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Why I enjoy visiting software development conferences

I think I went to my first software development conference in 2007. Since then I’ve participated in quite a few of them, sometimes as a regular attendee, sometimes as a speaker.

“But with all the technological advancements, isn’t a conference held in person a relict from the past?” is something I hear from time to time. My answer to this is: No, it’s not - at least not for me.

So let’s take a look at why I still enjoy visiting software development conferences.

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Naming things

According to Phil Karlton1 there are only two hard things in computer science: Cache invalidation and naming things. I have experienced on multiple occasions how important the latter one is: Finding the right name for something and (perhaps evenly important) sticking to that name.

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Setting up a WireGuard VPN using Kubernetes

In another article I described how to set up a VPN using WireGuard on a dedicated EC2 instance at AWS.

If you happen to run a Kubernetes cluster then the configuration becomes even simpler, as we don’t have to set up a dedicated EC2 instance but can build upon the infrastructure provided by Kubernetes.

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As a manager you're not above everyone else!

As someone who has experienced both sides (being a manager as well having been managed myself) I see some behaviors popping up again and again that I very much oppose and clearly identify as actively hurting the productivity of any team.

During my career I was very fortunate in that almost all of my managers were people that I enjoyed working with and more than once looked up to. But all good things eventually come to an end and not that long ago I encountered the exact opposite of what I consider a good manager.

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Setting up a WireGuard VPN at AWS using Terraform

Most of our resources at AWS aren’t publicly accessible via the Internet. Instead we placed them in a separate VPC to isolate them from any malicious access by an attacker or even accidental access by ourselves.

However from time to time we do want to access the resources directly:

My first approach was to use AWS’s internal VPN solution which turned out to be both complex to setup as well as pretty expensive to use.

So while looking for alternatives my colleague Lukas pointed me towards WireGuard which turned out to be exactly what I was looking for.

In this posting I will describe how to setup a WireGuard VPN at AWS completely from scratch, using Terraform as infrastructure as code framework.

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Three steps to a paperless home office

The time of binders full of invoices and other documents is over. At least for me.

Almost all of my personal home office is paperless these days. However almost everything still arrives on paper. This article tells you how I deal with it.

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Accessing a GitHub repository within Kubernetes via a sidecar container

To separate our services and the data our service operates on we use separate GitHub repositories as storage. This article will demonstrate how we make sure that our operational services always have the latest data available.

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Article: How to be a happy developer?

Every once in a while I publish stuff. This one is for my German speaking and reading audience.

My article about “How to be a happy developer” has been published in the February 2020 edition of the German magazine “Java Aktuell” by the iJUG (Interessenverbund der Java User Groups e.V.).

The German title is: “Als Entwickler glücklich sein – Tipps und Tricks”.

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Optimize Docker images for Ruby on Rails applications

This article shows how to optimize a Docker image for a Ruby on Rails application both in terms of making the image as small as possible as well as how to improve the time it takes to create the image.

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Setting up a NAT gateway on AWS using Terraform

We’re in the middle of migrating a lot of our infrastructure components to AWS. One thing that took me a while to wrap my head around is how to setup a VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) at AWS in a way that all our outgoing traffic is routed via a fixed IP address. In this article I will demonstrate how this can be done, using Terraform to setup all required resources at AWS.

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