Personal access to your servers

This article describes setting up a single security group with cloudformation that you can use to ensure you can easily gain access to your servers wherever you are. And as a bonus it describes how you can update the parameters of your stack from the command line without needing access to its template.

Automated deployments tutorial for Hugo

In this tutorial we will set up a basic Hugo project and then configure a free tool called Wercker to automatically deploy the generated site any time we add an article.

At the start of the year I mentioned writing a step for Wercker to help with automating deployments for Hugo sites such as this site. In the community forums people requested that I write a tutorial for it, and that has now gone up on the site.

It also works as a general introduction of using Wercker steps, so even if you’re not interested in Hugo itself the tutorial might be useful for that purpose.

Changes to my setup

Over the Christmas break I made some time to implement changes to my AWS setup that I've been thinking of. As this invalidates some of the things I've written about in other articles I felt I should point them out here as well.

Setting up SSL for an ELB

Enabling SSL on an Elastic Load Balancer in AWS is fairly straightforward and well documented, but that’s only one part of the whole process. When I needed to set it up again last week I figured that this time I would document the entire thing, from getting the keys to incorporating it into a CloudFormation template.

Building artifacts with Jenkins

When generating frontend assets, you don't want to add these generated files to your repository but it's not always possible or easy to generate them on the production server either. In this article I'll describe how to solve this issue using Jenkins.

And we've gone static

As I actually started writing again for this site, I found that I just wasn't happy with Wordpress. I originally chose Wordpress because it was the path of least resistance, but it turns out that it doesn't suit my needs.

The first babysteps with CloudFormation

When it comes to creating an infrastructure in AWS, CloudFormation is a great tool. You can use it to manage your entire infrastructure, from the initial setup to any updates and removing it all again. This article will guide you through these first steps.

Introduction to the AWS CLI

As I'll be writing a number of articles about AWS in the future, I figured it would be a good idea to first introduce the basics. This article will therefore introduce the AWS API, and guide you through setting it up for your own use.

PHP Quality

When it comes to software development, quality is often a difficult thing to measure. Often you will be able to recognize it when you see it, but defining why something is well done is harder. Luckily there are a number of tools and standards out there that will enable you to put metrics against your code. This article shows an easy way to combine these.

Dungeons & Developers

As professional nerds, we love role-playing games. And we love web development. Naturally, we wondered what a character talent tree for a web developer might look like.

This is just a fun thing, but can still be used to discover areas to improve yourself in. And of course, it’s one of those sites that shows how much fun web development can be.

Via The Loop

Technical Debt

On the one hand, technical debt refers to the quick and dirty shortcuts we take and the effect they have on future development. On the other hand, technical debt is also about the things that we don’t do, such as not commenting our code, not developing documentation, not doing proper testing, etc.

Technical debt is an interesting subject, and one that every developer should take into account. In most cases as a developer you will want to have the most elegant solution for your problem, preferably using the latest or coolest technology. Depending on the situation though this might not always be the solution your boss or client wants, usually because that solution is more expensive than the quick hack you were forced to also mention. That’s why before you then end up implementing the quick hack it is imperative to make it clear this will only postpone the “saved” time until a later moment. To be fair, often enough that trade-off might be worth it, even if this would lead to more time in the future.

Another case of technical debt that isn’t really touched on in this article is caused by using old technology. When there is an existing codebase that makes it easy to build something new, but makes use of older or even no longer supported tools it’s important to weigh the downsides of that very carefully. Especially when it comes to a project that will have to be supported for a long time.
In the short term using this might bring about a successful result faster, and using something new will undoubtedly lead to new and unexpected bugs as well. However, looking at the longer term, there are a fair number of problems that might crop up. Ranging from the obvious security problems, upgrade trouble, and performance issues, to even the decreased ability of the future developers to understand the use of the code base.

The SCUMM Diary: Stories behind one of the greatest game engines ever made

The version of SCUMM that was used for Maniac probably shared 80 percent or more of the commands used in later games such as Full Throttle.

A great in-depth breakdown of one of the best classical tools for making games. I’ve enjoyed playing many of the games running on SCUMM and aside from the technical details, this article also shows the fun the developers must have had while building it. Definitely worth a read.

Via Alrayyes