The importance of metrics and infrastructure

In the past few months, our team has learned the hard way the importance of meticulously testing our infrastructure as we prepare for deployment.

This all seems trivial… at first. We have a strong foundation for our setup. We have tools to measure performance and we have tools to profile the software. But then we start testing, there are numbers everywhere, mountains of logs, and it can all become very overwhelming, very fast.

It turns out, some of the greatest challenges when testing for deployment is figuring out what you should be looking at, understanding what you are seeing, while the whole time correlating this information across the entire infrastructure. Common questions are not only focused on the software side either. Rather than just wondering whether this function is optimized, questions quickly start focusing on the infrastructure itself. Does our database have enough CPU? Does it have enough RAM? Is our data partitioned well enough?

Performance testing is a long and arduous process, but fascinating at the same time.


Write Code Every Day

I just read this inspiring post by John Resig. Like most of us, he struggled with maintaining adequate progress on his side projects. However, unlike most of us he solved the problem and has been making good progress ever since. The secret?

Make a little bit of progress, every, single, day.

It sounds simple, but it is really hard to do in practice. It means making sacrifices and dedicating blocks of time in your schedule. It does not always have to be at the same time, but it should be planned every day.

What I found particularly striking about the article though is how he got around many of the challenges I myself have struggled with.

How only working weekends just does not cut it. It just does not work. It puts too much pressure on this day and you just end up feeling disappointed because you could not accomplish what you had set out to do.

I also like how he has several important rules for the work being taken. For it to count, it has to fulfill a set of requirements. So just writing some documentation for a coding project for instance would not count as having done something productive.

So without further ado, here’s the article:

Now using WordPress!

After many years of running a site with Drupal. I have finally decided to switch to WordPress for my personal website.

Here are my reasons:

  • The sites look better with less work.
  • Drupal 6 looked to be dying soon, and the choice was to either migrate up or switch entirely.
  • I have little experience with WordPress so it looked to be an excellent time to change that!

So far so good and I am really happy with the switch!