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Entries tagged work

CGI, and Other Bad Words

16 October 2021 19:28

In my professional life, I make websites performant and reliable. It's in the job title -- Site Reliability Engineer. I do this using Content Delivery Networks, load balancers, stateless infrastructure, layers of caching, and container orchestration technology. I could think of a few other buzzwords to throw in there, and it probably sounds real impressive to a lay person.

Of course, all that is managed. I abstract myself from managing all of that stuff with just a few text files. Of course, it took significant professional experience to know what I'm doing with those text files, and to be able to arrange these components into a stable infrastructure. And I derive great satisfaction from being able to help create something awesome. And I'm pretty good at what I do, according to my boss and our uptime graphs. I'm not at liberty to share such data so broadly, but I can illustrate this roughly in a graph...

Lower is better.

So naturally, since my day to day is spent in the public cloud, using all these wonderful things that have enabled small-time companies with limited upfront budgets to build ultra-reliable, globally distributed websites and services with just a few text files, my personal infrastructure should be built the same way, right? I should be using the trendiest web frameworks, JAM stack, serverless, Cloudflare, all managed using the latest Hashicorp offerings.

Nah.

You're getting this page from an old-fashioned Apache httpd instance (of course, a reasonably up-to-date one). I have one CGI script (in Perl). No CDN, because I don't think I need one. It's my personal website, so I want to be in control of how it's served. And no Javascript. In layperson's terms, I'm kicking it old-school.

I suppose this is my way of maintaining work-life balance, while still exercising some of my skills that I use in a professional setting. I find it relaxing to shift paradigms. I love my job and my work, but I can't really decompress if I just go from writing YAML files at work to writing YAML files at home.

Likewise, I'm never going to roll into work one morning and say "hey y'all, let's ditch this microservices thing and write a bunch of Perl CGI scripts!"

...I just thought of a really funny April Fools prank.

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Gratitude: Creative Enablers

24 October 2021 09:09

I'm a creative person. Sometimes I feel like an artist who hasn't found his medium, so I use everything I do as a creative outlet. The way I talk to my friends, how I accomplish things at work, writing a blog that nobody reads but Chinese robots looking for outdated Wordpress installations to hack.

(Sorry, all static. But here's something for you.)

So today I want to express gratitude for the people in my life who embrace my quirks. My husband most of all, who married me in our apartment full of hobbies and diversions, in an 80s/90s themed ceremony officiated by my brother, who was ordained to do so by me.

But also, my family and friends, my boss, coworkers, the lady at the Build-A-Bear that one time who told me about the pizza scent, all the cool people I surround myself with who embrace my creative expression. Thank you for your critiques, reactions, and genuine, thoughtful compliments. Anything but a dismissive nod and smile is a blessing to me.

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