Archive for "Mo Ismailzai"

8 posts from this author

Building machine images with Packer

Building machine images with Packer

Earlier this year we wrote about adopting Vagrant and Terraform in our steady march toward Infrastructure as Code. We recently added a new tool to this list, HashiCorp’s Packer. Packer automates building machine images, and with a single set of provisioners, creates images for multiple builders (such as VirtualBox, DigitalOcean, and Google Cloud).

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Marketing automation with SendGrid

Marketing automation with SendGrid

By Mo Ismailzai  | September 17, 2018  |  Business solutions, User experience

I first came across SendGrid while configuring a Google Cloud Compute Engine instance. Google blocks standard SMTP ports and suggests users route mail through third-party e-mail delivery services like SendGrid. These services offset the work of maintaining IP-based e-mail reputation and provide additional tools for contact management, e-mail marketing, and compliance with CAN-SPAM requirements. 

With a sleek, modern UI, well-documented web API, and helper libraries in seven languages, SendGrid stands out in this space. Though it does not bill itself as a marketing automation platform, SendGrid’s rule-based segmentation, white-label click-tracking, inbound parse webhooks, and transactional messaging -- all free -- are comparable to Bronto, Oracle’s enterprise marketing automation platform.

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5 command line techniques to be more productive

5 command line techniques to be more productive

By Mo Ismailzai  | March 08, 2018  |  Productivity tools

Intended audience: developers

Unix-like operating systems power the majority of the Internet, and if you’re a web developer, chances are you interact with them daily. Whether you’re using the Linux or macOS command line interface, the Windows Subsystem for Linux, a Vagrant box, or connecting to a remote server via SSH, here’s a list of five command line techniques to be more productive.

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Infrastructure as Code: provisioning and configuration management with Vagrant, Terraform, and Ansible

Infrastructure as Code: provisioning and configuration management with Vagrant, Terraform, and Ansible

By Mo Ismailzai  | December 08, 2017  |  Business solutions, Case study, Productivity tools

Intended audience: technical managers, senior developers

Agile developers must constantly strike a balance between building solutions for a known existing case and building solutions that can scale to handle unknown future cases. On the one hand, Agile philosophy encourages us to build and iterate as necessary: Move Fast and Break Things. On the other, various programming best practices encourage us to build in an extensible and modular way from the start: Do One Thing and Do It Well. On smaller projects, these two goals can be achieved simultaneously; but on larger projects – especially given time and budget constraints – it is sometimes necessary to prioritize one over the other. 

Project managers and full-stack developers face such choices almost immediately, during the initial development, staging, and deployment phases. For instance, a project may begin with a narrow scope and require only a single developer’s time. In this case, it often makes sense to forgo provisioning a dedicated development virtual machine (VM) or staging server, and instead, to use generic or shared environments. But as the scope of the project grows, for instance with caching or proxy layers, it often makes sense to implement better development, staging, and production parity.

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