Archive for "Mo Ismailzai"
Infrastructure as Code: provisioning and configuration management with Vagrant, Terraform, and Ansible
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.
We’ve worked with many marketing automation platforms and have written about custom integrations using MailChimp, Salesforce, Marketo, HubSpot, and Bronto. Recently, we’ve been impressed by the combined power of Bronto’s fields, segments, and workflows. Fields are user metadata and can be updated remotely via the Bronto API. Segments are automatically generated lists of users who meet the segment’s criteria. Finally, workflows are intelligent triggers that can be used to initiate a complex series of events. The combination of these features can be extremely powerful for marketers looking to send customized messages to highly targeted lists.
For instance, we recently built a CMS-based blogging platform for FindaTopDoc, a client that showcases medical professionals and their content. Their blog posts go through a series of editorial controls before they are made publicly visible, and if the author has opted-in and configured social sharing, the published posts are also shared to the author’s social media accounts.
We recently migrated a client to Facebook comments and enabled Comment Mirroring. Though the process is simple, it’s poorly documented and a little finicky. Here's a rundown!
Here's an overview of what's involved:
Last year, I switched from developing on a dual-boot Windows and Linux machine to working on a Mac. During the transition, I felt my productivity slump: not only was I missing keyboard shortcuts that I had become very accustomed to (such as Alt+←, for instance), but some native MacOS behaviour drove me crazy (like ⌘+Tab cycling through applications rather than cycling through windows of all applications). I also found the Mac terminal to be lacking, missing important utilities, and running some outdated binaries. So, vowing to prove decisively the superiority of humans over machines, I decided to make my Mac Just Work* ™ * Like my PC used to.
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