My Mentor

The original purpose of this post was to recognize the teachers and mentors which have helped shape me. I planned to write about how Mr. Cassidy, my high school drafting teacher, taught me the importance precision. I prepared to explain how Mr. Mercuri, my college computer science professor, ignited my desire to engineer software. But […]

Risk, Process, and Balance

The operations of a company will have intrinsic risk. Risk occurs each time we decide to take an action or an inaction. This means that anything we choose to do, or not do, has associated risk. An organization which has an unhealthy aversion to risk has a much higher chance of failure. As time goes […]

Configuration Management and the Golden Image

When operations first became a thing, system administrators stood up servers using a base image from their favourite distribution. Things were done manually. Some administrators created their own distros, some wrote customised shell scripts to be run once-and-only-once to provision software and settings. This method worked, but it was slow, manual, and the human element […]

The Three Deployment Management Strategies

There are three deployment management strategies that could be used to maintain a system. Each has pros and cons which I outline in this document. run once A proceedure that is run once and only once to setup a system’s configuration values and settings. A semaphore or flag generally blocks repeated executions to prevent an […]

Simplify deployments with Upstart and uWSGI

As you know from my previous post, I recently deleted and after struggling to get it back online, I vowed to start utilizing configuration management. During this exercise, I noticed that the architecture I use in production seems overly complicated. The current production deployment stack: Nginx listen on 80/443 proxy upstream 9901/9902 Upstart => […]

Configuration Management vs Remote Execution

What is configuration management? In a perfect world configuration management provides a centralized, revision controlled, self-documented, change management location for manifests and formulas which both define how to build a complete system and organize a means of knowledge transfer. An infrastructure perfectly described in configuration management allows any single part of the system to be […]

Honey! I just DELETED

During the day I am an ops sys-admin. During the night I am a husband, father of two, and a CEO of a bootstrapped start-up. After launch, my first project was to schedule regular backups of user data and archive off-site. My goal was to create backups but never need them. Boy was I lucky […]

Tips for getting pull requests approved

Pull rejection sucks! You have just coded, implemented, and submitted a pull request. A short while later the request is declined by an upstream maintainer and you feel crushed. We have all been there. Today I’m going to show you a better way. This article will teach you how to create pull requests that get […]