This site is - much like it’s author - under active development. Not sure what it will be or where it will go just yet. I have a number of interests, thoughts and ideas so expect anything. Or nothing, life might be better if you don’t have any expectations. Thanks for stopping by my personal fragment of the Internet.

What Do You Need From Me?

There are a number of personality tests in the world. I’m not talking about the nonsense ones. All those Facebook quizzes that will tell you which Hogwart’s house you’d be in, which Sex in the City character you are, or which member of the Nazi high command you’re most like. Those are nonsense. I’m referring to the ones that have some measure of scientific basis. The Five Factor test, Myers-Briggs, the Enneagram and a number of others. Read more...

Politics and the Work Ahead

Everything political makes me angry. This is a thoroughly recent affliction. It happens whether the democrats or republicans have the edge in the halls of power. There’s no leadership, no compromise, no effective governance, no conversation, no understanding that the only viable long term outcomes must be win-win. There is none of the work that we the people need done. Just entitled, wealthy and disconnected power-seekers pandering to their audience. Loyalty to party is more important than what is actually good for the country. Read more...

Autumn Reflections on This Blog

Every three months, I take some time to look back and see what I’ve done and where I’m going. It’s good to stop periodically and think about your work. Is it good work? Is it the right thing to do? Is it the best use of limited time and resources? That depends on what you are trying to accomplish. In this case, I’m thinking about this website, this blog. What’s it for? Read more...

Logging - A Primer

Logging is the primary user interface for supporting and troubleshooting your system. It is critical that you get it right. I know this because I have gotten it wrong often enough. If you move to microservice architectures and containers, the criticality only increases because errors and anomalies are as distributed as your runtime. Here are some opinionated recommendations about how to not get it wrong. Do not create your own logging framework. Read more...

What Do You Want?

That’s one of the most important questions. The tandem questions of ‘who are you’ and ‘what do you want’ can guide your life. Once you can begin to answer them. The key word there is begin. They are not answered once. You will keep asking and answering them through a lifetime. For me and for now, it’s … Interesting friends and companions. An opportunity to learn, every day. A resilient, healthy, and loving family. Read more...

Jenkins - Read Labels From ECR Images

I’ve been working on converting some of our Java based applications to run in Docker containers in an AWS ECS cluster. With our existing pipelines for these applications, we store metadata from the build as properties on the build artifact in Artifactory. This includes information like the git revision associated with the build, the branch it was pulled from, etc etc. In our transition to Docker, we aren’t using Artifactory for image storage. Read more...

Local First Development

If pressed to define how I approach programming, the words “pragmatic essentialism” will be used at some point. Do what works and make it as simple as possible to get the job done across time. This manifests itself in various ways in my day-to-day work. One of the rules I try to hold to is that the set up of a project for development should be as localized as possible. Read more...

How to Get Ready for College (and Life)

On a recent afternoon, my son sent me a text message that read simply, “how do I get ready for college”. He’s 18 and starts his first semester in a couple weeks. Like most people, the only thing high school really challenged was his patience. He’s smart and he tends to overthink things. This results in more stress than necessary. He also seems to enjoy asking profound life advice by way of text message. Read more...

Observations From the John Muir Trail

In July of 2018 my son and I hiked the John Muir Trail. This was my second time and his first. The trail covers 211 miles from Yosemite National Park to the summit of Mount Whitney. It includes over 84,000 feet of elevation change and some of the most stunning scenery in the Sierras. We hiked it in 17 days. What follows is a collection of thoughts and observations. In one sense they are simple and obvious. Read more...

Some Days

Some days are better than others. I’m not sure if this is a function of energy, intention, luck or some combination of these and other factors. Days in the mountains are good days. So are days spent learning, reading and relaxing. Productive days where I crush that task list, execute on projects and accomplish all my dailies are often good days; in retrospect if not during. Then there are the not so good days. Read more...