Delivering with empathy

I remember learning about the difference between sympathy and empathy in middle school. Sympathy: feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else's misfortune. Empathy: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.Pretty damn simple to understand the difference when you read each of the above definitions, but…

Cache purging with Ghost and Cloudflare Workers

As I have moved my blog platform over to Ghost, I've realised that there will be other parts of my technical ecosystem that will keep me busy tinkering. One such part of that is how to cache every page on this site (effectively) permanently whilst also allowing new posts and…

Personal Resets

I find it's highly beneficial to do a personal reset every so often. While I can't speak for others, for me personal resets come in a number of different forms although usually over the course of at least a weekend. They take me out of my comfort zone and allow…

New year, new blog

It's been quite literally years that I've been putting off updating my blog, both in the underlying technology as well as the content that resides within. While August is probably eight months too late to invoke the new year in a blog title, it's a theme that I can work…

IP Restrictions behind Cloudflare and Varnish

I've recently been working with a client using Drupal, Varnish, and Cloudflare as part of their digital transformation journey. The client had requirements to ensure that requests coming in through Cloudflare, which should be all requests, would include a check to ensure only their internal IP ranges and ours would…

Using Toran Proxy to speed up Drupal builds

Over the last couple of days an internal thread has been making the rounds at Acquia about speeding up Composer for Drupal builds. With Drupal 8, Lightning and the BLT project making heavy use of Composer to manage its dependencies, users frequently rebuilding from source, or those in remote regions…

Installing an Origin CA cert in Pound

Recently I was approached by one of the Cloudflare channel team as they advised all customers about Google's announcement about distrusting SSL certificates from two certificate authorities ("CAs"): WoSign and StartCom. Google's announcement joins Mozilla and Apple and now represents the majority of human-driven browsers. As I was using a…

Migrating into multisite

Quite often in my role as a Solutions Architect at Acquia, I'll see customers looking to bring sites under the multisite banner in order to enact a more controlled code governance model. Amalgamating codebases allows for a more controlled site development experience where 50 different sites can be thought of…

Verifying SSL certificates with drupal_http_request

Recently I was posed with the question about verifying self-signed SSL certificates with drupal_http_request(). The usecase here would be to use private APIs to surface information, secured with SSL, yet using an internally created certificate. By default, drupal_http_request() does not verify the SSL certificate of sites…

Making Nagios check OpenVPN

I've been slowly expanding the amount of automation that runs on the servers I personally maintain. With Puppet as my configuration management system I'm able to deploy changes to however many of my servers quickly and easily. Similarly, if any server dies a fiery death a new one can be…

Fighting back from Drupal hacks

The last thing any website owner, developer or administrator wants to hear is that they've been hacked. Whether the cause was the fault of insecure passwords, problematic file permissions, a vulnerability in the underlying code or the myriad other potential issues, it's an undesirable situation to be in. When Drupal…

Mounting Acquia locally with sshfs

One of the things that I've been working on recently as part of my MBOs with Acquia is related to learning and teaching Drupal 8. My latest self enforced task it to port the SimpleSAMLphp Authentication module and create a new and shiny D8 version. After migrating most of the…

Playing with augeas for fun and profit

Contrary to what Wikipedia says, the Augeas I'm using isn't at all related to the 5th labour of Hercules. Rather, it's a configuration editing tool and Puppet resource type used primarily to alter and control config files. After recently adding control of /root/.my.cnf to the manifests managing all…

Becoming Acquia Backend Specialist Certified

For the most recent Acquia Professional Services All Hands in Boston I took the Acquia Backend Specialist certification and passed! Following the helpful blog articles about the general certification from Tanay Sai and Webchick, I felt it was only responsible to speak about my experience during the backend exam. One…

Run a Hackathon, inspire passion for Drupal

With a beta release of Drupal 8 just around the corner, and a library of modules that need a stable port (or at least a beta release) on release day, now is the time to get your learning underway and dive in. A brief look at this chart from the…