn-t-be-in-a-pub/

Great post by Luke about how we should be more inclusive in events and whether alcohol-oriented is the nicest message for those wanting to get involved.

Recommended read: https://lukeb.co.uk/2019/05/15/your-event-probably-shouldn-t-be-in-a-pub/ https://lukeb.co.uk/2019/05/15/your-event-probably-shouldn-t-be-in-a-pub/

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Hardening SSH with 2fa

This is a great writeup about how to harden your SSH setup using 2-factor authentication. Would really recommend it!

Recommended read: Hardening SSH with 2fa https://gist.github.com/lizthegrey/9c21673f33186a9cc775464afbdce820