Archive for June 2020

Weekly Wrap Up – Big Bang cutovers

June 26th, 2020 — 4:12pm

Usually when moving an application to a new platform, upgraded software, etc. I prefer to slowly implement the new solution – allowing for bug fixes and other issues to be addressed. Then, when the new platform is stable, finish moving things over to it. That’s a nice option to have, but it’s not always possible.

This week the monitoring team I work with moved to a new version of Microfocus’s Ops Bridge. This involved porting many custom applications, and lots of prep work. However, the final “cutover” had to be what I call “big bang” – no soft launch, or partial move, but everything at once. The name “big bang” comes from what can happen if things don’t go well when doing one of these.

So far, things seem to have gone well. I say “so far”, because once we took care of the realtime problems that came up, things have been quiet. I assume more problems will be discovered over the next few days, but hopefully nothing major. It feels good to have this one behind us, though!

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Weekly Wrap up – Data cleaning

June 19th, 2020 — 2:52pm

I spent a lot of time this week cleaning up some data used to synchronize two databases for one of my clients. Essentially, this involves taking inconsistent or otherwise messy data from system A, and applying changes or rules to it when updating system B. Ideally, data would be clean from the start, but that never is the case. NEVER!

For tasks like this, my goto tool is Perl (see It’s old school, I know, and most programmers today never heard of it, or used it. It’s sort of like the COBOL of the 90’s. Everybody says it’s obselete, but there’s a lot of legacy code out there written in Perl.

Perl is ideally suited for text / data processing, in my opinion. It’s a scripting language, so it’s quick to make changes and re-run, great with regular expressions, and generally pretty fast. Oh, and it’s ubiquitous. That means, practically every Unix system you run into has it installed already, and it easily installs to Windows if for some reason you have to use it there. That makes it easy to copy and reuse code, without lots of setup.

So, use Perl. Or ask me for help!

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Weekly Wrap Up – Shopify

June 12th, 2020 — 12:18pm

I spent some time this week reviewing’s offerings. It’s been a while since I have used it for a client, and wanted to refamiliarize myself with it. The platform is a “SAAS” ecommerce application, with different paid tiers based on features and volume.

Generally I recommend these types of platforms to my clients, as the security and upgrades are handled by the hosting platform. Shopify can be customized and fine tuned to the needs of the particular store, with new features and options released regularly.

Overall, it’s a solid platform for building or extending your ecommerce business.

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Weekly Wrap Up – Linked In Learning

June 2nd, 2020 — 2:10pm

It’s been a few weeks since I wrote anything, but I’ve been keeping busy.

Much of what I’ve been doing has been using tools I’ve written about in other posts, so I thought I’d mention “Linked In Learning” (formerly

These are online courses, mostly with a technology and business focus, that you can take for about $30 / month. They are generally well done, and there are many topics available. You can subscribe month to month, and cancel whenever you want. Over the years, I’ve taken courses on various technologies, sometimes to quickly put the knowledge to use, and sometimes just to get an overview of the technology.

If you have some downtime, or can work some time into your day, consider taking courses. Your employer may even have a subscription you can use for free.

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