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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://carol.gg/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