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One of the ways to improve your security and avoid passing around env files is to follow the twelve factor app and start populating your secrets from the environment. Another improvement is to pull those secrets from a known secret store, with features like rotation, auditing etc.

Requirements

  • Ansible
  • Have some secrets stored in AWS Secrets Manager
  • Ansible should have access to the latest aws-cli command(secrets manager is a recent addition)
  • Jq if you’re storing json in your secrets

It’s worth testing your AWS calls to just extract the secret you’re interested in to stdout, from the terminal tests some calls…


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Lambda is a terrific piece of kit for all the benefits listed on the AWS product page and Serverless is a very useful framework for developing Lambda functions. However, developing serverless applications locally is a total pain if what you’re solving isn’t totally trivial.

When things get complicated and your Lambda functions start to integrate with other AWS services, things really begin to break down. …


So I combined a few solutions I found online to come up with a quick way to set up maintenance mode using nginx. Ideally it shouldn’t happen but in times of emergency in can be good to knock up a quick maintenance page for everyone but your own internal ips.

Nginx Config

So here’s the configuration I use for nginx, it starts with setting the internal ips of your company in the main nginx config file. Then in the actual vhost, you can set it to watch for the existence of a maintenance_on.html …


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So Microsoft has been in talks with Github about a potential acquisition. There are several reasons why this is a terrible idea. Github is a pretty solid git repo hosting company, but it has a few core values that are in jeopardy here and I’m not sure Microsoft(or anyone) can acquire an entity like Github without severe repercussions.

Platform agnostic integrations

Github has a ton of super useful integrations that help make the life for developers a lot easier. Tools like appveyor, travis-ci, coverall, readthedocs, codacy are really useful and what’s so great is you free to run them wherever you like. How can Microsoft make the business case to keep platform agnostic integrations that are aiding competitors? …


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For the last few months, I’ve been working off a varying series of to-do lists to drive my life. I use a mix of the Things app, my bullet journal, and a calendar. Basically, my setup is to have annual Smart Goals, broken down into achievable chunks, then broken down into tasks to knock off todo lists. On the face of it, it’s a way to organise a wiggly world.

And what is a wiggly world? Alan Watts describes it best:

This world is a great wiggly affair. Clouds are wiggly, waters are wiggly, plants are wiggly, mountains are wiggly, people are wiggly. …


Wild Wild Country – The Soundtrack

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For anyone who hasn’t seen Netflix’s Wild Wild Country, I highly recommend you watch it. The story told, along with the wealth of footage they got their hands on makes it an incredible watch.

The soundtrack is also excellent, I’ve put together the soundtrack as a playlist on Apple Music, you can find it here. Enjoy!


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I’m happy to see the media dog-piling on Facebook so much lately. None of this ‘news’ seems to actually be conveying much that’s new, more that it’s started taking what was slowly becoming normalised and framed it in a way to highlight the outrage. I don’t particularly like the media’s approach but I can’t feel too sorry about Facebook. We should be outraged with their on-going behaviour.

Four years ago I wrote an article about de-activating Facebook, I have not used Facebook since then and I believe I’ve permanently deleted my account somewhere along the way. I didn’t remove Facebook for it’s data hoovering and sharing but simply for it’s lack of intrinsic value. There have been points over the years where I felt a little FOMO, but very rarely and never enough to get back onto the site. …


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While I was camping along the West Coast of the US, I heard about the Leave No Trace movement and found the idea very much resonated with me. Recently, I’ve found myself looking around day to day and wondering where I could start leaving less of a trace. We can all hate on consumerism, but lets face it, well all need to consume a certain amount to live in the modern world. …


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I’ve been meditating now for 150 days straight, but even before that I was a fairly regular meditator for many years, I had just never kept up with any sort of meaningful streak every single day. My current momentum started from a difficult period in my life and even once that difficulty subsided, there was still a desire to keep going with the streak. 150 days later and I’m still happy to maintain it, but figured I’d write down a few insights I’ve gotten from this whole period.

For most of my meditation sessions, I’ve used Headspace. I’ve worked my way through many their programs, finished Headspace Pro(which incorporates more silence week on week), their daily sessions and have just used it as timer when I didn’t want to hear anything. …


For the past few years as a freelancer, I’ve done many forms of remote work. I’ve worked both part and full-time remote positions, I’ve also worked with teams across multiple time-zones, in locations ranging from home offices, hotdesking, even camping and crummy motels, so I have a fairly broad range of experience with remote working. It seems to be the trend that many companies have opted for, and this is definitely a great idea, both for the employee and the company. …

About

Shane Dowling

Senior Dev at gousto.co.uk. Runner and terrible guitar player.

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