How to Lose Friends and Alienate People
Communication is complex. It requires more than just words to be truly effective. Intonation and inflection are completely lost in the translation to digital form and misunderstanding happens in their absence. I get more frustrated every day with the terse, cold nature of electronic discussion. I need a cleansing period. As of today, I am removing myself from all personal online interactions by...
Armchair Activism and the Misconception of "Good...
Twitter has an immense ecosystem with incredible diversity. There are accounts for everything and for all types. Many people stick with a single theme and run with it. Comedians never break character; activists fight the good fight; others simply lament over or sing praises about their daily lives. It has helped launch fledgling businesses. It’s been wielded as a powerful weapon against...
SOLID Principles for Operations
SOLID is a mnemonic acronym for five basic principles of object-oriented design, originally coined by “Uncle Bob” Martin. From Wikipedia: “The principles when applied together intend to make it more likely that a programmer will create a system that is easy to maintain and extend over time.” While SOLID is designed to help guide developers, these principles can be very much...
The Time I Got Arrested
It’s the summer of 2001. The sun is burning hot in the midday sky, the grass a most beautiful emerald green, and I just found my first love. It is a brown 1983 Buick Regal sedan with bench seats, a vinyl top, AM and FM radio, enough fake wood to re-panel a basement rec room, and shocks so worn amazing you’d have thought you were sailing a ship across a sea of clouds. In other words,...
Confessions of an Awkward Penguin
I have intense social anxiety. I feel extreme discomfort when I am in a situation where I may have to interact with other people: grocery shopping; driving in traffic; going to the movies; even talking on the phone. My heart races, my hands get sweaty, and my head starts pounding. I can do pretty well with people or places I have known for a long time, but I am awful with new people and new...
The Ideal Monitoring Service
The state of monitoring solutions has been on my mind for a while. Today, the #monitoringsucks hash tag became a trend on my local Twitter feed. I’ve been working on my own monitoring app as of late, so I was inspired to put to words what my definition of the ideal solution should look like. [[MORE]] It must be easy. One of the bigger pain points of monitoring applications is...
Programming is a science dressed up as art, because most of us don’t...– ZeroMQ documentation
Bash SSH Tunnel Wrapper
I recently became the caretaker of a Chef server that sits behind a firewall, inaccessible to all but the nodes that require access. Even though it’s locked down, I still need to be able to administer it. My tool of choice is knife, the command-line utility used to interact with Chef. [[MORE]] I have SSH access to the box, so to use knife I only have to create an SSH tunnel: ssh -T -f...
Agile Book Development
My wife is a writer. She considers herself the aspiring variety, but I disagree. Anyone who can actually sit down and puts words to paper (digital or otherwise) is certainly a bonafide writer in my eyes. Writing is hard - really hard, and I respect the hell out of anyone who tries their hand at it. [[MORE]] I consider myself a developer, which is a different kind of writing altogether. ...
Never, ever, write in a vacuum. Show your work to people: friends, colleagues,...– Dave Thomas
Tiered support? More like "tear'd" support.
Tiered support is a methodology commonly practiced by any institution that proffers customer service. When a customer calls in, they’re connected to a tech who can offer basic advice. If that tech cannot resolve the issue, the customer’s call is transferred to the next tier of techs that know more than the last. Rinse, repeat, until the customer is passed on to the tech that...
The secret to a successful business, happy...
It’s money. I know what you’re thinking: “Of course it’s money. Everyone likes money.” But it’s more complex than that. Just a wee bit more, not rocket-surgery complex. Say you start a business. You make it far enough that you need people to do some of the work for you. Great! Now, there are two paths you can take, each with a wildly divergent...
Team spirit is for losers, financially speaking. It’s the glue that binds...– Felix Dennis, How to Get Rich
Employees that are a challenge to keep are often the best kind of employee to have.