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Category: worth reading

MUST READ: Deploy AWS Security Rules in a GitOps World with AWS, Terraform, GitLab CI, Slack, and Python

I know the title sounds like a buzzword-bingo-winning clickbait, but it’s true. Adrian Giacometti decided to merge the topics of two online courses and automated deployment of AWS security rules using Terraform within GitLab CI pipeline, with Slack messages serving as manual checks and approvals.

Not only did he do a great job mastering- and gluing together so many diverse bits and pieces, he also documented the solution and published the source code:

Want to build something similar? Join our Network Automation and/or Public Cloud course and get started. Need something similar in your environment? Adrian is an independent consultant and ready to work on your projects.

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Worth Reading: The Insider's Guide To Evangelizing Good Design

Scott Berkun wrote another great article that’s equally applicable to the traditional notion of design (his specialty) and the network design. Read it, replace design with network design, and use its lessons. Here’s just a sample:

  • Convincing people is a social process
  • Aim for small wins, not conversions of belief systems
  • Allies matter more than ideas
  • Design maturity grows one step at a time.
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Reader Question: What Networking Blogs Would You Recommend?

A junior networking engineer asked me for a list of recommended entry-level networking blogs. I have no idea (I haven’t been in that position for ages); the best I can do is to share my list of networking-related RSS feeds and the process I’m using to collect interesting blogs:


  • RSS is your friend. Find a decent RSS reader. I’m using Feedly – natively in a web browser and with various front-ends on my tablet and phone (note to Google: we haven’t forgotten you killed Reader because you weren’t making enough money with it).
  • If a blog doesn’t have an RSS feed I’m not interested.
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Worth Reading: Modules, Monoliths, and Microservices

If you want to grow beyond being a CLI (or Python) jockey, it’s worth trying to understand things work… not only how frames get from one end of the world to another, but also how applications work, and why they’re structured they way they are.

Daniel Dib recently pointed out another must-read article in this category: Modules, monoliths, and microservices by Avery Pennarun – a wonderful addition to my distributed systems resources.

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MUST READ: Systems Design Explains the World

The one and only Avery Pennarun (of the world in which IPv6 was a good design fame) is back with another absolutely-must-read article explaining how various archetypes apply to real-world challenges, including:

  • Hierarchies and decentralization (and why decentralization is a myth)
  • Chicken-and-egg problem (and why some good things fail)
  • Second-system effect (or why it’s better to refactor than to rewrite)
  • Innovator’s dilemma (or why large corporations become obsolete)

If you think none of these applies to networking, you’re probably wrong… but of course please write a comment if you still feel that way after reading Avery’s article.

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Worth Reading: Career Advice for Young Engineers

David Bombal invited me for another short chat – this time on what I recommend young networking engineers just starting their career. As I did a bit of a research I stumbled upon some great recommendations on Quora:

I couldn’t save the pages to Internet Archive (looks like it’s not friendly with Quora), so I can only hope they won’t disappear ;)

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Worth Reading: How To Put Faith in $someTechnique

The next time you’re about to whimper how you can’t do anything to get rid of stretched VLANs (or some other stupidity) because whatever, take a few minutes and read How To Put Faith in UX Design by Scott Berkun, mentally replacing UX Design with Network Design. Here’s the part I loved most:

[… ]there are only three reasonable choices:

  • Move into a role where you make the important decisions.
  • Become better at influencing decision makers.
  • Find a place to work that has higher standards (or start your own).

Unfortunately the most common choice might be #4: complain and/or do nothing.

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Worth Reading: Internet of Trash

I love the recent Internet of Trash article by Geoff Huston, in particular this bit:

“Move fast and break things” is not a tenable paradigm for this industry today, if it ever was. In the light of our experience with the outcomes of an industry that became fixated on pumping out minimally viable product, it’s a paradigm that heads towards what we would conventionally label as criminal negligence.

Of course it’s not just the Internet-of-Trash. Whole IT is filled with examples of startups and “venerable” companies doing the same thing and boasting about their disruptiveness. Now go and read the whole article ;)

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Worth Reading: Advice(s) for Engineering Managers

Just in case you were recently promoted to be a team leader or a manager: read these somewhat-tongue-in-cheek advices:

Need more career advice? How about The Six Year Rule by Bryan Sullins… or you could go and reread my certifications-related blog posts.

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