#245 — December 4, 2019

Read on the Web

Covering the week's news in software development, infrastructure, ops, platforms, and performance.

Amazon are currently holding their re:Invent conference which means a flood of new releases and previews are coming out. We're including some of the more code-oriented ones here, but they have a list of releases so far on their blog too.

— Peter Cooper, editor

The Advent of Code 2019 — If you have a little time each day to do some programming challenges, you could do a lot worse than the Advent of Code which is now in its fifth year. I’ve really enjoyed the puzzles so far and there’s even a sub-Reddit where people discuss their solutions.

The Advent of Code

BPF: A New Type of Software? — BPF (and eBPF) was originally designed to capture and filter network packets using various rules, but you can use the interface they provide with the kernel to do other things too (under what Brendan calls a ‘new model of programming’) such as intelligent load balancing, DDoS mitigation, observability, and more. You’ll learn a lot here.

Brendan Gregg

Next Release Is DevOps for Your Release Notes — Next Release automates creating, sharing, and distributing release notes and changelogs based on your existing GitHub pull requests. With tons of configuration options.

Next Release sponsor

How The Most Copied StackOverflow Snippet of All Time Is Flawed — An interesting part to this story is it’s the answer’s original author who’s also written the correction.

Andreas Lundblad

SQL and Java Top the List Of Most In-Demand Tech Skills — SQL is the most in-demand tech skill by US employers claims the IEEE.

IEEE Spectrum

AWS Introduces The Concept of 'Local Zones' — Are AWS’s usual regions and availability zones just a little too distant for your use cases? Local Zones are a new concept in the AWS system where certain services will be provided in a specific geographic area (in this case Los Angeles) but managed via the ‘parent’ region (in this case US West (Oregon)).

Jeff Barr (AWS)

AWS Outposts Let You Bring AWS In-House — If 'local zones' aren't local enough for you, AWS has also released Outposts, basically racks of AWS hardware you can bring in-house to your own data center. Don't expect this to be cheap though!

Jeff Barr (AWS)

Quick bytes:

💻 Jobs

DevOps Engineer at X-Team (Remote) — Work with the world's leading brands, from anywhere. Travel the world while being part of the most energizing community of developers.


Find a Job Through Vettery — Make a profile, name your salary, and connect with hiring managers from top employers. Vettery is completely free for job seekers.


📕 Tutorials

A Guide to Distributed Teams — Two VPs (of Splice and Buffer, respectively) have put together a collection of thoughts on how to foster and grow happy, efficient teams who may be located around the world.

Juan Pablo Buriticá and Katie Womersley

▶  Discussing gRPC with Mark Rendle — Don’t do .NET? Doesn’t matter. I quite enjoyed this recent podcast episode that digs into just what gRPC is all about and why it’s so much faster than older RPC mechanisms like SOAP.

The .NET Core Podcast podcast

Video for Serverless: Build Video in Just Two API Calls — Mux Video is an API-first platform, powered by data and designed by video experts to make beautiful video possible for every development team.

Mux sponsor

0.30000000000000004 — How different languages deal with the ‘0.1 + 0.2 not equalling exactly 0.3’ problem.

Erik Wiffin

A Guide to Helm 3 with a Node.js Express Microservice — Helm is a package management tool for the Kubernetes ecosystem. ‘Charts’ are basically the packages/pre-packaged apps it can work with, and this tutorial covers creating a chart for an Express.js service.

Alex Ellis

▶  Going Docker, Swarm and Kubernetes Production Like a Pro — A prolific speaker (and ‘container consultant’) gives a ‘best of’ talk in 40 minutes focused at existing Docker users looking for best practices and problems to avoid.

Bret Fisher

💡 Stories and Opinions

How a Comment on Hacker News Led to 4 ½ New Unicode Characters

Terence Eden

A DNS Horror Story: How I Lost and Regained My .IN Domain Name — How someone’s domain got accidentally ‘sinkholed’ as part of an automated campaign to stamp out a years-old botnet.

Susam Pal

The .org Fire Sale: How It Sold for Less Than Half Its Valuation — We’ve featured the story of the .org registry in the past few weeks, but more continues to emerge.

The Longest Now

Hope Is Not A Strategy: How Hardware Issues Affect Your Database's Data — A recent announcement by HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise) about some SSDs that would fail suddenly after 32,768 hours of operation might give you some food for thought as to how you’d deal with such a failure in your own setup.

Joe Conway

🛠 Code and Tools

Kubethanos: Kills Half of Your Kubernetes Pods at Random — An interesting way to test the resilience of your Kubernetes setup by killing some pods within a set of your choice.


Amazon CodeGuru: A ML Service for Automated Code Reviews — Yes, there’s a new machine learning-based service from AWS for automated code reviews and application performance recommendations.

Amazon Web Services

Amazon Athena Adds Support for Running SQL Queries Across Multiple Sources — You can now run SQL queries across data stored in relational, non-relational, object, and custom data sources – so just imagine running a query joining S3, Redshift, CloudWatch, MySQL, DynamoDB, etc. Currently in preview in one AWS region for now, but this could be a big deal.

Amazon Web Services

Managed PostgreSQL by DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean sponsor

Amazon Fraud Detector — Yes, yet another new AWS service and yet another built around machine-learning. This time, you upload your historical fraud datasets to S3 and Fraud Detector will advise you to potential threats over time.

Amazon Web Services

A Big Pile of 'Vim-like' Applications — If you like the lo-fi, terminal-based experience, these programs are worth checking out.


Django 3.0 Released — The popular Python webapp framework steps forward into a new major release with MariaDB support, ASGI support (opening the option of using Django in an asynchronous way), and lots of deprecations.

Django Project

Shieldon: A Web Application Firewall (WAF) for PHP

Terry L.