› Mijndert Stuij

I’m a Senior DevOps Engineer with over 15 years of experience building highly scalable, high performance infrastructure on top of AWS. My passion is scaling out infrastructure from 0 to millions of users while adhering to industry best-practices in a cost-effective manner.

You can find me on Mastodon, GitHub and some other places as @mijndert.

Feb 19, 2024

Here’s a fun new thing in the blogosphere: sharing your default apps. I saw a few people I follow do it and borrowed the format, as one does. A ton more pages like this to look at are catalogued by Robb Knight.

I’ve always been a minimalist since having too much stuff doesn’t fit in my brain. The same is true on my electronic devices; having too many apps gives me a headache. As a result, this might be a rather boring list for most people, but I’m eager to see how it evolves over time.

Some time ago I wrote about config-driven import which became available in Terraform 1.5. Import blocks are a way to import existing resources into the statefile, which is useful when you have a bunch of infrastructure that was created manually. Yesterday Terraform 1.7 was released that extends this functionality with a for_each argument.

Jan 11, 2024

I tried every single to do list app under the sun – the one I stuck with the longest is Things, an awesome native app on Apple platforms. But the tool at hand isn’t what I want to talk about today. The app doesn’t matter, it’s just that all of those apps try to push you towards a certain way of doing things. And using an app like Things, I’m pretty much stuck in the Apple ecosystem, unless I meticulously export all my data.

A smartphone running the Mastodon app

Anyone that knows me well can attest to me being a dreadful sports person in almost every category; except for one: running. I’ve been running for a very long time, I could at one point run a 5k in 20 minutes and a 10k in less than 50 minutes. I never really had a plan, I just go out for a run and don’t think about it too much. To the chagrin of some of my friends, running comes natural to me. I naturally have a rather high vo2max and I’m not super prone to injuries so I can just keep running for a good while before I hit my limits.

Because of all this, I never had a use-case for a better watch than my Apple Watch SE. But as I get older I do need a little more hand holding to get my old form back. I finally decided to get a Garmin Forerunner 255S and I’ve been using it for 2 weeks now.

The idea of a personal wiki has always appealed to me. I tried a few times to incorporate one into my “workflow” if I even have one. I tried all sorts of different tools but the latest one that’s been keeping me occupied is Obsidian. I really want to like and use Obsidian, but I’m unable to. Let me explain.

Anyone who uses Terraform must be familiar with the import command; it allows you to gather existing resources and put them into your statefile. This way, existing resources which were previously not created using Terraform are now under management of your infrastructure as code.

You can import your resources in the terminal, but you still have to write the code for the resources you import. With Terraform version 1.5 there’s a better solution: import blocks.

An orange Lego block on a blue Lego base plate

In the realm of Amazon Web Services there’s this thing called a Landing Zone, a set of infrastructure as code modules built to deploy new environments faster. You can build a Landing Zone using CloudFormation, CDK, Terraform, or any other tool you like. The point is that you have a starting point for as many use-cases as possible. For a Landing Zone to work you have to write reusable generalized code that could work for any client and any combination of infrastructure.

While trying to create a Landing Zone in Terraform I found that it’s very hard to make them follow the DRY principle (Don’t Repeat Yourself). After a while the code started to be really hard to maintain. But then I found Dynamic blocks.

For years and years I’ve been using Jekyll as my static site generator of choice, mostly because I like their templating engine and I’m a fan of Ruby as a programming language. I’ve been experimenting with Hugo as well, but it never really clicked for me. Well, until I found the perfect theme for my needs. The same theme is now used here and on the toot.community blog so I wanted to set mine apart a little bit by adding banner images on some posts. Downloading an image from Unsplash and manually resizing it wasn’t an option though - I need things to be frictionless when I want to add a blog entry.

If you’re serious about scaling your company you should stop doing DevOps teams. I realise this is probably a controversial opinion and one I’m most likely almost alone in thinking, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot as of late.

A smartphone running the Mastodon app

Tomorrow marks the first full month of my move to toot.community, a Mastodon instance initially set up by my friend Jorijn. My move to Mastodon wasn’t motivated by what’s going at Twitter right now, but rather the technical challenges of scaling the shit out of it. In the first week we welcomed thousands of people and we certainly had to put out a fire or two, but most of the time we had the time to focus on optimization.

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