You can convert GPS coordinates into cities, counties, states and even ZIP codes for free!

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Geocoding APIs are common and popular today. Many of them also offer generous free tiers. Using such APIs with big data, though, can present developers with a few challenges. In order to enrich the big data with geographical information, triggers usually need to be set for external code to be executed, invoke a geocoding API and update the records. Most APIs also enforce rate limits, so queues need to be properly implemented and it might take time for all of the data to become ready and actionable.

On the other hand, joining records in a database is usually easier to…


It’s never too late to retrofit Terraform into your infrastructure

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Terraform came late into my life, but I quickly fell in love with it. It was 2018 already and I was still using “native”, proprietary IaaC tools to deploy and maintain my infrastructures. All of a sudden, I needed to port a project to a multi-cloud environment and the old tools did not apply anymore. That’s when I met Terraform, wrote my first configuration, and never left it ever since. Indeed, I decided to port all of my existing infrastructure projects to Terraform. Terraform is very easy to get started with and has a soft learning curve if you are…


Add a Must-Have Tool to Your DevOps Toolbelt

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I will come clean: I began using GitHub Actions only recently and I want to make amends. I missed out, possibly because CI/CD Actions became generally available only in late 2019 and by then I was already well-acquainted and satisfied with other tools I used for ~5 years. Not trying something new just because the good ol’ stuff works is, indeed, against my own principles and overall a very bad idea. So eventually I tried the GitHub Actions and found them to be amazing!

GitHub Actions offer a complete and powerful set of functionalities, a lot of extensions are available…


Because sometimes simple tasks require advanced techniques

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I love Terraform for many reasons. One of them is the documentation. Oftentimes I only need to copy & paste snippets from the docs and change a few settings to deploy a resource.

So deploying a Lambda function on AWS should be as easy as using this snippet from the official documentation:

resource "aws_iam_role" "iam_for_lambda" {
name = "iam_for_lambda"

assume_role_policy = <<EOF
{
...
EOF
}

resource "aws_lambda_function" "test_lambda" {
filename = "lambda_function_payload.zip"
function_name = "lambda_function_name"
role = aws_iam_role.iam_for_lambda.arn
handler = "exports.test"

source_code_hash = filebase64sha256("lambda_function_payload.zip")

runtime = "nodejs12.x"

environment {
variables = {
foo = "bar"
}
}
}

…not…


Add Docker Hub Credentials and Prosper. AWS CodeBuild Instructions Included.

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In an effort to leave its troubled recent past behind, Docker has significantly revamped its business model over the course of this (very troubled indeed) year. As a part of this renovation, back in August the company announced big changes to the Docker Hub service too. Effective November 1, 2020:

  • Stale (inactive for ≥6 months) images on the Docker Hub will be purged
  • Pulls will be rate limited for anonymous users and free accounts

We should all know by now that there are no such things as unlimited services, capacity or vacations in the real world. Even huge companies faltered…


A comprehensive guide to embedding and customizing YouTube, Vimeo and self-hosted videos in web pages

Photo by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash

Video content is taking over the Internet. The trend began long ago and the most recent stats confirmed the predictions were correct. TikTok, a social network entirely based on video content, grew so much and so rapidly that it quickly became a “threat” to long-stading giants such as Instagram and even rasied concerns in the US government. …


The stakes are higher than you think!

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I recently came across a tweet sharing a very strong opinion about the separation of “cloud” accounts to isolate environments. The subject has been highly debated over the years and while there is no “one size fits all” solution, there is a widespread consensus on the advantages of separated accounts. It often makes security and cost control easier to deal with and these are sound reasons to opt for the multiple accounts solution. The worst of them all, instead, is: “so I can hand the dev account over to the development team”.

I am a developer myself and worked several…


A quick guide to the Terraform “lifecycle” and how to prevent embarrassing deployment incidents with it

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When I attended to AWS re:Invent 2017 in Las Vegas I had a clear feeling that everything in there was about serverless. Sessions regarding serverless computing and managed services were scheduled in the biggest and fanciest conference rooms available and were literally packed with people. Seats for sessions were reserved with severals months notice and people queued outside to wait for unclaimed spots.
Meanwhile, the adoption of containers had already been soaring for 3 years back then and it scored an impressive +75% in 2018.

The whole shift to serverless, containerization and DevOps practices made it so that we deal…


How to deal with ErrImagePull(s), ImagePullBackOff(s), Great Firewalls, mirrors, lack of information and live happily ever after

Photo by Hosea Georgeson on Unsplash

Helm is a widely used package manager for Kubernetes. It simplifies the deployment of many common applications and it also helps to create deployment packages for complex custom applications with dependencies. So installing Helm is one of the first steps many admins and DevOps engineers take during the deployment of a new Kubernetes cluster.

I have deployed several Kubernetes clusters now and Helm used to work out of the box, until I deployed one in China Mainland. The Helm installation failed consistently, but I eventually worked out a solution. …


Plus a tip for testing Smart Home Actions

Photo by Ciprian Boiciuc on Unsplash

Taking things for granted

This week I started a new Google Actions project. As soon as I had some working code I wanted to engage some friends to test it on real devices. I knew the procedure to enable for inviting other people to the testing because I had done that before, but I noticed that something had changed in the Actions Console.

In the past, after adding other Google accounts to the Project as Viewers, you could use the “Share” button in the Simulator console to invite the owners of such account to test the Action. …

Edoardo Nosotti

Senior Cloud Solutions Architect and DevOps engineer, passionate about AI, conversational interfaces and IoT.

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