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Photo by Chris Yang on Unsplash

There is often a better way

I recently posted about how you should try to avoid duplicating Identity in Software Systems because there is almost always a better way to organise things. This short post is on a similar theme and has a similar conclusion.

Identity systems store identities. Users (people) and other entities like bots or service accounts. Using various protocols and technologies you can use a trusted external identity system to authenticate an entity. To provide confidence that you are dealing with what you think you are dealing with. You can then authorise the entity within your application. …

Team Contributor is a better label than Individual Contributor for members of your team

Construction workers building a foundation
Construction workers building a foundation
Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash.

I didn’t come up with this notion, but I think it’s the correct way of looking at things and worth elaborating on a little.

I can attribute it to John Cutler via LinkedIn:

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Photo by Chris Yang on Unsplash

There is almost always a better way

In the real world we have a single Identity. I’m sure you can think of edge cases, but generally that’s how it works. We are who we are. And there are different mechanisms for proof-of-identity. Birth certificates, passports, government-issued ID, drivers licenses, utility bills etc. No type of proof is perfect. But each one lends confidence depending on the trustworthiness of the entities involved in providing it. And the confluence of different identity proofs provides higher confidence. …

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Using GitHub gists to display code in posts.

Code in Medium

There are several viable ways to display code in your Medium posts which suit different goals. Please see my previous post to get a handle on the following:

  1. Medium code blocks
  2. Medium inline code
  3. Images
  4. Embeds


You can use an external program to host the code and embed the content into the article.

Benefits of embedding code

  • Preservation of lines for readability (no forced overflow of longer lines to the next).
  • Easy for readers to use. Just copy and paste (which you can’t do with an image).
  • You can update the content agnostic of the post its self (you don’t need to edit the article). …

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The different ways that you can display code in Posts to help write more useful software related content.

There are several viable ways to display code in your Medium posts which suit different goals.

Medium code blocks

Create a code block by typing 3 backticks (```). Or highlight a section and hit the following keyboard shortcut (hit again to toggle).

MacOS: Command + Option + 6.

Windows: Ctrl + Alt + 6.

print("Hello World")

Medium inline code

Create inline code print("Hello World") by typing 1 backtick (`). Or highlight some text and hit the backtick (hit again to toggle).


You can add an image of the code by taking a screenshot and using the Medium Editor functionality to upload the screenshot to your post. …

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Getting Containers and Kubernetes Pods to consume local Apps in Docker for Mac

Docker for Mac is great for developing and testing containers using Docker and even Kubernetes on your workstation. Whilst doing this you may want your container to talk to another application that is running on your computer.

Typically app-a can consume app-b locally using the following name http://localhost:<port> . But (because OS X is not Linux) the container is actually running in a VM under the covers[0] and so is on the guest local network not the host (your machine).

In the case of a Kubernetes Pod references to http://localhost:<port> will surface applications that are running on other containers in the Pod definition. …

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Microsoft Visual Studio Code — like many consumer products — has default settings applied to help protect us from ourselves and reduce the chance of causing issues by accident.

One such setting is that certain files and directories are excluded from the VS Code file explorer view. And one specific example is the .git folder.

This folder is used to store important git related information and typically you absolutely want to leave it alone! However, I was recently looking at pre-commit hooks. These are implemented with scripts that live in the.git/hooks

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The Microsoft Visual Studio Code Editor enables fast, intelligent code commenting shortcuts for many languages as a feature.

Line commenting

This shortcut saves the most time for me!

  1. Highlight the lines you wish to comment in or out.
  2. Hit the shortcut sequence.

MacOS: command + /

Windows & Linux: ctrl + /


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Photo by Amanda Mocci on Unsplash

Minimal .zshrc examples to include git branch name in prompt


Configure the zsh shell prompt (default on macOS Catalina) to spit out your git branch name if you are inside a git repository with minimal effort so you can just move on to something else.

By minimal I mean some combination of least additional downloads, least dependency on other tools / programs and least configuration while still being simple enough to read, understand and adjust.


  1. Go to the either ‘Config’ section of this post and copy the code.
  2. Paste into your ~/.zshrc file and save.
  3. Start a new shell or source ~.zshrc

Understand how AWS EKS manages IP addresses and what you can do about it

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Photo by Morning Brew on Unsplash.

In this article, I want to illustrate how the AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service allocates IPs for the cluster so you can better manage your platform!

We will create a new EKS cluster and perform some other actions. At every step, we will seek to understand what is happening in terms of IP allocation.



Nick Gibbon

Platform / Operations Engineer

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