Category Archives: Uncategorized

Internet ages

The internet is aging again.  “All of this has happened before and it will all happen again.” (as heard in http://lyrics.wikia.com/wiki/Information_Society:Seek_200) Some of the previous ages have been the shift from MySpace to Facebook or from custom web sites to blogs.

What I’m noticing in the last year or so is that sites I used to read regularly are slowly losing out. Some to larger aggregation sites, some to life. This week there were a pair of posts on FBTB.net from two of the authors about why they haven’t been posting lately. At least they aren’t quiting completely, like how reallifecomics.com or candyblog.net just went quiet a year or so ago.

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Article link – building a career in open source

https://opensource.com/business/16/8/building-career-open-source?imm_mid=0e6b3c&cmp=em-prog-na-na-newsltr_20160813

The bit about imposter syndrome was interesting. I definitely feel insecure in my work at times because I see all the flaws and feel my limitations. But that is often an illusion, and working with a good manager helps that by giving positive feedback on what you are doing right.

The comments about networking and reaching out are also good points for most software engineers to be reminded of.

Security integration

I’m working on a security story that has drug on for close to 6 weeks now.  It is the result of an early decision to turn off TLS because the mechanism for setting up the certificates wasn’t ready and just turn it back on later.  Yeah, that never goes well. (This decision happened before I came into the team, so I won’t point fingers.)

I’ve finally come to a small epiphany about security.  We talk a lot about security algorithms and strength and attack vectors and vulnerability surfaces.  But the math and analysis parts of security seem like much more straight forward problems.  There are lots of great tools for those things that should be used.  The _real_ challenge to security is integration.  Getting the certificates in the right places.  Turning on those little configuration switches in all the right files.  Specifying the right ports and routing traffic through firewalls and load balancers and TLS terminators.  That seems to be where the practical complexity lies.

Maybe some day I’ll have an epiphany about how to make that happen more smoothly. 😉

Teleworking can be a good thing

I have had a couple conversations where the topic of my work arrangement has come up. I still keep in mind this article. http://martinfowler.com/articles/remote-or-co-located.html
Effectively, I think having a good manager who knows the team and how well they are working is key. Having team members who have integrity and want to get the job right helps, and pair that up with good remote-worker skills and tools and you can be successful anywhere.
Of course there are some jobs where you need to be with the equipment, but if you are writing software that often isn’t the case.

Article link – 9 predictions

First, the link.
http://www.infoworld.com/article/3022874/application-development/9-predictions-for-the-future-of-programming.html?imm_mid=0df53e&cmp=em-prog-na-na-newsltr_20160123

This was an interesting enough link, and since most of the predictions are easy enough to see, may have a good chance of happening.

I think I especially agree with the ‘teach the world to code’ assessment.  I like that more people are exposed to code because it makes us full time programmers look good. 😉

Yeah, this is just a quick post to get the blog back on my radar after the holidays.

Two conferences in three weeks.

I thought I should get back to it with a quick post.  In the last month I attended two conferences, one was OpenStack Summit in Vancouver BC, and the other was an internal conference for my company in Phoenix.  Both were good experiences, and I got to see how my company is throwing boatloads of money at the cloud.  Made my decision to stay with cloud feel better, as my transition to seeing a teleworker had me nervous about how long it would last.

Busy month of January

Just a quick post to acknowledge how busy January was. My In-Laws visited around New Years and we all drove to the Tri-Cities to see my nephew’s blessing. Then we all got sick (thanks Alex), then flew to Hawaii for a week. With all that going on, I didn’t have much time for side projects, which is unfortunate, because I’ve got a few things to polish and publish.

Buzzword Pet Peeve – just like Lego

One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone tries to explain their modular or componentized system as being “just like Legos”. That is almost never true.
One of the first misuses of the term was back when I first started working on web services hosted in Tomcat. It seemed like anyone who made a tiered system or one that talked through SOAP liked to describe it as being ” just like Legos”.
Often it is just a lazy way to report on a new technology. Like this article, which prompted this rant.
http://www.engadget.com/2014/10/03/google-x-giant-modular-displays/?ncid=rss_truncated
Now while I’m a huge AFOL, I’m not so picky that not using the official term “Lego brick” instead of the common “Legos” bothers me. So what is the problem?
First off, Lego bricks, with a few Mindstorms exceptions, don’t care what they are connected to. If the stud fits in the hole, that’s all it needs. Contrast that to a web service, where the format and intent of the connection is critical to the function. Or contrast to the displays mentioned in the article. While they don’t give details, even in the most modular of display applications, you need to know which display is connected to which port and what orientation so you can render an intelligent image onto the combined layout. Lego bricks don’t care what the brick on the other side of it is – no information passes through them.
With a Lego model, studs are studs. You can connect them together however fits, and whether it is good is evaluated externally by the viewer (art is in the eye of the beholder). A web service can’t have its display layer and its database layer swapped and still function.
Yes, I’m probably over analyzing it. But it dies bother me and I wish people would just put a little more effort into accurately describing systems.

Computers sing to me. INSOC

I got my copy of the new Information Society album _hello world today.  So good once again.  Synthesizer , their last album, is my favorite album of the last decade.

I really enjoy synthpop and Insoc music when I’m coding.  I think of it as the computer singing back to me as I work. 

I share a cube space with a very talented engineer, and his work music of choice is classical.  While I like classical music, I find it relaxes me too much and I tend to drift off.