Short notes on tech 4/2021

It's already week 4 of 2021 😱 This week the short notes is a bit bigger edition recapping the three first weeks of 2021.

Week 4, 2021

Web-End

Progressive Web Apps in 2021
So far it's been a slow start for PWA. The thing is, they're pretty hard to deploy or retrofit into existing websites. But I expect new stacks will ship with PWA support and at some point they'll become the default choice, the tide will turn (from Weekend Reading)

User stories that should never exist
Twitter account with 😂 user stories.

Choosing a stack of low-code solutions by Jason Lengstorf
"This is a really good thread about choosing a stack of low-code solutions" (from Weekend Reading)

Exploring Rootless Docker
"With the release of Docker 20.10, the rootless containers feature has left experimental status. This post explores setup and usability of rootless Docker." (from Cloud Security Reading List)

Programming

naming-cheatsheet
"A cheetsheet for naming variable and function names. The styling here is JavaScript, but you can adapt these rules to any other language." (from Weekend Reading)

Worklife

No Meetings, No Deadlines, No Full-Time Employees
"What if work was like open source?"

HR is not your friend, and other things I think you should know
"I think people go into HR with the ideal of helping, and in the beginning it's all fun and office parties. By the time they realize that HR is “The Department for Mitigating Legal Risk”, it's too late." (from Weekend Reading) (Hacker News comments)

Cloud

How to Enable Logging on Every AWS Service in Existence (Circa 2021)
"Cloud security best practices, as well as most compliance programs, require that logging be enabled for all in-scope services. However, that simple requirement - enable logging - comes with many follow-up questions. Is CloudTrail enough? How do I turn on logging for all these services? Aren't logs collected by default?" (from Cloud Security Reading List)

What You Need to Know About AWS Security Monitoring, Logging, and Alerting
"Post laying out the different AWS security monitoring and logging sources, how to collect logs from them, and how to select the most appropriate collection technique." (from Cloud Security Reading List)

AWS announces forks of Elasticsearch and Kibana
"Elastic will change their software licensing strategy from the Apache License, Version 2.0 (ALv2) to the Elastic License (which limits how it can be used) or the Server Side Public License (which has requirements that make it unacceptable to many in the open source community). This means that Elasticsearch and Kibana will no longer be open source software. In order to ensure open source versions of both packages remain available and well supported we are announcing that AWS will step up to create and maintain a ALv2-licensed fork of open source Elasticsearch and Kibana."

Tools of the trade

Hush
"Noiseless browsing". This is a tiny app that blocks nags to accept cookies and privacy invasive tracking. Safari only, macOS/iOS, open source, so maybe you can port it to Android/Chrome. Free. (from Weekend Reading)

Scott Hanselman's 2021 Ultimate Developer and Power Users Tool List for Windows

Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp and other apps, what’s the difference?
Ola Bini's Twitter thread of giving an overview about perspective on the security of different applications.

Altair
"GraphQL client app with tons of features."

cloudfour/lighthouse-parade
"Command line tool that crawls a domain and gathers lighthouse performance data for every page." (from Weekend Reading)

OpenScan – open-source document scanner app

Upptime – GitHub-powered uptime monitor and status page

Something different

I logged my activities at 15-minute intervals for the whole year
"Where does the time go?" Log it and find out. (Hacker News comments)

Monthly Notes 55

It's a new year and let's start it with Monthly notes. Something new and something old from the short tech notes. Let this year be good!

Issue 55, 5.1.2021

Tools of the trade

Awesome CI
List of Continuous Integration services. There's a bunch of them to choose, my favorites are: GitHub Actions, Circle CI, Google Cloud Build, Drone CI.

Alternatives to JIRA which is moving to cloud only:
Asana
ClickUp
Linear
Redmine

Ignore node_modules in BackBlaze

PostgREST
"PostgREST serves a fully RESTful API from any existing PostgreSQL database. It provides a cleaner, more standards-compliant, faster API than you are likely to write from scratch." (from hackernewsletter)

alyssaxuu/screenity
"Screenity is a feature-packed screen and camera recorder for Chrome. Annotate your screen to give feedback, emphasize your clicks, edit your recording, and much more." (from Weekend Reading)

Foam
"Foam is a personal knowledge management and sharing system inspired by Roam Research, built on Visual Studio Code and GitHub."

Web Development

Integrate the Web Share API into our websites
"Use the Web Share API instead of these ugly lists of social icons. We should take care that our products support the native frameworks to make the web a better place." (from WDRL 285)

Sass vars, CSS vars, and semantic theme vars
"How we should define semantic variable names in the age of light and dark themes." (from WDRL 285)

Apple now lets us integrate Face ID and Touch ID on the web
"Building it on top of the Web Authentication API. Imagine how this can improve the logging in experience for a good part of your user base."

Work life

A Day in the Life of an Engineering Manager
"Engineering Manager is one of the roles that most people don’t know exactly what it’s about and what these people do. Karl Hughes explains what he does all day and it turns out it’s a role full of soft skills like networking, explaining things or translating between two people, between company departments and to raise awareness around delivery, around process management and recruiting as well as people’s happiness in their jobs." (from WDRL 285)

Development

Collection of tips for note taking by Dr. Sam Ladner
"This is a great collection of tips for note taking. For user research, design reviews, board meetings, whatever". (from Weekend Reading)

How to Make Your Code Reviewer Fall in Love with You
"Value your reviewer’s time". tl;dr; Start with these and read the article for more:

  • Review your own code first
  • Write a clear changelist description
  • Automate the easy stuff
  • Answer questions with the code itself
  • Narrowly scope changes
  • Separate functional and non-functional changes
  • Break up large changelists

Cloud

Monitoring & securing AWS with Microsoft
"Interesting approach, how to setup (advanced) monitoring of AWS with Azure Security Center (CSPM), Azure Defender (CWPP), Cloud App Security (CASB), and Azure Sentinel (SIEM)." (from Cloud Security Reading List)

Learning

How I read books: setting up a new system
"Knowledge is much more valuable when we can act on it, and change our behavior."
tl;dr; Active learning / reading; Processing and reflecting; Repeating; Presenting; Taking action. (from HackerNewsletter)

Things you're allowed to do
"This is a list of things you’re allowed to do that you thought you couldn’t, or didn’t even know you could."

Short notes on tech 52/2020

Week 52, 2020

Code

Learning

Stop using Material Design text fields!
"But Google uses it!" — yeah, that’s not a good enough reason. (from Weekend Reading)

Collection of tips for note taking by Dr. Sam Ladner
"This is a great collection of tips for note taking. For user research, design reviews, board meetings, whatever". (from Weekend Reading)

Tools

EStimator 
"Calculate how much you can save by switching your website to modern JavaScript." (from Weekend Reading)

An Instant GraphQL API Using Google Sheets
"The takeaway is, skip the complicated and under-documented Google Sheets API, and use the Google Charts Visualization API instead." (from Weekend Reading)

Something different

The 'Japanese Bob Ross': How a 73-year-old artist took YouTube by storm
(from hackernewsletter)

Short notes on tech 51/2020

Week 51, 2020

Cloud

AWS launches new managed services: Announcing Amazon Managed Service for Grafana (in Preview) and Amazon Managed Service for Prometheus.

Monitoring & securing AWS with Microsoft
"Interesting approach, how to setup (advanced) monitoring of AWS with Azure Security Center (CSPM), Azure Defender (CWPP), Cloud App Security (CASB), and Azure Sentinel (SIEM)." (from Cloud Security Reading List)

Development

Can developer productivity be measured?
"Defining and measuring programmer productivity is one of the most difficult parts of an engineering manager or CTO’s job description. When everything you do is intangible, how should you measure it? Can it be measured at all?"

The CSS Mindset
"You need a certain mindset to write good CSS."

How to Make Your Code Reviewer Fall in Love with You
"Value your reviewer’s time". tl;dr; Start with these and read the article for more:

  • Review your own code first
  • Write a clear changelist description
  • Automate the easy stuff
  • Answer questions with the code itself
  • Narrowly scope changes
  • Separate functional and non-functional changes
  • Break up large changelists

Software

Chrome is bad
tl;dr; "Google Chrome installs Keystone on your computer, which makes your whole computer slow even when Chrome isn't running. Deleting Chrome and Keystone makes your computer way, way faster, all the time." Alternative facts about the issue from Hacker News.

Learning

The Modern JavaScript Tutorial
(from HackerNewsletter)

How I read books: setting up a new system
"Knowledge is much more valuable when we can act on it, and change our behavior."
tl;dr; Active learning / reading; Processing and reflecting; Repeating; Presenting; Taking action. (from HackerNewsletter)

Something different

The Donut King who went full circle - from rags to riches, twice
(from HackerNewsletter)

Short notes on tech 50/2020

Week 50, 2020

Cloud

Wait, Docker is deprecated in Kubernetes now? What do I do?
tl;dr; Use CRI runtimes instead: containerd or CRI-O.

Google Cloud: default container runtime to change to Containerd with GKE node version 1.19 and higher.
"As the Docker container runtime will be removed from the Kubernetes project in the future, GKE is beginning a migration to the Containerd runtime. Support for the Containerd image variants became Generally Available in GKE in September 2019." See: Using containerd images

A better Kubernetes, from the ground up
"What we would do differently if we built something new, from the ground up, with no regard for compatibility with Kubernetes?" (from Cloud Security Reading List)

DevOps

Travis CI is no longer providing CI minutes for open source projects
The move from Travis CI to other (more OSS friendly) Continues Integration services has been seen for some time and this will accelerate it. The popular choices are: GitHub Actions, Circle CI, Google Cloud Build, Drone CI.

AWS Lambda now supports container images as a packaging format
You can now package your functions as container images and use familiar container development tools to build Lambda applications. (from Cloud Security Reading List)

Monitor and secure your containers with new Container Threat Detection
Google announced the general availability of Container Threat Detection (a built-in service in Security Command Center Premium tier) to help monitor and secure container deployments in GCP. (from Cloud Security Reading List)

Programming

Advent of Code
Reminder that the Advent of Code is again here with programming puzzles.

PostgREST
"PostgREST serves a fully RESTful API from any existing PostgreSQL database. It provides a cleaner, more standards-compliant, faster API than you are likely to write from scratch." (from hackernewsletter)

public-apis/public-apis
A collective list of free APIs for use in software and web development. (from Weekend Reading)

Learning

The UI & UX Tips Collection: Volume One
"Collection of my popular UI & UX tips from the past 12 months that can, with little effort, help improve both your designs, and the overall user experience." (from Weekend Reading)

Something different

Chess tactics explained
If you watched the The Queen's Gambit miniseries and got interested of playing it, the Chess tactics explained gets you started with more than just basic rules. (from hackernewsletter)

NoCode tools
"Discover the best tools to build software, no code required"

Short notes on tech 49/2020

Week 49, 2020

Development and Operations

Using SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt in your Kubernetes Ingress via cert-manager
Walkthrough of the process of automating the issuance and renewal of certificates provided by Let's Encrypt for Kubernetes Ingress using the cert-manager add-on. (from cloudseclist.com)

Use Amazon EC2 Mac Instances to Build & Test macOS, iOS, ipadOS, tvOS, and watchOS Apps
"Powered by Mac mini hardware and the AWS Nitro System, you can use Amazon EC2 Mac instances to build, test, package, and sign Xcode applications for the Apple platform including macOS, iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, watchOS, and Safari." The downside of this is that "The instances are launched as EC2 Dedicated Hosts with a minimum tenancy of 24 hours" which is due Apple EULA and thus one CI build costs about $26. And what I read from HN the real viable option is still to use MacStadium.

Tools of the trade

cloudquery
"cloudquery transforms your cloud infrastructure into queryable SQL tables for easy monitoring, governance and security." (from cloudseclist.com)

k8s-security-policies
"Repository providing a security policies library that is used for securing Kubernetes clusters configurations. The security policies are created based on CIS Kubernetes benchmark and rules defined in Kubesec.io." (from cloudseclist.com)

alyssaxuu/screenity
"Screenity is a feature-packed screen and camera recorder for Chrome. Annotate your screen to give feedback, emphasize your clicks, edit your recording, and much more." (from Weekend Reading)

Miscellanous

Why Apple's replacement for Intel processors works really, really well
"They added Intel's memory-ordering to their CPU. When running translated x86 code, they switch the mode of the CPU to conform to Intel's memory ordering."

Short notes on tech 48/2020

Week 48, 2020

Tools of the Trade

Next.js 10
Built-in Image Component and Automatic Image Optimization, Internationalized Routing, Next.js Analytics, React 17 Support.

Node.js 15
Throw on unhandled rejections, pm 7 includes yarn.lock file support, peer dependencies are now installed by default, V8 8.6.

kachkaev/njt
"njt (npm jump to): a quick navigation tool for npm packages". This is super useful: njt react h brings the home page, njt graphql g takes you to GitHub, other jump points include changelog, source code, issues, and more.

Coding Fonts
A microsite that shows off fonts specifically designed for writing code.

Upptime
Open source uptime and status page system, powered entirely by GitHub Actions and Issues.

Gitlint
Git commit message linter (for Linux and Mac, experimental on Windows), that checks your commit messages for style.

Alternatives to JIRA which is moving to cloud only:
Asana
ClickUp
Linear
Redmine

Nova app from Panic
Native code editor for Mac.

Microsoft Clarity is out of beta
Tool for visualizing user experience. Click and scroll heatmaps, individual session replay, rage clicks metric, and more.

Apple

Does it ARM?
"Apps that are reported to support Apple Silicon"

Accessibility

Atkinson
New free and hyperlegible font published by the Braille institute.

Web

Apple now lets us integrate Face ID and Touch ID on the web
"Building it on top of the Web Authentication API. Imagine how this can improve the logging in experience for a good part of your user base."

Monthly notes 54

Working from home continues as COVID-19 still surges and if you yet haven't checked your video call capabilities, read the How to make video calls almost as good as face-to-face article. The remote working isn't going away as this year has shown that pendeling to offices every day isn't really needed.

Issue 54, 6.11.2020

"Nobody gets hacked"

Working from home

Companies plans for remote work going forward
Twitter thread by Chris Herd of what he learned by speaking to 1,000 companies over the last 6 months about their plans for remote work going forward. Office space going down; flexi-work; people working too hard; burnouts; asynchronous communication is difficult; invest to ergonomic working equipment; workers will be happier as a result of remote work; need tools to track output; documentation is the unspoken superpower of remote teams; coaching and facilitators are needed;

How to make video calls almost as good as face-to-face
How much nicer video calls would feel if the problems with low-quality microphones and webcams, lag and such would be solved? The post summarizes what can be done by fiddling with gear and software. TL;DR; Get away from other people; Throw your wireless headset in the trash; Don’t mute; Get a better microphone; Listen to yourself; Improve your lighting; Use your real background; Don’t bother with webcams;

Docker and Kubernetes security

Dockerfile Security Best Practices
List of common security issues and how to avoid them. For every issue there's an Open Policy Agent (OPA) rule ready to be used to statically analyze your Dockerfiles with conftest. TL;DR; Do not store secrets in environment variables; Only use trusted base images; Do not use ‘latest’ tag for base image; Avoid curl bashing; Do not upgrade your system packages; Do not use ADD if possible; Do not root; Do not sudo;

Docker Threat Model

The Current State of Kubernetes Threat Modelling
"If you are planning on using Kubernetes in production, one of the key things to consider from a security perspective is your threat model."

Arsenal of Cloud Native (Security) Tools
Marco Lancini's curated list of tools he finds useful, alongside a quick “usage” guide for each one of them. i.a.: Docker Bench, kube-bench, kube-hunter, AWS Security Benchmark,

Something different

2020 UCI Cycling eSports World Champs heads to Zwift’s Watopia in December
"2020 UCI Cycling eSports World Championships are set to take place on virtual ride platform Zwift in their online Watopia environment. Garmin-Tacx will supply all of the connected trainer for with elite men and women to race each other virtually"

Prettifying AWS S3 Bucket public index list

Sometimes it's useful to have a index listing on a AWS S3 bucket. Here are some solutions to configure it with nice template. If having a public index list on a S3 Bucket is a good idea or not I'm not saying yay or nay.

First set the correct Bucket Policy

{
    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
        {
            "Sid": "PublicReadGetObject",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Principal": "*",
            "Action": "s3:GetObject",
            "Resource": "arn:aws:s3:::tmfg-tiesaahistoria/*"
        }
    ]
}

Next set Permissions

Everyone, List objects Yes

Create a index.html

For the index.html you have couple of choices:

  1. Use the index.hml with modifications by Nolan Lawson (see also: Lawson's blog post and code)
  2. Use more up to date forked index.html
  3. Use original file by Francesco Pasqualini
  4. Use AWS S3 Bucket Browser

To use it, just upload the index.html file into the root of your public S3 bucket.

That’s it!

What software and hardware I use

There was a discussion in Koodiklinikka Slack about what software people use and that people have made "/uses" pages for that purpose. And inspired by Wes Bos /uses from "Syntax" Podcast here's my list.

Check my /uses page to see what software and hardware I use for full-stack development in JavaScript, Node.js, Java, Kotlin, GraphQL, PostgreSQL and more. The list excludes the tools from different customers like using GitLab, Rocket.Chat, etc.

For more choices check uses.tech.