#233 — September 11, 2019

Read on the Web

Covering the week's news in software development, infrastructure, ops, platforms, and performance — Formerly Web Operations Weekly and currently in transition.

A Full Breakdown of ConvertKit's $64,944 AWS Bill — If you’ve been reading for a while, you know I love breakdowns like this. Here’s the full breakdown of how an email marketing tool with 25k customers uses AWS.

Kris Hamoud (ConvertKit)

Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB) Now Available — Now in production form across five AWS regions, QLDB is a ‘ledger’ style database for tracking all committed changes to a dataset in a guaranteed and verifiably accurate way.

Jeff Barr

Chaos Conf Is Back — Systems in production fail. Now in its second year, Chaos Conf offers the opportunity for you to learn the "why"s and "how"s of intentionally breaking parts of your infrastructure to see how your systems hold up, and to see where the weaknesses lie.

Gremlin sponsor

Google Is Evolving “nofollow” with New Ways to Identify The Nature of Links — Google introduced rel=’nofollow’ in 2005 as a way for site owners to mark untrusted links that shouldn’t receive any PageRank-related credit in Google’s algorithms. It took off, but now Google is introducing two new rel values for specific types of content.


🎂 Happy 60th Birthday to COBOL — In the beginning, there was machine languages and assembler. Neither was easy to use, but then along came COBOL, and everything changed. And, believe it or not, COBOL is still very much in active use.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

ƛ  AWS Lambda Cold Start Language Comparisons, 2019 Edition — Analysis of the ‘cold start’ times of AWS Lambda running with different runtimes (which now also includes Ruby). It seems things have improved significantly in recent times. Node.js is the big winner with Ruby in second place(!)

Nathan Malishev

Quick bytes:

💻 Jobs

Operations Engineer at DNSimple (Remote) — Chef expert? Join us to grow our automated infrastructure and help others on the team deliver infrastructure as code.


Job Searching Without The Searching? Try hackajob 🔎 — Let your skills do the talking. Our AI matches you to roles based on your favourite webops tools so you can do what you love.


💬 Stories and Opinions

Finished! Porting a 75,000 Line Native iOS App to Flutter — Experiences found when porting a large native app to Flutter allowing support cross-platform apps with one codebase.

Gary Hunter

Running GitHub on Rails 6.0 — The story of how GitHub stayed up to date with using Rails 6.0 during its development, resulting in an upgrade process that is an example to follow.

Eileen M. Uchitelle (GitHub)

Dropbox's Journey to Type Checking 4 Million Lines of Python — Python is Dropbox’s most widely used language both for backend services and the desktop client app.

Dropbox Tech Blog

Advanced CDN Strategy for Improved Video Performance — When you use Mux for video, you'll get dynamic multi-CDN selection to deliver the best viewing experience for your audience.

Mux sponsor

An Inside Look at Software Testing at GitLab — Director of quality engineering Mek Stittri talks test technology and the future of automation at GitLab.


Analyzing the Wikipedia DDoS Attack — Last week, Wikipedia was hit by a DDoS attack. Here’s what happened.

Alex Henthorn-Iwane

Hugo and IPFS: How This Blog Works (and Scales to Serve 5,000% Spikes Instantly) — Learnings from real-world experience with IPFS, and the curious stack that powers this developer’s blog.

Alessando Segala

Everything I Googled in a Week as a Professional Software Engineer — I think most of us will identify with things in this post.

Sophie Koonin

Why Your Docker Build Needs a Smoke Test

Itamar Turner-Trauring

📖 Tutorials and Knowledge

📘 PDF: The Philosophy of Computer Science — Please note that this is a 28 megabyte PDF so only click through if you want to save what is a quite remarkable looking 900 page book covering the breadth of computer science and its relationship to philosophy, ethics, and more.

William J. Rapaport

Watch Now: “The Secret to Agile Transformation” On-Demand Webinar

Pantheon sponsor

Refactoring a Relational Database to Amazon DynamoDB — A walk through the process of reading, transforming, and writing SQL Server data from an Amazon EC2 instance to Amazon DynamoDB using AWS Glue.

Amazon Web Services

Google's Practices on 'How to Do a Code Review'


Why Ada Is The Language You Want To Be Programming Your Systems With — Well, I’m not convinced, but it’s interesting to see people stand up for older languages. Ada was born in the 1970s for robust, military-grade development work.

Maya Posch

🛠 Code and Tools

Waltz: A Distributed Write-Ahead Log — Initially designed to be a ledger of transactions on the WePay system but now generalized for broader use cases of distributed systems that require serializable consistency.


xip.io: Wildcard DNS for Everyone — A long standing service that lets you get wildcard DNS support for any IP address (by embedding the IP as part of the hostname).

Sam Stephenson

Fancy Zones: A New Tiling Window Manager for Windows 10 from Microsoft — They’ve released it as part of their new range of power user-oriented “PowerToys” for Windows 10 (inspired by a similar project from the Windows 95 era).


Amazon EFS Offers Reduced Pricing for 'Infrequent Access' — EFS (Elastic File System) is a managed, cloud-native NFS file system that can be used with various AWS services. A new ‘infrequent access’ profile offers price optimization for situations where files are not accessed regularly.

Amazon Web Services

Introducing 'Can I Email' — An idea heavily inspired by Can I Use, a popular index of Web features and their cross-browser support. Can I Email takes the same idea to what different email clients support.

Can I Email

An Index of Sites with 'Dumb Password Rules' — At attempt at ‘shaming’ sites that have weird or just plain stupid password rules.

Dumb Password Rules