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Author: Martin Smith

The Chef Firewall Cookbook: a Leaky Abstraction

Managing a firewall is hard. Designing an abstraction layer on top of a firewall is even harder. Not only do you need to understand networking and your operating system, but you need to figure out a way to map common operations on firewalls to specific implementation rules. And you’ll need a way to manage firewalls across a fleet of machines. If this sales pitch hasn’t encouraged you to buy a hardware firewall yet… enter the Chef Firewall cookbook.

How Slack is bad for an online community

Dave Cheney recently made waves in the tech world by writing that Slack is inappropriate for open source communications. This reminded me about how the Chef community had made the move to Slack last year, and how they’d identified some major gaps between IRC (the previous preferred chat platform) and Slack. Because you can’t moderate users, block users, or protect your own private messages, I’d recommend communities go elsewhere. I’d take this further and argue that Slack is bad for any kind of non-corporate community.

3 Thoughts about Machu Picchu

According to Wikipedia, “Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, above the Urubamba River valley. Built in the 15th century and later abandoned, it’s renowned for its sophisticated dry-stone walls that fuse huge blocks without the use of mortar, intriguing buildings that play on astronomical alignments and panoramic views. Its exact former use remains a mystery.”

Mentoring & Industry Culture

Why Mentoring?

I strongly believe that mentoring can help a mentee develop into a better technical leader, and it’s also an exercise in leadership for a mentor — you’re sharing your vision and engaged in convincing someone else to go down a particular path. I’ve participated in at least four different mentoring programs during my career; some have had a focus on specific projects, while others are more of a “meet & discuss” model or even one where mentees have a specific goal like getting a job.