A Reading List

A friend recently commented on a Facebook post asking for some reading recommendations, which I then gave him (boy, did I ever!). But I realized that I don’t want it to just disappear down the Facebook memory hole so I’m reposting it here. Blogs (EA/rationalist/politics/philosophy) Slate Star Codex - EA, rationalist, lots of nerdy philosophy/political stuff. Areo Magazine - Liberal Left but not “Progressive” articles, writing quality varies but mostly good.

Making Docker Play Nice with Ferm Firewalls on Linux

I’ve been using Docker a fair bit for work at ActiveState recently. It’s quite nice and makes creating and deploying services much simpler. However, it can also be incredibly annoying when I’m using it locally on my desktop. By default, the Docker daemon (dockerd) messes with iptables in order to allow docker images to connect to the interwebs. But if you already have a firewall in place there’s a good chance that this won’t work.

Come Work for Me at ActiveState

I’m sure my legion of faithful readers all shares one dream. That dream is to one day have the great joy of working for me. Well, faithful readers, that dream could come true for one lucky person among your number. [Note to self: what’s the best emote for eye rolling?] I’m hiring for a Senior Developer position on my team at ActiveState. We’re working on an incredibly ambitious product that will make development easier for everyone who uses it.

My Perl Conference Tutorials

I’m doing two tutorials this year at The Perl Conference! On Thursday, June 21 I’ll be offering my Introduction to Moose course once again. If you want learn more about using Moose this is a great opportunity. I’d also note that most of what I cover applies to Moo, so what you’ll learn is useful in many situations. On Friday, June 22 I’m bringing back my Introduction to Go course. I did this in 2015 and then put it on the shelf as I wasn’t doing so much Go for a while.

New Year, New Theme

I was getting a bit tired of my old blog theme so here’s a new one. This new theme uses Bootstrap 4 under the hood, courtesy of the Understrap theme and understrap-child. The main thing bugging me about the old theme was the font sizes and all the boxiness of the right-hand side widgets. Whenever I’d look at my own blog I’d have to hit Ctrl-+ a few times. That seems like a bad sign.

Swimming in the River of CPAN

If you’ve browsed MetaCPAN lately, maybe you’ve noticed the new “river” indicator that’s next to distributions in listings and on individual distribution pages. See the image on the right for an example. The River of CPAN analogy was first described by Neil Bowers in 2015, though I believe it was created by a group of Perl folks at the 2015 QA Hackathon. The basic idea is that the more dependencies a distribution has, the farther upstream it is.

Caching and the travis-perl Helpers

The travis-perl helpers are great. If you haven’t heard about them before, what they do is let you test your Perl projects on Travis with a much wider range of Perls than Travis provides natively. They also run your tests from the perspective of end users. What that means is that if you’re using Dist::Zilla or another module builder tool, the helpers will build a distribution tarball, then unpack that and test it.

“First release upon an unsuspecting world”

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been using the phrase “First release upon an unsuspecting world” as the Changes entry for the first release of all my CPAN modules. Thinking about this, I cannot remember where this came from. I don’t think that I invented it, but maybe I did. I do have an idea every once in a while. But I feel like I got the idea from someone or something else.

A Technical Hiring Process

At The Perl Conference 2017, I gave a talk titled How to Make Your Technical Hiring Process Suck at Least 20% Less. A Bold goal, I know! Unfortunately, the video from that talk did not come out. The slides are available (hit “s” for my notes), but even with the speaker notes there’s a lot missing, since I mostly knew what I wanted to say without any notes. A few folks have asked me about this presentation or the hiring process I’ve followed, so I thought it would be good to write it up.

Going Full Gmail

So I finally gave in and moved my email to Gmail. Specifically, I’ve moved the urth.org email handling to Gmail via G Suite with my own domain. The first email reader I used was Pine, which I used for ages. Later I got real modern and switched to Alpine. I would shell into urth.org and run alpine to read my mail. This worked fine except for all the ways it didn’t.