I'm a software developer with a huge, insatiable appetite for programming and learning. I love Git, Javascript, PHP, Python and doing some dev-ops.

How to add your own executable scripts to bash

I have been enjoying the book Effective Engineer by Edmond Lau. One of the great tricks of becoming more effective is to set workflows that make you do more, much faster. I have ended up setting a few scripts to automate a lot of bash commands such as ssh-ing, using git etcetera and in this short primer i’d love to show total newbies how to have your own executable scripts from any place on your system.

The first thing to note here is Mac OS has a few candidate files in your home folder that it indexes for commands to use in every bash window. On my system, I prefer to use ~/.bash_rc mainly because it is loaded up when a new instance of a terminal window is opened compared to ~/.bash_profile which is loaded up at login.

2016 review and what's next

I almost always set goals for the year. In 2016 I had a bunch of goals and I think it’s fair to say I achieved about 50% of them, which has me beaming! I came to the comforting conclusion about two years ago that I’m in a marathon and my prophetic powers being what they’re (non-existant), estimating time is tough but I sure as hell have an idea about my direction. With that out of the way, here’s how my 2016 turned out to be:

  • I started working with the incredible folks at Onesheep.org. This is arguably the best bunch of people i’ve come across!
  • I participated in the C4K Hackathon and our team came an impressive second. Yay

Getting rid of rdiff-backup's incremental backups

Recently I had to help with maintenance of a server that I didn’t configure myself that had maxed out its storage (the horror!). Anyway, it took me some time to figure out it was using the handy and useful rdiff-backup package to create and store backups automatically. Rdiff-backup’s mission is succinctly put as an idea is to combine the best features of a mirror and an incremental backup

As it turns out, rdiff-backup does come with a handy tool to configure it to delete backups that are x-days old e.g 4 weeks:

rdiff-backup --remove-older-than 4W target-dir

What I learnt pair programming with a senior dev

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure to travel for some pair programming with a senior developer in our team who lives in Cape Town. This being our first meeting, I was really excited to finally meet the guy we all joke is a bot (internal joke). During my time in Strand (quiet city in Cape Town), I learnt some things I’d like to share here. These things became more apparent after our sessions and I think they should be considered huge benefits of pairing with someone more senior.

Connecting Dots

In his famous Stanford commencement address, Steve Jobs said something about connecting the dots and how you can only do that after the fact. The first time I heard that, it didn’t shake my thinking; actually I dismissed it offhandedly without putting much thought into it. Not that I didn’t think it wasn’t true nor profound but like most things in life, hands-on experience is often more hard hitting than simple, verbal advice.