Let’s get the spooky questions out of the way first.

Has anyone ever been murdered (or died) in the house?

Is there an Indian burial ground under the house?

Now let’s get going…

Has a plane ever crashed into the house? A UFO? If yes, then buy the house, the odds this will happen again are practically nil.

If the house is wood, when was it last stained or painted? What kind of wood? What kind of paint or stain?

When was the roof last replaced? Did they rip the shingles or shingle over shingle? Any leaks? Missing shingles (could indicate improperly sealed shingles).

Windows? How old? Thermal properties? Leaks? How many windows? Do…


Let’s dispense with the debate over whether make or autoconf are appropriate tools in the 21st century and assume that they aren’t going to die anytime soon. Let’s also assume that maybe, just maybe they can be useful?

Cool. Now that we’ve gotten past that hurdle, we can look at one of the uses I have found for these tools — automating infrastructure builds with Terraform. I’ll assume that anyone reading this article is familiar with Terraform and the general pattern of…

terraform plan ...
terraform apply ...

…to create resources, typically in a cloud environment. I’ll also assume that…


Software developers have been stereotyped as unsociable, uncommunicative, eccentric, or just plain odd. There’s always empirical data to support any stereotype — but we’ve learned to be cautious when applying our data to everyone.

So before we toss all developers into the same bucket, let’s take a timeout. Perhaps it’s possible that most developers actually exist in the fat part of the bell curve of behavior but aren’t often given the opportunity to show their personalities or individualism in a curriculum that demands binary answers to often ambiguous problems. …


I think I must be one weird dude.

When I think about what my career has been all about, I imagine an unending (at least until I am sacked, leave or die) series of projects that are intended to bring value to my company because that’s what they pay me to do. I like to believe that I give a fair day’s work for a fair pay. I actually try to live the Zig Ziglar sales mantra — Give ’em what you promised, and a little bit more.

What makes me weird I suppose, is that I really hate to…


Problems.

The trite response is that they are opportunities in disguise. But they are much more than that.

Problems can lift your soul if you let them or destroy your will…if you let them.

The sad truth is that most Americans worry too much about small problems, when there are so many large problems looming around them. We don’t know problems. This is a story of a small problem.

So, I get home and the doors are locked, which is natural for our house. I look for the key under the piece of two-tone stone pottery on the second shelf…


Why do old people drive so friggin’ slow? It would seem that with little time left on planet earth they’d hurry up to CVS and pick up the damn prescription and get back to the business of torturing their children and living out their days. But no, they hunker down in that Buick, place their knuckles on the steering wheel, point their battleships toward port and cruise along at a steady 3 knots.

I hope when I’m 85 I drive my age — everywhere I go! I may drive through the 7–11, even if it’s not a Drive-Thru.

What does…

Rob Lauer

Senior Delivery Manager, EPAM

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