Software runs my life

Year: 2020 Page 1 of 3

How to give effective feedback

It’s performance review time of year again! It’s hard enough to clear your head and objectively self-reflect on your own performance, let alone on the performance of others. For many of my team this was the first time that they’d been asked to provide 360 feedback on their peers, and so there was an extra level of discomfort. I recorded the following Loom video demonstrating the Situation, Behaviour, Impact (SBI) framework, in order to help them approach the feedback process and make their feedback more actionable. I hope it’s useful to others too.


Adding a free SSL certificate to Google Compute Engine

Google provides a one click install option for WordPress on their Google Compute Engine instances. This is a very economical and customisable way to spin up a WordPress blog if you’re comfortable with a Debian shell. Unfortunately it only spins up a HTTP rather than secure HTTPS instance, so here’s how to add a free SSL certificate.

Firstly, log into your Cloud console and open an SSH shell for your instance

Google Cloud VM Instance SSH login

Then in the shell, run the following commands as mentioned here:

sudo apt-get install certbot python-certbot-apache

Accept the downloading and installation of some Python packages, then to request and install a new Let’s Encrypt certificate into Apache the :

sudo certbot --apache

It will ask a number of questions such as the server hostname and whether you want to redirect HTTP to HTTPS (you should), then link to the SSL Labs server test to verify your installation.

Finally you can optionally run a dry run renewal, just to make sure it all works:

sudo certbot renew --dry-run

And that’s it!

Tableau and Mable webinar

Recently I was invited to present at an AWS and Tableau conference on how companies use data effectively. There were multiple parts to this collaboration, including this linked article that acts as the overall summary of our business and Tableau involvement.

As it was during COVID, the full conference was recorded in a webinar format. This is my quick introduction video:

Tableau intro final

The full webinar can be viewed here. It captures a lot more detail such as an overview the data and systems architecture used, as well as specifics around our moderation service algorithm.

Finally the data architecture that I discuss, and show on a visual during the full video itself, is reproduced again below:

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