Review of Bespoke Post: Why I Cannot Recommend Their Service

I signed up for Bespoke Post last October, receiving two orders and skipping one. The second box showed up in December – a decanter and two glasses (their Parlor box), only one of the glasses was shattered. “No big deal,” I reason to myself. This sort of thing probably happens every now and then, so I pull up Bespoke’s site and find their support email. I send an email explaining the situation and receive some great news in reply:

AWS Batch Cloud Custodian Docker Starter Pack

I recently implemented a series of AWS Batch jobs for a client. While most of these were for implementing, well, batch jobs, in the form of reporting functions, I decided to give a go to deploying Cloud Custodian using the same framework, as it basically involved creating an additional CloudFormation nested stack, building Custodian policies and baking them into a container to deploy through Batch. Getting everyhting up and going was a fair bit of work, so I wanted to encapsulate my learnings into something else others could use.

Passing the Google Cloud Professional Data Engineer Exam

This one’s short, sweet, and to the point. Here are my GCP Professional Data Engineer exam notes. Good luck!

Travel: Favorite Restaurants

I’ve had the good fortune of traveling quite a bit recently. I’m no connoisseur, but I do like a good meal. As I come across a great restaurant, I’ll make a note of it here. Austin, TX Moonshine Grill: I had the Green Chile Macaroni and a friend had the Chicken & Waffles (both of us greatly enjoyed our meals). Atlanta, GA DBA Barbeque: I had the Archie Bunker (it was great).

Getting Kubernetes Certified

My goal for Q1 2019 is to add the Certified Kubernetes Administrator certification to my resume. In regards to writing about previous certification experiences, I have either: written a general outline of the experience much later not written about it at all, or just posted my study notes After more or less every certification, people have asked me what I did to prepare for the certification. Generally, the answer has been some combination of “practical experience and watching the A Cloud Guru course.

Thoughts on the AWS ML (Beta) Exam

I was able to squeeze in the beta AWS ML exam the week before Christmas. Given that it was several weeks ago, some of the other resources on Medium may be more informative, but I’ll throw my two cents out here for anyone who may be interested. Generally speaking, know about different types of machine learning models (particularly those supported by SageMaker) and in what sorts of situations they’re applicable. These include:

Some of My Favorite Pandas Snippets

I have spent the last six months working on the migration of multiple (mostly) SQL-based data sources to a multitude of different AWS-based targets, ranging from conventional SQL backends to user stores like Cognito. Many (if not all) of these efforts involved joining and coalescing data from multiple sources (per single data set) to migrate to a single backend system. For the majority of the work, I used Jupyter notebooks – relying heavily on Pandas and Numpy – for source data analysis, transformation, and load into target systems (as well as the use of database-specific client connection libraries, including MySQL, MS SQL, and Redshift/Postgres).

Working With Azure AD in AWS and Moving from Azure SQL to RDS SQL Server

For the last week, I worked on a pretty intense migration of a fairly sizable Azure SQL instance that moved into AWS’ RDS service (running SQL Server). It was an intense project due to the timeline and size of the database. Of course, this involved access to both services, using both web consoles, CLI and native database interfaces. The client was controlling access to AWS and Azure using Azure AD, so I had to figure out federated access to the AWS API/CLI (since we built out their new environment using Terraform).

Terraform: Conditional Outputs in Modules

There are several drastic HCL improvements forthcoming in version 0.12 of Terraform, but after an issue I encountered this week while creating some infrastructure with an 0.11.x version of the runtime, I wanted to cover the issue, how to remedy it in versions < 0.12, and talk about how (I believe) the issue will be remedied thanks to some of the 0.12 improvements. Basically, this type of issue will manifest itself as an error during the plan phase with this form of error message: module.

Terraform Provider Bundling

Beginning with the 0.10.x version tree of Terraform, HashiCorp decided to decouple providers from the main Terraform runtime (see the 0.10.0 CHANGELOG for details). For a lot of users, this is a seamless win as Terraform will pull down whatever providers it deduces that it needs to execute your build assuming you have network connectivity to reach their servers and grab the files. This flexible architecture allows new providers to be released, bugfixes and features to be introduced in existing providers without requiring a version increment and download of a monolithic Terraform package.